Info Favorites Register Log in
myArmoury.com Discussion Forums

Forum index Memberlist Usergroups Spotlight Topics Search
Forum Index > Off-topic Talk > Carrying weapons Reply to topic
This is a standard topic  
Author Message
Jeremy V. Krause




Location: Buffalo, NY.
Joined: 20 Oct 2003
Likes: 1 page
Reading list: 1 book

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 1,499

PostPosted: Mon 12 Apr, 2004 12:42 pm    Post subject: Carrying weapons         Reply with quote

I have been wondering this for awaile and have assumed I knew the answer. Is it illegal to have an edged sword, axe, spear, etc. in public? I am thinking specifically if one could wield their weapon in a park or open field. I assume that this is not possible. I am a bit frustrated in that I have moved from having a back yard where this was possible to Boston where I live in an apartment and have zero opportunity to seriously handle my weapons.
View user's profile Send private message
Steve Fabert





Joined: 03 Mar 2004
Likes: 10 pages

Posts: 493

PostPosted: Mon 12 Apr, 2004 1:09 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jeremy, most laws concerning possession of weapons are state and local. If you are in Boston, you would need to check both the city ordinances and the statutes of the Commonwealth to confirm what the present status of your laws might be.

I last lived in your area nearly thirty years ago. At that time there were very strict laws about public possession of firearms, but I never checked to see what the laws were with respect to blades, since I was not a sword collector back then. I can't say anything about the current state of the laws that specifically apply to weapons.

I am reasonably sure that you could be arrested for swinging a sword around on Boston Common even if there are no specific prohibitions against public display of edged weapons. The laws against disturbing the peace would probably be used if anyone saw you with such a dangerous-looking thing and objected. You need to find some place indoors, privately owned, to practice with sharp toys.
View user's profile Send private message
Jeremy V. Krause




Location: Buffalo, NY.
Joined: 20 Oct 2003
Likes: 1 page
Reading list: 1 book

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 1,499

PostPosted: Mon 12 Apr, 2004 1:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Indeed Boston Commons would not be a good choice! Eek! I am relatively sure that at this time I am in a bit of a bind, but I guess theirin lies the impetus for obtaining a back yard. . .
View user's profile Send private message
Alexi Goranov
myArmoury Alumni


myArmoury Alumni

Location: San Francisco, CA
Joined: 24 Jan 2004
Reading list: 72 books

Spotlight topics: 2
Posts: 1,191

PostPosted: Mon 12 Apr, 2004 3:25 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Jeremy,

I have taken a look at the local laws about carrying swords around, but it was not stated explicitly. If the sword is not a weapon (i.e. it is a decoration or a ceremonial sword) then it might be OK to carry in public or practice (my interpretation), but if the weapon is functional then it is treated as a gun or any other weapon. It has been a while since I looked at these, so it might be worth revisiting. Apart from the legal perspective, the raised eyebrows of the other people around is also worth considering. Carrying a waister around should not be a problem.

There is no substitute for a back yard Laughing Out Loud

Alexi
View user's profile Send private message
Shawn Mulock




Location: Calgary Alberta, Canada
Joined: 10 Sep 2003
Reading list: 8 books

Posts: 100

PostPosted: Mon 12 Apr, 2004 4:08 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

We have it pretty good up here. During the summer some of our scholars meet in Prince's Island Park (About 200m from the business core) at lunch time to do some training. Every once in awhile the police will show up and just watch as the scholars do their thing. In the summers we also practice at a park in the southwest. Our instructor has even walked through down town during the morning rush with a Del-tin longsword over his shoulder and nobody seemed too put off. Did I mention he used mass transit to get there? Happy The worst I have had was one guy in my building who said, "wow, is that sword real?" as he reached out to fondle the blade. WTF?! I wanted to look him straight in the eye and ask, "What sword? Big Grin ".
"It is not what you have, but what you have done".
View user's profile Send private message
Alexi Goranov
myArmoury Alumni


myArmoury Alumni

Location: San Francisco, CA
Joined: 24 Jan 2004
Reading list: 72 books

Spotlight topics: 2
Posts: 1,191

PostPosted: Mon 12 Apr, 2004 4:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Jeremy.

