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Skeptic 24 November 2013 10:34 PM

Hands can be "registered as deadly weapons"
It's something we've all heard at some time or other - someone did (or was required to) register their hands as deadly weapons. I can't see anything online other than it being debunked, but was there any case where it was once required (or even possible).

crocoduck_hunter 24 November 2013 10:40 PM

The only places I can think of where I've seen it were all works of fiction.

Singing in the Drizzle 24 November 2013 10:40 PM

Thought we had seen this one before.

Topic: His hands are registered as lethal weapons

ETA: Of course hearing it in a movie or two makes it a true fact.

hoitoider 27 November 2013 05:42 PM

I was looking at this article that talks about martial arts students being duped into registering:


What I find truly disturbing, however, is that I have encountered a number of students who showed me “registration cards” they’d gotten from their instructors. These instructors, mind you, charged them a hefty fee to be registered; and the students who, with good will, believed what their instructors had told them, completely believed that they were now registered as deadly weapons. Not only is this fraud, but it is dishonorable behavior as well.

Hero_Mike 27 November 2013 06:35 PM

Savate, or French Kickboxing, uses kicks and open-handed slaps. Striking with a closed fist was legally akin to striking with a deadly weapon, thus the evolution to open-handed attacks. That law would make anyone's "closed fist" a "deadly weapon" - not just for people who were explicitly registered.

ganzfeld 28 November 2013 02:39 AM

That claim's in a bunch of Wikipedia articles with "citation needed" or no citation given. So I have to wonder if there's any evidence for it.

snopes 28 November 2013 04:38 AM

Perhaps the more pertinent question is "Under what circumstances does anything have to be registered as a lethal weapon?" (And with whom would one register it?)

Searching the Internet on the keywords "register lethal weapon" turns up nothing but inquiries about whether martial arts experts really have to register their hands as lethal weapons, leading me to believe that there is no such requirement for anything to be registered, body part or otherwise.

And aren't feet just as essential a "weapon" in the martial arts?

Hero_Mike 28 November 2013 06:22 AM


Originally Posted by snopes (Post 1784921)
And aren't feet just as essential a "weapon" in the martial arts?

My guess is that would depend on the "martial art". Boxing is a "martial art" not of Asian origin, and it only uses the hands. Wrestling does not use "striking motions". Judo, from what I understand, is also not about striking. There are variations which strike with fists and feet only, and others which include knees and elbows. I would imagine that in a real fight, if the opportunity presented itself to strike a significant blow with a knee or elbow, a person would take that opportunity rather than rely only upon their training.

Then there's another issue of "body parts" as weapons - the "enhancement" of body parts. Brass knuckles, steel-toed boots, hard knee or elbow pads - having these items and being the aggressor in a fight is not going to look good. But there is no necessity of registration of any of those items where they are legal. ("Brass knuckles" and the like vary from state to state in the US.)

Knives - even large knives with dubious value as anything but weapons - do not have to be registered. In fact, in places where there are restrictions on the size and type of knife one can normally carry around, there is no equivalent to the firearm carry permit. In some places, I imagine that walking around with a (concealed or "brandished") machete could have problems with respect to the law. I don't know of anyone who has tried to walk around with a concealed (or openly carried) sword - but I imagine that carrying one may arouse suspicion, and that there aren't too many good reasons for carrying around a concealed, sharp-edged sword. And there's no place to go and register one's sword either.

Don Enrico 28 November 2013 06:50 AM

In German law, any assault is considered an aggravated assault "with a weapon or a dangerous tool" if the attacker uses anything but his body to attack in a way that is capable to cause serious harm. Thus, kicking somebody in the behind while wearing boots is assault, kicking him in the face is aggravated assault, and kicking him in the face with fluffy slippers is "simple" assault.

Alarm 28 November 2013 03:23 PM

The claim about registering "weapons" is always hilarious.

For those of us into pen and paper RPGs, a baseball bat is almost automatically identified as a club (1D6 dam, crit 20 X2 :fish:), so is a short but hefty tree branch, a table leg or a piece of lead pipe. A long tree branch is a staff (1D6/1D6 crit 20 X2, double weapon :p)

Where's the requirement to register any of these?
What about my hatchet? My maul? My woodaxe? My Bo? My Bow? (:lol:) actual twin-bladed battle axe?


Mad Jay 28 November 2013 04:13 PM

In the US, the laws that deal with people attacking each other usually talk about use of lethal force. The lethal force could be anything that can cause permenant injury. It could be a firearm, or a stick or bare hands, or your car. The law basically describes when use of lethal force is justified.

There are some insurance products out there that cover you in case you end up using lethal force. They won't stop you from going into jail if your use of lethal force is unjustified. They will however cover cost of litigation and provide personal liability insurance

A lot of these insurance products are marketed through martial arts schools. Basically, they go "hey we are teaching you how to hurt people. In case you do hurt someone, get this insurance". Although not the same as "registering your hands as lethal weapons", it could be that the availability of these insurance products is what started this UL

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