HomeLocal NewsAre Brass Knuckles Legal In Michigan? What We Know

Are Brass Knuckles Legal In Michigan? What We Know

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The subject, “Are brass knuckles legal in Michigan?” continues to gain attention in the Great Lakes State. There are laws regulating almost everything in this state. So, inquire about the laws on brass knuckles while relocating to Michigan. 

Brass knuckles aren’t expressly banned in the United States of America. However, most states and local governments prohibit their use. They classified them as dangerous weapons and penalized their possession, manufacturing or use. 

Here, we’ll discuss the legal implications of possessing or using brass knuckles in Michigan. Does the state consider it legal to possess such weapons? Here is what we know. 

Are Brass Knuckles Legal In Michigan?

Brass knuckles are illegal in Michigan, though a Michigan House Committee considered lifting the ban in 2021. Unfortunately, the proposal didn’t receive much attention to scale through the House. 

Rep. Steve Johnson and R-Wayland sponsored the proposal to remove the ban on brass Knuckles in 2021. The legislatures claimed the ban was an “outdated law,” which started in the 1930s. 

Johnson’s position was that if people can own a knife and a gun, which are far more dangerous, a ban on brass knuckles is unfair. 

The House Judiciary Committee deliberated on the proposal for over 10 minutes but didn’t conduct any vote on the legislation. So, brass knuckles remain illegal in Michigan, unless things change in the future. 

What Are Brass Knuckles?

Brass knuckle is a melee weapon used in combat and fashion. It is popular in combat and can cause significant damage when used on an opponent. 

The weapon is worn on the knuckles, making punches landed on opponents more fatal. Another name for brass knuckles is knuckle dusters.

They are hand-held weapons designed to fit over users’ fingers. In addition, they’re made from varied materials such as brass, plastic, metal, and carbon fiber.

A Handy Tip: The genuine brass knuckles are made from a combination of polished copper and zinc material, giving them a reflective surface. 

You can see your reflection on the real brass knuckles. However, if yours isn’t reflective, then what you have is a faux brass knuckle. 

Brass knuckles boast four holes fitted over the upper fingers. In addition, the weapon is firmly gripped when you make a fist. 

The History of Brass Knuckles

Punching someone with a brass knuckle can send them to the ER. Fists can be fatal, but a fist with a brass knuckle is more fatal. They have a greater potential to cause fatal injury, pain, or death. 

The dangers of engaging in combat wearing brass knuckles are well-known and documented. They can cause bone fractures, internal injuries, concoctions, cuts, and deaths.

Some knuckles boast extremely sharp blades, making them even more fatal. Blows from such knuckles can cause deaths or massive injuries that can send someone to the ER. 

Brass knuckles boast a long history. According to experts, Greek and Roman fighters used the weapon years ago. The Roman gladiator’s gauntlet or handguard, regarded as the caestus, are the brass knuckles’ first known use.   

During World War I, soldiers who fought in the United States Army used a Mark I Trench Knife with brass knuckles. In World War II, soldiers also had the same weapon, but this time, more deadlier.   

Today, brass knuckles have been glamorized. People use it in pop culture, video games and even major TV shows. 

Unfortunately, making these weapons appear glamorous and appealing hasn’t changed lawmakers’ minds in some states, such as Michigan. You’ll find yourself in big trouble if you are found in possession of this weapon. 

Are Brass Knuckles A Felony In Michigan?

The law against the use, possessing or manufacturing of brass knuckles, including clubs and blackjack, started in 1931. So, Rep. Steve Johnson and R-Wayland were right to call the laws that made the possession, use or manufacturing of brass knuckles outdated. 

Unfortunately, both lawmakers were unsuccessful in their attempt to convince the House Judiciary Committee and their colleagues that the ban was unnecessary. 

Now, here is the question. Are brass knuckles considered a felony in Michigan? Yes, they are. 

If you possess, use or manufacture brass knuckles, you have committed a felony. The penalty for possessing this weapon includes 5 years in prison. 

Michigan And Other States Brass Knuckles Are Illegal

Michigan isn’t the only state that placed a ban on brass knuckles. It has accomplices. 

Below are states where brass knuckles are illegal or you require a permit to use them. 

  • Michigan
  • Arizona
  • Alaska
  • Arkansas
  • Connecticut (with permit)
  • Colorado
  • California
  • Florida (with permit)
  • Delaware (with permit)

In states that require a permit, using brass knuckles without a permit can land you in trouble. Many states have removed the ban on the weapon, and more may join in the coming years. However, people need to understand the laws of each state before buying or using brass knuckles. Get a permit if you want to use the weapon in states that require one.

What Will Happen If You Were Caught With Brass Knuckle In Michigan? 

The fact that brass knuckles are illegal means there are punishments for whoever possesses them. There are penalties for breaking the law. So, if you’re caught with a brass knuckle, you could be sent to prison.

In 2015, a 39-year-old man, Scott W. Bellen, was arrested in Bay City for possessing a set of knuckle dusters (brass knuckles). 

Judge Harry P. Gill, the Bay County Circuit judge, sentenced the offender to 120 days in jail, though he deferred an additional 245 days. 

How was Scott W. Bellen arrested?  

Scott was an employee of Green Chicken Coop. He argued with the owner of the business, Daniel Cohen, over a job he did. 

After the argument, Scott returned to his duties but planned to hurt Daniel. He planned to beat up Daniel Cohen, using several dangerous weapons. 

A fellow employee saved Daniel’s life. The employee told him of Scott’s plan to beat him up using dangerous weapons. Daniel quickly called 911, and when the police came, they found the brass knuckles in Scott’s pocket. 

When asked what he was doing with the brass knuckles, Scott told the police that he was using it for protection. Unfortunately, Michigan law prohibits using, possessing, manufacturing or selling brass knuckles. Thus, claiming you’re using a brass knuckle for protection isn’t a valid reason to own one. 

If you’re caught with brass knuckles in Michigan, you’ll be prosecuted unless the weapon has been made legal by then. But as things stand, it’s still illegal in the state.

Having a brass knuckle in Michigan is a felony. The punishment could include five years in prison or payment of a fine of up to $2,500. You can find the statute that deals with the felony here.  

Are Plastic Knuckles Legal In Michigan? 

Brass knuckles are prohibited in Michigan. It doesn’t matter the material, shape, type, or style. As long as it is a brass knuckle, you could land in trouble. 

Therefore, whether the weapon is made of brass, plastic, metals or carbon fiber, the law in Michigan forbids anyone from keeping such weapons. 


Are brass knuckles legal in Michigan? No, brass knuckles aren’t legal in the state. The law prohibits anyone from manufacturing, selling, using or being passionate about this weapon. 

You’ll be charged with a felony if caught with a brass knuckle, and penalties include five years in prison or a fine up to $2,500. 

Brass knuckles might not be as deadly as guns, but they can inflict massive injury on a person. Punching someone with this weapon can cause bone fracture, pain, cuts, concoction, dislocation, and even death. 

Jason Cooper
Jason Cooper
Jason Cooper is a dedicated news blogger with a zeal for storytelling. Enthusiastically covering current events, he constantly seeks fresh angles and innovative ways to refine his craft and engage his readers.


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