A Port Jefferson, N.Y., attorney has vowed to appeal a federal judge's denial of his challenge to his arrest for possession in his home of two "chuka sticks," or "nunchaku."
"A law that punishes a person ... for the peaceful possession in his or her home of two sticks connected by a cord is nothing less than draconian, and should embarrass us all," said the attorney, James M. Maloney.
But Eastern District of New York Judge Arthur Spatt made short work of Maloney's claim that §265.01 of New York's Penal Law violated Maloney's First Amendment right of free speech, his Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms and his Ninth Amendment right to privacy. (Maloney v. Cuomo, 03 cv0786, was published on Jan. 25.)
Maloney was charged with fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon, a misdemeanor, under a statute that prohibits possession of chuka sticks -- along with other exotic arms such as switchblades, blackjacks, metal knuckles, sword canes, slingshots, sandbags and "Kung Fu" throwing stars. . . .
[M]aloney was arrested in August 2000 after a telephone lineman working on a pole near his home reported to police that Maloney had pointed a rifle or shotgun at him. Maloney has denied that allegation, saying he merely observed the worker though a telescope.
Maloney surrendered after a 12-hour standoff with authorities. The police seized two unregistered handguns in a safe and two chuka sticks. He was charged with weapons possession and second-degree criminal menacing.
In January 2003, the criminal charges against Maloney were dismissed in exchange for his guilty plea to one count of disorderly conduct, a violation.