Brass Knuckles Legality By State 2019

Are brass knuckles legal?

Brass knuckles are pieces of metal shaped to fit around the knuckles and are weapons used in hand-to-hand combat. They are designed so that the user’s punch has a more concentrated force with a smaller and harder contact point.

Brass knuckles are typically treated like other weapons such as knives and firearms in other countries.

Brass knuckles are illegal in many countries including Hong Kong, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Turkey, Singapore, Taiwan, and the United Kingdom.

Some countries have specific regulations on brass knuckles. For example, in Serbia, brass knuckles are legal to purchase for people over 16 years old, but cannot be carried in public.

In the United States, there are no federal laws regulating brass knuckles; however, there are various states, county and city laws that prohibit their sale or possession. Brass knuckles can typically be purchased at markets or from companies that make belt buckles and other metal goods (where legal).

Below are each state’s brass knuckle laws.

Alabama

  • Brass knuckles are not illegal in Alabama. Carrying brass knuckles in a concealed manner is Illegal in Alabama. You must obtain a permit to carry a concealed weapon. Failing to adhere to this law can result in a misdemeanor.

Alaska

  • According to Sec. 11.61.210. “A person commits the crime of misconduct involving weapons in the fourth degree if the person… manufactures, possesses, transports, sells, or transfers metal knuckles.”

Arizona

  • In Arizona, individuals over 21 can legally carry a concealed firearm or deadly weapon without a permit. Brass knuckles are typically considered to be a deadly weapon. The use of brass knuckles can still result in a felony charge.

Arkansas

  • Brass knuckles are illegal in Arkansas. This includes selling, brandishing, exhibiting, repairing, manufacturing, and possessing brass knuckles. Charges can either be a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the scenario in which the law was broken and how severe the consequences were.

California

  • California imposes a strict ban on all kinds of brass knuckles, whether they are metal or plastic. This includes selling, buying, using, carrying, repairing, lending and manufacturing. Breaking this law lands an individual in either California State Prison or Jail.

Colorado

  • Brass knuckles are illegal in Colorado. This includes brass knuckles that are used as jewelry, accessories or anything else exhibiting them. Failing to adhere to this law can land an individual a $1,000 fine and one year of imprisonment.

Connecticut

  • Brass knuckles are not illegal in Connecticut; however, it is illegal to carry them concealed. One will need to have either a license or a permit to do so. Failing to adhere to this law will result in a misdemeanor.

Delaware

  • It is illegal to carry brass knuckles in Delaware without a conceal carry permit. First-time violations of this law lead to felony charges.

District of Columbia

  • Brass knuckles are illegal in Washington DC. This includes brass knuckles that are used as jewelry, accessories or anything else exhibiting them. Brass knuckles, among some other weapons, may be possessed by on-duty military personnel, sheriffs, prison wardens, policemen, and some other select professions.

Florida

  • Brass knuckles are not illegal in Florida, but you must have a license or permit to carry a concealed weapon if you wish to carry them hidden or concealed. Failing to do so can result in a misdemeanor charge punishable by up to $1,000 in fines and three years in prison.

Georgia

  • Brass knuckles are legal to own and carry in Georgia. Using the brass knuckles to injure another person is a criminal act and one cannot carry brass knuckles in schools or hospitals.

Hawaii

  • Brass knuckles are legal to sell and possess, but cannot be carried or stored in one’s vehicle. Failure to adhere to this law will result in a misdemeanor.

Idaho

  • The law in Idaho does not specifically state whether brass knuckles are legal or not. However, brass knuckles can be considered to be a dangerous weapon; therefore, it is up to the courts to determine this and how the knuckles were used and if the owner had criminal intent.

Illinois

  • Brass knuckles of any type and material are prohibited in Illinois. This includes anything shaped like a brass knuckle, including jewelry, bags, pendants or necklaces. Carrying or owning brass knuckles is illegal in Illinois, and using brass knuckles to injure is a felony charge.

Indiana

  • Brass knuckles are legal to own and carry in Indiana. Brass knuckles are not specifically labeled as a dangerous weapon under Indiana law; however, it is illegal to use them in an act of violence.

Iowa

  • The law in Iowa does not specifically state whether brass knuckles are legal or not. However, brass knuckles can be considered a dangerous weapon; therefore, it is up to the courts to determine this and how the knuckles were used and if the owner had criminal intent.

Kansas

  • Brass knuckles are strictly prohibited in Kansas. This includes selling, brandishing, exhibiting, repairing, manufacturing, and possessing brass knuckles. Charges can either be a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the scenario in which the law was broken and how severe the consequences were.

Kentucky

  • Kentucky requires a license to carry a concealed deadly weapon anywhere other than an individual’s own property, including brass knuckles. Carrying a concealed weapon without a license is considered a Class A misdemeanor and can lead to up to 12 months in jail and a fine of up to $500.

