Can I Legally Keep A Baton In My Car For Self Defense In Connecticut?

This the first in an occasional series I’ll call “silly, stupid, contradictory laws that the non-lawyer doesn’t have any chance of understanding”. Beware or you may go to jail for a long time for exercising what you thought was sound judgment.

In Connecticut it’s fairly easy to get a pistol permit. You need to take and pass a firearms safety course. Most gun shops and shooting ranges hold such courses on a regular basis for a reasonable price, and you have to be really retarded not to pass. Once you pass the course you submit your application to local and state police, and if you fulfill certain pre-defined criteria (no discretion allowed by issuing authority [EDIT May 23, 2013: The local issuing authority DOES have discretion to deny, however, this discretion is so seldomly used that CT, while technically a “may issue state”, functionally is a “shall issue” state]) such as you’re twenty-one or older, you’re not crazy, you’re not a convicted felon, you’re not an illegal alien, you will get your permit. It may take a while because government bureaucracy is notoriously slow, but within 2-3 months in most cases you can legally carry a firearm on your person in public, whether it be concealed (concealed carry) or in plain sight (open carry).




But what if I want to carry something less lethal, say some kind of purpose-built stick, or a blunt object to fend of bad guys who want to take your money or rape you? Here is where it gets stupid and silly. I can carry a gun legally, and even legally shoot and kill somebody who wants to do me harm if there is no other course of action available to protect myself. But if I carry a stick I could go to jail, while my daughter’s rapist goes free.

Now I’m not one of those people who think America’s future depends on the right of its citizenry to carry guns. I don’t think society will crumble if certain people aren’t allowed to carry any kind of gun anywhere at any time. I don’t think it’s communism/nazism to have some common-sense rules to back up the 2nd amendment. On election day I consider the candidates’ stands on many things before I cast my vote, and gun rights are, frankly, not at the top of my list. But I simply abhor stupidity. If I can carry a gun (lethal), I should also be allowed to carry a stick, bat, baton, stun gun, mace/pepper spray (all non-lethal) if I so choose. The way the law in Connecticut is written a bear in the woods may potentially sue me if I beat it off with a broken-off tree branch while its trying to get away with my picnic basket. Read and/or weep as you see fit.

2005 Connecticut Code – Sec. 53-206. Carrying of dangerous weapons prohibited.

Sec. 53-206. Carrying of dangerous weapons prohibited. (a) Any person who carries upon his or her person any BB. gun, blackjack, metal or brass knuckles, or any dirk knife, or any switch knife, or any knife having an automatic spring release device by which a blade is released from the handle, having a blade of over one and one-half inches in length, or stiletto, or any knife the edged portion of the blade of which is four inches or over in length, any police baton or nightstick, or any martial arts weapon or electronic defense weapon, as defined in section 53a-3, or any other dangerous or deadly weapon or instrument, shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than three years or both. Whenever any person is found guilty of a violation of this section, any weapon or other instrument within the provisions of this section, found upon the body of such person, shall be forfeited to the municipality wherein such person was apprehended, notwithstanding any failure of the judgment of conviction to expressly impose such forfeiture.

(b) The provisions of this section shall not apply to (1) any officer charged with the preservation of the public peace while engaged in the pursuit of such officer’s official duties; (2) the carrying of a baton or nightstick by a security guard while engaged in the pursuit of such guard’s official duties; (3) the carrying of a knife, the edged portion of the blade of which is four inches or over in length, by (A) any member of the armed forces of the United States, as defined in section 27-103, or any reserve component thereof, or of the armed forces of this state, as defined in section 27-2, when on duty or going to or from duty, (B) any member of any military organization when on parade or when going to or from any place of assembly, (C) any person while transporting such knife as merchandise or for display at an authorized gun or knife show, (D) any person who is found with any such knife concealed upon one’s person while lawfully removing such person’s household goods or effects from one place to another, or from one residence to another, (E) any person while actually and peaceably engaged in carrying any such knife from such person’s place of abode or business to a place or person where or by whom such knife is to be repaired, or while actually and peaceably returning to such person’s place of abode or business with such knife after the same has been repaired, (F) any person holding a valid hunting, fishing or trapping license issued pursuant to chapter 490 or any salt water fisherman carrying such knife for lawful hunting, fishing or trapping activities, or (G) any person while participating in an authorized historic reenactment; (4) the carrying by any person enrolled in or currently attending, or an instructor at, a martial arts school of a martial arts weapon while in a class or at an authorized event or competition or while transporting such weapon to or from such class, event or competition; (5) the carrying of a BB. gun by any person taking part in a supervised event or competition of the Boy Scouts of America or the Girl Scouts of America or in any other authorized event or competition while taking part in such event or competition or while transporting such weapon to or from such event or competition; and (6) the carrying of a BB. gun by any person upon such person’s own property or the property of another person provided such other person has authorized the carrying of such weapon on such property, and the transporting of such weapon to or from such property.

