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Brass Knuckles Under New York Law


In the state of New York, metal knuckles are illegal. Additionally, those that may be worn as jewelry around the neck on the fingers are considered to be concealed weapons in some states.

Brass knuckles have been glamorized due to their use in popular mass media, including in major TV shows and video games. However, it should be noted that these items are illegal in some states due to the dangers associated with them. Brass knuckles can cause serious injuries, which can include broken bones, concussions and damage to a person’s eyes, nose and mouth. In most cases, these injuries can be permanently disfiguring. Death from these injuries are rare but not unheard of.

These items are not illegal in all states. South Carolina, for example, only considers brass knuckles to be illegal if they are used when the person is committing a crime or intending to commit one. Additionally, some states ban knuckles only if they are made of metal, while others ban knuckles that are made of metals, acrylic or hard plastics.

An person who is found in possession of brass knuckles in New York could potentially face the criminal charge of possession of a weapon in the fourth degree. A conviction could also end up on their record, making it difficult for them to seek loans, housing or even employment later on. A criminal law attorney may potentially defend the accused person against the charges by providing evidence that the brass knuckles did not belong to that person. Otherwise, the attorney may argue that any search or seizures that resulted in the finding of the weapons were illegal or that the authorities did not follow the proper procedures.

Source: FindLaw, “N.Y. PEN. LAW § 265.01 : NY Code – Section 265.01: Criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree”, accessed on July 7, 2015