I found this text which pertains to carrying and manufacturing swords and other pointy things in our state. Read and weep:

"Updated 4/23/2002

GENERAL LAWS OF MASSACHUSETTS
PART IV.
CRIMES, PUNISHMENTS AND PROCEEDINGS IN CRIMINAL CASES.

TITLE I. CRIMES AND PUNISHMENTS.
CHAPTER 269. CRIMES AGAINST PUBLIC PEACE.

Chapter 269: Section 10. Carrying dangerous weapons...

(b) Whoever, except as provided by law, carries on his
person, or carries on his person or under his control
in a vehicle, any stiletto, dagger or a device or case
which enables a knife with a locking blade to be drawn
at a locked position, any ballistic knife, or any knife
with a detachable blade capable of being propelled by any
mechanism, dirk knife, any knife having a double-edged blade,
or a switch knife, or any knife having an automatic spring
release device by which the blade is released from the
handle, having a blade of over one and one-half inches,
or a slung shot, blowgun, blackjack, metallic knuckles
or knuckles of any substance which could be put to the
same use with the same or similar effect as metallic
knuckles, nunchaku, zoobow, also known as klackers or
kung fu sticks, or any similar weapon consisting of two
sticks of wood, plastic or metal connected at one end by a
length of rope, chain, wire or leather, a shuriken or any
similar pointed starlike object intended to injure a person
when thrown, or any armband, made with leather which has
metallic spikes, points or studs or any similar device made
from any other substance or a cestus or similar material
weighted with metal or other substance and worn on the hand,
or a manrikigusari or similar length of chain having weighted
ends; or whoever, when arrested upon a warrant for an alleged
crime, or when arrested while committing a breach or disturbance
of the public peace, is armed with or has on his person, or has
on his person or under his control in a vehicle, a billy or
other dangerous weapon other than those herein mentioned and
those mentioned in paragraph (a), shall be punished by
imprisonment for not less than two and one-half years nor more
than five years in the state prison, or for not less than six
months nor more than two and one-half years in a jail or house
of correction, except that, if the court finds that the defendant
has not been previously convicted of a felony, he may be punished
by a fine of not more than fifty dollars or by imprisonment for
not more than two and one-half years in a jail or house of correction.



Chapter 269: Section 12. Manufacturing and selling knives,
slung shots, swords, bludgeons and similar weapons; punishment.

Section 12. Whoever manufactures or causes to be manufactured,
or sells or exposes for sale, an instrument or weapon of the
kind usually known as a dirk knife, a switch knife or any knife
having an automatic spring release device by which the blade is
released from the handle, having a blade of over one and one-half
inches or a device or case which enables a knife with a locking
blade to be drawn at a locked position, any ballistic knife, or
any knife with a detachable blade capable of being propelled by
any mechanism, slung shot, sling shot, bean blower, sword cane,
pistol cane, bludgeon, blackjack, nunchaku, zoobow, also known
as klackers or kung fu sticks, or any similar weapon consisting
of two sticks of wood, plastic or metal connected at one end by
a length of rope, chain, wire or leather, a shuriken or any
similar pointed starlike object intended to injure a person when
thrown, or a manrikigusari or similar length of chain having
weighted ends; or metallic knuckles or knuckles of any other
substance which could be put to the same use and with the same
or similar effect as metallic knuckles, shall be punished by a
fine of not less than fifty nor more than one thousand dollars
or by imprisonment for not more than six months; provided,
however, that sling shots may be manufactured and sold to clubs
or associations conducting sporting events where such sling shots
are used.



GENERAL LAWS OF MASSACHUSETTS
PART I. ADMINISTRATION OF THE GOVERNMENT.
TITLE XII. EDUCATION.
CHAPTER 71. PUBLIC SCHOOLS.
Section 37H. Policies relative to conduct...

(a) Any student who is found on school premises or at
school-sponsored or school-related events, including
athletic games, in possession of a dangerous weapon,
including, but not limited to, a gun or a knife; or a
controlled substance as defined in chapter ninety-four C,
including, but not limited to, marijuana, cocaine, and
heroin, may be subject to expulsion from the school or
school district by the principal.





