Nunchucks Are Banned in California...Except in Martial Arts Schools
Nunchucks Are Banned in California...Except in Martial Arts Schools, Where They're All the Rage
To the uninitiated, the list of illegal weapons in the summary booklet of California Firearms Laws might be mistaken for an algebra text. Full of unintelligible strings of letters and numbers -- MAS 223, HK-PSG-1, Encom MP-9 -- and obscure terms (thumbhole stock, flash suppressor, center fire, forward pistol grip) the booklet also contains specific definitions for illegal items: A short-barreled shotgun is one with a barrel of less than 18 inches. A short-barreled rifle has a barrel of less than 16 inches. A large-capacity magazine is one that can accept more than 10 rounds.
All of it evokes the militaristic, menacing world of weaponry: sophisticated, technical, deadly. Until you get to the section defines the term nunchaku -- basically, two sticks on a rope.
In California, possession of an AR-15 -- the same gun that James Holmes used to shoot up a Batman premiere in Aurora, Colo. -- is legal, provided it was bought and registered prior to 2000. Possession of nunchaku, or nunchucks, however, is a felony -- no matter when they were purchased.
The nunchucks ban was added to the California penal code in 1974, at a moment when the United States was in the kung-fu grip of a martial arts craze. Sparked by the 1973 release of Bruce Lee's Enter The Dragon and spurred by such pop phenomena as the TV series Kung Fu and the song "Kung Fu Fighting," martial arts fever was spiking, along with a faddish interest in martial arts weapons.
Menaced by the trend, Newsweek published a sensational article on nunchucks, called "Killing Sticks." The article's alarm bells prompted lawmakers around the country to contemplate bans, but only New York, Massachusetts, Arizona and California followed through, with then-Gov. Ronald Reagan signing California's bill into law.
Rest of article at http://blogs.laweekly.com/arts/2012/...rts_karate.php
Yes, nunchaku is more dangerous than a regular stick.
But seriously, imagine getting beaten to death with sausage links.