Louisiana

  • Louisiana allows the carrying of concealed weapons, such as brass knuckles, as long as the individual has a legal permit to carry a concealed weapon.

Maine

  • Brass knuckles are illegal in the state of Maine.

Maryland

  • Brass knuckles are not illegal in Maryland; however, it is illegal to carry them hidden or concealed unless you have a license or permit to carry concealed weapons. Failure to adhere to this law will result in a misdemeanor and lead to a fine up to $1000 and up to three years of imprisonment.

Massachusetts

  • Brass knuckles are illegal in Massachusetts. This includes possession, sale, and manufacture of brass knuckles. Failure to adhere to this law will lead to a fine between $50 and $1000 or up to six months of imprisonment.

Michigan

  • Brass knuckles of any type and material are prohibited in Michigan. This includes anything shaped like a brass knuckle, including jewelry, bags, pendants or necklaces. Manufacture, sale or possession of brass knuckles are felony charges that lead to a fine of up to $2500 and imprisonment of up to five years.

Minnesota

  • Brass knuckles are strictly prohibited in Minnesota. This includes selling, brandishing, exhibiting, repairing, manufacturing, and possessing brass knuckles. Charges can either be a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the scenario in which the law was broken and how severe the consequences were.

Mississippi

  • Brass knuckles are not illegal in Mississippi; however, it is illegal to carry them hidden or concealed unless you have a license or permit to carry concealed weapons. Failure to adhere to this law will result in a misdemeanor and lead to a fine up to $1000 and up to three years of imprisonment.

Missouri

  • Brass knuckles are strictly prohibited in Missouri. This includes selling, brandishing, exhibiting, repairing, manufacturing, and possessing brass knuckles. Violation of this law can result in a Class D felony charge with up to four years in prison.

Montana

  • The law in Montana does not specifically state whether brass knuckles are legal or not. However, brass knuckles can be considered a dangerous weapon; therefore, it is up to the courts to determine this and how the knuckles were used and if the owner had criminal intent.

Nebraska

  • Brass knuckles are legal to own in Nebraska; however, they are illegal to carry concealed unless the individual has a license or permit to do so. Certain places, such as churches, schools, and bars, prohibit concealed weapons even with a permit. Business owners have the right to prohibit weapons inside their business regardless of whether an individual has a permit or not. Failure to adhere to this law will result in a misdemeanor.

Nevada

  • Brass knuckles are illegal in Nevada. This includes selling, brandishing, exhibiting, repairing, manufacturing, and possessing brass knuckles. Failure to adhere to this law results in a misdemeanor leading to fines of up to $2,000 and/or up to one year in prison.

    New Hampshire

  • It is illegal to sell and carry brass knuckles in New Hampshire. Failure to adhere to this law results in a misdemeanor punishable by up to $2,000 in fines and up to one year in prison.

New Jersey

  • Brass knuckles are illegal to possess and carry in New Jersey. However, one may be able to possess brass knuckles for lawful purposes such as for theater productions, personal collections, or other educational or entertainment purposes. Failure to adhere to this law, even if carrying in case of self-defense, will result in a felony with up to $10,000 in fines and up to 18 months in jail. If one is caught with brass knuckles with unlawful intent, punishment increases to a fine of $15,000 and three to five years in prison.

New Mexico

  • Brass knuckles are not illegal in New Mexico; however, it is illegal to carry them hidden or concealed unless you have a license or permit to carry concealed weapons. Failure to adhere to this law will result in a misdemeanor and lead to a fine up to $1000 and up to three years of imprisonment.

New York

  • Brass knuckles are illegal in New York. This includes both metal and plastic knuckles. Failure to adhere to this law will result in a misdemeanor and up to one year of imprisonment.

North Carolina

  • Brass knuckles are not illegal in North Carolina; however, it is illegal to carry them hidden or concealed unless you have a license or permit to carry concealed weapons. Failure to adhere to this law will result in a misdemeanor and lead to a fine up to $1000 and up to three years of imprisonment.

North Dakota

  • Brass knuckles are not illegal in North Dakota; however, it is illegal to carry them hidden or concealed on one’s person or in one’s car without a permit. Even with a permit, concealed weapons are prohibited in certain places such as in a liquor store or public gatherings. Failure to adhere to this law will result in a misdemeanor charge.

Ohio

  • Ohio’s law state that the use and possession of a deadly weapon are illegal but brass knuckles are not specifically mentioned. Brass knuckles, however, can be considered a deadly weapon, so one should use caution. Carrying a weapon concealed without a concealed carry permit is illegal and can result in fines and imprisonment.

Oklahoma

  • Unless in accordance with the Oklahoma Self Defense Act it is illegal to carry an offensive weapon, including brass knuckles. Failure to adhere to this law will result in a misdemeanor charge.

