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  1. #1
    chessdjp is offline Junior Member chessdjp is on a distinguished road
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    Legality of citizens purchasing and carrying expandable batons

    Hello, I've been trying to find an answer to whether or not it is legal to carry an expandable baton online and can't seem to find one. According to wikipedia, the laws vary state to state so I was wondering if Kentucky had a law prohibiting it.

  2. #2
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    Why would you want an expandable baton and have you had any PROFESSIONAL training to do so ?

    Your carrying such an item in PA would be a crime.
    Creeper Cop

  3. #3
    kingofmath is offline Junior Member kingofmath is on a distinguished road
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    I've had the same question for ages and have been reading a lot about it lately. It baffles me in two ways:

    1 - in this country, it is so much easier to carry a handgun, a shotgun, a rifle, or a knife legally than possessing a baton or a nunchaku. In many states you can buy certain firearms without a license or acquire a handgun license without any training, yet you cannot carry a stick in public without being employed in certain profession.

    2 - police officers, not limited to this thread or forum, often ridicule people asking this question as if it were the dumbest idea ever.

    As a civilian interested in protecting myself and my family against the unlikely events, a "stick" weapon seems to make sense because 1) it's relatively low cost and maintenance, and 2) the risk of accidental injury is low, compared to a gun, a knife, or a mace.

    Sure, a baton or a nunchaku can be lethal weapons, but it would be difficult for someone without proper training. There's definitely no worry for a friend or a family member pulling the trigger by accident. They are also much lower maintenance for people who don't need them on a regular basis... compared to say loading bullets into a gun before a night out in the city, or routine testing/cleaning of the pepper can to make sure it still works after years of ownership.

    Of course, an ordinary civilian would not be as effective at using a baton as a professional police officer, but I would say it's still somewhat useful compared to bare hands or the Mag Lite that many people resort to. On top of that, someone with a decent amount of martial arts training in escrima, bo, nunhakus, sword, or even empty-hand styles should be able to employ a baton as a reasonable self-defense weapon.

    I don't own a baton because I'm not trained. I'm not trained because the law simply would not allow me to use this weapon. If this drives me to carry a firearm instead of a stick, and if I ever get pushed to a point where self defense is necessary... is our weapon law actually saving people's lives? Despite its potential be to lethal, a baton "can" be used in a non-deadly manner. It's a lot harder to do so with a gun.

  4. #4
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    Welcome to the forum. You do raise a few valid points on the laws as they are written, but you fail to take something into account in your logic.

    The law does not allow a citizen to use a weapon against an unarmed opponent. You cannot use more force to defend yourself than is being used on you. So taking a baton and using it in a "non-lethal" way doesn't make a lot of sense.

    If a drunk guy takes a swing at you and you defend yourself by hitting him with a baton (even in the leg) you have used a weapon in a fight, and risk criminal charges.

    So for the sake of argument, let's say that it's legal to carry. You can't use it against an unarmed opponent, so you have it in case you are attacked by someone armed. What (in your opinion) would they be armed with? If you try to use a baton to defend yourself against an attacker armed with a gun, you will probably get killed, training or no. Being trained might help you if your attacker has a knife, but if he knows what he's doing, he will kill you as well.

    So you will have a weapon that is too much to use on someone unarmed, and not enough to effectively defend yourself against a deadly threat. What good would it be to carry it?

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  5. #5
    kingofmath is offline Junior Member kingofmath is on a distinguished road
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    Citicop,

    Thanks for the quick response. It definitely is a valid point and adds another layer to why a baton isn't a very practical thing to carry around.

    Though that reasoning is a bit circular with the law defining the metal stick as a lethal weapon in the first place. Would it be okay if I hit that drunk guy with a broom, a laptop, or a pencil? When properly applied, they can be deadly, too! So it goes back to the question why I can carry a broom and a gun, but not a baton.

    I'm a martial arts enthusiasts but by far not a violent person. I cringe thinking about when people need to carry or use any weapon for personal protection, and would rather the 2nd Amendment never existed. But my response to your point is that the real necessary self-defense is often a staying alive issue, rather than a law abiding issue. By that "more force" logic no good citizen should carry a gun, since in most cases you're either not threatened to death enough or it's too late already. When you fear for your life, anything goes, right?

