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View Full Version : Batons, Collapsable Asps *NOT* Illegal in CA?


Fate
02-11-2010, 9:57 AM
In reading the currently running thread of a man on the east coast arrested for owning police batons, I wanted to look at the legality of batons and asps (collapsible and non) in CA.

My research uncovered many instances where the CA code (penal and otherwise) mentioned instances of who was not prevented from carrying batons, but NEVER could I find any mention of who WAS prevented from carrying these.

Common interpretation of Penal Code 12020 has traditionally been thought to include batons and asps, based on the last part of 12020(a)(1):
12020. (a) Any person in this state who does any of the following
is punishable by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year
or in the state prison:
(1) Manufactures or causes to be manufactured, imports into the
state, keeps for sale, or offers or exposes for sale, or who gives,
lends, or possesses any cane gun or wallet gun, any undetectable
firearm, any firearm which is not immediately recognizable as a
firearm, any camouflaging firearm container, any ammunition which
contains or consists of any flechette dart, any bullet containing or
carrying an explosive agent, any ballistic knife, any multiburst
trigger activator, any nunchaku, any short-barreled shotgun, any
short-barreled rifle, any metal knuckles, any belt buckle knife, any
leaded cane, any zip gun, any shuriken, any unconventional pistol,
any lipstick case knife, any cane sword, any shobi-zue, any air gauge
knife, any writing pen knife, any metal military practice
handgrenade or metal replica handgrenade, or any instrument or weapon
of the kind commonly known as a blackjack, slungshot, billy,
sandclub, sap, or sandbag.

However, in that section, no mention of baton or asp is to be found. Yet, only a few sections later, the word baton is found in an "exemption" statute:
12020(b) Subdivision (a) does not apply to any of the following:
(14) The manufacture for, sale to, exposing or keeping for sale
to, importation of, or lending of wooden clubs or batons to special
police officers or uniformed security guards authorized to carry any
wooden club or baton pursuant to Section 12002 by entities that are
in the business of selling wooden batons or clubs to special police
officers and uniformed security guards when engaging in transactions
with those persons.

Let's revisit the items listed in 12020(a)(1): "any instrument or weapon
of the kind commonly known as a blackjack, slungshot, billy,
sandclub, sap, or sandbag."

Blackjack: coil spring with lead weight attached on end. Entire object wrapped in leather.
http://i45.tinypic.com/2nk2x42.jpg

Slungshot: Weighted head on a rope with hand loop. Originated from sailor's monkeyfist knots being tied around steel/brass/lead ball (grapeshot).
http://i46.tinypic.com/6fczg2.jpg

Billy: ~13" wooden or metal club, usually with strap.
http://i50.tinypic.com/ea5nia.jpg

Sandclub: (what it sounds like) a sack of sand used as an improvised blackjack. Just like a bar of soap or a lock in a sock, etc.
http://i46.tinypic.com/i6mfkg.jpg

Sap: Flat, slapper made from spring-steel attached to lead weight. Leather covered.
http://i46.tinypic.com/i5rxqq.jpg

Sandbag: (see sand club)

(For more detailed descriptions of these weapons: http://www.donrearic.com/sap.html and http://www.crimefilenews.com/2009/01/police-equipment-from-past.html#links)

All these items are very similar. To argue that a "billy" encompasses baseball bats, crowbars, steel pipe (non-filled), or even batons (which is the common perception of carrying these items as defensive weapons) is a huge stretch. Had the legislature desired to ban batons or asps, they would have used those words. They did not. And as we know, that which is not prohibited is LEGAL.

Further mention of batons (Word "asp" only appears in unrelated Fish and Game code) in the CA code generally center around uniformed security guards and uniformed officers.

12002. (a) Nothing in this chapter prohibits police officers,
special police officers, peace officers, or law enforcement officers
from carrying any wooden club, baton, or any equipment authorized for
the enforcement of law or ordinance in any city or county.
(b) Nothing in this chapter prohibits a uniformed security guard,
regularly employed and compensated by a person engaged in any lawful
business, while actually employed and engaged in protecting and
preserving property or life within the scope of his or her
employment, from carrying any wooden club or baton if the uniformed
security guard has satisfactorily completed a course of instruction
certified by the Department of Consumer Affairs in the carrying and
use of the club or baton. The training institution certified by the
Department of Consumer Affairs to present this course, whether public
or private, is authorized to charge a fee covering the cost of the
training.
(c) The Department of Consumer Affairs, in cooperation with the
Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training, shall develop
standards for a course in the carrying and use of the club or baton.
(d) Any uniformed security guard who successfully completes a
course of instruction under this section is entitled to receive a
permit to carry and use a club or baton within the scope of his or
her employment, issued by the Department of Consumer Affairs. The
department may authorize certified training institutions to issue
permits to carry and use a club or baton. A fee in the amount
provided by law shall be charged by the Department of Consumer
Affairs to offset the costs incurred by the department in course
certification, quality control activities associated with the course,
and issuance of the permit.
(e) Any person who has received a permit or certificate which
indicates satisfactory completion of a club or baton training course
approved by the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training
prior to January 1, 1983, shall not be required to obtain a baton or
club permit or complete a course certified by the Department of
Consumer Affairs.
(f) Any person employed as a county sheriff's or police security
officer, as defined in Section 831.4, shall not be required to obtain
a club or baton permit or to complete a course certified by the
Department of Consumer Affairs in the carrying and use of a club or
baton, provided that the person completes a course approved by the
Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training in the carrying
and use of the club or baton, within 90 days of employment.
(g) Nothing in this chapter prohibits an animal control officer,
as described in Section 830.9, or an illegal dumping enforcement
officer, as described in Section 830.7, from carrying any wooden club
or baton if the animal control officer or illegal dumping
enforcement officer has satisfactorily completed a course of
instruction certified by the Department of Consumer Affairs in the
carrying and use of the club or baton. The training institution
certified by the Department of Consumer Affairs to present this
course, whether public or private, is authorized to charge a fee
covering the cost of the training.


