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Austin D.G. Hill




Location: Darien IL., USA
Joined: 16 Jun 2011
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PostPosted: Sun 11 Sep, 2011 1:37 pm    Post subject: age limits on owning swords         Reply with quote

hello,

i have a young friend who wants to get a sword, but i don't know if people under 18 are allowed to own swords in the U.S. he is really into historical swords, a real nice and mature guy. i know that some people let their kids own and use swords, but is this even legal?

AUSTIN DANIEL GLENN HILL
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Adam Bohnstengel




Location: Spring, TX
Joined: 24 Aug 2011

Posts: 72

PostPosted: Sun 11 Sep, 2011 1:46 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mommy and daddy will probably have to buy / order it, but I don't think that there's anything against the kid having one. Taking it outside the house and down to the park would be a huge no-no though. I would suggest a blunt for your friend, and to sign up with ARMA or a similar group. It would be more fun and safer than a good sharp would be.

Also, I'd be really careful with a kid having a deadly weapon. I was considered a good kid that had his head on straight, and I still came damn close to killing myself a few times. Add in a deadly weapon, and.............................well, I don't want to think about it.

Violence is the supreme authority from which all other authority is derived.
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Austin D.G. Hill




Location: Darien IL., USA
Joined: 16 Jun 2011
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PostPosted: Sun 11 Sep, 2011 1:49 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

i am kind of young too, almost 16, got the swords as gifts from dad.
AUSTIN DANIEL GLENN HILL
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Austin D.G. Hill




Location: Darien IL., USA
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PostPosted: Sun 11 Sep, 2011 1:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

he was wanting a sword for re-enactment stuff, like the big viking events where people do fake fighting with larp and stage swords.
AUSTIN DANIEL GLENN HILL
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T. Arndt




Location: La Crosse, WI
Joined: 07 Jul 2011
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PostPosted: Sun 11 Sep, 2011 2:05 pm    Post subject: Re: age limits on owning swords         Reply with quote

Austin D.G. Hill wrote:
hello,

i have a young friend who wants to get a sword, but i don't know if people under 18 are allowed to own swords in the U.S. he is really into historical swords, a real nice and mature guy. i know that some people let their kids own and use swords, but is this even legal?


Laws vary by state, in my state my understanding it would be ok. Some southern states have blade length limits, so I would check into this. An 18+ year old would have to make the purchase.

I would recommend a blunt sword. If for longsword HEMA/WMA get a something like the A&A Fechterspiel or Spada da Zogho or an Albion Meyer or Liechtenauer

If reenactment is the goal- ask someone else Happy

Wisconsin Historical Fencing Association (WHFA) - La Crosse
A HEMA Alliance Affiliate

“Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?” -Juvenal
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JE Sarge
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PostPosted: Sun 11 Sep, 2011 11:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

On another forum, there was a huge argument over if a sword was considered a weapon or not by various rules/regulations in regards to companies/individuals selling and/or sending a 15 year old kid on the forums sharpened swords. This was a couple years back, and though nothing became of it, it seemed that alot of common sense went out the window because the little fellow just happened to be highly active in the forums. Truth of the matter was, this did not change the law in his home state regarding such things. WTF?!

In some states, it's outright illegal, and in other states, what is considered a deadly weapon designed for the purpose of offense or defense is left for the police officer to decide when someone makes a complaint (hey, my neighbor's kid is in the backyard swinging A SWORD) or if the sword is involved in an accident, injury, or crime. The viewpoint is to arrest/apprehend, or confisicate the item in question, and left the courts decide if a sword is really a weapon or not. Would the neignbors report you if they seen you cutting tatami/bottles? - this is a major factor, because once a call is made, the complaint must be cleared by a police officer who may or may not like swords. Also, you have to think, would a police officer, judge, jury consider a sword a deadly weapon or not in your area?

In my state, though swords are not specifically mentioned, a sword is considered a knife with a blade over 6" and ergo, is considered a deadly weapon by statute. I have seen a few cases in which swords were confisicated as deadly weapon, fitting into the same category as a firearm for all intensive legal purposes with big trouble resulting for the involved parties. A child, even 17 years old, cannot own or use a weapon without parent consent and supervision; there are several laws which to come into effect here.

I bought my son his first blunt when he was 15, and his first sharp when he turned 18. In the time in between, I educated him on the typology, instructed him in responsible swordsmanship, had him participate in my WMA group, and taught him the ropes of sword maintenence and customization. You and your friend should probably look at a similar route.

It's not that I don't think you are ready for a sharpened sword, it's just that you would carefully need to observe the rules and regulations in your area and do so with parental consent. One mistake could cut your interest in swords short and bring alot of problems to yourself and others otherwise.

J.E. Sarge
Crusader Monk Sword Scabbards and Customizations
www.crusadermonk.com

"But lack of documentation, especially for such early times, is not to be considered as evidence of non-existance." - Ewart Oakeshott
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Jen Miilu




Location: CA
Joined: 15 Feb 2011
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PostPosted: Mon 12 Sep, 2011 4:02 pm    Post subject: Buy the kid a sword         Reply with quote

I had my first toy sword at five, I turned 15 and my mother bought me a sharp wall hanger.
17-18 I started getting the "real" things.

