Are Expandable Batons Legal?

An expandable baton is a portable and concealable method for self-defense that transmits adequate force without being deadly. The question is, is it legal to carry an expandable baton? Expandable baton’s legal status is often a question some citizens tend to ask, but often, no one is really sure. How often, do you see a fellow citizen carrying around an expandable baton? So are expandable batons legal?

For those of you who do not know an expandable baton is also called a telescopic baton. It is a baton that is able to collapsible on itself and is generally 16 inches long.  It is designed to be securely hidden, and also for a defense against attackers in close range. The baton relies n a blunt force to cause damage to an attackers limbs. The collapsible baton forced downward in a 45 degree angle, by its user, extends to its fullest extent. It can be put back in its original form by tapping the end of the collapsible baton against hard surface. Are expandable batons legal in the United States? Let's see...

There is no federal law that bans carrying an expandable baton . The only state laws that ban the use of expandable batons are California, Massachusetts, New York, and Washington D.C. Other than those states expandable batons are legal.

Regardless of what state a user is in, even if its legal, it is important to note that a baton must only be used in defense, and generally cannot be used in any manner that would cause death.  Avoiding areas of the neck, head, and private areas are key.

For future reference, most tends tend to categorize what a deadly weapon is. Generally, deadly weapons have some type of restrictions, even guns, despite the second amendment do have certain restrictions. A deadly weapon is one that is designed to kill. While a weapon might be dangerous (i.e. to choke someone, to severely injure) it is not technically deadly.  A baton is dangerous but not deadly.

Overall, to answer the question are expandable batons legal? The answer is yes. As long as you are not in California, Massachusetts, New York, and Washington D.C. 

4 thoughts on “Are Expandable Batons Legal?

    1. Hi Gregory,

      Currently under the Hawaii Revised Statutes other is no law stating the public is not allowed to carry a collapsible baton.

  1. Thank you for this article, it does answer some questions. Would you please clarify if Michigan you can have a collapsible baton?
    Thank you

    1. MCL 750.224 prohibits the manufacture, sale, offering for sale or possession of a blackjack, billy, metallic knuckles, sand club, sand bag or bludgeon. It does not specifically list a baton as illegal. The law is pretty vague. From our analysis, while it may be legal to have a collapsible baton (we think it is) concealing it may be illegal, as well as the use of it as an offensive weapon. It can only be used for self defense or life threatening situations. Again, it can not be concealed.

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