July 14, 2004

Baseball Bat Law

Yesterday, my co-worker showed me this funny charge description that he found on a claim we received:


Now, I didn't know that possessing an altered bat was illegal outside the game of baseball (I guess putting cork in your bat makes it lighter, giving you an advantage when hitting), so I checked out Penal Code Sect. 12020(a) and the main of it says:

Any person in this state who does any of the following
is punishable by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year
or in the state prison:

    (1) Manufactures or causes to be manufactured, imports into the
    state, keeps for sale, or offers or exposes for sale, or who gives,
    lends, or possesses any cane gun or wallet gun, any undetectable
    firearm, any firearm which is not immediately recognizable as a
    firearm, any camouflaging firearm container, any ammunition which
    contains or consists of any flechette dart, any bullet containing or
    carrying an explosive agent, any ballistic knife, any multiburst
    trigger activator, any nunchaku, any short-barreled shotgun, any
    short-barreled rifle, any metal knuckles, any belt buckle knife, any
    leaded cane, any zip gun, any shuriken, any unconventional pistol,
    any lipstick case knife, any cane sword, any shobi-zue, any air gauge
    knife, any writing pen knife, any metal military practice
    handgrenade or metal replica handgrenade, or any instrument or weapon
    of the kind commonly known as a blackjack, slungshot, billy,
    sandclub, sap, or sandbag.

So I don't really see how an "altered" bat fits under this Code, and the only alterations the rest of Sect. 12020 addresses is the alteration of shotguns, rifles, zip guns and ammunition magazines. Still - and maybe this is just my sick sense of humor from working in Crim Law too much - I'm amused by the thought of some dude getting a year added to his drug possession charge because he was attempting to protect his stash with a corked bat. I think they should have just given him a suspension...

0) $paginate_current_page = 0; $paginate_sections = array( 0 ); $paginate_top_section = $paginate_sections[$paginate_current_page-1]+1; $paginate_bottom_section = $paginate_sections[$paginate_current_page]; } else { $paginate_top_section = 1; $paginate_bottom_section = 0; } $paginate_self = '&' . $_SERVER['QUERY_STRING'] . '&'; $paginate_self = preg_replace("/&page=[^&]*&/", "&", $paginate_self); $paginate_self = substr($paginate_self, 1, strlen($paginate_self) - 1); if($paginate_self == '&') $paginate_self = ''; else $paginate_self = htmlentities($paginate_self); $paginate_self = basename($_SERVER['PHP_SELF']) . "?${paginate_self}page"; ?> Posted by Kristina at July 14, 2004 04:36 PM

I love the obscure weapons listed here. "...any shuriken (a ninja star)...shobi-zue (I had no idea about this one but Google revealed that it's a stick concealing a knife)...or blackjack". I think an "altered bat" pretty easily falls under the blackjack category as this basically covers any kind of clubbing device. Sadly, even though nunchaku aren't listed by name they fall under blackjack as well.

Posted by: dr v at July 15, 2004 07:01 AM

ah wait...I see now that nunchaku are listed. guess my plans to become a modern-day ninja are shot to hell.

Posted by: dr v at July 15, 2004 07:03 AM

also...by "altered bat" they don't mean a corked bat. Rather, a bat with the end sawed off to make it a lighter and more effective club.

Posted by: dr v at July 15, 2004 09:31 AM

also...by "altered beast" they don't mean merely that you are a hero risen from the dead on a mission to rescue Zeus' daughter from the clutches of an evil bald magician. Rather, that sega rules.

Posted by: gene wood at July 15, 2004 11:15 AM

did you know that Sega is remaking Altered Beast for PS2? Power up!

Posted by: dr v at July 15, 2004 11:58 AM

I think a cork-filled bat is still marginally advantageous to an assailant, due to its lighter frame. It would marginally increase one's bat speed in a gang fighting situation. However, some argue that the main benefit is psychological, making a corked bat a better choice for a felon that had lost confidence in his jacking ability, or suffering through a short-term bat-fighting slump.

Posted by: sean at July 15, 2004 06:27 PM