3 thoughts on “Can I Legally Keep A Baton In My Car For Self Defense In Connecticut?

  1. Really??!! I wonder how diligently they enforce this law. I found something that could give room for interpretation: ” found upon the body of such person”
    I read that literally, i.e. it has to be on your body, meaning if it’s in the car it should be OK. If in the car, it’s not on your body. No?

    • Mary has a little lamb, but no Gravatar. I would ask a lawyer. Might be a little late to seek legal advice after you’ve bashed somebody’s head in. For the record, your interpretation is the same as mine, but I’m not a lawyer. I could have been, but I’m not.

    • Unfortunately, Sec 29-38 has vehicles covered almost identically as this one is on one’s person. 🙁

      Sec. 29-38. Weapons in vehicles. Penalty. Exceptions. (a) Any person who knowingly has, in any vehicle owned, operated or occupied by such person, any weapon, any pistol or revolver for which a proper permit has not been issued as provided in section 29-28 or any machine gun which has not been registered as required by section 53-202, shall be guilty of a class D felony, and the presence of any such weapon, pistol or revolver, or machine gun in any vehicle shall be prima facie evidence of a violation of this section by the owner, operator and each occupant thereof. The word “weapon”, as used in this section, means any BB. gun, any blackjack, any metal or brass knuckles, any police baton or nightstick, any dirk knife or switch knife, any knife having an automatic spring release device by which a blade is released from the handle, having a blade of over one and one-half inches in length, any stiletto, any knife the edged portion of the blade of which is four inches or more in length, any martial arts weapon or electronic defense weapon, as defined in section 53a-3, or any other dangerous or deadly weapon or instrument.
      (b) The provisions of this section shall not apply to: (1) Any officer charged with the preservation of the public peace while engaged in the pursuit of such officer’s official duties; (2) any security guard having a baton or nightstick in a vehicle while engaged in the pursuit of such guard’s official duties; (3) any person enrolled in and currently attending a martial arts school, with official verification of such enrollment and attendance, or any certified martial arts instructor, having any such martial arts weapon in a vehicle while traveling to or from such school or to or from an authorized event or competition; (4) any person having a BB. gun in a vehicle provided such weapon is unloaded and stored in the trunk of such vehicle or in a locked container other than the glove compartment or console; and (5) any person having a knife, the edged portion of the blade of which is four inches or more in length, in a vehicle if such person is (A) any member of the armed forces of the United States, as defined in section 27-103, or any reserve component thereof, or of the armed forces of the state, as defined in section 27-2, when on duty or going to or from duty, (B) any member of any military organization when on parade or when going to or from any place of assembly, (C) any person while transporting such knife as merchandise or for display at an authorized gun or knife show, (D) any person while lawfully removing such person’s household goods or effects from one place to another, or from one residence to another, (E) any person while actually and peaceably engaged in carrying any such knife from such person’s place of abode or business to a place or person where or by whom such knife is to be repaired, or while actually and peaceably returning to such person’s place of abode or business with such knife after the same has been repaired, (F) any person holding a valid hunting, fishing or trapping license issued pursuant to chapter 490 or any saltwater fisherman while having such knife in a vehicle for lawful hunting, fishing or trapping activities, or (G) any person participating in an authorized historic reenactment.

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