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#109989 - 07/18/03 02:28 PM Nunchaku illegal in your home?
Sweeney Offline
Member

Registered: 07/10/03
Posts: 342
Loc: New York, USA
What is the sense out there? Should the mere possession of nunchaku, even in your own home for peaceful training purposes, be a crime? Should the state be able to lock you up for owning a pair of wooden sticks connected by a cord or chain, even if you never carry those sticks in public and never use them for illegal or improper purposes?

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#109990 - 07/18/03 04:59 PM Re: Nunchaku illegal in your home?
judderman Offline
Veteran

Registered: 08/06/01
Posts: 1400
Loc: UK
Check your local laws, either in the library or official office or even at the police station.

Budo.

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#109991 - 07/19/03 04:10 PM Re: Nunchaku illegal in your home?
Sweeney Offline
Member

Registered: 07/10/03
Posts: 342
Loc: New York, USA
Thanks, judderman, good advice (although I'd be careful about essentially announcing to police that I did have nunchaku in my home, assuming I did, which I don't admit in this post, etc., etc.) Actually, my question was an opinion question. I just wanted a sense of how the martial-arts-friendly law enforcement community feels about it. I know all too well what the law is here in New York, having been prosecuted for simple possession of nunchaku in my home and borne the threat of a year's imprisonment for it for over two years before the charge was dismissed earlier this year. (The threat of being locked up at least gave me an incentive to train hard, though, so there's the silver lining.) I have since challenged the law in a constitutional case that is currently pending before a federal judge who spent time in combat in the Western Pacific...maybe even in Okinawa(!?)...

[This message has been edited by Sweeney (edited 07-02-2004).]

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#109992 - 07/23/03 10:51 PM Re: Nunchaku illegal in your home?
honor_bound79 Offline
Member

Registered: 07/23/03
Posts: 40
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Sweeney:
What is the sense out there? Should the mere possession of nunchaku, even in your own home for peaceful training purposes, be a crime? Should the state be able to lock you up for owning a pair of wooden sticks connected by a cord or chain, even if you never carry those sticks in public and never use them for illegal or improper purposes? [/QUOTE]

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#109993 - 07/23/03 11:19 PM Re: Nunchaku illegal in your home?
honor_bound79 Offline
Member

Registered: 07/23/03
Posts: 40
why not have a pair nunchaku in your house, if the law permits you to keep a gun in your house for "protection" why shoundnt you be able to keep a pair of nunchaku in your home.
and by the way to make my point clear a gun is more dangerous then two sticks held together by a piece of string !!!

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#109994 - 07/25/03 03:22 PM Re: Nunchaku illegal in your home?
HeadlessHorseman Offline
Member

Registered: 07/25/03
Posts: 36
Loc: Sleepy Hollow, NY, USA
You can't have nunchaku, even in your home, in New York, California and maybe a few other states in the US. It's the law! And in NY and CA you can do a year in prison for breaking that law, even if you say you were keeping the nunchaku in your home for "training purposes." The law was made by the People (a process called democracy). So no griping, OK? Law enforcement officers have a sworn duty to enforce the law, and you should be prepared to do hard time with the bad boys if you keep these dangerous weapons in your home for any reason. Don't like it? You have three options: hire a lobbyist, quit training with the 'chucks, or move!

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#109995 - 07/25/03 05:39 PM Re: Nunchaku illegal in your home?
Sweeney Offline
Member

Registered: 07/10/03
Posts: 342
Loc: New York, USA
[QUOTE]Originally posted by HeadlessHorseman:
...
The law was made by the People (a process called democracy).[/QUOTE]

Dear Headless:

In a constitutional democracy, the People aren't allowed to make laws that deprive small groups (i.e., minorities) of their rights. The majority of people don't know how to use nunchaku and are afraid of them. That doesn't mean they should be able to legislate away the rights of those in the minority who would keep nunchaku in their homes for peaceful uses.

[QUOTE]Originally posted by HeadlessHorseman:
...
Don't like it? You have three options: hire a lobbyist, quit training with the 'chucks, or move![/QUOTE]

Dear Headless:

There's a fourth: challenge these unfair laws in federal court! Go to:
http://homepages.nyu.edu/~jmm257/nunchakucomp.html


[This message has been edited by Sweeney (edited 07-25-2003).]

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#109996 - 07/29/03 09:00 AM Re: Nunchaku illegal in your home?
Cato Offline
Veteran

Registered: 10/13/02
Posts: 1636
I think the crux of this matter is not so much is it unlawfull to have MA weapons at home, as SHOULD it be unlawfull to do so.

This raises some important issues. How far does the state have the right to interefer in your personal life, particularly if you are of previous good character? Is it enough for the state to presume you can't be trusted to keep certain weapons and use them appropriately, or should there be some substance to that belief?

It is hard to see how possessing nunchuks is really that different from keeping a Jo staff at home, and if you have a broom you have a makeshift jo, so where does it end? I think it should be encumbent on the state to show why you can't keep nunchuks at home, but I also think the trade off should come if you were ever to use them to cause injury, and the sentence should reflect the degree of pre-meditation in keeping weapons in the first place.

I'd be interested to hear the outcome of you case.

Budo

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#109997 - 07/29/03 10:04 AM Re: Nunchaku illegal in your home?
HeadlessHorseman Offline
Member

Registered: 07/25/03
Posts: 36
Loc: Sleepy Hollow, NY, USA
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Cato:
It is hard to see how possessing nunchuks is really that different from keeping a Jo staff at home, and if you have a broom you have a makeshift jo, so where does it end? I think it should be encumbent on the state to show why you can't keep nunchuks at home...[/QUOTE]

Cato, you're missing the point. The legislature decides, and has decided, "where it ends." In New York and California, the legislatures have determined that nunchaku are a dangerous weapon that simply shouldn't be possessed by anyone, even at home, because the risk of misuse outweights the social utility. People living in these states must give up their nunchaku or else they are criminals and can be locked up for a year with other criminals. End of discussion.

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#109998 - 07/29/03 10:15 AM Re: Nunchaku illegal in your home?
the504mikey Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 06/19/03
Posts: 790
Loc: Louisiana, United States
In the US, I was under the impression that we already had determined where the line is.

We allow our citizens to keep firearms in their homes. I have trouble believing that nunchaku or any other martial arts weapon is inherently more dangerous than a rifle or pistol would be.

Therefore it seems clear that the local law conflicts with federal law, and as such I would expect the local law to be overturned. The foregoing assumes that you can get a judge to hear the case, which it sounds like you have. Although I am curious... if the district attorney in New York has decided not to prosecute you, then do you still have a grievance to file in federal court? It seems like a judge might just decide to send you home until such time as you are formally charged. The city could just maintain the status quo by dropping charges against the folks who are willing to fight, and keep the law as a tool to control those who don't have the resources to mount a challenge.

By the way, if it isn't obvious, I am not a lawyer, so please forgive any errors arising out of my ignorance-- please do correct them, though, so I can learn more about our system.

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