Are Sword Canes Legal? Can I Carry One?

You may or may not be familiar with sword canes. Also known as cane swords and sword sticks, this otherworldly tool is a decidedly interesting alternative to a traditionally cool cane for men. But is it as functional and useful as those fancy walking canes for men and women? It largely depends on where you live.

In fact, location is the key to using a sword cane in public with any success. Many states view these canes as concealed weapons, while others prohibit carrying or owning them entirely. It's important to brush up on your municipality's laws before you break out your sword cane for that reason-you don't want to end up in a legal situation purely for the sake of showing off a fabulously bold sword cane.

Just why would anyone want to carry a sword cane, anyway? It's all in the silhouette. They're quite similar to traditional walking canes for men and women because they wear a protective sheath that covers the shockingly sharp blade that runs the length of the tool, from its handle to the very tip. They're usually constructed from a variety of wooden shafts, such as bamboo and Malacca. This part may be lightweight, but the ornate topper is often far more complex. You may associate the traditional sword cane with an elaborate snake or lion head topper, for example. Some even have skulls! Most owners choose to carry theirs in a way that displays the pointed sword. This, combined, with the ferocity of the topper, renders the sword cane a truly bold accessory. But imagine the legalities of walking around town with a sword!

That's the conundrum for anyone who seeks a stylish cane and thinks that a sword cane is their best bet. If you live in Arkansas or California, for example, you aren't legally permitted to carry one. In fact, they aren't even available for sale in California. They also aren't easily imported from countries like Germany or the United Kingdom. In other words, you may have some difficulties if your goal is to simply grab a sword and walk out the door.

And what if you're completely uncertain because you can't really verify its legality? Give a call to your Department of Public Safety, which will provide you with localized information based on where you live. Remember that you're dealing with a concealed weapon, for all intents and purposes. Most states have a list of such weapons that are not permitted, so if the sword cane happens to turn up on the list, or falls under the list with any of its other given names, then it's not legal to use in your state. You can even visit a local ammunition retailer. Many of them have information about concealed weapon laws and will be able to provide you with a concrete answer about the appropriateness of carrying a sword cane.

Bear in mind that, while sword canes make fun and cool canes for women and men, they are not always safe or legal to carry. You are, after all, carrying around a hidden blade! And although the history of this handsome tool is quite impressive-it was a fashion favorite in the 18th and 19th centuries-society has changed dramatically since those times.