A federal judge ruled Friday that the New York ban on nunchucks is unconstitutional and a violation of the Second Amendment rights. New York banned the possession of nunchucks in 1974, after fearing they would be used as violent weapons after the rise in KungFu spurred by Bruce Lee at the time, The Washington Post reported.

U.S. District Judge Pamela K. Chen made the 32-page ruling in a Brooklyn federal court that stated that nunchucks fell under the Second Amendment right to bear arms. Chen maintained that nunchucks are commonly used by karate students and teachers, which an outright ban violates their right to use them as law-abiding citizens.

James Maloney filed the suit after being arrested for possessing nunchucks in his home in 2000. Maloney, who is a lawyer, represented himself in the case challenging the ban which prevented him from teaching his children certain karate moves in the Shafan Ha Lavan style that he said he invented, The Washington Post reported.

Malony also argued that the outright ban of nunchucks prevented him from defending himself in his home, which the Supreme Court has said is part of a person’s Second Amendment right, the news outlet said. Maloney first filed the lawsuit in 2003, appealing the decision all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

While Maloney only requested that he be allowed to have nunchucks in his home, Chen found the entire law unconstitutional and struck down the law.

“The Court granted relief somewhat beyond what I had asked for, but I am not about to complain,” Maloney wrote on his blog. “Thanks to the many who have helped in many ways along the way. It has been a path with heart.”

Maloney’s case was primarily fueled by outrage as he simply could not understand, “How could a state simply ban any and all possession of a weapon that had a long and proud history as a martial-arts weapon, with recreational, therapeutic and self-defense utility,” he told USA Today.

With the ruling now allowing the ownership of nunchucks in New York, Massachusetts is the only state still carrying a ban against these karate weapons, according to the court opinion. Other states do limit and restrict the use of nunchucks in varying degrees.

Nunchucks Ban
The New York nunchuck ban has been lifted as a federal judge has ruled it unconstitutional and a violation of Second Amendment rights. Palestinian boys learn how to practise martial arts by Nunchaku at The Palestinian Nunchaku Union headquarters June 14, 2005. Jamal Oqeli who is the head of The Palestinian Nunchaku Union headquarters said that his union has been suffering from a budget shortage. Getty Images/Abid Katib