For ALL mention of the word "baton" or "asp" in CA law, see:
http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/calawquery?codesection=all&codebody=baton%2C+asp&hits=All

If you wish to do your own search: http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/calaw.html

Perhaps there is case law that I am missing, but I cannot find any real prohibition of batons, collapsible batons or asps anywhere in the CA code.

dantodd
02-11-2010, 10:03 AM
a baton is a billy.

If it weren't intended to be covered by the term billy there would be no need to except batons in (b).

Fate
02-11-2010, 10:16 AM
a baton is a billy.

If it weren't intended to be covered by the term billy there would be no need to except batons in (b).

Then why spell out blackjack, sap and slungshot as they are all very similar? To go to that minutia in one area and then not mention baton and "expect" it to be included in "billy" is hard to rationalize.

Also the "commonly known as..." language must be accounted for. A collapsible asp is commonly known as a billy? Really?

dantodd
02-11-2010, 10:19 AM
Then why spell out blackjack, sap and slungshot as they are all very similar? To go to that minutia in one area and then not mention baton and "expect" it to be included in "billy" is hard to rationalize.

Doesn't matter really though I could venture a guess that a lot of majorettes would be pretty disappointed if batons were outlawed as a class. The statute is interpreted that way and will be unless and until a billy/baton gets 2A protection.

Untamed1972
02-11-2010, 10:20 AM
Then why spell out blackjack, sap and slungshot as they are all very similar? To go to that minutia in one area and then not mention baton and "expect" it to be included in "billy" is hard to rationalize.


for the same reason you can get charged for a felony posession of a billy for carry a pipe or a baseball bat as a weapon. It includes basically any "hitting device" used as a weapon or intented to be used as a weapon.


It's likely that a "police baton" just became a more PC term in an attempt to make them sound less brutal then saying the police carry billy clubs.

dbldblu
02-11-2010, 10:51 AM
A "fish billy" as used by deckhands on fishing charters is apparently ok. A baseball bat, especially if accompanied with a glove, is ok. A billy that they decide is intended for striking a person is a felony. Kind of a vicious grey area isn't it?

Glock22Fan
02-11-2010, 10:54 AM
Fate: For sure I'll need an appeal court judgement in your favor, and an assurance that every LEO on the beat knows about it, before I try testing out your theory.

To quote Don Kilmer, "That might work on Boston Legal . . "

Glock22Fan
02-11-2010, 11:31 AM
A "fish billy" as used by deckhands on fishing charters is apparently ok. A baseball bat, especially if accompanied with a glove, is ok. A billy that they decide is intended for striking a person is a felony. Kind of a vicious grey area isn't it?

It is like the big MagLights, if you are carrying it because it is dark, that's fine, but as soon as you say to the LEO "I carry it because it would be good if someone attacked me" you are in trouble.

I think it is CTD who advertises "Tire Thumpers" to test your tire inflation levels. Looks like a baseball bat to me.

There's a huge grey area. Don't know about in California, but people have been found guilty of carrying steel hair combs, screwdrivers and various other every day items in England.

JSilvoso
02-11-2010, 11:41 AM
Don't get me started on how jacked up 12020 is...

California Penal Code Section 12020(a)(1) in pertinent part deems “any instrument or weapon of the kind commonly known as a blackjack, slungshot, billy, sandclub, sap, or sandbag” to be an illegal weapon. The Penal Code does not define any of these items but as stated in People v. Fannin (2001) 91 Cal.App.4th 1399, 111 Cal.Rptr.2d 496) :

The court observed that blackjacks, slungshots, billys, sandclubs, and sandbags could all be properly described by the term “sap.” “The use of language as applied to these weapons, all of the same class, is rather indefinite. It is significant that the legislature did not prohibit possession of a black-jack as such, a slung-shot, as such, a billy, as such ... as it might have done, but instead, and very likely with appreciation of the difficulties of nomenclature, forbade ownership of any instrument or weapon ‘of the kind’, as commonly known. The purpose undoubtedly was to outlaw instruments which are ordinarily used ‘for criminal and improper purposes, [citations], and so we have in this act ‘a partial inventory of the arsenal of the “public enemy”, the “gangster” ‘ [citation], and a prohibition against owning anything ‘of the kind’.”

People v. Fannin ((2001) 91 Cal.App.4th 1399, 1402, 111 Cal.Rptr.2d 496) ( Citing People v. Mulherin (1934) 140 Cal.App 212, 215, 35 P.2d 174)

California courts have defined slugshot as “a small mass of metal or stone fixed on a flexible handle, strap or the like, used as a weapon.” (People v. Williams (1929) 100 Cal.App. 149, 279 P. 1040.) A broken baseball bat could be considered a “billy” as found in People v. Grubb (1965) 63 Cal.2d 614, 47 Cal.Rptr. 772) (overruled on separate grounds), when the dictionary definition from Random House Unabridged Dictionary (2006) defines “billy” as “a heavy wooden stick used as a weapon; cudgel.” In People v. Mulherin (1934) 140 Cal.App. 212, 35 P.2d 174, defined a “blackjack” (citing Webster’s Dictionary) as “a small leather-covered club or billy, weighted at the head and having an elastic shaft.” And finally, a “sap” is defined by Dictionary.com WordNet 3.0. Princeton University (2007) as a “piece of metal covered by leather with a flexible handle; used for hitting people.”