Oregon

  • Brass knuckles are not illegal in Oregon; however, it is illegal to carry them hidden or concealed unless you have a license or permit to carry concealed weapons. Failure to adhere to this law will result in a misdemeanor and lead to a fine up to $1000 and up to three years of imprisonment.

Pennsylvania

  • Brass knuckles are illegal in Pennsylvania. This includes selling, possessing, carrying, purchasing, manufacturing, repairing and transporting brass knuckles, whether they are made from metal or plastic. Failure to adhere to this law will result in a misdemeanor charge punishable by up to five years in prison.

Rhode Island

  • Brass knuckles are illegal to possess and carry in Rhode Island. Failure to adhere to this law will result in a misdemeanor with fines up to $1,000 and up to one year of incarceration.

South Carolina

  • Brass knuckles are legal in South Carolina and one does not need a concealed carry permit. Brass knuckles are not allowed in schools or hospitals. It is illegal to possess brass knuckles if they are used with the intent to commit a crime.

South Dakota

  • Brass knuckles are legal in South Dakota. One may carry brass knuckles in a concealed manner unless they are being concealed with the intent to harm. Doing so will result in being charged with a felony.

Tennessee

  • Brass knuckles are strictly prohibited in Tennessee. This includes selling, brandishing, exhibiting, repairing, manufacturing, and possessing brass knuckles. Charges can either be a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the scenario in which the law was broken and how severe the consequences were.

Texas

  • As of September 1st, 2019, it is legal in Texas to possess and brass knuckles for self-defense purposes. Previously, carrying or possession was a misdemeanor punishable up to $4,000 in fines or up to one year in jail.

Utah

  • The law in Utah does not specifically state whether brass knuckles are legal or not. However, brass knuckles can be considered a dangerous weapon; therefore, it is up to the courts to determine this and how the knuckles were used and if the owner had criminal intent.

Vermont

  • Brass knuckles are illegal to possess, use or sell in Vermont. Failure to adhere to this law will result in a misdemeanor with fines up to $1,000 and up to five years of imprisonment.

Virginia

  • It is illegal to carry brass knuckles in Virginia without a concealed weapon permit. Failure to adhere to this law will result in a misdemeanor punishable by up to $2,500 in fines and up to one year in prison. Second-time offenders will face a felony charge.

Washington

  • Brass knuckles are illegal in Washington. Possession, distribution, or manufacturing of brass knuckles is seen as a gross misdemeanor punishable by fines up to $5,000 and up to one year in prison.

West Virginia

  • It is illegal to carry brass knuckles in West Virginia without a concealed weapons permit. Failure to adhere to this law will result in a misdemeanor punishable by fines up to $1,000 and up to one year of prison.

Wisconsin

  • In Wisconsin, brass knuckles are not illegal to own in one’s home; however, brass knuckles cannot be carried concealed without a concealed carry permit. Failure to adhere to this law will result in a Class A misdemeanor.

Wyoming

  • In Wyoming, brass knuckles are not illegal to possess, but it is illegal to carry a concealed weapon. Failure to adhere to this law will result in a misdemeanor punishable by fines up to $750 and up to six months in prison.
State 2019 Pop. 2019 Growth
Alabama4,898,2460.21%
Alaska735,720-0.23%
Arizona7,275,0701.44%
Arkansas3,026,4120.42%
California39,747,2670.48%
Colorado5,770,5451.32%
Connecticut3,567,871-0.13%
Delaware975,0330.81%
District of Columbia711,5711.30%
Florida21,646,1551.63%
Georgia10,627,7671.03%
Hawaii1,416,589-0.27%
Idaho1,790,1822.05%
Illinois12,700,381-0.32%
Indiana6,718,6160.40%
Iowa3,167,9970.38%
Kansas2,910,931-0.02%
Kentucky4,484,0470.35%
Louisiana4,652,581-0.16%
Maine1,342,0970.28%
Maryland6,062,9170.33%
Massachusetts6,939,3730.54%
Michigan10,020,4720.25%
Minnesota5,655,9250.80%
Mississippi2,987,8950.05%
Missouri6,147,8610.35%
Montana1,074,5321.15%
Nebraska1,940,9190.60%
Nevada3,087,0251.73%
New Hampshire1,363,8520.55%
New Jersey8,922,5470.16%
New Mexico2,096,0340.03%
New York19,491,339-0.26%
North Carolina10,497,7411.10%
North Dakota760,9000.11%
Ohio11,718,5680.25%
Oklahoma3,948,9500.15%
Oregon4,245,9011.32%
Pennsylvania12,813,9690.05%
Rhode Island1,056,738-0.05%
South Carolina5,147,1111.24%
South Dakota892,6311.18%
Tennessee6,833,7930.94%
Texas29,087,0701.34%
Utah3,221,6101.91%
Vermont627,1800.14%
Virginia8,571,9460.64%
Washington7,666,3431.74%
West Virginia1,791,951-0.77%
Wisconsin5,832,6610.33%
Wyoming572,381-0.93%