Forgetting about the law, I had such fun killing trolls and zombies and all the other mean things that fantasy has to offer

I'd encourage this child to have one.. Just make sure he is not foolish about it and we can groom him to be another educated collector in the future.

J
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Mon 12 Sep, 2011 4:06 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Everyone should carefully research and carefully follow the laws of their country, state, city, school, etc. Internet forums are notoriously bad places to get legal advice, to say nothing about legal liability issues for the forum that could arise if laws are not followed.
Happy

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Tom King




Location: florida
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PostPosted: Mon 12 Sep, 2011 6:23 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

From personal experience, it seems completely alright for someone under 18 to have a sword. That being said it has to be a gift of your parents or "owned" by someone else. I'm 17 and in a high school reenactment group and we have never had problems swinging our blunts around in the park. As far as doing cut tests in your back yard a privacy fence is a good idea. and to not hang around long enough for the police to show up if you have a stupid neighbor. I've done everything from cut tests, to sparring, to doing archery practice in my yard and have never had a problem. The key may be to live in an area where the police don't have to come for random noncriminal calls or a place where they wont come in general Wink So if your friend wants a sword a pretty crowbar of a deepeeka should do fine. Most areas have provision for unusual weapons such as swords. The Florida statutes consider them as a carry able non-weapon as long as they are not used as a weapon (IE drawn, used for their intended purpose etc.) and a blunt sword isn't even a weapon at all.
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Mon 12 Sep, 2011 7:49 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

We occasionally trained in a local part 100 feet away from a police station and never had any trouble, but then we where not doing anything stupid or scaring people: Context is important to avoid complaints and much of the trouble one might get is complaints driven.

What helped was that we where a group, didn't look or dress like gang members, had our group's T-Shirt showing that we where a fencing club and had fencing masks on. ( The cops where used to seeing us there and we did a little P.R. with them first to let them know what we where doing and why and discussed first if it would be seen by them as a problem ).

There is a lot of psychology involved in what will cause people to feel threatened and make a complaint, like seeing someone wildly swinging a sword by themselves and no logical contexts to explain the actions i.e. looking like an insane person is never good ! Take the fencing masks for example, someone walking by seeing these will have a ready make explanation about what you are doing and why and not be alarmed.

( Obviously local laws may differ a great deal from place to place so don't take this as legal advice. Wink )

Take another example where context matters:

Someone sees someone with a knife in their hand ! Without any context calling the police may be the thing to do, and many people afraid of knives might be very afraid ! Now, place the same knife in the hands of someone eating a steak with the knife at a restaurant. Wink Big Grin

Even the places that have size limits on knives won't arrest someone in a restaurant eating a steak with a 7" steak knife in a locale where above 6" a blade becomes illegal ...... at least I don't think it's very likely to happen even if in theory a police officer could choose to arrest the steak eater.

As to a young person owning a sword I think it would be better if the sword " officially " belonged to a parent at least until the " child " his old enough to be in legal possession of the sword where sword possession for an adult isn't a problem.

Avoid going out alone with it even in the back yard, don't do anything stupid or threatening with it even as a joke, don't cut yourself and respect any sharp object for the dangerous thing it can be.

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Patrick Kelly




Location: Wichita, Kansas
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PostPosted: Mon 12 Sep, 2011 10:49 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You should consult your local authorities for this information. The only thing more foolish than soliciting legal advice on the internet is giving legal advice on the internet. Wink
"In valor there is hope.".................. Tacitus
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Mon 12 Sep, 2011 10:52 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Patrick Kelly wrote:
You should consult your local authorities for this information. The only thing more foolish than soliciting legal advice on the internet is giving legal advice on the internet. Wink


I second this (non-legal) advice.

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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Tue 13 Sep, 2011 7:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Please also keep in mind that "legal" and "wise" are not the same thing. Children are not small adults. That sounds obvious but it's shocking how many adults--in the face of considerable contrary evidence-- assume that children are capable of making logical, safe choices. With the parents' permission I gave my nephew a true blunt--no edge, no point--and made clear in writing that it is still at least as capable of killing and maiming as, say, a baseball bat. I wouldn't give a sharp to anyone under 16, and then only in consideration of the individual's demonstrated maturity. Of course, at 16 they're likely to be using a 2,000 lb weapon on a daily basis and the sword threat pales by comparison, statistically.
-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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Daniel Wallace




Location: Pennsylvania USA
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PostPosted: Tue 13 Sep, 2011 3:27 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

i believe i got my first wall hanger when i was - 17, knives i got my first pocket knife when i was 9 and carried one until recently. Jean might like this, i had a stake at work that i brought from home, and at work that are no knives plastic etc so i used my pocket knife (i think it's over 6 in overall) someone at work saw me and reported i had a "weapon" as i got sent to the office like a little kid their attitude was just get if off the property. (turned out that i was actually reported by a friend of mine that i had a relationship with and this was one of the only ways she could find to get me in trouble when we started breaking up)

now on the other hand i have a second job at my local church as maintenance man, i have an old m1908 bayonet 16in over all that i use as a machete/ picker/ sometimes hammer. and it's usually on my tool belt when i'm using it. i'm in the middle of town and it's pretty clear when i'm carrying it - but i've never been stoped by police.