_____________________

1996 extacts

Massachusetts - Chapter 269, Section 10... (b) Whoever,
except as provided by law, carries on his person, or
carries on his person or under his control in a vehicle,
any stiletto, dagger, or a device which enables a knife
with a locking blade to be drawn at a locked position, any
ballistic knife..., dirk knife, any knife having a double-
edged blade, or a switch knife... shall be punished by
imprisonment for not less than two and one-half years nor
more than five years in the state prison... except that,
if the court finds that the defendant has not been
previously convicted of a felony, he may be punished by a
fine of not more than fifty dollars or by imprisonment for
not more than two and one-half years in a jail or house of
correction.
- C. 269, Section 12. Whoever manufactures or causes to be
manufactured, or sells or exposes for sale, an instrument
or weapon of the kind usually known as a dirk knife, a
switch knife... or a device or case which enables a
locking knife to be drawn at a locked position, any
ballistic knife... shall be punished by a fine of not less
than fifty nor more than one thousand dollars or by
imprisonment for not more than six months...

Massachusetts Case Law:
- "Knives described as 'kitchen knife,' 'folding type knife,'
and 'Swiss army knife' may not fall within category of
dangerous weapons." (1994)


http://www.knife-expert.com "

Depresing, isn't it?

Alexi
View user's profile Send private message
Robert Zamoida




Location: Davis Monthan AFB, AZ
Joined: 06 Oct 2003
Reading list: 3 books

Posts: 228

PostPosted: Mon 12 Apr, 2004 6:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Actually Alexi it doesn't look that bad; the law seems to read that any type of folding knife that uses any type of mechanical means to deploy the blade into a locked position, switchblade etc., along with any type of easily concealable weapon is illegal. Although there are some references to swords they seem restricted to sword canes, or any type of sword that when in its scabbard appears to be something other than a sword. It looks like that as long as you carry a regular sword, ie. not concealed on your person or made to look like soemthing else, in a reasonable safe manner and you don't use it in a threatening or criminal manner you should be fine Happy
Rob Zamoida
"When your life is on the line, you want to make use of all your tools. No warrior should be willing to die with his swords at his sides, without having made use of his tools."
-Miyamoto Mushashi, Gorin no Sho
View user's profile Send private message
Steve Fabert





Joined: 03 Mar 2004
Likes: 10 pages

Posts: 493

PostPosted: Mon 12 Apr, 2004 6:31 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Robert Zamoida wrote:
It looks like that as long as you carry a regular sword, ie. not concealed on your person or made to look like soemthing else, in a reasonable safe manner and you don't use it in a threatening or criminal manner you should be fine :)


The only time you can be comfortable doing things that your neighbors object to is when you are on especially good terms with your local law enforcement officers and prosecutor. The best way to avoid prosecution is to live in a small town and be well liked by the mayor and the town marshal.

Just being right is not very useful in avoiding prosecution, if you ever draw the hostile attention of people who spend taxpayer funds. It is very expensive to respond to a criminal charge even if it is entirely meritless. These laws are written in a way that will allow prosecution of unsavory types who carry dangerous edged weapons, and unsavoriness is in the eye of the beholder.

The operative language to worry about is ". . . whoever, when arrested upon a warrant for an alleged
crime, or when arrested while committing a breach or disturbance
of the public peace, is armed with or has on his person, or has
on his person or under his control in a vehicle, a billy or
other dangerous weapon other than those herein mentioned . . ."
This is the open-ended language that permits any armed person to be charged, if someone objects to his behavior. Being armed while disturbing the peace occurs every time somebody gets really excited about the fact that you are armed. So you could be arrested under this statute just because somebody else became unduly excited at seeing your weapon.

