Who carries a sword?


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Silver Crusade

The thread on the D&D General forum about the guy who killed his coworker with a sword reminded me of something I wanted to share with all of you.

There's a store in a shopping mall where I live that sells swords.

Swords... In the mall.

Every time I walk past it, I am forced to contemplate, "If you buy a sword at the mall, how exactly do you carry it? Do you put it in a bag under your arm so no one knows what it is? Do you wear it on a scabbard at your waist? Perhaps you request that the store ship it to you so you're not faced with that conundrum."

The mystery was revealed one day in that mall when, waiting for my mocha at Starbucks, a fellow walked past with a large sword IN HIS HAND. Wielded, so to speak. Carried in front of him as if it was the most natural thing in the world... As if a kobold could be waiting around the next corner and he wanted to be ready because he doesn't have the Quick Draw feat.

I wonder what the mall cops think about that.


I carry a 3.5" folding Gerber knife...and a swiss army knife, so I carry "tiny" sized shortswords.

The only law I know well is Texas law and swords or any blade over 5 1/2" is considered an illegal knife. Switchblades are "prohibited weapons." You can get a concealed carry permit in Texas for a handgun, but you can't carry a sword. There are restrictions about where you can carry a rifle/shotgun as well, such as polling places, places with an alcoholic beverage license, schools, etc.

You don't need a permit to carry a rifle or shotgun, but you can't carry a sword. You can walk down the street in Texas with a loaded 12 gauge combat shotgun and not get arrested (although you'll have lots of unfavorable law enforcement attention), but if you carry a sword or a knife with a 5.51" blade, you'll get arrested. Please don't try the shotgun/rifle in public thing, because if ANYONE is in any way threatened by your display of the weapon, you can get arrested for a bunch of other offenses, ranging from disorderly conduct, assault or even aggravated assault if someone even thinks you pointed the weapon at them.

Now, you can OWN a sword and OWN an illegal knife, but you just can't carry them in public. Prohibited weapons such as switchblades, explosive devices, fully automatic weapons, are illegal no matter where you have them. Texas law only, okay!

God, Guns, Guts....(swords??)

Now, I don't know any police officers who would arrest you if you had just bought a sword and were carrying it back to your car, but if someone called in a report of a suspicious person walking around the mall with a sword, you can bet there'll be a very vigorous response. If you buy a sword at a mall, have them wrap it up with cardboard around the blade and take it back to your car, put it in the trunk and take it home. I would not suggest wandering into Dillards and trying on underwear.

As a side note, I found the definitions of illegal weapons in Chapter 46 of the Texas Penal Code very entertaining when I first became a police officer (and had already been playing D&D for 8 years), because the definitions include references to things like poinards, dirks, maces, tomahawks, daggers, crossbows and such.

Perhaps I should lobby my state rep to change the reference from tomahawk to handaxe, in order to keep the cultural references in the Penal Code consistent ;)

Final note: Never display a weapon in public. Don't carry a visible weapon that someone might find threatening in public. Even if legal to carry, if some citizen is alarmed and calls the cops, you can bet you're going to come out on the short end of the stick. If you're in the SCA and with a bunch of other SCAers, you're probably okay carrying a sword, but if you dress like a ninja and walk into the 7-11 to get a Big Gulp carrying a sword, don't be surprised to find yourself proned out on the ground with a Glock jammed into your ear.

Liberty's Edge

"Nice" to know about the shotgun. ;)
jees louise!


Check my post again, Heathansson, I edited/added a bunch of disclaimers for the real world.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens Subscriber

The Texas laws are strange-sounding to me...

If you would carry a sword in germany just like that, I think the police would have some questions if you are not on your way to or from a renaissance fair or something like this. Nobody would mind a folding knife if it is not spring-loaded (I think these are illegal) and if it is not too big. Carrying around a bow or a crossbow is not illegal per se, as these are not counted as projectile weapons, but if you don´t have a good reason for carrying them, like being on your way to your training facility, police will likely ask some questions at least.
Oh, and to my knowledge, you can´t legally buy a sword or other bladed weapon replica with a sharpened edge in germany. Not that it would make much of a difference - if I would hit someone with my show-fight sword (about bastard-sword sized), it certainly would cause severe injuries, even without being sharpened.

