Is a baton practical for me?


July 15, 2008, 08:25 PM
I have no doubt against the effectiveness of these tools, but rather my own abilities. I am of small stature and strength (5'8, 130 pounds) and not much of the fighter type. Up until now I have relied on a 3.5" pocket Boker for my security but after some recent encounters I realize that in actuality I would probably not be able to handle a knife under the stress. I have since switched to carrying OC spray but would like another weapon that I can truly depend on to work for me under any condition.

So first of all, do you think I would be able to wield a baton in self defense? How much force does it actually take for it to be effective? What would be the most ideal baton length (assume I won't likely need to operate it in close quarters)? Are they easily deployable, and are spring loaded ones any better (does ASP even make one)?

And last of all, what are the California regulations against carrying one of these concealed?

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July 15, 2008, 08:36 PM
Take a MEB instructor course on the ASP, and you will know how to use it safely to defend yourself. Your learn proper blocking/take down methods, and all the other stuff that you will need to know while carrying it.

July 15, 2008, 08:55 PM
And last of all, what are the California regulations against carrying one of these concealed?

Most blunt weapons especialy a baton intentionaly designed as a weapon will usualy be charged as a felony carried openly or concealed.

Bladed weapons are far less restricted in the state than blunt weapons.
Practicly all blunt weapons either actual weapons or normal items carried for use as a weapon (if you say it is for protection or it is obvious that is its purpose) can subject you to a felony charge. They qualify under the legal definition of (not the dictionary definition, but the legal definition in the state of CA as defined by statute) one of : blackjack, slungshot, billy, sandclub, sap, or sandbag.

12020. (a) Any person in this state who does any of the following
is punishable by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year
or in the state prison:
(1) Manufactures or causes to be manufactured, imports into the
state, keeps for sale, or offers or exposes for sale, or who gives,
lends, or possesses any cane gun or wallet gun, any undetectable
firearm, any firearm which is not immediately recognizable as a
firearm, any camouflaging firearm container, any ammunition which
contains or consists of any flechette dart, any bullet containing or
carrying an explosive agent, any ballistic knife, any multiburst
trigger activator, any nunchaku, any short-barreled shotgun, any
short-barreled rifle, any metal knuckles, any belt buckle knife, any
leaded cane, any zip gun, any shuriken, any unconventional pistol,
any lipstick case knife, any cane sword, any shobi-zue, any air gauge
knife, any writing pen knife, any metal military practice
handgrenade or metal replica handgrenade, or any instrument or weapon
of the kind commonly known as a blackjack, slungshot, billy,
sandclub, sap, or sandbag.

A baton is an illegal billy.

July 15, 2008, 09:49 PM
A baton can be a very effective self defense weapon. The proper training and striking/defensive techniques are whats important. It does take time to learn though. It doesnt really matter how big you are to use one effectively. Look at the Phillipino escrimadors. They are probaly 5 foot 3 inches and weight about 125. But they are deadly with their striking. its all about the velocity at which you can strike effectively. Stikes to the hand can easily disable limbs. Strikes to the side head can kill.

Batons are not legal in CA as far as I know. One option is to carry a "walking" stick. These are legal and can be used as a wonderful Self Defense tool when trained properly.


Eleven Mike
July 15, 2008, 10:12 PM
Little guy, can't carry a gun, bad deal. I hope you find some way to avoid getting into these dangerous situations. :(

Um, don't take that as a slam, though. I'm sure you would avoid trouble if you could. Just sad that you apparently have to deal with violent folk from time to time.

Brian Dale
July 15, 2008, 11:00 PM
Holy smokes, Zoog; that's an astounding list.

InfidelCastro, how do you feel about a walking stick and some training? First, of course, you focus on awareness and avoidance, as always.

July 15, 2008, 11:32 PM
I was 5' 8" and 130lb the first time I was attacked on the street. Training in MA and good luck allowed me to escape with my hide in the same condition it arrived in.

