Brass Knuckles Legality by State

Brass knuckles are a type of thrusting weapon that is inserted onto the fingers, clutched in a person’s fist, and then used to increase the damage caused by punches. Typically formed of various types of metals, the injury that the simple weapon can inflict is severe. Brass knuckles can fracture bones, cause severe lesions on the skin due to the force of impact, and even cause death. 

In recent history, they came into popular usage due to WWI and WWII, where United States soldiers were equipped with brass knuckles. Back in the United States, laws restricting their usage began to be implemented after the wars, around the 1950s. Some states have specific laws on the books regarding the legality of the weapon, and others do not. 

In a number of states, it is legal to own and carry brass knuckles so long as the individual who is carrying them has a concealed carry permit, since they are considered to be a weapon, due to their function and lethality. However, there are states, such as South Dakota, where they can be carried without a concealed carry permit. 

The states that prohibit brass knuckles do so to varying degrees of restriction. In certain states, a person cannot own anything that even resembles the appearance of brass knuckles. In others, brass knuckles cannot be shown, sold, repaired, or produced. There are also so-called gray area states, wherein brass knuckles are not explicitly addressed in existing laws, but are presumed to be covered by them.

To learn more about brass knuckles’ legality, scroll the data in the charts.

Brass Knuckles Legal Status by State

Alabama

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With Permit

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Alaska

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Illegal

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Arizona

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Legal with restrictions

Arkansas

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Illegal

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Legal with restrictions

California

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Illegal

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Colorado

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Illegal

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Connecticut

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With Permit

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Delaware

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Florida

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Georgia

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Hawaii

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Idaho

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Illinois

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Indiana

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Iowa

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Kansas

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Kentucky

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Louisiana

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Maine

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Maryland

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Massachusetts

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Illegal

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Michigan

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Illegal

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Minnesota

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Illegal

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Mississippi

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Missouri

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Montana

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Nebraska

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Nevada

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New Hampshire

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New Jersey

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New Mexico

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New York

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North Carolina

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North Dakota

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Ohio

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Oklahoma

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Oregon

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Pennsylvania

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Rhode Island

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South Carolina

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South Dakota

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Tennessee

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Texas

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Utah

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Vermont

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Virginia

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Washington

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Illegal

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West Virginia

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Wisconsin

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Wyoming

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