Stefan

Liberty's Edge

farewell2kings wrote:
Check my post again, Heathansson, I edited/added a bunch of disclaimers for the real world.

Any laws/rules/reg's about lycanthropy I should know about?

Silver Crusade

It just seems to me that the mall is not a good place for a sword vendor.

Liberty's Edge

It's okay if you peace bond your zweihander, isn't it? (lol)

I just remember this samurai lady that let me see her katana at an SCA thing. She told me to be careful unsheathing it, because a former owner lost an index finger putting it too far up on the sheath.


Heathansson wrote:
farewell2kings wrote:
Check my post again, Heathansson, I edited/added a bunch of disclaimers for the real world.
Any laws/rules/reg's about lycanthropy I should know about?

Dude, you know some how some of the lawmakers in Texas think. Don't even go there ;)


Stebehil wrote:

The Texas laws are strange-sounding to me...

Stefan

I think that was the point I was trying to make. Good thing you don't have to try to enforce them, LOL.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Well, I bought a sword once while on vacation in Spain. The store packed in a long flat box and I carried it out like that. Of course I had to check that piece of luggage on the flight back home. Definitely not a carry-on.


Proper SCAdian etiquette usually demands that you yell out "Clear" to make sure no smalls (kids) are around and make sure nobody's running through the area.

I chewed somebody's ass out at an SCA event because he thought it would be a grand idea to cut a watermelon with his katana. The watermelon was on the ground. And kids were running around him.

Liberty's Edge

Oh, I was being cool. It was a small to-do at the museum; no kids immediately nearby, no massive faire crowd, and I wasn't swinging it in any way whatsoever. It's just kind of a different feeling when you hold the actual thing in your hand.
Like when we went on the grenade range in basic training, and they handed us each 2 live hand grenades to go throw on the grenade range. And you look around you, and there's about 60 guys in line in a bunker room, each holding 2 live hand grenades, and you're thinking, "okay, am I sure I know exactly how to do this? Boy, I hope none of those other 60 guys are crazy in any way. It's 6 weeks into basic; I guess we'd know by now..."


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens Subscriber
farewell2kings wrote:
Stebehil wrote:

The Texas laws are strange-sounding to me...

Stefan
I think that was the point I was trying to make. Good thing you don't have to try to enforce them, LOL.

Ok, now I got that, too :-)

But I always thought that there are a lot of strange laws in the US - just look for them in the Internet. So even more strange US laws are not that big a novelty anymore... :-))

Stefan


I believe Michigan allows the blind to hunt by themselves, without a sighted companion.

Silver Crusade

James Keegan wrote:
I believe Michigan allows the blind to hunt by themselves, without a sighted companion.

I'm sure there's some state where they could get a drivers' license too.

Incidentally, I did some poking around for the weapons laws in New York State (where I live) and discovered that it's a felony to carry a blade with the intent to harm. And that carrying any blade that is clearly designed to do harm (i.e. has no other function) implies intent in that statute. Hence, the guy with the sword could have been locked up. I bet he would have felt foolish.

So, like Texas, no swords. But unlike Texas, the gun laws are really strict too.


My Daisho was delivered to my door and has rarely left the house. When it has it goes in a large sports bag, (even that is not quite long enough to completely hold the katana). I would never wander around a mall with naked steel, thats just an invitation for serious police response.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens Subscriber

I found a website stating that in North Dakota, it is still legal to shoot at Indians from a covered wagon...
Not enough that this was legal at a time, but nobody bothered to remove this law...

Stefan


farewell2kings wrote:

I carry a 3.5" folding Gerber knife...and a swiss army knife, so I carry "tiny" sized shortswords.

