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Spring Loaded Baton, Telescopic Baton, Blackjack, HELP!

spring loaded baton spring loaded baton

I live in Pennsylvania. I want some self protection. Can I carry a spring loaded baton or a telescopic baton for the sole purpose of self protection?

No. The mere possession of either of those items is a crime under section 908 of the PA crimes code entitled “Prohibited Offensive Weapons.” Specifically, under section 908(c), a blackjack is listed as one of the prohibited weapons.

The follow-up question was, “It is ok to carry a Kubotan?” A Kubotan is defined on wiki, and still meets the blackjack definition from wiki, or the crimes code. However, if used in a crime, all of these items would be a PIC (possession of an instrument of crime).

A POW is defined below:

§ 908. Prohibited offensive weapons

(a) OFFENSE DEFINED.– A person commits a misdemeanor of the first degree if, except as authorized by law, he makes repairs, sells, or otherwise deals in, uses, or possesses any offensive weapon.

(b) EXCEPTIONS.–

(1) It is a defense under this section for the defendant to prove by a
preponderance of evidence that he possessed or dealt with the weapon
solely as a curio or in a dramatic performance, or that, with the
exception of a bomb, grenade or incendiary device, he complied with the
National Firearms Act (26 U.S.C. § 5801 et seq.), or that he possessed
it briefly in consequence of having found it or taken it from an
aggressor, or under circumstances similarly negativing any intent or
likelihood that the weapon would be used unlawfully.

(2) This section does not apply to police forensic firearms experts or
police forensic firearms laboratories. Also exempt from this section
are forensic firearms experts or forensic firearms laboratories
operating in the ordinary course of business and engaged in lawful
operation who notify in writing, on an annual basis, the chief or head
of any police force or police department of a city, and, elsewhere, the
sheriff of a county in which they are located, of the possession, type
and use of offensive weapons.

(3) This section shall not apply to any person who makes, repairs,
sells or otherwise deals in, uses or possesses any firearm for purposes
not prohibited by the laws of this Commonwealth.

(c) DEFINITIONS.– As used in this section, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings given to them in this subsection:

“Firearm.” Any weapon which is designed to or may readily be converted to expel any projectile by the action of an explosive or the frame or receiver of any such weapon.

“Offensive weapons.” Any bomb, grenade, machine gun, sawed-off shotgun with a barrel less than 18 inches, firearm specially made or specially adapted for concealment or silent discharge, any blackjack, sandbag, metal knuckles, dagger, knife, razor or cutting instrument, the blade of which is exposed in an automatic way by switch, push-button, spring mechanism, or otherwise, any stun gun, stun baton, taser or other electronic or electric weapon or other implement for the infliction of serious bodily injury which serves no common lawful purpose.

(d) EXEMPTIONS.– The use and possession of blackjacks by the following persons in the course of their duties are exempt from this section:

(1) Police officers, as defined by and who meet the requirements of the
act of June 18, 1974 (P.L. 359, No. 120), referred to as the Municipal
Police Education and Training Law.

(2) Police officers of first class cities who have successfully
completed training which is substantially equivalent to the program
under the Municipal Police Education and Training Law.

(3) Pennsylvania State Police officers.

(4) Sheriffs and deputy sheriffs of the various counties who have
satisfactorily met the requirements of the Municipal Police Education
and Training Law.

(5) Police officers employed by the Commonwealth who have
satisfactorily met the requirements of the Municipal Police Education
and Training Law.

(6) Deputy sheriffs with adequate training as determined by the
Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency.

(7) Liquor Control Board agents who have satisfactorily met the
requirements of the Municipal Police Education and Training Law.

5 Comments on Spring Loaded Baton, Telescopic Baton, Blackjack, HELP!

  1. Frank // at 12:58 pm // Reply

    I think this comes down to semantics. By popular usage, a "spring loaded baton" and an "automatic baton" is one in the same. Basically a telescoping series of pipes that open when you press a button. With the manual version, you flick your wrist to open the baton.

    A totally different animal is a "spring baton" which has a section of it made of coils which makes it similar to a blackjack. I can see "spring baton" being a POF.

    The photo on your blog shows a telescoping baton, whether manual or automatic is irrelevant. It's not a "spring baton". So it can't reasonably be construed as a blackjack.

    I can't find anything in the POF section which labels telescoping batons as POFs. I'm sure some cops would take a different view on that but the law is pretty clear. Thoughts?

  2. Brian J. Zeiger, Esquire // at 1:04 pm // Reply

    Frank, I don't disagree with anything that you said. The picture comes from wiki as the source for the answer to the distinction between the items.

    As far as the actual difference between the two on technical grounds, I haven't the slightest clue.

    My answer to the reader was simply that I thought that what they were describing would cause them to get locked up, so my answer was geared to helping them stay out of jail.

    I believe that in Pennsylvania, you can possess a totally defensive weapon, but you must be sure that what you possess is truly defensive weapon.

    While the distinction made on moving parts might be semantics to you and me, understands that lawyers make a living off semantics and the Pennsylvania General Assembly is filled with lawyers, and they wrote this law.

  3. A spring loaded baton is NOT a black jack, there is no spring section, the spring is used to open the baton, which is accomplished by flicking your wrist with a manual one. The physics behind them are totaly different. A black jack has a "dead blow" head and impact is maximised by the spring handle which prevents the head from rebounding, instead the static shock is all sent forward into the target area. A Baton, automatic or otherwise is basically a collapsable nightstick or club, and can be used with out striking a person to defend/deflect or retrain/subdue an attacker. That all being said, The courts and LE can make your life pretty rough if they want to, even if you are not in the wrong. I'd suggest carrying a walking stick cane made of dense hard wood.

  4. A spring loaded baton is NOT a black jack, there is no spring section, the spring is used to open the baton, which is accomplished by flicking your wrist with a manual one. The physics behind them are totaly different. A black jack has a "dead blow" head and impact is maximised by the spring handle which prevents the head from rebounding, instead the static shock is all sent forward into the target area. A Baton, automatic or otherwise is basically a collapsable nightstick or club, and can be used with out striking a person to defend/deflect or retrain/subdue

  5. Anonymous // at 6:17 pm // Reply

    How nice cops carry black jacks and guns and we carry the body parts that they use those weapons on anytime they want.

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