Are Self-Defense Keychains Legal?

Self-Defense Keychain:
Munio Butterfly Self-Defense Keychain

Reviewed by:
On March 2, 2016
Last modified:January 4, 2018


With beautiful design and sturdy construction, the Munio Self-Defense Keychain is also strong enough to be used as a personal protection tool if necessary and is legal to carry on the street and at the airport. It is easy to handle, fits in the palm of the hand, and the bottom end can be used for stabbing at the face and nerves, while the top end with the keys attached can be used to swing and slash at the attacker's eyes. Perfect little ornamental self-defense unit.

There is a popular self-defense keychain on the market known variously as a “cat safety keychain”, a “cat self-defense keychain” and other names. Point is, it’s a keychain and you can slip your fingers through two holes in it and the cat’s “ears” stick out between your fingers so that you could, possibly, jab those ears right into somebody’s eyes.

Unfortunately, it is questionable whether these keychains are legal. Lena Dunham, actress and  creator of the show “Girls”, was even detained at the airport because she had a self-defense cat keychain.

Basically, this weapon/keychain can be construed as brass knuckles, or knuckle dusters, because the purpose of the product is to protect the hand but allow you to do some major damage to somebody’s face. Therefore, in all likelihood these little weapons are not legal, especially in states that have outlawed knuckle dusters like California, Michigan, Illinois, Vermont, New York, DC, Tennessee, Texas and Massachusetts.

You might be tempted to purchase the Kubotan keychain because it appears to be an innocuous keychain and figure it cannot be interpreted as a weapon. However, Kubotans are often structured as impact weapons, can even be used to break car windows in emergencies, and usually have a pointed end. Some are pretty heavy and also are constructed to give the user quite a nice grip on the tool.

So, a much better alternative as an effective self-defense tool that is still within the realm of legality is the Munio Self-Defense Keychain. It is solid like the other keychains out there but could just as well be ornamental. Unlike brass knuckles, it isn’t made of metal and also isn’t designed to protect the hand like knuckle dusters. However, if used correctly–with hammering and slashing strikes, and, possibly, for the more astute, some wrist-locks, arm-bars and pressure point attacks–it is an effective self-defense tool.


    • Nathan

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