Intent to use a weapon is not an element of the crime of weapon possession. "Proof of possession alone is sufficient." ( People v. McKinney, supra, 9 Cal. App. 2d at p. 525.) However, if the object is not a weapon per se, but an instrument with ordinary innocent uses, the prosecution must prove that the object was possessed as a weapon. The only way to meet that burden is by evidence "indicat that the possessor would use the object for a dangerous, not harmless, purpose." ([I]Grubb, supra, 63 Cal. 2d at pp. 620-621, italics added.) The evidence may be circumstantial, and may be rebutted by the defendant with evidence of "innocent usage." ( Id. at p. 621.) The prosecution may not, however, merely show that the defendant had a table leg in his car while driving through a dangerous neighborhood, and require him to prove that he did not carry it as a weapon. Such a rule would turn the presumption of innocence on its head. Intended use is not an element of weapon possession, but the prosecution always bears the burden of proving that the defendant possessed a weapon.

People v. Fannin, 91 Cal. App. 4th 1399, 1404 (Cal. App. 1st Dist. 2001)

CSDGuy
02-11-2010, 11:44 AM
Batons, including the collapsible ones, are considered billies. Think small, one handed, rigid impact device. That pretty much describes batons... and expanded collapsible batons. Using a fish billy or tire thumper for their "intended" purpose is OK... however if you're carrying those for self-defense, you're now carrying a device that would be considered a billy.

Until billies are considered a 2A protected device... I won't be carrying one.

What would make actual sense is assessing penalties for criminal use of those devices. Carry it for defense? Fine. Use it for defense? Fine. Use it to beat the stuffing out of someone because you want to? Go to Prison for ADW w/ billy enhancement.

Maltese Falcon
02-11-2010, 12:14 PM
Yep.. it looks like this is just a plain bad idea from the get go. If you have one get rid of it.

.

gun toting monkeyboy
02-11-2010, 12:16 PM
Ok, many of the weapons you are talking about, and the laws pertaining to them are hold-overs from the late 1800s. That is when many of those laws were written. The reason they spell them all out is because they didn't want somebody to get off by saying "but this is a sap, not a blackjack..." or something similar. And most places have never gotten around to updating the language.

The slungshot you guys have pictured is one of the larger versions. Akin to a flail or morning star. It looks like it has about a 8-12 ounce weight wrapped in 3/8 inch rope. And while it is a slung shot, and probably fairly deadly, it isn't exactly what they enacted the laws to combat. In the late 1800's, a slungshot was viewed much the way switchblade knives were in the 1950's. It was a lower class weapon, used by sailors, gangs and other less desirable elements of society. Cheap, easy to conceal, disposable, and easily made from a piece of string and just about anything small and heavy. Metal, rocks, whatever. Normally it was a musket ball weighing around an ounce wrapped in a much lighter cordage than the stuff in that picture. That was attached to a length of cord or rope that could be wrapped around the sailor's waist like a belt. Often it was tied to the person's belt to keep it from being lost. The way they were normally used was first to throw the weighted end at somebody's face. This would usually break some of the facial bones and stun the victim. After that, the user would haul in the weight, leaving about a foot of cord between their hand and the weight, and start using it like a short flail. It could quickly and easily shatter thinner bones like those in the face and skull. Really, really nasty in the days before modern medicine.

-Mb

SgtDinosaur
02-11-2010, 12:16 PM
Batons, including the collapsible ones, are considered billies. Think small, one handed, rigid impact device. That pretty much describes batons... and expanded collapsible batons. Using a fish billy or tire thumper for their "intended" purpose is OK... however if you're carrying those for self-defense, you're now carrying a device that would be considered a billy.

Until billies are considered a 2A protected device... I won't be carrying one.

What would make actual sense is assessing penalties for criminal use of those devices. Carry it for defense? Fine. Use it for defense? Fine. Use it to beat the stuffing out of someone because you want to? Go to Prison for ADW w/ billy enhancement.
I like your thinking. At least then I wouldn't have to keep them locked in the safe.

Bud Fox
02-11-2010, 12:18 PM
Yes officer that's a baseball bat, it's right next to the glove and ball. ;)

Fate
02-11-2010, 12:22 PM
Thank you JSilvoso for the case law.

And I agree with the hesitation expressed to carry anything pre-incorporation.

That said, I'm not yet convinced that "billy" is as encompassing a word as we have been led to believe.

dantodd
02-11-2010, 12:25 PM
Thank you JSilvoso for the case law.

And I agree with the hesitation expressed to carry anything pre-incorporation.

That said, I'm not yet convinced that "billy" is as encompassing a word as we have been led to believe.

What part of the existing case law makes you think that a police baton or baseball bat is not covered by 12020?

Fate
02-11-2010, 12:27 PM
I think there's a size component in the banned items that is missing from a PR-24 or a bat or the like.
A broken baseball bat could be considered a “billy” as found in People v. Grubb (1965) 63 Cal.2d 614, 47 Cal.Rptr. 772)
Note it was a BROKEN bat, not a bat. Thus size is an important element of the label.

SteveH
02-11-2010, 12:32 PM
The manner in which it is used defines the tool. A belt & buckle can be a slungshot. As can a braided leather strap with a heavy brass hook/latch on one end.

Sometimes a baseball bat is just a baseball bat and sometimes its a "billy" club. The manner in which it is used defines the tools.

