Penal Code 22010 makes it generally illegal to own or possess nunchakus (commonly referred to as "nunchucks") in California. A "nunchaku" is a traditional martial arts weapon consisting of two rods or sticks connected at one end by a short chain or rope.
Exceptions to Penal Code 22010 are:
- Possession of nunchucks by schools holding a regulatory or business license if:
- The school teaches the art of self-defense, and
- The nunchucks are kept on the school's premises;
- Taking someone else's illegal nunchucks to the police;
- Possession of antique or “curio” nunchakus by someone authorized to own them;
- Ownership by an authorized historical society, library, or museum; or
- Possession of nunchucks for use in movie, television, or video productions.
The penalty for unlawful possession of nunchucks in California
Unlawful possession of nunchakus is a California “wobbler” offense. A “wobbler” is a crime that can be punished as either a misdemeanor or a felony, in the prosecutor's discretion.
As a misdemeanor, illegal possession of nunchakus in California can be punished by:
- Up to one year in county jail, and/or
- A fine of up to $1,000.
Penalties for felony possession of nunchakus can include:
- 16 months or two years or three years in jail, and/or
- A fine of up to $10,000.