Beware of “Knucks,” “Novelty Bottle Openers,” and Other “EDC Pocket Tools”

Photo: Brass knuckles carried by Lincoln’s bodyguards during his train ride through Baltimore (Highsmith (Carol M.) Archive at the Library of Congress)

A growing trend within the everyday carry (“EDC”) community is something called a “knuck.” Knucks are essentially redesigned brass knuckles made to fit one or two fingers instead of all four. Also called “knuckles,” knucks are marketed and purchased primarily as EDC self-defense weapons.

The growing popularity of knucks, as well as all things EDC, has resulted in dozens of small businesses popping up that design, manufacture, and sell knucks. Rather than looking like the cheap brass knuckles you find at a flea market, these modernized knucks are often multipurpose (the most common modification is a bottle opener) and are made of metals ranging from titanium and stainless steel to copper and aluminum.

While many companies and individuals refer to these creative works of art as novelty bottle openers, pocket tools, multipurpose tools, keychains, and paper weights, at their core knucks are self-defense weapons. Regardless of what you or the person you bought them from calls them, knucks are subject to North Carolina’s criminal law statutes which make it illegal to carry concealed weapons.

Are Brass Knuckles Illegal in North Carolina?

In North Carolina, it is illegal to carry brass knuckles if they are carried concealed. See N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-269. This applies to all types of metallic knucks or knuckles regardless of how many fingers they fit. This statute does not make it illegal for someone to possess brass knuckles or carry them concealed on their own premises.

If you’re in North Carolina and are carrying one of these metallic knucks, EDC pocket tools, or novelty bottle openers in your pocket (or somewhere else about your person which conceals the weapon), then you are illegally carrying a concealed weapon. This is the case even if you have a concealed handgun permit because such a permit applies to handguns, not other weapons like knucks. See N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-415.10 et. seq.

Anyone found guilty of carrying a weapon such as brass knuckles in a concealed manner in violation of N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-269(a) shall be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor. A Class 2 misdemeanor provides for a maximum penalty of 60 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.

If you have been charged with carrying a concealed weapon in Winston-Salem or other surrounding county in North Carolina, contact Allman Spry today to schedule a consultation with a dedicated North Carolina criminal defense lawyer.