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California billy club ban struck down by court on Second Amendment grounds

A court in the Southern District of California has struck down a ban on possession of billy clubs after ruling that the weapons are protected by the Second Amendment.

A court in California has stricken down a state ban on billy clubs on Second Amendment grounds.

The lawsuit was brought by plaintiff Russell Fouts against California Attorney General Rob Bonta over the state law making it a crime to carry or even possess a billy club.

"This case is about a California law that makes it a crime to simply possess or carry a billy. This case is not about whether California can prohibit or restrict the use or possession of a billy for unlawful purposes," the verdict reads.

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It continues, "Historically, the short wooden stick that police officers once carried on their beat was known as a billy or billy club. The term remains vague today and may encompass a metal baton, a little league bat, a wooden table leg, or a broken golf club shaft, all of which are weapons that could be used for self-defense but are less lethal than a firearm."

The decision was passed down by Judge Roger Benitez in the Southern District of California.

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The court ruled to strike down the ban based on the Second Amendment and its protection of citizens' right to carry weapons, including those other than firearms.

"The Second Amendment protects a citizen's right to defend one's self with dangerous and lethal firearms," the court stated. "But not everybody wants to carry a firearm for self-defense. Some prefer less-lethal weapons. A billy is a less-lethal weapon that may be used for self-defense."

The verdict continued, "One can easily imagine countless citizens carrying these weapons on daily walks and hikes to defend themselves against attacks by humans or animals. To give full life to the core right of self-defense, every law-abiding responsible individual citizen has a constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms like the billy for lawful purposes."

Billy clubs — also variously referred to as batons, billysticks, and truncheons — are short, lightweight clubs that have been used by security, law enforcement and private individuals as blunt weapons.

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