I'd say daggers for that matter.


farewell2kings wrote:
The only law I know well is Texas law and swords or any blade over 5 1/2" is considered an illegal knife. Switchblades are "prohibited weapons." You can get a concealed carry permit in Texas for a handgun, but you can't carry a sword.

Yeah. EVERYONE in Texas has a gun and a GIANT truck. It's legal to ram pedestrians with your deer-killer, it's legal to carry a concealed arsenal... as long as the weapons require no training or guts to use. But it's illegal to walk within city limits, or to carry a knife bigger than X inches. This is a WEIRD state. BTW, are you still playing, F2K, and if so, anywhere near Houston?

Scarab Sages

Erik Goldman wrote:
BTW, are you still playing, F2K, and if so, anywhere near Houston?

Sorry, Eric. F2K is aaaaaaaaall the way over in El Paso, Heathanson is up around Dallas, Chris Wissel is down by Galveston, and I'm down in Killeen. I don't know any Houstonites off the top of my head.

Liberty's Edge

Not only that, but you can wear a cowboy hat without actually owning any cattle. Strange.

The Exchange

Stebehil wrote:

I found a website stating that in North Dakota, it is still legal to shoot at Indians from a covered wagon...

Not enough that this was legal at a time, but nobody bothered to remove this law...

Stefan

Well, that puts the kibosh on my weekend plans....


I would say that in Finland, regardless of laws (which I think is very much against sharpened swords etc), walking with a real looking sword in your hand in a public place will clear that place of people, because only a dangerous psycho would do something like that. Sheathed one will draw attention, naturally.
Same would go for a gun, btw. And mall people would probably frown upon lost customers...

Silver Crusade

Heathansson wrote:
Not only that, but you can wear a cowboy hat without actually owning any cattle. Strange.

Only person I remember seeing in a cowboy hat in Rochester is Cher. It had rhinestones.


Erik Goldman wrote:
BTW, are you still playing, F2K, and if so, anywhere near Houston?

Yes, I am in El Paso, but I may very well end up in the Houston area in about six years after I retire.


HELLFINGER wrote:
farewell2kings wrote:

I carry a 3.5" folding Gerber knife...and a swiss army knife, so I carry "tiny" sized shortswords.

I'd say daggers for that matter.

I think you're right.


Here around Winston-Salem, NC we have a lot of sword places. I know of a number of places that will make swords that look real, though are still blunt. Hell, half of our gaming group owns swords.

I've never seen a place that sells real swords that could cut things, though. The only time I've ever wielded a real sword was when me and my friend dueled with some antique swords hanging over is mantlepeice.
(That was about two years ago, and it still amazes me that we were able to not wind up killing each other. :P )


MaxSlasher26 wrote:

Here around Winston-Salem, NC we have a lot of sword places. I know of a number of places that will make swords that look real, though are still blunt. Hell, half of our gaming group owns swords.

I've never seen a place that sells real swords that could cut things, though. The only time I've ever wielded a real sword was when me and my friend dueled with some antique swords hanging over is mantlepeice.
(That was about two years ago, and it still amazes me that we were able to not wind up killing each other. :P )

Of course, we don't use our swords to kill co-workers.

We're not crazy like what's-his-name that was on the news.

Dark Archive

I was in a gaming store in St. Louis the other day, and they had quite a large display of swords. They had a great sign up that said "You must be eighteen or older to be a ninja."


Champlain Place Mall in Moncton, NB, Canada has a sword booth IIRC. May have since left. Either way, I agree it's amusing. Champlain Place is the highest traffic mall in Canada without being the largest. Always jam-packed (and Moncton is predominantly Acadian, so it's packed with hot french chicks. Who must buy swords, otherwise how does that store stay afloat? And chicks with swords are even hotter still.)

Who cares about legality... looks nice...

Paizo Employee Managing Developer

Gavgoyle wrote:
Erik Goldman wrote:
BTW, are you still playing, F2K, and if so, anywhere near Houston?
Sorry, Eric. F2K is aaaaaaaaall the way over in El Paso, Heathanson is up around Dallas, Chris Wissel is down by Galveston, and I'm down in Killeen. I don't know any Houstonites off the top of my head.