    I think a baton "could" give people a better sense of confidence and leverage against a thug with a weapon or an object that could be used as a weapon, or a gang of drunk guys with bad intentions. Sure the attacker always has the upper hand, but I would rather have a small chance of survival than a smaller chance of survival.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingofmath View Post
    Citicop,

    Thanks for the quick response. It definitely is a valid point and adds another layer to why a baton isn't a very practical thing to carry around.

    Though that reasoning is a bit circular with the law defining the metal stick as a lethal weapon in the first place. Would it be okay if I hit that drunk guy with a broom, a laptop, or a pencil? When properly applied, they can be deadly, too! So it goes back to the question why I can carry a broom and a gun, but not a baton.

    I'm a martial arts enthusiasts but by far not a violent person. I cringe thinking about when people need to carry or use any weapon for personal protection, and would rather the 2nd Amendment never existed. But my response to your point is that the real necessary self-defense is often a staying alive issue, rather than a law abiding issue. By that "more force" logic no good citizen should carry a gun, since in most cases you're either not threatened to death enough or it's too late already. When you fear for your life, anything goes, right?

    I think a baton "could" give people a better sense of confidence and leverage against a thug with a weapon or an object that could be used as a weapon, or a gang of drunk guys with bad intentions. Sure the attacker always has the upper hand, but I would rather have a small chance of survival than a smaller chance of survival.
    Carry a gun then. At least in Arizona, police use a baton as part of escalating force. It's to gain control and make an arrest. At least the training I am familiar with, the baton is used on long muscles of the leg to inflict pain for compliance reasons and also as an instrument to push away (like a cross-check). Lethal or serious injury strikes to the head or spine are not condoned uses. They have a firearm if they need to defend themselves in that manner.

    Here's the catch: if you were fighting me and my gang of homeboys and you decided to even the odds by breaking out the baton, I am going to bring out a gun. You have just given me justification. If you presume that all your opponents can escalate the fight to a gun, you see why a baton is a bad idea as a planned defense. I would think most states that allow batons, also allow guns and vice versa.

    If you find a place where they allow batons but not firearms, then by all means, go for it. Just presume that the other guy still has a gun before you use it and realize that the other person/jury views your baton as a deadly weapon in the same way they would view a gun.

    Just my 0.02. and I'm not a leo.

    On edit - add: the difference between a baton and baseball bat is the purpose the object was designed for. The baton was designed for striking people. In AZ, anyway, that's the difference between a dangerous instrument and a deadly weapon. A firearm is a "Deadly weapon" regardless of how it's used because that definition is based on it's designed purpose, not it's use. A baseball bat is a "dangerous instrument" if it's used in an assault.
    Last edited by MikeG; 04-28-11 at 03:43 PM.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingofmath View Post
    Citicop,

    Thanks for the quick response. It definitely is a valid point and adds another layer to why a baton isn't a very practical thing to carry around.

    Though that reasoning is a bit circular with the law defining the metal stick as a lethal weapon in the first place. Would it be okay if I hit that drunk guy with a broom, a laptop, or a pencil? When properly applied, they can be deadly, too! So it goes back to the question why I can carry a broom and a gun, but not a baton.

    I'm a martial arts enthusiasts but by far not a violent person. I cringe thinking about when people need to carry or use any weapon for personal protection, and would rather the 2nd Amendment never existed. But my response to your point is that the real necessary self-defense is often a staying alive issue, rather than a law abiding issue. By that "more force" logic no good citizen should carry a gun, since in most cases you're either not threatened to death enough or it's too late already. When you fear for your life, anything goes, right?

    I think a baton "could" give people a better sense of confidence and leverage against a thug with a weapon or an object that could be used as a weapon, or a gang of drunk guys with bad intentions. Sure the attacker always has the upper hand, but I would rather have a small chance of survival than a smaller chance of survival.
    Sure a baton could give you more confidence against a thug with a weapon.

    But that confidence would be misplaced. It would be false confidence, and that false confidence could get you killed if you are facing a better armed, more experienced attacker.

    The legalities against carrying a baton (at least in Missouri) lies in carrying it CONCEALED. You can walk down the street carrying an axe handle legally, because everyone can see it. It's when you are hiding the fact that you have a weapon that it becomes illegal. And that can apply to an improvised concealed weapon as well as "traditional" weapons.

    No, a law abiding citizen SHOULD be able to carry a gun to defend themselves if they want to. But you can only use deadly force against somoene (be it gun, knife, baton, bat, etc.) when you are REASONABLY in fear for your life or the life of someone else.

    Further, my state allows for deadly force to be used by citizens to prevent the crimes of forcible rape, forcible sodomy, or kidnapping.

