With crime in the forefront of daily news, it is becoming more common for Arizona's citizens to want to protect themselves against threats to their life, property or body. An expandable baton is a portable and concealable method for self-defense that transmits adequate force without being deadly. Arizona's laws are very clear on the possession, concealment and proper handling of these batons.
An expandable baton (also called a telescopic baton) is a collapsible metal baton, at least 16 inches in length, that is designed to prevent attackers from close contact with victims. These batons work by damaging the body of an attacker with blunt force, usually through trauma to the limbs. Extension is achieved with a downward movement at a 45-degree angle, and retraction is achieved by tapping the tip of the baton against a hard surface.
There is no law that bans carrying an expandable baton in Arizona. Only California, Massachusetts, New York and Washington, D.C., have laws that prevent the general population from possessing a baton. As with any weapon, the user of a baton must be able to justify her actions. The weapon also must not be used in a manner that could cause death, such as against the head or neck.
A baton is not considered by Arizona law to be a deadly weapon. According to Arizona statute 13-3101, a deadly weapon must be designed to kill. Unless used in such a manner that makes a deadly weapon--for example, using it to choke someone--it is only considered a dangerous weapon.
Gov. Jan Brewer passed Senate Bill 1108 in April, 2010, which made it legal for any adult U.S. citizen to carry a concealed weapon in the state. Although batons as concealed weapons are legal, they can be temporarily confiscated at traffic stops or in any situation where a police officer believes that there is imminent danger. Police also reserve the right to arrest you if they feel you surpassed the force needed for self-defense.
Donny Quinn has been writing professionally since 2002 and has been published on various websites. He writes technical manuals for a variety of companies, including restaurants, hotels and salons. Quinn is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in English at Georgia State University.