Pennsylvania Expandable Baton Laws
In Pennsylvania some police consider expandable batons illegal. I have 2 friends that had charges filed against them by local police saying they are on the list of prohibited offensive weapons. After looking at the PA prohibited offensive weapons laws I found that there is no direct mention of batons, but blackjacks are listed. I also spoke with my local police and they were unsure as to the legality of carrying the expandable batons. They suggest that I speak with the district attorney to find out if they are truly illegal. I posted the PA Offensive Weapon Laws
§ 908. Prohibited offensive weapons.
(a) Offense defined.--A person commits a misdemeanor of the
first degree if, except as authorized by law, he makes repairs,
sells, or otherwise deals in, uses, or possesses any offensive
(1) It is a defense under this section for the defendant
to prove by a preponderance of evidence that he possessed or
dealt with the weapon solely as a curio or in a dramatic
performance, or that, with the exception of a bomb, grenade
or incendiary device, he complied with the National Firearms
Act (26 U.S.C. § 5801 et seq.), or that he possessed it
briefly in consequence of having found it or taken it from an
aggressor, or under circumstances similarly negativing any
intent or likelihood that the weapon would be used
(2) This section does not apply to police forensic
firearms experts or police forensic firearms laboratories.
Also exempt from this section are forensic firearms experts
or forensic firearms laboratories operating in the ordinary
course of business and engaged in lawful operation who notify
in writing, on an annual basis, the chief or head of any
police force or police department of a city, and, elsewhere,
the sheriff of a county in which they are located, of the
possession, type and use of offensive weapons.
(3) This section shall not apply to any person who
makes, repairs, sells or otherwise deals in, uses or
possesses any firearm for purposes not prohibited by the laws
of this Commonwealth.
(c) Definitions.--As used in this section, the following
words and phrases shall have the meanings given to them in this
"Firearm." Any weapon which is designed to or
may readily be
converted to expel any projectile by the action of an explosive
or the frame or receiver of any such weapon.
"Offensive weapons." Any bomb, grenade, machine gun, sawed-
off shotgun with a barrel less than 18 inches, firearm specially
made or specially adapted for concealment or silent discharge,
any blackjack, sandbag, metal knuckles, dagger, knife, razor or
cutting instrument, the blade of which is exposed in an
automatic way by switch, push-button, spring mechanism, or
otherwise, any stun gun, stun baton, taser or other electronic
or electric weapon or other implement for the infliction of
serious bodily injury which serves no common lawful purpose.
(d) Exemptions.--The use and possession of blackjacks by the
following persons in the course of their duties are exempt from
(1) Police officers, as defined by and who meet the
requirements of the act of June 18, 1974 (P.L.359, No.120),
referred to as the Municipal Police Education and Training
(2) Police officers of first class cities who have
successfully completed training which is substantially
equivalent to the program under the Municipal Police
Education and Training Law.
(3) Pennsylvania State Police officers.
(4) Sheriffs and deputy sheriffs of the various counties
who have satisfactorily met the requirements of the Municipal
Police Education and Training Law.
(5) Police officers employed by the Commonwealth who
have satisfactorily met the requirements of the Municipal
Police Education and Training Law.
(6) Deputy sheriffs with adequate training as determined
by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency.
(7) Liquor Control Board agents who have satisfactorily
met the requirements of the Municipal Police Education and
(Dec. 20, 1983, P.L.291, No.78, eff. imd.; July 6, 1984,
P.L.647, No.134, eff. 90 days; July 11, 1985, P.L.235, No.58,
eff. 60 days; Oct. 4, 1994, P.L.571, No.84, eff. 60 days; Nov.
6, 2002, P.L.1096, No.132, eff. 60 days)
If I understand this correctly it is stating that it is only illegal to carry these devices if you intend to use them in an offensive form. If you carry them for self defense with no intention to use them than they would be considered legal. Pennsylvania laws on self defense devices seems to be very confusing and getting in trouble seems to depend on officers interpretation of the law.