SteveH
02-11-2010, 12:35 PM
A "fish billy" as used by deckhands on fishing charters is apparently ok. A baseball bat, especially if accompanied with a glove, is ok. A billy that they decide is intended for striking a person is a felony. Kind of a vicious grey area isn't it?


Not at all. The manner in which it is used defines the tool.

PEBKAC
02-11-2010, 12:39 PM
Anyone want to make a collapsible tire-thumper that looks uncannily like a collapsible police baton? ;)

SteveH
02-11-2010, 12:40 PM
Ok, many of the weapons you are talking about, and the laws pertaining to them are hold-overs from the late 1800s. That is when many of those laws were written. The reason they spell them all out is because they didn't want somebody to get off by saying "but this is a sap, not a blackjack..." or something similar. And most places have never gotten around to updating the language.

The slungshot you guys have pictured is one of the larger versions. Akin to a flail or morning star. It looks like it has about a 8-12 ounce weight wrapped in 3/8 inch rope. And while it is a slung shot, and probably fairly deadly, it isn't exactly what they enacted the laws to combat. In the late 1800's, a slungshot was viewed much the way switchblade knives were in the 1950's. It was a lower class weapon, used by sailors, gangs and other less desirable elements of society. Cheap, easy to conceal, disposable, and easily made from a piece of string and just about anything small and heavy. Metal, rocks, whatever. Normally it was a musket ball weighing around an ounce wrapped in a much lighter cordage than the stuff in that picture. That was attached to a length of cord or rope that could be wrapped around the sailor's waist like a belt. Often it was tied to the person's belt to keep it from being lost. The way they were normally used was first to throw the weighted end at somebody's face. This would usually break some of the facial bones and stun the victim. After that, the user would haul in the weight, leaving about a foot of cord between their hand and the weight, and start using it like a short flail. It could quickly and easily shatter thinner bones like those in the face and skull. Really, really nasty in the days before modern medicine.

-Mb

You have all probably seen those long braided leather leads hanging off the handlebars of you local outlaw biker wannabe's. Those are slungshots.

Decoligny
02-11-2010, 12:54 PM
I have bad knees.

They flare up at the most inconvenient times.

Because this is so, I always carry my solid oak cane.

It has a decorative flamingo head carved into the crook.

I suppose that if I were to be attacked, it could possibly be used as an improvised weapon.

However, its primary purpose is to support some of my weight when my knees act up.

Perfectly legal in all those places that they won't allow weapons.

I had my cane with me in court last month. I took my cane with me on the airplane to the east coast and back last week.

http://superiormartialarts.com/images14/15007_oc%5B1%5D.jpg

Rusty_Rebar
02-11-2010, 1:06 PM
I find this law stupid. If I were carrying concealed I would want a "non-lethal" tool in my inventory. To me a knife is problematic, as it takes some skill to use because it is so short. An ASP seems ideal. If someone is attacking you, but no tin a life threatening way, I would think an ASP would be an ideal weapon to employ.

I think it is short sighted to outlaw these means of defense. Since they are illegal, then I would be forced to use a lethal means of defense, when something less lethal would have done the job.

gun toting monkeyboy
02-11-2010, 1:12 PM
Ciupagi anyone? I swear, it's just a walking stick...

Shenaniguns
02-11-2010, 1:22 PM
What I learned from getting certified to carry a baton doing guard work is that it has heavier regulations than handguns. Even to carry a baton as a guard you must be on your way or back directly from your scheduled 'work site', unlike a handgun where you can legally secure it and go where ever when you are off duty. It's really not worth having unless you are LEO or certified.

gun toting monkeyboy
02-11-2010, 1:25 PM
What I learned from getting certified to carry a baton doing guard work is that it has heavier regulations than handguns. Even to carry a baton as a guard you must be on your way or back directly from your scheduled 'work site', unlike a handgun where you can legally secure it and go where ever when you are off duty. It's really not worth having unless you are LEO or certified.

Or you are a New Black Panther helping out at your local polling place on election day.

dirtnap
02-11-2010, 1:28 PM
A "fish billy" as used by deckhands on fishing charters is apparently ok.


Not for me. I was arrested in 2001 for possession of a deadly weapon, it was a fish billy I brought home from a charter service I worked for in AK the year before. They dropped it to a misdemeanor and I ended up with 4 days of community service. Apparently I should not have been carrying it in the back seat of my car.I turned 18 a week earlier, so it's on my perm. record now.

Shenaniguns
02-11-2010, 1:29 PM
Or you are a New Black Panther helping out at your local polling place on election day.


AFAIK that was not in California as I assume we're talking about.

Ron-Solo
02-11-2010, 1:40 PM
An "ASP" is a trade name for an expandable baton. Baton=billy

Like someone else said, baton is a PC name for a billy or "Nightstick" as they used to be called. "PR-24" is also another trade name for a side handle baton. If you play silly word games with the law, get used to living in a gated community.

Go to jail, do not pass go, do not collect $200, do not pick up the soap for any reason.


Aloha,

Ron

SteveH
02-11-2010, 1:50 PM
I find this law stupid. If I were carrying concealed I would want a "non-lethal" tool in my inventory.

OC Spray or Taser

SteveH
02-11-2010, 1:52 PM
An "ASP" is a trade name for an expandable baton. Baton=billy

Like someone else said, baton is a PC name for a billy or "Nightstick" as they used to be called. "PR-24" is also another trade name for a side handle baton. If you play silly word games with the law, get used to living in a gated community.

Go to jail, do not pass go, do not collect $200, do not pick up the soap for any reason.