attitudes of knives and other bladed object are really getting a little more ridicules that what I believe they need to be. i always viewed a pocket knife as a part of dress and a tool, a sword a work of art and pice of history.

for instance if i have a permit to carry a concealed weapon (firearm) i'm still not allow to carry a pocket knife. and the times that i've know people that got their permit to carry a concealed weapon - when police are called they still have the weapon taken from them (i was never present for the situation so i can't tell if they were behaving out of the ordinary or not). granted that the country's recent history shows that someone crazy people are doing really crazy things and hurting people (virgina tech and so many others) and i think police aren't going to dare to take a chance anymore.

like patrick is posting consult with your authorities i'm only giving my experiences and my opinion over the matter.
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Austin D.G. Hill




Location: Darien IL., USA
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PostPosted: Tue 13 Sep, 2011 3:52 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

asked a cop and he said that if you are responsible and safe that it is OK (where i live at least).
AUSTIN DANIEL GLENN HILL
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Johan Gemvik




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PostPosted: Tue 13 Sep, 2011 4:25 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nathan Robinson wrote:
Patrick Kelly wrote:
You should consult your local authorities for this information. The only thing more foolish than soliciting legal advice on the internet is giving legal advice on the internet. Wink


I second this (non-legal) advice.


Me too.

"The Dwarf sees farther than the Giant when he has the giant's shoulder to mount on" -Coleridge
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T. Arndt




Location: La Crosse, WI
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PostPosted: Tue 13 Sep, 2011 8:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sean Flynt wrote:
Of course, at 16 they're likely to be using a 2,000 lb weapon on a daily basis and the sword threat pales by comparison, statistically.

Very good point. In my mind a 16 year old is no child. They may not be an adult and be a minor, but they can be tried in court as an adult and drive a car (as you pointed out). I say this because, while it is good to impart caution/wisdom on teenagers/young adults, it is important not to regard them as children, lest they feel patronized an reject sound advice.

After all, if this was 1380 that 16 year could be your squire dying on the field of battle next to you.

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Glen A Cleeton




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PostPosted: Tue 13 Sep, 2011 8:47 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Austin D.G. Hill wrote:
asked a cop and he said that if you are responsible and safe that it is OK (where i live at least).

Call your town/city chief of police and your local district attorney's offices. I'm not sure if Patrick is still an officer but I would probably not call him "that cop responding in this thread" WinkWink

Ultimately, most retailers note an age limitation for sales and I would hope private sales on various boards would hold to the 18 yr mark. There have certainly been younger owners on the boards but generally with parental supervision.

I was told "no, don't bother me kid" when peering over the edge of a knife counter when I was six or seven (Boulder, land of Western Cutlery). I was told "no you are not old enough" at twelve leaning on a counter (central PA) and debating that with scout manual in hand (to no avail but mum came in for me as she had in the past). I did have a folder before that by age six and my first fixed blade of my own by ten. No swords until much later, with the fairer sex and engines more important. Wink

There is lot of time in life, no reason to rush things.

Cheers

GC
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Bryce Felperin




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PostPosted: Wed 14 Sep, 2011 1:09 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Austin D.G. Hill wrote:
asked a cop and he said that if you are responsible and safe that it is OK (where i live at least).


This may sound weird but I would never ask a cop. A judge or a lawyer yes, but not a police officer. The trouble is most police officers have their own context in regards to knife and weapon legalities rather than what the law says. Better to look up the laws of your state yourself. A lot of them may be posted on-line for you to see there. If not, get with a lawyer (either a friend or consultation) and find out definitively what the law is, not how it's interpreted.

True story. I live in California and when I went down to the local police station with a friend to register a stalking complaint against one of her ex-boyfriends (long and off topic story there), I happened to be at the front desk when a guy came in with his son. He wanted to know what the legal blade length limit was for a knife (in this case a Swiss Army knife). The lady behind the counter who was wearing a police uniform told him it had to be under 2.5", no exceptions. That IS NOT the law in California and I piped in that this was not the case since they had changed the law a few years ago. The law states no length limit for a folding knife with a bias to close and external opening device (i.e. non-automatic). The lady cop said no, she was taught that there was a length limit, so I suggested she should look at the current penal codes/laws because she was mistaken. This in the police station in front of the other guy and his kid.

I had read the law recently and been informed about the change of law through a newsletter with an article written by a gun rights lawyer. So after awhile the lady cop comes back and says "you know, you were right".

So read the law yourself. If it's poorly written see a lawyer. Don't take another person's word on it only, even if he is a police officer.
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Daniel Wallace




Location: Pennsylvania USA
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PostPosted: Wed 14 Sep, 2011 2:29 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

i would second that idea as well, just asking a local officer may not be proficient. one officers attitude may be different from the other - or just as stated above they may misquote a requlation that was changed.

your local libarry or town hall should have documentation on all local and state laws that are up to date. it's always good to find something in writting other than taking someone's word for it.
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