Oof. How do you legally and safely get rid of a katana?
December 26, 2017 3:11 PM   Subscribe

Asking for a friend! In Brooklyn. No but seriously, how. The usual Brooklyn Stoop System seems both irresponsible and possibly illegal, because it is, uh, a sharpened actual weapon. So. Seriously, it’s a friend.
posted by schadenfrau to Law & Government (24 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Pawn shop?
posted by Thorzdad at 3:19 PM on December 26, 2017 [9 favorites]


Do you have pictures? I've been looking for one. (unless you mean "get rid of" as in dispose of because it was used in a crime. )
posted by ambulocetus at 3:20 PM on December 26, 2017 [11 favorites]


Police station? Goodwill or another charity?
posted by JimN2TAW at 3:21 PM on December 26, 2017


How about offering it to a swordsmanship school or society? I would imagine they'd have systems for safely transporting such an object.
posted by xo at 3:32 PM on December 26, 2017 [4 favorites]


Go to your nearest art college. Choose a kid dressed in black. Offer it to them. I'm only half kidding - when I was in art school, every guy there seemed to be into them (and they all wore black!) things can't have changed that much.
posted by Jubey at 3:37 PM on December 26, 2017 [4 favorites]


Craigslist it for 5 bucks.
posted by Oceanic Trench at 4:22 PM on December 26, 2017 [3 favorites]


There is nothing wrong or illegal about owning a sharp knife- every kitchen in NYC has loads of them. Katanas aren't super useful for most things, but nothing wrong with owning one. So sell it or dispose of it however you like.
posted by Patapsco Mike at 4:29 PM on December 26, 2017 [6 favorites]


There is nothing wrong or illegal about owning a sharp knife- every kitchen in NYC has loads of them.

There are lots of specific kinds of sharp knives it is definitely illegal to own. Switchblades and gravity knives, for instance. I would definitely think twice about assuming everything is hunky-dory with your big-ass sword on the grounds that chefs carry their knives with them to work.
posted by kenko at 4:45 PM on December 26, 2017 [12 favorites]


Actual or imitation katana? And do you want it to be reused? The crappy ones you hit sideways or stomp on and they'll break into useless pieces
posted by TheAdamist at 5:15 PM on December 26, 2017 [3 favorites]


Ok so I had a very similar sword (found it in my loft of new flat) so I rolled it in my yoga mat and handed it in at the police station. YMMV. This was in London, UK.
posted by teststrip at 5:25 PM on December 26, 2017 [2 favorites]


Any idea what kind of quality we're talking about here? Incredibly cheap (but real looking) katanas have been sold in American malls since the 80s at least (varying by local laws on that sort of thing). I don't know if they're still selling them at Spencer gifts these days, but they were a common fixture in homes when I was a kid, usually belonging to a guy who fancied himself an action movie star, and also in homes with a faux-asian interior design.

If it's the cheap kind, it may not even actually be sharp. It's probably not smart to leave it in a box of free stuff on the corner, lest some foolish kid picks it up and goes swinging it around the neighborhood, but it may be no more effective as a bladed weapon than a metal ruler.

If it's of any quality, xo's suggestion above about donating it sounds perfect.

You could also give it to a pawn shop or goodwill, or sell it or give it away on ebay or craigslist (I have no idea if they have a policy restricting these things, you'd have to read their restricted-items list).

Also, if you have any friends with responsible kids who are into medieval stuff, you will be the coolest aunt/uncle ever by presenting your niece/nephew with an actual metal sword for their next birthday (obviously go through the parents if you choose this route).

If you decide it's cheap junk and want the easiest route, you can wrap it up in cardboard, wrap some duct tape around the cardboard, and put it in your next bag of trash.
posted by ethical_caligula at 5:27 PM on December 26, 2017 [4 favorites]


I want to add that, especially since you stated *legally* in your question, that laws regarding the legality of knifes and swords vary greatly between states and even counties. These laws regularly change their wording (as everyone needs a steak knife but no one wants a mugger to have one). I am not a lawyer, but you can probably find your local laws online.
posted by ethical_caligula at 5:38 PM on December 26, 2017 [1 favorite]


If you can post some pictures I can tell you whether it is a valuable antique or a piece of junk or something in the middle. Anything you can tell us about the provenance might help. Even a broken one might have a bit of historical value if it is really an antique.
posted by ambulocetus at 6:24 PM on December 26, 2017 [6 favorites]


Search for Brooklyn Iaido, call one up. Iaido is the Japanese art of drawing the sword, they use metal blades and sometimes even sharp. They'll probably know laws and/or have a use for it.
posted by zengargoyle at 6:28 PM on December 26, 2017 [2 favorites]


The samurai museum in Tokyo has a prominent sign in their gift shop listing where swords for sale may not be sent. The US isn't among the countries.
posted by brujita at 11:03 PM on December 26, 2017


Why wouldn’t you just throw this in the trash? Your friend’s mall sword isn’t illegal to own in NYC.
posted by danny the boy at 12:09 AM on December 27, 2017


Because dumping a long sharp object in the trash is laying a trap which might inflict a life changing injury on some unsuspecting garbage worker.
posted by pharm at 2:02 AM on December 27, 2017 [16 favorites]


If you just want to throw it away safely, you can call 311 and ask for their guidelines on disposal of long sharp objects.
posted by 168 at 4:37 AM on December 27, 2017 [1 favorite]


Pawn shop is a great idea. they usually know the law because they don't want the hassle of breaking it, and, cash.
posted by theora55 at 6:02 AM on December 27, 2017 [1 favorite]


Please don't donate a weapon to a thrift store without talking to a manager first. They may not be able to accept any weapons, or they may just have extra rules about accepting them. My local ones have a locked case for expensive/fragile things and if they are allowed to sell it, they would probably display it in there. If you have any kind of display case or packaging for it, include that with the item.
posted by soelo at 7:54 AM on December 27, 2017


Because dumping a long sharp object in the trash is laying a trap which might inflict a life changing injury on some unsuspecting garbage worker.

There isn’t anything magically dangerous about a sword. By this logic hundreds of thousands of trash disposal people are maimed every year because they’re wholly unprepared for sharper objects actually hidden in the trash, like broken glass. A giant sword that has a sheath on it is an inert object.
posted by danny the boy at 9:09 AM on December 27, 2017 [1 favorite]


This is 100% a cheap piece of nevertheless sharpened trash, delivered, bafflingly, by Amazon to NYS.

I’m going to recommend the embarrassing call to 311.
posted by schadenfrau at 10:33 AM on December 27, 2017


I have no idea if this affects the legal status of a sword-like object, but if it's cheap trash and your only obstacle to throwing it out is its sharpness, you could grind off the edge with a cheap sharpening stone (or, like... a sidewalk) and then toss it.
posted by egregious theorem at 2:16 PM on December 27, 2017


There is nothing wrong or illegal about owning a sharp knife- every kitchen in NYC has loads of them.

Yeah, about that. . .

New York’s Outdated Knife Law

New York Cops Are Jailing Handymen For Carrying This Common Pocketknife
posted by mlis at 9:32 AM on January 17, 2018


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