Aloha,

Ron

Yep. The should have just said club. of course then someone would be arguing about the definition of "club." this is a beatin' stick not a club. its an Ax handle not a club.

pullnshoot25
02-11-2010, 2:22 PM
Anyone want to make a collapsible tire-thumper that looks uncannily like a collapsible police baton? ;)

How about a monopod for a camera?

Yeah, I got some ideas... who wants to work with me?

Fate
02-11-2010, 2:53 PM
Yep. The should have just said club. of course then someone would be arguing about the definition of "club." this is a beatin' stick not a club. its an Ax handle not a club.

In light of Harrott v. Kings County, I actually think they need to be MORE specific. Citizens, law enforcement and trial courts shouldn’t have to determine themselves whether or not an object is or is not a "billy."

97F1504RAD
02-11-2010, 2:55 PM
So then what is this considered.

http://www.google.com/products/catalog?sourceid=navclient&rlz=1T4ADBR_enUS243US243&q=tire+knocker&um=1&ie=UTF-8&cid=9357287680650007658&ei=yJh0S-TtAtT-nAeV0aS_CQ&sa=X&oi=product_catalog_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CDcQ8wIwAA#ps-sellers

dantodd
02-11-2010, 3:01 PM
So then what is this considered.

http://www.google.com/products/catalog?sourceid=navclient&rlz=1T4ADBR_enUS243US243&q=tire+knocker&um=1&ie=UTF-8&cid=9357287680650007658&ei=yJh0S-TtAtT-nAeV0aS_CQ&sa=X&oi=product_catalog_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CDcQ8wIwAA#ps-sellers

Title seems pretty self-explanatory. It's a tire knocker. I wouldn't suggest carrying it if you don't have a big rig though. It is the intent that makes a tire-knocker, baseball bat or screwdriver a weapon rather than a tool.

97F1504RAD
02-11-2010, 3:15 PM
Yeah I know I just think it's funny how the name can change what it is. Here is the same tire knocker but check the description this store gives.


http://www.duluthtrading.com/18TK.aspx

rp55
02-11-2010, 3:34 PM
One should never get underway without a marlinspike.
http://www.loggingsupply.com/catalog/images/Marlin16.jpg

Merle
02-11-2010, 4:15 PM
They do have screw on attachments for the collapsible batons, basically turning it into an LED flashlight.

Though I do think the primary problem is these things are meant to instill fear and strike people whereas a Mag light is different, and legal.

BigDogatPlay
02-11-2010, 4:38 PM
In light of Harrott v. Kings County, I actually think they need to be MORE specific. Citizens, law enforcement and trial courts shouldn’t have to determine themselves whether or not an object is or is not a "billy."

So you'll volunteer to be the test case... risking a lifetime firearms prohibition if a bunch of judges don't agree with you?

Just wondering. :D

dantodd
02-11-2010, 5:46 PM
One should never get underway without a marlinspike.
http://www.loggingsupply.com/catalog/images/Marlin16.jpg

That is one honkin' big marlinspike. Mine are all less than 6" long. I guess my little sailboat doesn't require the same kind of lines as logging.

tyrist
02-11-2010, 7:40 PM
A baton is a billy club and there is case law to support this apparently.

fleegman
02-11-2010, 8:29 PM
It's likely that a "police baton" just became a more PC term in an attempt to make them sound less brutal then saying the police carry billy clubs.

BART SIMPSON (to police officer): "Can I hold your club?"
POLICE OFFICER: "We call it a baton, son"
BART SIMPSON: "Oh... what's it for?"
POLICE OFFICER: "We club people with it"

sreiter
02-11-2010, 10:02 PM
As a martial arts instructor in a weapons based system(filipino KALI/Escrima, Arnis), we are always thinking of improvised weapons, etc because a lot of the system is based upon such weapons(much more then just impact and edged weapons).

One thing that was thought of in light of 911 and very similar to what was described as a slung shot is using a very long bandanna with a 10+ dollar worth of quarters tied into a knot on one end. it would be easy for a bad guy to get that onto a plane and use it as a fail(i know a law abiding person would never do such a thing)...

they sell shillelagh's as canes, ect. all used a impact weapons

i dont see anything about a whip, but a 3 foot do sled whip will do major damage if you know what you're doing.

7x57
02-11-2010, 10:13 PM
That is one honkin' big marlinspike. Mine are all less than 6" long. I guess my little sailboat doesn't require the same kind of lines as logging.

It all depends on how many inches thick the wire rope lines on your little sailboat are. :D

7x57

leitung
02-11-2010, 11:15 PM
I have been told by more then one person that possession outside of LEOs and licenced security guards is a felony.

I love my '31 inch ASP, carry daily on duty as a guard.

IrishPirate
02-11-2010, 11:28 PM
this one says tire thumper so you should be good if you just have this in your car
http://www.iowa80.com/DirectionsWEB/client/images/l00098.jpg

the Hells Angels are known for CCWing ball peen hammers because there is absolutely NOTHING illegal about it. I've got a 7 iron in my car right next to the driver's seat and golf balls in the trunk. I just say i like to go hit golf balls at random times and don't want the leather handle to get ruined because my trunk leaks and i don't put it in the back seat because then i have to keep moving it to give people rides. it also doubles as a cane when i'm out walking and my bad knees give me an excuse to be using a cane. My Club (the steering wheel lock) comes apart easily into two great "clubs" too. there's all sorts of things you can legally carry that do a great job of beating people.

