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Gov. Ducey signs bill legalizing nunchucks in Arizona

(Getty Images Photo/Abid Katib)

PHOENIX — Ninjas, rejoice!

Gov. Doug Ducey signed a bill Friday that legalizes ownership of nunchucks in Arizona.

S.B. 1219, which passed the Senate 24-5 and the House 42-17, repeals the section of a law that defined nunchucks as a “prohibited weapon.”

Supporters of the bill said those who practice martial arts shouldn’t have to worry they’ll face charges for possessing the weapon made of two sticks or rods connected by a rope or chain.

“The average person can do far more damage using a baseball bat than nunchucks,” Rep. John Kavanagh, a Republican from Fountain Hills, said last week.

“They’re not dangerous to anybody. And we really should let kids and adults who want to do martial arts activities legally possess them.”

Before the change, Arizonans were only allowed to have nunchucks to prepare for martial arts competition.

Nunchucks were classified as deadly weapons along with bombs, gun silencers and automatic firearms, which made it illegal to make, possess, transport or sell them in most circumstances. Violations could have resulted in felony charges.

Critics of decriminalizing nunchucks say they can cause serious harm. Some have said lawmakers should focus on reducing gun violence.

“Instead of figuring out ways that we can save lives, we’re wasting time on nunchucks,” Rep. Athena Salman, a Tempe Democrat, said last week.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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