New York, NY – A federal judge struck down a long-standing New York state ban on nunchucks that was created by lawmakers who were afraid the rising popularity of Kung Fu movies in 1974.
Judge Pamela K. Chen, of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, ruled last Friday in Brooklyn on a case that was first filed in 2003.
Chen determined that the New York law banning the weapon was unconstitutional and said that nunchucks were protected under the Second Amendment, The New York Times reported.
James Maloney brought the issue to court in 2003 after he had graduated from law school and formulated his argument against the state ban, but he was first arrested using the weapon in 1981 after giving a public demonstration in New York City.
Then in 2000, Maloney was charged with possession of nunchucks in his home, the Associated Press reported.
Maloney filed his lawsuit in 2003 and appealed all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.
In 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court remanded Maloney’s case back down to be reconsidered in light of another decision the U.S. Supreme Court had made involving the Second Amendment, according to the Associated Press.
Maloney then filed an amended complaint in 2010.
Chen ruled that the 44-year-old laws that made having “chuka sticks” a crime were “an unconstitutional restriction on the right to bear arms under the Second Amendment and are, therefore, void,” according to NBC.
Maloney, a professor at State University of New York’s Maritime College, said he got more relief from the court than he had asked.
He had only been suing for the right to have nunchucks in his home but Chen struck down the anti-nunchuck laws altogether.
“How could a state simply ban any and all possession of a weapon that had a long and proud history as a martial-arts weapon, with recreational, therapeutic and self-defense utility?” Maloney asked.
Evidence presented during the trial demonstrated there were at least 64,890 wood or metal nunchucks sold in the United States in the last 23 years, according to the Associated Press.