But I'm just one lawyer with no Massachusetts license. If some Boston lawyer wants to give contrary advice, and his malpractice insurance is paid up, maybe it would be fun to try it out.
View user's profile Send private message
Alexi Goranov
myArmoury Alumni


myArmoury Alumni

Location: San Francisco, CA
Joined: 24 Jan 2004
Reading list: 72 books

Spotlight topics: 2
Posts: 1,191

PostPosted: Mon 12 Apr, 2004 6:43 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Robert Zamoida wrote:
Actually Alexi it doesn't look that bad; the law seems to read that any type of folding knife that uses any type of mechanical means to deploy the blade into a locked position, switchblade etc., along with any type of easily concealable weapon is illegal. Although there are some references to swords they seem restricted to sword canes, or any type of sword that when in its scabbard appears to be something other than a sword. It looks like that as long as you carry a regular sword, ie. not concealed on your person or made to look like soemthing else, in a reasonable safe manner and you don't use it in a threatening or criminal manner you should be fine Happy


In a sense you are right, Rob!

But I have trouble making sense of the idea that it is OK to carry a sword around but not a dirk knife. I do understand the idea to restrict carrying weapons that do not immediately look as such, but naively a weapon is a weapon regardless of whether it looks like one or not. From that perspective I took a worst case scenario, and equated swords with other sharp banned things (maybe erroneously so).

Also bear in mind that these excerpts I found isolated on a web site, so there may be more restrictions and provisions, that were not included in that list.

[Edit: And I second Steve's attitude.]

Alexi
View user's profile Send private message
Patrick Kelly




Location: Wichita, Kansas
Joined: 17 Aug 2003
Reading list: 42 books

Spotlight topics: 2
Posts: 5,685

PostPosted: Mon 12 Apr, 2004 9:07 pm    Post subject: Re: Carrying weapons         Reply with quote

Jeremy V. Krause wrote:
I have been wondering this for awaile and have assumed I knew the answer. Is it illegal to have an edged sword, axe, spear, etc. in public? I am thinking specifically if one could wield their weapon in a park or open field. I assume that this is not possible. I am a bit frustrated in that I have moved from having a back yard where this was possible to Boston where I live in an apartment and have zero opportunity to seriously handle my weapons.


These questions are almost impossible to answer in an on-line setting, as statutes and laws vary greatly from state to state and town to town.

The best advice I can give you as an LEO is to go to your local library and consult your city and state statutes. Do *not* rely on the advice of your local police or attorneys. Chances are they won't know your local laws verbatim, but they won't tell you that (we have egos too *g*). They'll likely give you their opinion or their best guess, which could get you into trouble.

If you do choose to buckle your swash about town be prepared to be questioned, whether you're within the law or not. Remember, the po-po can't read your mind or your intentions. It's his job to find out what's going on so I'd take issue if you weren't questioned, and let's face it sword toting is a bit unusual at the dawn of the 21st century.

As always, your attitude and demeanor will probably be a major deciding factor as well.

"In valor there is hope.".................. Tacitus
View user's profile Send private message
Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
Joined: 15 Mar 2004
Likes: 50 pages
Reading list: 1 book

Spotlight topics: 5
Posts: 8,177

PostPosted: Mon 12 Apr, 2004 9:31 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Even if technically legal I think the odds are good that this would attract unwanted attention from the local police.
Worst case senario could see you getting shot if you didn't drop it fast enough! (The sword, axe, spear etc...)

I guess it also depend on what you mean by "public area" : I don't see long and sharp mixing well with kids, dogs & frizzbees in the local park. (Can you imagine the civil lawsuit if there was an "Unfortunate accident" !)

On private land, out of sight of passers by it might be O.K.

I think it all depends on context, would someone seeing you obviously conclude that you are peacefully practicing your martial art or that you are a "Crazy Person".
The exact same actions at a "Medieval Fair" would not alarm anyone.

Again assuming that you are in an area were this would be legal it might be possible to clear this activity with the local police force by informing them in advance and taking all reasonnable safety precautions.

In my area (Montreal, Canada) I think there is a group (LA COMPANIE MEDIEVALE) that meets in a local park to practice medieval martial arts every weekend during the summer: I am sure they must have had to deal with these issues.

This might not work for a lone individual.

Try to find out how other groups have solved this problem.

