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45 Tenn. L. Rev. 758 (1977-1978)
Criminal Law - Weapons - Prohibition of Karate Instruments

handle is hein.journals/tenn45 and id is 768 raw text is: Criminal Law-Weapons-
Prohibition of Karate Instruments
Defendant was charged with unlawfully and knowingly
carrying concealed on his person a set of nunchaku sticks in viola-
tion of an Oregon statute prohibiting the concealed carrying of
any instrument by the use of which injury could be inflicted
upon the person or property of any other person.' Defendant
contended that because the statute did not specifically prohibit
nunchaku sticks, it was unconstitutionally vague, thus denying
him due process of law. The state district court held that the
statute was void for vagueness, and the state circuit court af-
firmed that ruling. On appeal to the Oregon Court of Appeals,
held, reversed. A statute that prohibits the concealed carrying of
any item designed and intended primarily to inflict bodily injury
and death is sufficiently explicit to pass constitutional muster,
and nunchaku implements are within that prohibition. State v.
Tucker, 28 Or. App. 29, 558 P.2d 1244 (1977).
The word nunchaku is derived from a Japanese phrase
meaning flying sticks. The use of nunchaku sticks, although an
ancient art, is a recent phenomenon in the United States. The
apparatus consists of two sticks hinged end to end to allow them
to swivel freely. The karate practitioner by holding one of the
sticks can swing or twirl the freely moving part in patterns or can
bring both sticks together in the fashion of a nutcracker.2 Nun-
chaku was originally used as an agricultural flail,3 and the instru-
1. OR. REV. STAT. § 166.240(l) (1976) provides:
Any person who carries concealed about his person in any manner, any
revolver, pistol, or other firearm, any knife, other than an ordinary
pocketknife, or any dirk, dagger, slung shot, metal knuckles, or any
instrument by the use of which injury could be inflicted upon the
person or property of any other person, shall be punished upon convic-
tion by a fine of not less than $10 nor more than $200, or by imprison-
ment in the county jail not less than five days nor more than 100 days,
or both.
2. Commonwealth v. Adams, 245 Pa. Super. 431, -, 369 A.2d 479, 480-
81 (1976).
3. Knutsen, Okinawan Weaponry in MARTIAL ARTS OF THE ORIENT 61 (B.
Williams ed. 1975). In 1588, when the Japanese ruler, Hideyoshi, instituted the
famous hatanagari (sword hunt), intending to disarm the peasants, the value
of the sticks as weaponry became apparent. On the Ryuku Islands, especially

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