Peter W Bush
02-11-2010, 11:47 PM
Golf, eh? I think Ill take up a new hobby, other than golf with my 12 gauge.

tboyer
02-12-2010, 12:07 AM
http://www.yourdefensegear.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=92SF

What about a cold steel trench shovel for one's car.
I have two Swiss ones

bodger
02-12-2010, 6:34 AM
http://i592.photobucket.com/albums/tt10/dingoff/douglastool_dfr-1814cx_1.jpg


I'm a contractor, I always have a nice framing hammer on the seat of my truck.
And when I walk my dogs, I have a four cell MagLite that I carry, even when it isn't dark. It could get dark any moment, and I might need that flashlight to find my way.

Decoligny
02-12-2010, 6:44 AM
As a martial arts instructor in a weapons based system(filipino KALI/Escrima, Arnis), we are always thinking of improvised weapons, etc because a lot of the system is based upon such weapons(much more then just impact and edged weapons).

One thing that was thought of in light of 911 and very similar to what was described as a slung shot is using a very long bandanna with a 10+ dollar worth of quarters tied into a knot on one end. it would be easy for a bad guy to get that onto a plane and use it as a fail(i know a law abiding person would never do such a thing)...

they sell shillelagh's as canes, ect. all used a impact weapons

i dont see anything about a whip, but a 3 foot do sled whip will do major damage if you know what you're doing.

Never mind the quarters. Just carry around a bandana and a big old Master Lock. Use one that you actually have a key for, and keep the key on your keychain. Also make sure you have a plausible use for the lock. It only takes a second to slip the bandana through the opening in the lock and you have a very effective improvised weapon.

Aleksandr Mravinsky
02-12-2010, 8:19 AM
What about hammers? A hammer seems to be perfectly legal, but just the handle would be a billy, right?

This state really needs to ditch all these laws and just increase penalties for using anything in the commission of a crime. Make actions illegal, not items.

383green
02-12-2010, 8:29 AM
This state really needs to ditch all these laws and just increase penalties for using anything in the commission of a crime.

I disagree with increasing penalties for using specific things in the commission of a crime, for much the same reason that I disagree with outlawing possession of those things in the first place. It's already illegal to kill somebody or beat somebody down other than in self defense. Why should it matter what kind of tool was used to do it? A restriction on using a specific thing in the commission of a crime is just another restriction on a thing, and adds needless complication to the body of laws.


Make actions illegal, not items.

I definitely agree with that, 100%.

My375hp302
02-12-2010, 8:46 AM
I disagree with increasing penalties for using specific things in the commission of a crime, for much the same reason that I disagree with outlawing possession of those things in the first place. It's already illegal to kill somebody or beat somebody down other than in self defense. Why should it matter what kind of tool was used to do it? A restriction on using a specific thing in the commission of a crime is just another restriction on a thing, and adds needless complication to the body of laws.

I disagree with that. Are you saying that the penalty for punching someone in the face and the penalty for hitting someone in the face with a baseball bat should be the same? There will always be physical fights between people, it's just human nature. The enhancements for using a weapon are there to lesson the liklyhood that a weapon is used, encouraging people to fight the old fashioned way where you both walk away. Using a weapon in a fight increases the liklyhood of serious bodily injury or death resulting from the attack and should therefore be punished more severly. Just my .02

My375hp302
02-12-2010, 8:51 AM
Letter of the law I'd say even a kubaton is illegal under 12020. How many women do you know with one on their key chains?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kubotan

383green
02-12-2010, 9:15 AM
I disagree with that. Are you saying that the penalty for punching someone in the face and the penalty for hitting someone in the face with a baseball bat should be the same?

Depending on the circumstances and/or injuries, one may be simple assault while the other may be aggravated assault or even attempted murder. But laws that outlaw use of a particular implement in the commission of a crime are in practice not much different than restrictions on possession of the item itself. It's the act and the results of the act that matter, not what particular tool was used to commit the act. The way some "...use in the commission of a crime..." laws are (badly) written, the coincidental possession of an item while committing an unrelated crime can cause an additional charge or sentence enhancements, and that's silly.

Let me try to put it a different way. This thread centers around questions such as whether one item may be considered to be a restricted billy while another item which is identical except for having "tire thumper" burned into the side is not. The fact that we have to engage in such debate helps to point out the absurdity of the law in question. Now, if the law restricted use of a billy in the commission of a crime rather than simple possession, the same debate would still exist: If a person used a "tire thumper" in the commission of a crime, as opposed to a "billy", should they get the additional charge or sentence enhancement? If the hypothetical law was written the way many "...use in the commission of a crime..." laws are written, would there be additional legal risk inherent in simply possessing the "tire thumper" or "billy" in the passenger area of your car while speeding, or while committing some other crime that has nothing to do with hitting anybody or anything with it?

With regards to your fist vs. baseball bat situation specifically, I think it makes much more sense to tie the severity of the sentence to the severity of the injury, than it does to tie it to the tool used. A deliberately weak push with a baseball bat might do little damage, while a solid punch from a trained fighter might be fatal. Base the sentence on the action, intent and consequences, not on the tool that was used.

MasterYong
02-12-2010, 9:26 AM
Just get one of these:

http://www.canemasters.com/

I always carry a hardened walking stick when I hike. Getting up and down those slippery, muddy hills in the redwood forest can be a PITA, and the stick gives me extra traction...

Also keep in mind that escrima sticks are perfectly legal. There are actually a lot of martial arts weapons that are legal. My good friend (who has the added benefit of actually being a professional martial artist) likes to carry a bo staff at times. That thing is a little over 6' long, and he can easily bust brick and cinder blocks with the business end.

I also have one of these (that aforementioned friend gave to me to do upper body training):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bokken

I have the longer two-handed one. GREAT for building upper body strength. It's made of red oak. Heavy and sturdy.

