Basically, there are certain weapons you can carry legally and that would definitely come in handy if you are faced with a dangerous person trying to kill or hurt you. Here we will review the weapons which are legal to carry and the advantages of having them on-hand when you are out and about.
It should be noted that you do not want to pull a weapon on someone unless you must use it. Too many things can go wrong. For one, once they see and know you have a weapon, they will likely try to take it from you and then use it on you. Also, you are liable to do significant damage to someone with some of these weapons and you want to hesitate to do damage to someone unless you know that you must; if not just for legal reasons. A court of law might listen to your self-defense plea, but is unlikely to listen to your “he was being really annoying” plea.
So here are the weapons that you can carry that might give you an advantage in a self-defense situation.
This tops the list because it is not only an effective deterrent, but it is legal in all 50 states in the US. However, each state has its own requirements on who can carry it, who can buy it and who can sell it, as well as how much of it you can carry. Check here for what those requirements are, as well as the best pepper spray to carry.
Basically pepper spray incapacitates someone by burning the eyes and throat and face. This gives you a chance to escape this predator or call the police or whatever it is you need to do.
It should be said that you need to use the spray in an effective way. It would be ideal to use it at a distance, when the aggressor has approached and you know you are in danger. This prevents him from getting his hands on you or your spray. Fortunately these sprays have streams ranging from ten to almost thirty feet, depending on the product and whether you are using what is called a pepper spray gun, which shoots farther than a regular can of pepper spray. Otherwise, if you cannot be far enough away to use it, know how to get it out undetected and use it undetected.
At any rate, it is best to be aware of danger before it escalates to the point that an attacker can get control of you. It is best to have it out and prepared for use when you sense danger early on. There is a safety on the device, so you should take it out, take the safety off and have it ready when you sense the neighborhood is rough or someone is following you or someone is approaching you in a suspicious or aggressive way.
Of course, the advantage of the spray is that you can use it at a distance and also it takes little effort to use it effectively. A face full of this stuff is traumatizing and has immediate results, while all you had to do was aim and push a button.
Stun Guns are actually legal in most states, but not all. Check here for where they are legal and what is the best stun gun to purchase.
The advantage of the stun gun, of course, is that it can put someone right on the ground and, at least, stop them in their tracks; it paralyzes the person momentarily, long enough for you to get out of there or do whatever it is you have to do. The disadvantage is that you must use it close up, because most of them are designed to be used by actually placing the device on the attacker. In fact, the ones that shoot out projectiles that stick to someone and shock them are generally illegal to carry, as most projectile weapons are.
However, the advantage of the weapon is that it is intimidating. It crackles and has flashing electricity when it is on and certainly could make many predators wary. Many of them come with a flashlight on them, so you could use that to disorient the attacker too.
Tactical Folding Knife
I put the two weapons that are on the top of this list first because they take very little skill to use. The knife is different. It requires you to draw it effectively and to use it at relatively close range. However, it does significant damage and is therefore an effective deterrent.
A folding knife is not legal everywhere and even where it is legal, there are certain qualifications for its use, often defined vaguely by state law; sometimes the intent of the weapon comes into question, especially if the intent is deadly. For this reason most states restrict the size of the knife you can carry, usually to about three inches. A longer knife can sink into internal organs and is potentially more deadly. Though this is not entirely logical, because any bladed weapon could sever arteries and cause someone to bleed to death.
At any rate, it is wise to find out what the laws of your state are in regards to carrying a knife; you can find that information here, as well as what is the best tactical folder to carry.
The advantage of the knife is that it causes a lot of damage quickly, though it takes a certain amount of skill to use. It would also be wise to learn how to draw the weapon in a way that is fast and minimally detectable. You don’t want to give the attacker any time to stop you. These knives have tiny knobs on the blades that allow you to “flip” them open using the thumb and a flick of the wrist, plus they attach to the pocket for easy carrying and retrieval.
Unfortunately, the self-defense keychains in many jurisdictions, and depending on the judgment of the law enforcement officer, are often construed as illegal, especially where knuckle-dusters or brass knuckles are illegal. These types of weapons cause great damage to the person they are used on yet protect the hand of the user. The cat self-defense keychain, for instance, has been found to be illegal in many cases; and even the “kubotan”, which is really just a heavy short stick, has been found to be illegal because many are clearly designed as a weapon.
However, there are keychains that can be effectively used as a self-defense weapon and they are legal. You can see what they are here.
It should be stated that it will take a certain amount of skill to use a keychain for self-defense. However, the keychain can cause more pain and damage than hands, so it might be worth it to carry a decent self-defense keychain in case you need to get an advantage when attacked.
There are many tactical pens on the market, many designed like the kubotan, a heavy, sturdy weapon that can cause damage and be used on pressure points. A lot of them even have a “glass breaker” on them to aid in breaking out windows if someone is trapped in a car. Handy, indeed, but is often construed as a device purposely designed as a weapon, so it could be considered illegal where you are.
However, carrying a really good pen is not illegal so you might want to consider carrying some of the pens I’ve suggested over here
Big flashlights are good weapons but if you carry one around obviously to be used as a bludgeon, which are illegal to carry in many states, you are liable to find yourself in trouble with the law. However, this does not prevent you from carrying one in your car or keeping at home, in case it is needed.
The point is, if you are attacked and your life could be on the line or you could get seriously hurt, you want to have any advantage you can get; I’ve given you various options here.
I have been training in martial arts since the early 1980s and have a 2nd degree Black Belt in Kenpo and have training in Eskrima. I believe everyone has a right to defend themselves by any effective means necessary.