And I'm in Austin.

Liberty's Edge

I own several blades, some purchased at fleamarkets and malls here in Florida, all are quite sharp... every time I've bought a sword at the mall it's put into a box and usually an oversized bag.
as far as the fleamarketsmost don't require a box, in fact there's a festival in my home town every March that has a huge open-air fleamarket where they just hand you the sword once you pay for it(you must be 18).

and for a strange law I've seen down here... "it is illegal to walk an alligator without a leash..."


waltero wrote:
Well, I bought a sword once while on vacation in Spain. The store packed in a long flat box and I carried it out like that. Of course I had to check that piece of luggage on the flight back home. Definitely not a carry-on.

Sounds like an episode of Highlander I never got to write. You know whenever you fly and your luggage ends up on the wrong plane? I figured I must be sitting next to an Immortal and the second Immortal hanging out with the luggage folks could not tell which of us was setting her immy-sense a-tingling. To be safe, she misplaces both luggages. Since I never rode the plane home with the same person, I figured the ploy must have worked. *grin*


Hmm; I dont have any idea how to check the laws in my state about wearing swords; wonder what the right to bear arms guys say about this; many cities have ordanances that probably wouldn't hold up against any good constitutional lawyer; like my city; you can wear a guy; but any discharge of any firearm in the city limits carries some really stiff fines and siezure of property; just waiting for a cop to do it so I can raise cain. Lots of my friends have several to many sword and wear them at sca and other events; be nice to know what the liability was; I have a nice one and a parry dagger that I use for my costume when I wear my doublet and hose :)


My friend managed to get a Japanese sword from WW2 from a friend of his father's. In WW2, officers were given swords as a badge of office as well as a weapon. Those with lineage to samurai families would wear their own real family katanas, but the promoted peasant soldiers would receive a lower quality one made around the time of the war. My friend has one of these. Of course, he doesn't play with it and treats it much like he would any of his firearms (meaning he keeps it sheathed at all times, if not under lock and key) but it was really fun to hold. I'm not going to say that my mind was blown like,"Wow, this is how God must feel when he holds a sword" but it was fun.


Valegrim wrote:
Hmm; I dont have any idea how to check the laws in my state about wearing swords

Here you go New Mexico Legislature Just click on statutes and run a search. I found the law on switchblades and stuff, but didn't find anything on swords outright.


Gavgoyle wrote:
Sorry, Eric. F2K is aaaaaaaaall the way over in El Paso, Heathanson is up around Dallas, Chris Wissel is down by Galveston, and I'm down in Killeen. I don't know any Houstonites off the top of my head.

Thanks for the reply (or, as we say here, "You alright!"). Too bad this isn't, like, Vermont, in which case "aaaaall the way across the state" is a 10-minute drive! Still, a lot of us here in the Lone Star State. F2K... not sure if I can take 6 more years of Houston-- at least, not without a Bigfoot monster truck.


Come to El Paso, Erik. We're like way more like California than the rest of Texas, especially since L.A. is closer to El Paso than Houston, give or take a few miles.


When I was 19 I walked by a cop in NYC with a pair of wooden swords known as bokken, used for kendo practice all he said, "Those are cool."

That was it.

Walking around in polite society with a real sword in hand should probably get you shoved up against a patrol car. If not, that's quite lenient of the local constabulary.

As for what do mall cops think about? I've noticed most of them spend a great deal of time pondering the butts of passing girls.


The Jade wrote:
As for what do mall cops think about? I've noticed most of them spend a great deal of time pondering the butts of passing girls.

"I'm trolling food court for girls, yeah it's the best job in the world. They know they're safe with me, they love my little mustache, they love a man in uniform.

With my sunglasses they can't see what I'm really lookin' at and as they're walkin' by, I whisper through my donut,'Hey baby, baby, light that a$$ on fire.'" - Ben Folds, "Rent a Cop"


James Keegan wrote:
The Jade wrote:
As for what do mall cops think about? I've noticed most of them spend a great deal of time pondering the butts of passing girls.

