Are Brass Knuckles Illegal?

Law should not be boring. Therefore, let us talk about weapons such as brass knuckles.

Are Brass Knuckles Illegal?

Brass Knuckle is a piece of weapon that is made of metal to fit the knuckles. It is worn to intensify the hand-to-hand fight as it increases the impact of a punch and the damage caused by it. Due to this and other reasons, many countries have banned brass knuckles. However, some countries have not entirely banned the weapon but just laid down rules about its possession. 

Brass Knuckles weapon

Brass knuckles are banned in Austria, Bosnia, Canada, Cyprus, Croatia, the Republic of China, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Germany, Hungary, the Republic of Ireland, Israel, Malaysia, Norway, Netherlands, Russia, Portugal, Poland, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, and the UK. 

Countries that haven’t entirely banned brass knuckles have laid down specific rules for it. For example, in France, people can have brass knuckles as collectibles if they are 18 or above, but they are not allowed to be carried or used by anyone, even for self-defense. Serbia and Brazil have legally allowed people to buy and sell brass knuckles. 

If we look at the United States of America, there are no federal laws for owning, buying, or selling brass knuckles. However, one can find the different city or state rules regarding it, like the age limit to possess one, the material it is made of, or if it can be carried in public or not.

What States Allow Brass Knuckles?

All 50 states have different laws regarding the possession, buying, selling, or carrying of brass knuckles. They are considered a weapon that can cause injury. No matter if it is legal or not, none of the states encourage its use. 

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Alaska, California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Arkansas, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Vermont, and Washington have completely banned brass knuckles from being possessed, bought, sold, manufactured, or used in any case, or made in any material (metal or plastic). It is considered a felony in these states.

Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Kentucky, Maryland, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin have not entirely banned brass knuckles. People are required to acquire a permit to carry it concealed or hidden.

Arizona restricts it from being owned by anyone below 21, and it is considered a felony if used to harm a human. It is also legal in Georgia, Indiana, and South Dakota but punishable if used to harm anyone. 

In Mississippi, Oregon, and Wyoming, people are not allowed to carry them hidden or concealed. In South Carolina, it can be carried without a permit, but not inside hospitals or schools. In Texas, it can be used as a weapon for self-defense.

Idaho, Iowa, Montana, Ohio, and Utah have no particular law regarding brass knuckles, whether they are legal or not. It is left at the court’s disposal, which can decide, according to the situation, if the person who used it is to be charged with a criminal act or not. 

Why are Knives Legal but not Brass Knuckles?

If we look at the degree of use, knives can be considered a necessity in some instances, whereas brass knuckles can only be looked upon as a weapon, whether it’s for self-defense or to cause harm to others.

Knives have multiple uses; they are a household tool that can cut fruits and vegetables, open boxes, and more. Surely it can turn into a weapon; that is why many public places do not allow anyone to carry a knife. But there is more use to it than harm.

If we look at brass knuckles, they can only be considered weapons. Many people prefer it to be a collectible or just wish to own it, but it is still a weapon. Even if people keep it a self-defense tool, other alternatives, like pepper spray, can also help. 

Are Brass Knuckles a Lethal Weapon?

Brass knuckles can be considered a lethal weapon as they intensify the force of a punch that causes severe injuries. It can result in fracture of a bone, internal injury, severe bleeding, and concussion, and it can be fatal if there is extreme force. 

The person holding the brass knuckles is on the privileged side of a fight. Brass knuckles assist a person in causing more damage than a regular punch, with greater force and less damage to their knuckles, as the round grip on the palm absorbs the majority of the force. If used with great force, a brass knuckle has a high potential of causing a fracture or internal and external injury.

If used with force on the sensitive parts of the body, like the skull or neck, it can be deadly. This is why many states have banned anyone from carrying a concealed or hidden brass knuckle. 

Can You Get in Trouble for Ordering Brass Knuckles Online?

If brass knuckles are illegal to buy or sell in your state or country, it can definitely land you in trouble, even if you buy them online. However, some states have not entirely banned the possession of brass knuckles, as many people buy them as a collectible. So, there are no such laws regarding the restriction of the online sale of brass knuckles in such states.

If you plan to buy a brass knuckle online, you must learn about your state laws regarding the same. If it is illegal in your state, the chances are high that it is not manufactured or sold anywhere in that state, and one may order it from a different country. Since imports require customs clearance, it may land you and the seller in trouble. 

If it is not illegal in your state or country, then the chances are less, but not zero, that there will be no consequences for buying them online. 

What Happens if I Get Caught with Brass Knuckles?

It depends on the situation in which you are found with the brass knuckle. If your state allows you to carry it, you would likely get fined if you have a permit. If a person is found to be using it intending to cause bodily harm, the chances are high that you will end up in jail.

It entirely depends on the state law if you will get punished or not if caught with a brass knuckle. It is always advisable to keep a brass knuckle away from the plain sight of people to stay out of trouble. Even if it is not illegal to buy, sell or possess a brass knuckle in your state, it is definitely not allowed to be carried openly in public or used. 

If someone is caught carrying one or using one, they can land in trouble; they might go to jail or pay a heavy penalty. If you are a collector, keep it at your home. 

Daniel Smith

Daniel Smith

Daniel Smith is an experienced economist and financial analyst from Utah. He has been in finance for nearly two decades, having worked as a senior analyst for Wells Fargo Bank for 19 years. After leaving Wells Fargo Bank in 2014, Daniel began a career as a finance consultant, advising companies and individuals on economic policy, labor relations, and financial management. At, Daniel writes about personal finance topics, value estimation, budgeting strategies, retirement planning, and portfolio diversification. Read more on Daniel Smith's biography page. Contact Daniel:

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