Injury Laws

Brass knuckles

Brass knuckles

What are Brass Knuckles?

Brass knuckles are weapons that are used in hand-to-hand combat.  Despite the name the common component of brass knuckles is steel.  A brass knuckle is composed of a steel apparatus that allows an individual to place his fingers inside 4 holes in the brass knuckles.  The purpose of these weapons is to increase the impact, and therefore damage, associated with a punch. 


Throughout history brass knuckles have been a common in military and law enforcement.  During the World War I brass knuckles were attached to knives and used during trench warfare.  Often the weapons would be made out of any material that could be found, including brass, wood, and various other forms of metal.  Brass knuckles are very common in motion pictures and television and are the use of them is often glamorized.

Government Regulation of Brass Knuckles?

In many countries throughout the world brass knuckles are considered illegal weapons, possession of which is a criminal offense.  Such is not the case under United States federal law.  The federal government has stayed clear of banning brass knuckles; however, it has left it up to the states to decide.

In many states in the Union, like nunchucks, even the possession of them is considered a misdemeanor.  In California, Michigan, Vermont and Illinois the sale or use of brass knuckles is illegal and use of them in a violent nature can be considered using a "deadly weapon." These states have also banned the use of objects that look like brass knuckles such as lexon knuckles.  Some states differentiate the legality of possession based on the type of material used.  Some states allow acrylic knuckles or knuckles made of hard plastic.  The reasoning being that the purpose of these types of knuckles is only to scratch, not to cause serious injury.

Like nunchucks, the legislative analysis for the illegality of brass knuckle possession is often that it has no logical reason for existence besides the injuring and maiming of other persons.

What to do if you own brass knuckles?

If you or someone you know owns brass knuckles you should put them away and consult your states appropriate statute to determine the legality of possession.  If you find that your state bans brass knuckles you should dispose of them immediately in a safe manner.  If you are being charged with criminal possession or use of brass knuckles it is in your best interest to consult a criminal attorney immediately.

What if I have been injured by brass knuckles?

If you or someone you know has been injured by the use of brass knuckles you may have an action for damages due to personal injury.  Damage from brass knuckles can cause bone fractures, skin lacerations, and even death.  You should consult a personal injury attorney immediately and make sure to file a claim for battery within the prescribed statute of limitations.




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