BTW, 5' 8" ain't "little" it's actually average for Americans. Low side of average, but average just the same.

Start taking MA classes that teach stick. Hapkido with cane, Aikido with jo, Escrima, etc.

And, learn to recognize trouble and how to avoid it.

July 16, 2008, 02:56 AM
Your size isn't a dteriment, but choose your defensive weapons carefully so they dont break CA laws.

ASPs are illegal for CA civvies to carry.

Consider a large flashlight for walks and car carry, and a cane or walking stick would sure beat a 3.5"knife when out for a walk.

July 16, 2008, 03:34 PM
If you do get a cane also keep in mind any cane which is artificaly weighted, whether with concrete, lead, or any other material falls under the legal definition of "leaded cane" under CA statute.

A leaded cane by CA law is not just an actual cane with lead, but any object which is artificaly made heavier so that it will deliver a more effective blow.

Consider a large flashlight for walks and car carry, and a cane or walking stick
Also any blunt object whatsoever can be a felony if you say you carry it for self defense, whether flashlight, walking stick etc. If it is an actual weapon it is always illegal. However if it has a legitimate purpose it is only illegal if you mention self defense as one of its uses.
If asked why you have it, it is only for light or walking!
If you say for light, and in case someone attacks you, you just commited a felony.
Any normal object becomes a felony if you say it is also carried just in case or for self defense.

In fact case law is very clear on that. In one example a cop stopped someone and asked why they had a bicycle lock on a chain. They mentioned self defense and that turned it from an item that was perfectly legal and which they wouldn't have been charged for into a felony.
Cop cars also have dash cams in most places now. That can work for you or against you. Don't say anything stupid.

It is not for self defense, it never was for self defense, and it never even dawned on you to use it for self defense as far as you concerned. Anything else makes it a felony in CA.
Now if you just happen to have it when you are attacked and improvise by using it for defense, that is perfectly legal, as long as you didn't plan to be prepared.
Planning to defend yourself with a blunt object turns the item into a felony in CA.

You can tell them it makes walking easier, it is good for pushing snakes away, it is makes climbing up hills easier etc If in your list at any time you include self defense it becomes a felony. It does not matter if both you and the officer know that self defense is a likely use for it, DO NOT SAY IT.

A knife or even a sword on the other hand is perfectly legal to carry for self defense. Make it a stick on a handle instead of a blade on a handle and it becomes a felony.

July 16, 2008, 05:02 PM
Batons are really effective weapons. It was the main weapon for the British police for over century, and I seen 5' tall 100ib females take out guys much bigger than that with them in my time. You do need training in them to use effectively, so you don't hurt yourself. Of course you also need to be trained in their use to make them a less deadly an option, because they can easily take a life too. Not such a concern in a life or death situation but in crowd control it is.

July 16, 2008, 11:53 PM
Whoa, thanks for all the information guys. I had no idea something as rudimentary as a metal stick could land me a felony charge. Thanks for keeping me safe, California... jerks. :banghead:

A walking cane would look out of place on a young guy like me, unless of course I had a fur hat and robe to go with it. :neener:

If I wasn't attending college right now I would say screw California and carry the baton anyway, but I really can't afford to gamble with my tuition by carrying one. It's sad but I think I would rather get mugged and stabbed than kicked out...

Well thanks for the help, people. Guess I'm just stuck with pepper spray.

July 19, 2008, 02:59 AM
Probably your best bet would to be to either stow a heavy police flashlight in your book bag or another possibility is to dress real nice and use one of Cold Steel's walking sticks (they have several that are designed to be both dressy and strong enough for serious social interaction). I have a suspicion that while the police may not be that happy, a college student dressed to impress with a fancy cane (even a substantial cane) will have an easier time than one dressed like a cholo or gangbanger with an abused "fighting" stick.
While you and I are the same height--the last time I was 130 pounds was probably about 7th grade (being a Northern European heinz 57 (Swedish, Prussian, Scots Irish) when I am in good shape--think about 200 pounds with a bench of well over 300 pounds)--I weigh a fair bit more now and I have a bad knee--so I can justify a stick strong enough to be effective (since I am pulling a disability check from the V A for the bad knee and I am big enough so it would be difficult for the prosecutor to prove that it was selected as a weapon first (especially if the jury sees me break an aluminum cane sitting down)).