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
View user's profile Send private message
Allen W





Joined: 02 Mar 2004

Posts: 285

PostPosted: Tue 13 Apr, 2004 7:30 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The intent of the law as stated above seems to be a collective ban on the transport or manufacture of any martial arts weapon(swords included) and I assume will be enforced as such. Finding an existing local organization may provide some cover.
View user's profile Send private message
Alexi Goranov
myArmoury Alumni


myArmoury Alumni

Location: San Francisco, CA
Joined: 24 Jan 2004
Reading list: 72 books

Spotlight topics: 2
Posts: 1,191

PostPosted: Tue 13 Apr, 2004 8:14 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Allen W wrote:
The intent of the law as stated above seems to be a collective ban on the transport or manufacture of any martial arts weapon(swords included) and I assume will be enforced as such. Finding an existing local organization may provide some cover.


The closest such organization (to the best of my knowledge) is in Worcester (~1.5h commute from Boston), which sort of makes it inconvenient. And again one has to rely on the weapons provided by this organization for training, assuming the idea that we cannot transport ours freely using public transportation.

Alexi
View user's profile Send private message
Robert Zamoida




Location: Davis Monthan AFB, AZ
Joined: 06 Oct 2003
Reading list: 3 books

Posts: 228

PostPosted: Tue 13 Apr, 2004 11:03 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Steve Fabert wrote:
Robert Zamoida wrote:
It looks like that as long as you carry a regular sword, ie. not concealed on your person or made to look like soemthing else, in a reasonable safe manner and you don't use it in a threatening or criminal manner you should be fine Happy


The operative language to worry about is ". . . whoever, when arrested upon a warrant for an alleged
crime, or when arrested while committing a breach or disturbance
of the public peace, is armed with or has on his person, or has
on his person or under his control in a vehicle, a billy or
other dangerous weapon other than those herein mentioned . . ."
This is the open-ended language that permits any armed person to be charged, if someone objects to his behavior. Being armed while disturbing the peace occurs every time somebody gets really excited about the fact that you are armed. So you could be arrested under this statute just because somebody else became unduly excited at seeing your weapon.


I see your point Steve; I guess the best thing that anyone can do in this situation is to not only review the relevant local laws but to bring them by the local police station, explain the situation and try to work out some options; hell, maybe they can offer some options for training areas Happy What I should have said was that as long as you are carrying the sword in a reasonably safe and secure case, bag, etc, you should be fine.

Alexi Goranov wrote:
But I have trouble making sense of the idea that it is OK to carry a sword around but not a dirk knife.


Actually I think that is just another name for a double edged switchblade; today I saw an ad for an antique folder that was described as a "Dirk Knife" from the latter half of the 19th century, and I'm guessing that at that time this is the name such knives were marketed under.

Rob Zamoida
"When your life is on the line, you want to make use of all your tools. No warrior should be willing to die with his swords at his sides, without having made use of his tools."
-Miyamoto Mushashi, Gorin no Sho
View user's profile Send private message
Keith Kipferl




Location: Elmira, NY
Joined: 18 Aug 2003

Posts: 41

PostPosted: Thu 15 Apr, 2004 2:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Last year, before I had a sword gathering at my place in Elmira NY, I called the local police to find out how they felt about it. The policeman said he didn't know of any specific law against swords and that I would be fine as long as we stayed in my yard. It also made me feel better knowing he was the only cop that worked my neighborhood and he was ok with swords.

Last week someone in Elmira was arrested for waving a sword around in public. They charged him specifically with possessing a dangerous weapon. I don't know all the details but the gist of the news article was that he was waving it around in public in a threatening manner.

I suppose the best way to find out is to call the folks who enforce the laws.
View user's profile Send private message


Display posts from previous:   
Forum Index > Off-topic Talk > Carrying weapons
Page 1 of 1 Reply to topic
All times are GMT - 8 Hours

View previous topic :: View next topic
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum






All contents © Copyright 2003-2018 myArmoury.com — All rights reserved
Discussion forums powered by phpBB © The phpBB Group
Switch to the Basic Low-bandwidth Version of the forum