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Halloween 101: Are Nunchucks Legal?

By Stephanie Rabiner, Esq. | Last updated on

Halloween is all about candy. And the best costume. And to be the best, a costume must be authentic. Even the accessories. Which brings us to this season's ultimate question:

Are nunchucks legal?

This may seem like a silly question, but we're talking about the real deal here. You know, a pair that can cause serious bodily harm. A pair that screams Turtle Power! or Thundercats HO! A pair that any real ninja would be proud to own.

Convinced of the question's importance? Okay, let's go.

As of this writing, only four states specifically outlaw nunchucks, which may also be listed as "nunchaku." They are: Arizona, California, Massachusetts and New York.

However, nunchucks are not necessarily legal in the other 46 states. Nunchucks consist of two metal, hard plastic or wooden sticks. The sticks alone may be illegal weapons.

Take, for example, the state of Florida. You need a permit to carry a concealed "billy," which is another word for "baton" or "billy club." If you walk around Miami with a pair of nunchucks in your pants, you could very well be breaking the law.

Some states may simply outlaw items that are primarily designed to be used as a weapon. In others, nunchucks are only legal when used in a martial arts studio.

And if you happen to threaten or purposely hit someone with a nunchuck, it will almost always be considered a deadly weapon. So if nunchucks are legal where you live, try not to wield them in a fight.

In fact, while you're investigating whether nunchucks are legal, you might also want to look into the legality of brass knuckles and swords. Those, too, are accessories that could get you in a lot of trouble.

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