PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona is lifting the legal restrictions around owning nunchucks.

Gov. Doug Ducey on Friday signed legislation to remove nunchucks from the list of deadly weapons that are illegal to own in most circumstances.

[WATCH: Nunchucks now legal everywhere in Arizona]

The weapons used in martial arts are made from two sticks or rods connected by a rope or chain.

Arizona allows people to carry nunchucks to prepare for competition. But supporters say those who practice martial arts shouldn't have to worry they'll face charges. They say it's highly unlikely someone would use nunchucks to commit a crime. 

[RELATED: AZ lawmakers consider lifting ban on martial arts weapon nunchucks]

“It’s good to know that nobody’s going to get arrested for carrying their nunchucks to their training,” said Phoenix karate instructor Shawn Sample.  

Sample doesn't use nunchucks in his training, but he does sell them at his studio.

He's never understood why they were illegal, especially in Arizona.

“I find it interesting that a state that allows you to walk around with a gun on your hip worries about nunchucks being a problem,” Sample said.

Republican lawmaker David Gowan backed the bill and told Arizona’s Family Friday that making them legal takes away an issue that shouldn't be criminalized.

Sample said people using them for exercise or as an art form aren't going out and committing crimes with them.

He also added that anybody trying to use the old-fashioned weapon for self-defense in this era would realistically never stand a chance.

“If you pull yesterday’s weapons out on today’s people, they could pull a gun out and shoot you,” Sample said.

Critics say nunchucks can cause serious harm and lawmakers should be focused on reducing gun violence.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Recommended for you

(10) comments

JF Conlon

Can I use my throwing stars in public now? Carry my war hammer on the bus??


Cowabunga dudes!!


Yet it has always been perfectly legal to haul a baseball bat around. You can do just as much harm with a baseball bat as these. In fact unless you are well trained with them a baseball bat will do much more harm.

Jimmy Durden

Whew, I'm so glad that's finally settled

AZ Native

Why? Just why would he legalize these? Something else for people to kill each other with. Let's see him handle them.


Would you rather he criminalize your furnishings, lawn decorations, automobiles, rocks, bricks, building materials, even human fists and feet, all of which are also used as lethal weapons so no one can kill another? It s time for a reality check: you cannot prevent all murders; no matter what you try to ban. The very day Sandy Hook was going on, a Chinese man tore through a school with a knife and killed 30 because he couldn't get a gun. Killers WILL find a way to kill if they're bent on doing so. It's HUMAN SIN that's the problem, not inanimate objects used by them.


Ducey makes some good decisions and some decisions that make my stomach turn.


How stupid of Ducey to legalize these. He's only looking at the sales tax revenue, every penny counts. He's not at all considering how many people are going to be severely harmed or killed by the nunchucks or how many people are going to be shot and killed for taking out a pair of nun-chucks on someone. There are other and better ways to get tax money than by allowing the flood of nun-chucks that will go through the valley now.


Just so you know, the practice of making objects like guns, baseball bats, knives, and all the rest of it is what is nonsense. It is not the object that creates the problem but the person using it. If you pick up a rock and use it to assault someone, should we criminalize rocks? Or should we put you, as the perpetrator in jail? Be mindful of your use of words like "stupid" in your arguments.


Socialists do not understand individual rights.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.