The Truth about Registration and the Deadly Weapon mythology

By BitcoDavid

First off, allow me to apologize for the lack of attention given this site, by me. has been exploding with activity – which is a good thing – and I’ve been swamped. But my intention has been all along, to build BitcoDavid’s BoxingBlog up to the same level as it’s big sister. I promise to renew my efforts and post more on this site.

Now, on to the post.

Ever since I started boxing, and for the 15 years before that, that I studied Wah Lum Kung Fu, I’ve been hearing that boxers and martial artists – upon achieving a certain level of expertise – were expected to undergo some kind of registration process that would establish their hands – and feet – as deadly weapons. An expansion of this concept was that these individuals were compelled by legal mandate, to inform prospective assailants that they had done so.

When I joined Quietman, I was told that I would also need to join U.S.A. Boxing, but I was told that this was for insurance purposes, as well as securing sanction for any actual fights that I may get in my career as an amateur boxer. However, the buzz throughout the gym – albeit unofficial – was that we too, were registering our hands through this organization.

Sorry people. I know how cool it is to tell your friends that your hands are legally registered deadly weapons, but the sad truth is – they’re not.

Research shows that no state in the U.S. has – or has ever had – such a law. The only reference I could find to any statute or civil code of this nature is in Post War Okinawa, and that law applied to U.S. Marines, only. The U.S. had many soldiers stationed on Okinawa after the War, and bar fights were a common problem. The Island opted to put this law into effect to curtail these fights. The logistics of implementing such a law soon proved impossible, and the law was dropped from the books within a few years.

Here’s the definition of a lethal weapon as viewed by New York State.

12. “Deadly weapon” means any loaded weapon from which a shot, readily capable of producing death or other serious physical injury, may be discharged, or a switchblade knife, gravity knife, pilum ballistic knife, metal knuckle knife, dagger, billy, blackjack, or metal knuckles. — Public Legal Info, NY.

That even rules out things like Nunchaku, swords, balisongs and shirikens also commonly and erroneously considered illegal.

Now, I have been stopped and questioned, for carrying swords, staffs, throwing daggers and battle-axes, but I was always let go. The cop just kind of shook his head and muttered, nut-job under his breath.

I did however read of one case where a mother brought her boxing son into a police station to register his hands. When the officer at the desk broke out laughing, the woman became incensed, and accused the police of failing to do their jobs.

for an interesting thread on this topic, go to Straight Dope Message Board.

It should be noted however, that legalities notwithstanding, the human fist can indeed be a deadly weapon. If I could end every post with one simple piece of essential advice it would be protect yourself at all times.

BitcoDavid is a blogger and a blog site consultant. In former lives, he was an audio engineer, a videographer, a teacher – even a cab driver. He is an avid health and fitness enthusiast and a Pro/Am boxer. He has spent years working with diet and exercise to combat obesity and obesity related illness.


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