I guess I'm just agreeing with others that there are a LOT of options that don't fall under the "billy" category.

Interesting to know about the monkey fists thing. I never would have guessed those were a no-no in CA. I almost bought one at Scottsdale Gun Club when I was living in AZ last year, but since I couldn't get any of the employees to tell me what it was other than a neato-looking thingy, I decided against it.

MasterYong
02-12-2010, 9:29 AM
Letter of the law I'd say even a kubaton is illegal under 12020. How many women do you know with one on their key chains?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kubotan

Kubotan???

That's a key chain!

;)

k1dude
02-12-2010, 9:52 AM
Just get one of these:

http://www.canemasters.com/

I always carry a hardened walking stick when I hike. Getting up and down those slippery, muddy hills in the redwood forest can be a PITA, and the stick gives me extra traction...

Also keep in mind that escrima sticks are perfectly legal. There are actually a lot of martial arts weapons that are legal. My good friend (who has the added benefit of actually being a professional martial artist) likes to carry a bo staff at times. That thing is a little over 6' long, and he can easily bust brick and cinder blocks with the business end.

I also have one of these (that aforementioned friend gave to me to do upper body training):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bokken

I have the longer two-handed one. GREAT for building upper body strength. It's made of red oak. Heavy and sturdy.

I guess I'm just agreeing with others that there are a LOT of options that don't fall under the "billy" category.

I wouldn't use anything that's being sold as a martial arts or self-defense device even if it's currently legal. If you happen to use it on someone it won't look good to the police or prosecutors. Even if you manage to stay out of jail, it won't look good when you get sued by the scumbag you beat the tar out of. Attorney's will definitely use it against you. Use a regular old walking cane instead of the martial arts version to improve your chances of staying out of legal trouble.

My375hp302
02-12-2010, 9:58 AM
Depending on the circumstances and/or injuries, one may be simple assault while the other may be aggravated assault or even attempted murder. But laws that outlaw use of a particular implement in the commission of a crime are in practice not much different than restrictions on possession of the item itself. It's the act and the results of the act that matter, not what particular tool was used to commit the act. The way some "...use in the commission of a crime..." laws are (badly) written, the coincidental possession of an item while committing an unrelated crime can cause an additional charge or sentence enhancements, and that's silly.

Let me try to put it a different way. This thread centers around questions such as whether one item may be considered to be a restricted billy while another item which is identical except for having "tire thumper" burned into the side is not. The fact that we have to engage in such debate helps to point out the absurdity of the law in question. Now, if the law restricted use of a billy in the commission of a crime rather than simple possession, the same debate would still exist: If a person used a "tire thumper" in the commission of a crime, as opposed to a "billy", should they get the additional charge or sentence enhancement? If the hypothetical law was written the way many "...use in the commission of a crime..." laws are written, would there be additional legal risk inherent in simply possessing the "tire thumper" or "billy" in the passenger area of your car while speeding, or while committing some other crime that has nothing to do with hitting anybody or anything with it?

With regards to your fist vs. baseball bat situation specifically, I think it makes much more sense to tie the severity of the sentence to the severity of the injury, than it does to tie it to the tool used. A deliberately weak push with a baseball bat might do little damage, while a solid punch from a trained fighter might be fatal. Base the sentence on the action, intent and consequences, not on the tool that was used.

1st paragraph, your talkking about two completely different things here, possession vs use. I never said possession should be illegal and I agree on outlawing actions, not objects, but the action of hitting someone with a bat or with a fist are quite different.

2nd paragraph, the difference between a billy club and a tire thumper is useage. If I hit you with the tire thumper it will be considered a billy under the law becasue that is how I used it. Just as if I beat you nearly to death with a frozen fish I would be charged with assault with a deadly weapon even tho a frozen fish is not considered a deadly weapon, it was used as an improvised weapon. No there would not be an "additional legal risk inherent in simply possessing the "tire thumper" or "billy" in the passenger area of your car while speeding" because a weapon is not an element of the crime (infraction) of speeding. Weapon enhancements only apply to violent crimes (IE robbery), not moving violations and this is well spelled out in the penal code and case law.

3rd paragraph, while I would agree with you in a perfect world, it's not a perfect world so I don't. Now you are bringing in something that is subjective to decide the severity of the penalty. How do you decide how bad an injury is? How do you get consistancy? You can't. It's much easier to restrict the use of the bat, there is no question to it, either you used it or you didn't. Laws aren't perfect, they are meant to fit MOST situations well, but they will never be perfect in every instance. In the situation you described where someone just barely tapped someone with a bad causing little or no injury, too bad, should have been smart enough to not use the bat. In the case of the professional fighter there are enhancements for causing great bodily injury that would apply, and there is case law to support charging him with assault with a deadly weapon for using his hands because he is a trained fighter.

While I agree with you that 12020 is VERY poorly written and should be revised, I can't agree that we should just allow criminals to use weapons without consequences. Fist fights would become a thing of the past, why risk breaking a knuckle when you can use a bat, or a chain, or a knife? I agree with don't outlaw the object, outlaw the action, where we disagree is that hitting someone with a fist, and hitting someone with a bat are different actions. I for one, would much rather be hit with a fist!

gun toting monkeyboy
02-12-2010, 10:08 AM
Monkey fists are not illegal. Even if you have a lead weight in it, and attach it to a cord. It is simply a weight that you use for throwing lines. If you use or intend to use it as a slungshot, you are hosed. If you are carrying it as a keychain fob to remember your days as a boy scout or sea cadet, there is nothing illegal about it. :D

CSACANNONEER
02-12-2010, 10:29 AM
Monkey fists are not illegal. Even if you have a lead weight in it, and attach it to a cord. It is simply a weight that you use for throwing lines. If you use or intend to use it as a slungshot, you are hosed. If you are carrying it as a keychain fob to remember your days as a boy scout or sea cadet, there is nothing illegal about it. :D

Don't you have to be some sort of "monkeyboy" to legally carry "monkey fists"?