July 19, 2008, 05:30 PM
Oh by the way, the felony baton thing dates back to racist attempts to disarm legal immigrants, and is also when concealed carry of firearms was first restricted in California for the same reason:

The new measures change existing law by making the carrying of barred weapons such as blackjacks, a felony instead of a misdemeanor. The provision against carrying explosive also is new.

They were trying to disarm the legal Chinese and Mexican immigrants.

You will also notice many banned items have oriental names or origins in CA law for the same reason (though thier legal definitions often ban much more.)

Open carry of firearms would later be heavily restricted to keep blacks from open carrying long arms during the civil rights era of the 60's.

July 19, 2008, 05:48 PM
The time you spend spraying pepper is time you lose running.

If you are close enough to deploy pepper spray, the BG is close enough to hurt you bad.

Is there even ONE reliable account of pepper spray stopping an attack brought on by a DETERMINED attacker?

Run Forrest. Run.

July 19, 2008, 06:07 PM
No one ever outlawed a good pair of steel toe boots.

I know it is not ideal, but in Cali I suppose you don't have many options.

I have also seen mention on this forum of college students using a water bottle partially frozen as an improvised club.

I agree with the advise that Zoogster gave, so try to stay with things that have an everyday purpose other than self defense

July 20, 2008, 03:05 AM
It really sucks that batons are illegal in California. Not just illegal, but super-duper ultra "hang you from a yardarm" illegal, or pretty close.

A few years ago, I took a security class to get my guard card. I also took a gun class and a baton class. I was informed that the penalties for carrying a baton as a civilian were significantly worse than for carrying a gun. Also, it is apparently wildly illegal to have a baton in one's car within reach of the driver's seat.

Amusingly (or horrifyingly), I was also told, in no uncertain terms, that I was never ever ever to "hit", "strike", or "beat the crap out of" somebody with a baton. Within the confines of my hypothetical security job, however, if necessary I might need to "apply the baton to the subject's extremities", and that to admit to anything else in court was tantamount to cutting my own throat with a rusty spoon... legally speaking.

I bought a baton after the class, as I was planning on carrying one as an armed security guard, if allowed. The armed guard thing never panned out. Now I've got this baton... and I'm not even sure if I'm legally allowed to possess the thing. Anybody know the legality on owning a baton in the litigious utopia of California?

July 20, 2008, 03:50 AM
A large crescent wrench works wonders on stubborn nuts or people. After all, you needed that tool to help your friend repair some plumbing fittings.:rolleyes: Seriously, some type of heavy tool can serve as a dandy self-defense instrument if it is accompanied with a plausible story.


Pax Jordana
July 20, 2008, 01:39 PM
A large crescent wrench works wonders on stubborn nuts


sm has written previously on the utility of a flat headed screwdriver, for more things than you'd think initially (I haven't yet found a door with an owner willing to let me wedge a screwdriver into..)

I bet a lot of the 'tools' we use today evolved from simpler things. Striking and cutting tools especially. Going to the hardware store, the brewing supply place, the grocery store.. maybe you've got a length of siphon hose, or canned soup, or a four-pack of "D" batteries and that nice disposable shopping bag.

July 20, 2008, 05:30 PM
Seriously, some type of heavy tool can serve as a dandy self-defense instrument if it is accompanied with a plausible story.

Very true, the Hell's Angels used to carry ball peen hammers in Ca. as their primary weapons. They are legal concieled or otherwise, as long as it's for a "tool" type purpose

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