"I'm trolling food court for girls, yeah it's the best job in the world. They know they're safe with me, they love my little mustache, they love a man in uniform.

With my sunglasses they can't see what I'm really lookin' at and as they're walkin' by, I whisper through my donut,'Hey baby, baby, light that a$$ on fire.'" - Ben Folds, "Rent a Cop"

Imagine you having that reference at your fingertips like that.

::bows::

Liberty's Edge

waltero wrote:
Well, I bought a sword once while on vacation in Spain. The store packed in a long flat box and I carried it out like that. Of course I had to check that piece of luggage on the flight back home. Definitely not a carry-on.

Huh.

I bought my one sword in Spain as well.

However, the airline LET ME TAKE IT IN MY CARRY-ON.

Something interesting: security coming INTO the U.S. is more loose than security LEAVING the U.S.

Now if THAT isn't frakked up, I don't know what is.

Adios,
The Eldritch Mr. Shiny

Liberty's Edge

Gavgoyle wrote:
Sorry, Eric. F2K is aaaaaaaaall the way over in El Paso, Heathanson is up around Dallas, Chris Wissel is down by Galveston, and I'm down in Killeen. I don't know any Houstonites off the top of my head.

I think there is an evil plot by the Texans to take over the Paizo messageboards. Aha! A quest! I smite thee, Texans!


I could be wrong here, but...
I think those weapons sold in stores at the mall are not really authentic weapons. That is, they're not intended for real combat. Technically speaking, they're probably more like "replicas" for "display only".

I know they cost several hundred dollars - but if you go out and whack something with it, it'll probably bend, break, warp, etc.

Does that make it any more legal? I guess it depends on whether or not you hurt someone with it. But come on, you can kill someone with a freshly sharpened No. 2 pencil, and schools are full of those!


DMR wrote:
I think those weapons sold in stores at the mall are not really authentic weapons... I know they cost several hundred dollars - but if you go out and whack something with it, it'll probably bend, break, warp, etc.

I think there's little to stop such stores from getting and selling more durable versions -- except perhaps liability issues. For those several hundred dollars ($400-$600) you can get a katana from Cold Steel (as an example) that is at least equal in quality to the originals.

The world scares me sometimes :/


So I checked out the Cold Steel website:

Cold Steel website wrote:
The Japanese swords of the Imperial Series have proven, since their initial introduction almost two years ago, to be quite popular with many of our customers. Still, we are aware that there are some people who want a battle ready sword but hope to find one at a more affordable price...

Why are people wanting battle-ready swords?!?

The world really scares me sometimes :/


Tatterdemalion wrote:

So I checked out the Cold Steel website:

Cold Steel website wrote:
The Japanese swords of the Imperial Series have proven, since their initial introduction almost two years ago, to be quite popular with many of our customers. Still, we are aware that there are some people who want a battle ready sword but hope to find one at a more affordable price...

Why are people wanting battle-ready swords?!?

The world really scares me sometimes :/

Just in case you should suddenly feel the need to commit seppuku at a moments notice...after all,you'd need a sturdy blade for your second to lop off your head with...wouldn't want him mucking THAT up with a show blade now would we?:/


The Knife Shop in most of the malls here in AZ. carry swords,crossbows,axes,maces...I've even seen a flail...all kinds of instruments with which to kill/maim,should one be so inclined.I have never seen or heard of anyone using one in a violent crime here...okay, maybe an ax every now and again,but most people still prefer in this modern day and age to kill each other civily...with guns.

For the record...I am NOT advocating violence in any way/shape or form...I just happen to be venomously sarcastic towards the human propensity to commit violent acts.


Celestial Healer wrote:
As if a kobold could be waiting around the next corner and he wanted to be ready because he doesn't have the Quick Draw feat.

I've seen quite a few around here -- kobolds, I mean. They're becoming quite the problem.

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