Many of us view batons as an item used by police officers, security guards, or field marshals. A baton is a long thin stick with a ball on one side or both sides that are usually weighted and carried around by police officers to maintain law and order and can be used during the detainment of criminals. In the state of California, penal code 22210 PC makes it a crime for anyone to manufacture, import, give, sell, or possess a baton or a leaded cane. This crime can either be filed as a felony or a misdemeanor and the prosecution could include imprisonment and/or a fine. In this law, the baton is defined as a short stick that is weighted to be used against someone.
In California, some allowances allow one to apply for a permit to carry the baton legally such as security guards and it states that they are only allowed to carry the baton when on duty and can only be granted the permit if they get a certificate after undergoing baton handing training. They must also be above the age of 18 and are also required to pay a fee of $50.
Are batons legal in California? Batons are not legal in California under penal code 22210PC and possession of one is punishable by imprisonment or a fine. They are however permitted for police officers, marshals, and security guards with the latter having to apply for a permit to carry one when on duty.
Why are Batons Illegal in California?
It is said that batons were made illegal in the state of California due to the belief that taking violent weapons from the masses will result in a reduced rate of crime within the area. Additionally, the baton is viewed as a very violent weapon and has been phased out over time with less violent weapons such as tasers, stun guns, and pepper spray. Despite this law governing the carrying, use, and possession of batons in California being put in place to curb the rate of crime, California has been facing an increase in the amount of crime within the state.
If you wish to get a baton for self-defense, it is advisable to investigate other types of self-defense tools that are legal within the state. I would recommend this Smith and Wesson 8-inch throwing knife from Amazon. Read more on it here.
Different Types of Batons
- The expandable steel baton- this is a baton whose length is approximately 9 inches long and can be stretched to 26 inches when extended. It is weighted and easy to carry in one’s bag.
- Stun batons- these offer elevated levels of security as they allow you to stun your attacker without getting near your attacker. These batons can either be fixed length or expandable batons.
- Fixed length batons- these are batons whose length doesn’t change. Some are 5 inches long and can be carried on your keychain while others come with a length of 31 inches.
Batons can also be divided into electrified and non-electrified batons. It is important to learn about the several types of batons available within your area and deciding on the kind you want before going out to get one.
What Self-defense Weapons are Legal in California?
Even though batons and lead canes are illegal in California, other self-defense weapons are legal in the state. Such as;
- Stun guns
- Pocket knife
- Pepper spray
- Throwing knives
The laws in California state that self-defense is legal if one believes themselves to be in reasonable danger. The use of self-defense weapons has further been regulated by laws such as knife laws, switchblade law, dirk or dagger law, and laws governing knives on school grounds. It is therefore important for you to do your research on the laws governing your area before going out to get another kind of self-defense weapon. It is also imperative to note that carrying a weapon has sometimes been shown to bring you more harm than good and it is thus important to mention the use of self-defense tactics such as Jiu-Jitsu, Karate, or Boxing to protect oneself.
Which Self-defense Tool is the Best?
The best self-defense tool for you is a thing that depends on many factors such as; the legality of the tool (different states have different laws governing the use of knives, batons, guns, and other weapons), where you would like to carry the weapon (various laws govern the carrying of weapons such as knives and batons in places like schools and out in public), comfort (if you need a self-defense tool to take with you while you’re out running, you may go for a light and versatile tool to avoid any bulkiness while running) amongst others. Some tools have generally been categorized as ideal self-defense tools such as;
- Knives- knives have been referred to as one of the best survivalist tools ever due to their various uses and benefits. Knives can be used to cut, slice, peel, and pierce amongst others. Some knives that are popularly used for self-defense include; neck knives (these can be carried around your neck or in your collar when you go running or hiking), pocketknives (these are small lightweight knives that can be comfortably carried in one’s pocket or bag), throwing knives (they are ideal for self-defense due to the pointy edge and if used properly, can inflict some hurt). A throwing knife I would recommend is this Smith and Wesson knife set with a nylon sheath. Read more about it here.
- Pepper spray- pepper spray is ideal for decapitating your attacker and giving you a chance to escape or fight back. Pepper spray is also an ideal tool as it can be easily carried in one’s pocket, bag, or around the keychain and thus can easily be retrieved.
- Stun guns can also be carried around as an ideal tool for self-defense. They are legal in most states, however, you should do your research and find out if they are legal in your state and if they are legal at your airport.
- Mixed martial arts such as karate, jiu-jitsu, and boxing are also good self-defense tools. Learning one of these arts can help build one’s confidence when faced with an assailant. Learning martial arts is also safer than carrying around a weapon.
It is important to note that in the state of California, the possession, use, sale or even manufacture of a baton is illegal and is punishable by law. Even buying a baton from a different state then bringing it to the state of California is an illegal offense whose punishment could be imprisonment and/or a fine. If you would like to procure a baton for the reason of self-defense within the state of California, it is advisable to investigate other kinds of legal self-defense weapons such as throwing knives which must be carried out in the open such as in your belt buckle, pepper spray, alarms or even pocketknives. If living outside the state of California and in a state where the possession of batons is legal, you may consider getting one for self-defense purposes. Before procuring a baton, it is important to do your research on the laws governing the use of batons within your state, and then you need to look at the distinct types of batons available in your market for you to find the best fit.
If feeling threatened and would like to get the baton for protection, it is important to first talk to an adult if you’re a minor or if not, a person of authority such as a police officer. Additionally, learning a mixed martial art such as Karate, Boxing, Jiu-Jitsu, or wrestling may help you defend yourself better if confronted by an attacker. If thinking of getting a baton, ensure you learn how to use it before you begin carrying it around for self-defense. This rule also applies to other self-defense weapons/tools.