February 25th, 2008
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Recently I had a discussion with someone regarding the legality of Bo Shuriken in California. Of course, we weren’t talking about the legality of carrying them… but owning them for Meifu Shinkage Ryu practice.
Now, I assume no responsibility here… I’m certainly no lawyer. However, submitted for your information, are the relevant sections of the California Penal Code.
Here is the source:
PENAL CODE SECTION 12020-12040
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.
This however, is clarified in sub-section (c), paragraph (11):
(11) As used in this section, a “shuriken” means any instrument, without handles, consisting of a metal plate having three or more radiating points with one or more sharp edges and designed in the shape of a polygon, trefoil, cross, star, diamond, or other geometric shape for use as a weapon for throwing.
Ah! Bingo. Senban, yes, illegal as hell. But Bo Shuriken are more like knives really, and not covered.
However, I can’t help but chuckle when I see “sandbag” listed in the first paragraph. Makes be think back to the Marine Corps. “Sorry gunny, I can’t fill sandbags, they’re illegal.”