A federal court has ruled that a New York state ban on possessing nunchucks is unconstitutional.
Judge Pamela Chen issued the ruling about the famous martial arts weapon last Friday in a Brooklyn federal court, according to The Associated Press.
The news service noted that Chen's ruling recounted the history of the nunchucks ban, which was instituted in New York in 1974 "out of a concern that, as a result of the rising popularity ‘of ‘Kung Fu’ movies and shows,′ ‘various circles of the state’s youth’ — including ‘muggers and street gangs’ — were ‘widely’ using nunchaku to cause ‘many serious injuries.’”
The plaintiff in the case, James Maloney, was charged with possession of nunchucks, two rigid rods connected at one end by a chain or rope, in his home in 2000.
Maloney initially filed a complaint in 2003. The AP notes that he was mainly focused on getting that part of the law that bans nunchucks even in private homes overturned.
Chen said in her ruling that the court couldn't just take that part out of the existing law. She ruled that the state law as it pertained to possessing the weapon was in violation of the Second Amendment.
She also said that the law as it applied to the manufacturing, transporting or disposing of nunchucks was unconstitutional.
Maloney, professor at the State University of New York’s Maritime College, said in an email to the AP that his motivation for the case was based on outrage over the ban.
“How could a state simply ban any and all possession of a weapon that had a long and proud history as a martial-arts weapon, with recreational, therapeutic and self-defense utility,” he said.