A 1974 New York state ban on nunchucks that was put into place over fears that youth inspired by martial arts movies would create widespread mayhem is unconstitutional under the Second Amendment, a federal court has ruled.
Judge Pamela Chen issued her ruling Friday in a Brooklyn federal court on the martial arts weapon made famous by Bruce Lee.
The plaintiff, James Maloney, started his legal quest after being charged with possession of nunchucks in his home in 2000. He initially filed a complaint in 2003, and appealed all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court when the case went against him. The Supreme Court in 2010 remanded the case back down to be reconsidered in light of a Second Amendment decision it had made in another case, and Maloney filed an amended complaint later that year.
Maloney had been focused on getting the part of the law overturned that banned nunchucks, two rigid rods connected at one end by a chain or rope, even in private homes.
In her ruling, Chen said the court couldn’t simply take that part out, and ruled that the state’s law as it pertained to possessing nunchuks as well as to manufacturing, transporting or disposing of them was in violation of the Second Amendment.