    But it would be grossly inappropriate to shoot some drunk on the street who was agressively panhandling because you "felt your life was in danger."

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  8. #8
    kingofmath is offline Junior Member kingofmath is on a distinguished road
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    Hmm. I see all this talking of "if you can get a steak, why bother with a hamburger." But what I want to understand is the law that tells us "you may serve steaks in a restaurant, but burgers are forbidden."

    It's obvious how we need to behave under the texts of the law, but it certainly wouldn't hurt to understand where they were coming from. We all agree that:
    1) a baton is less lethal / effective /dangerous than a gun or a knife
    2) when used, all of them are categorized in the same lethal weapon class
    3) in many states, an ordinary citizen may carry a handgun in public but cannot legally possess a baton

    Many other countries do not have anything like our 2nd Amendment, and restrictions on weapons are more serious. Whether we prefer that way or not, it is quite logical to forbid all weapon ownership under the premise that the government will assume the responsibility in protecting all its citizens. On the other hand, our laws in many states allow class A and class C but outlaw class B. It's like having our president tell a foreign country that they are free to build nukes, but don't dare to raise an army.

    That's my steak and burger problem. In the Land of the Free, whether or not relying on a stick for self defense is a good idea should be up to the individual and his particular needs, not the legislation. I understand criminals often have more "effective" weapons than batons, but the same can be said about guns. Always trying to one-up a hypothetical attacker isn't a healthy mentality, either, or we'd all have rocket launchers in our cars.

  9. #9
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    Sounds like most of your problem is with legislation, not law enforcement.

    Carrying a baton of any kind without proper training is just carrying a club or baseball bat. It will get you into more trouble than it will get you out of.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat_Doc View Post
    You just gotta realize he is hard of hearing and cranky, and try to speak up more clearly next time and make it perfectly clear what you were saying so there is no misinterpretation. You gotta try not to get mad at the old guy, recognizing the issue at hand.

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    kingofmath is offline Junior Member kingofmath is on a distinguished road
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    Definitely... I'd say that's the case with most people who ask this sort of questions. I don't see why anyone needs to have a problem with the law enforcement with what the law says.

    The training part should be presumed, though I bet you guys deal with this problem more often than not. Anything used improperly could be disasterous, like a car, a lighter, or a condom. However, the fact that some people may use something improperly doesn't mean it needs to be illegal.

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    First off, it is a BS law!!! Your respnses to a foolish know it all--

    Have been much more civil than is needed. I don't care who you are or your skill level, if anyone tells you that pulling a stick weapon is stupid against any attacker, armed or not, that person is just plain stupid. You grab anything you can, put the aggressor down, and get away. Yea, training is always better but get real. Anyone can swing a stick! Some are just real good at it.
    Soon, there will be cops with guns and 1000 times that number of crooks with them. Civilians, like the cattle we have become, will listen to crap like this and live by dumb laws that help no one.
    This dude has lost touch with reality, may be a cop, maybe a good cop. I will reserve judgment until I have met him, but on this subject, his advice is totally asinine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ronbow View Post
    Have been much more civil than is needed. I don't care who you are or your skill level, if anyone tells you that pulling a stick weapon is stupid against any attacker, armed or not, that person is just plain stupid. You grab anything you can, put the aggressor down, and get away. Yea, training is always better but get real. Anyone can swing a stick! Some are just real good at it.
    Soon, there will be cops with guns and 1000 times that number of crooks with them. Civilians, like the cattle we have become, will listen to crap like this and live by dumb laws that help no one.
    This dude has lost touch with reality, may be a cop, maybe a good cop. I will reserve judgment until I have met him, but on this subject, his advice is totally asinine.
    Secondly, why are you opening up a two year old thread? Necrophilia is frowned upon around here.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat_Doc View Post
    You just gotta realize he is hard of hearing and cranky, and try to speak up more clearly next time and make it perfectly clear what you were saying so there is no misinterpretation. You gotta try not to get mad at the old guy, recognizing the issue at hand.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by retdetsgt View Post
    Secondly, why are you opening up a two year old thread? Necrophilia is frowned upon around here.
    It sure is, RDS. Ronbow, you've chosen a very slippery path to begin your tenure here at RP. Many faux pas committed - opening a long dead thread, insulting a Verified member, talking like an expert without so much as even a "How do you do?" in our New Member Introductions forum.

    As for this thread, it's past time to beat it in the head with a stick and put it to rest.
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