Shenaniguns
02-12-2010, 10:33 AM
I have been told by more then one person that possession outside of LEOs and licenced security guards is a felony.

I love my '31 inch ASP, carry daily on duty as a guard.



This is the truth and is not FUD /thread

Decoligny
02-12-2010, 10:52 AM
Letter of the law I'd say even a kubaton is illegal under 12020. How many women do you know with one on their key chains?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kubotan

How about a mini maglight?

http://images.orgill.com/200x200/4331708.jpg

I carry one around on my belt everywhere. If I were attacked and had to defend myself, my flashlight would work as an improvised Kubotan, even though its primary function is to light dark places.

Bugei
02-12-2010, 11:55 AM
[QUOTE=sreiter;3794920]One thing that was thought of in light of 911 and very similar to what was described as a slung shot is using a very long bandanna with a 10+ dollar worth of quarters tied into a knot on one end. it would be easy for a bad guy to get that onto a plane and use it as a fail(i know a law abiding person would never do such a thing)QUOTE]

As you probably know, but others might not, is that the thugs in India used a rumaal: Wiki for "Thugee" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thuggee).

Piece of cloth (usually a headcloth), small coin or stone knotted cleverly in one corner, whipped around the neck.

Like most everyone else here, I think that in a world where anything can be a weapon, proscribing some weapons with convoluted law is just silly. Silly or not, you don't want to have to defend yourself in court for the possession of such things.

MasterYong
02-12-2010, 12:01 PM
I wouldn't use anything that's being sold as a martial arts or self-defense device even if it's currently legal. If you happen to use it on someone it won't look good to the police or prosecutors. Even if you manage to stay out of jail, it won't look good when you get sued by the scumbag you beat the tar out of. Attorney's will definitely use it against you. Use a regular old walking cane instead of the martial arts version to improve your chances of staying out of legal trouble.

Could you please cite the cases in which this has been a problem, i.e. getting sued for defending yourself with a stick?

So many online say "it wouldn't look good" and honestly all I care about is that I defended myself with a legal object.

Have there been any cases where the jury decided that the victim shouldn't have defended themselves because they had a martial arts weapon? How about the practice weapons (like the bokken) that I mentioned?

Honestly, without citations, your post to me sounds more like fear mongering than anything else. No offense intended.

Ech0Sierra
02-12-2010, 4:31 PM
12020. (a) Any person in this state who does any of the following
is punishable by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year
or in the state prison:
(1) Manufactures or causes to be manufactured, imports into the
state, keeps for sale, or offers or exposes for sale, or who gives,
lends, or possesses any ...billy...
(b) Subdivision (a) does not apply to any of the following:
...(10) Instruments or devices, other than short-barreled shotguns or
short-barreled rifles, that are possessed or utilized during the
course of a motion picture, television, or video production or
entertainment event by an authorized participant therein in the
course of making that production or event or by an authorized
employee or agent of the entity producing that production or event.


Hmm, judging by this, if I make a YouTube video of a baton, I am exempt from subdivision (a). Finally Hollywood does something good...nah, I'm not going to risk it.

cbn620
02-12-2010, 5:11 PM
How about a mini maglight?

http://images.orgill.com/200x200/4331708.jpg

I carry one around on my belt everywhere. If I were attacked and had to defend myself, my flashlight would work as an improvised Kubotan, even though its primary function is to light dark places.

I carry one on my belt too. I've always said someone should make an endcap for it of a heavier weight, maybe with a slight non-sharpened point or taper to it. Basically would add a pommel to the light.

Ech0Sierra
02-12-2010, 7:47 PM
I recall somewhere on the ASP website saying their products are very functional pointer sticks for presentations. I wonder if that would make collapsible ASP batons fall under "not a billy" with golf clubs, tire thumpers, baseball bats, etc.?

tba02
02-12-2010, 7:59 PM
There was a time when, as a professional chef, I carried a sharpening steel in my kit, daily.

There's a few fine ones pictured;
http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/attachment.php?attachmentid=46020&d=1266119044

CSACANNONEER
02-13-2010, 7:08 AM
This is the truth and is not FUD /thread

Please explain and cite PC. Or, is your argument simply that "baton" = "billy" ?

tyrist
02-13-2010, 8:24 AM
There is a ton of case law on this penal code section guys. It basically breaks down to if the device has another use BESIDES as a weapon then it becomes whatever use it was intended. If you HOWEVER use it as a weapon then it becomes the illegal item. I have seen numerous people prosecuted for this section in my career. People have had screw drivers in their pocket concealed and when they have stated to us or used it as a stabbing instrument it now becomes a concealed dirk/dagger. If somebody has one of those novelty bats and uses it as a weapon it becomes a billy. Also people who modify everyday items by adding tape to an axe handle with no axe head or cut off the top of a baseball bat to shorten it they have now manufactured a billy.

SVPRApps
02-13-2010, 8:39 AM
What about hammers? A hammer seems to be perfectly legal, but just the handle would be a billy, right?

This state really needs to ditch all these laws and just increase penalties for using anything in the commission of a crime. Make actions illegal, not items.

I agree here.

It's weird how you cannot have batons, but I guess if you dont want to carry a knife/gun, then get a maglite, those things make good improvised hitting devices