In California and New York State, it is prohibited to acquire, own, or carry certain types of concealable swords, such as cane swords or Zatoichi style katana. In general, common sense should be followed: swords should not be brandished or openly carried in public, but should be placed in a safe sword bag or gun case.
However, many cities do not have any legal restrictions on the possession of ceremonial knives such as those used in the practice of Japanese martial arts. The police cannot arrest someone for possessing a knife that is not designed as a weapon. They can arrest you if they think you are about to use the knife as a weapon.
Katanas are deadly weapons that can cause serious injury or death with the right technique. Illegal possession of a katana could lead to charges of criminal possession of a weapon.
People who choose to wear samurai armor in public should understand that they are putting themselves at risk of being arrested. Police officers must take these matters seriously because people who appear to be wearing armor designed for combat will most likely be armed. Even if you have a license to carry a concealed weapon, you may not be able to do so while appearing in public in samurai armor. The best option is to avoid attracting attention by staying out of sight.
Samurai armor is extremely popular in Hollywood movies and video games. Many people assume that since there are no real samurai left in Japan that they can now own their favorite movie character's sword.
Swords-California Any fixed blade must be sheathed in California. It is, however, not only permissible but also required to publicly carry a sheathed blade. Bladed weapons are normally forbidden in most places where they are authorized to carry if they are longer than five inches. Concealed weapons, such as cane swords, are always prohibited.
However, under California law, you can carry any weapon that is legal for you to own or possess in the state where you live. For example, if it's all right to have a gun in your home state but not in California, then you can carry a gun anywhere else in the United States as long as you don't go beyond the border of your home state. The same thing applies to knives: If they're okay in your house but not in public, then you can carry a knife anywhere else in the country as long as it's not visible under federal law (i.e., hidden from view). Knives are considered weapons under California law and are therefore subject to the same regulations as other firearms.
You cannot carry a sword on any form of public transportation in California, even if it is sheathed. This includes buses, trains, and taxis. The only exception is if the sword is completely enclosed in a scabbard or case, and not protruding from the container. Then it would be permitted to ride transit with the sword enclosed.
State law allows certain individuals to be granted an exemption to carry a concealed firearm.
The concealing of bladed weapons is a misdemeanor. Open or concealed knife possession is a criminal offense punishable by imprisonment and/or fine.
In California, it is unlawful for anyone under 18 years of age to possess a handgun in the state. However, if a minor possesses an antique firearm (defined as any rifle or shotgun that was manufactured before 1973), they can possess it provided it is unloaded and locked up in a secure container. The minor's parent or guardian must sign a form giving permission for the gun to be kept by the child.
It is illegal for minors to use handguns in the state of California. However, if they are able to prove that they were hunting with an antique firearm, then this would be considered legal use under state law. The same rule applies to rifles and shotguns; if they are used as antiques, they can be possessed by minors without their parents or guardians signing forms permitting them to do so.
Minors cannot use hand guns in the state of California.
Swords-California It is, however, not only permissible but also required to publicly carry a sheathed blade.
The legal status of swords varies from state to state and sometimes between counties or cities within a state. Some states including California allow their possession while others such as New York forbid it. There are also jurisdictions (such as Chicago) that prohibit the possession of all knives regardless of type or purpose.
In general, swords are considered weapons intended for use by trained professionals. They are therefore prohibited under various laws throughout the United States. However, because most states do not define "sword" legally, this prohibition can vary depending on how the weapon is described. For example, some states may consider sabers to be swords as well.
States where swords are permitted include Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin.
Generally speaking, if you live in a state where swords are permitted, then they don't need to be concealed.
Even though they are not considered offensive weapons, swords can be used as such if the blade is over 10 inches (25 cm) in length. Therefore, even though carrying a sword is legal, using it in a threatening manner would still be an offense.
Due to their potential use as a weapon, knives are regulated by law in California. There are several categories of knives that are allowed to be carried without a license. These include:
Cutting instruments, including filers and axes.
For more information on what types of knives are permitted to be carried in California, see our article on knife types.