Cam Edwards notes new proposals for big-city knife control. It's hardly a new idea: in the 1850-1880 period, several states passed laws against bowie knives and "Arkansas Toothpicks." [UPDATE: Clayton Cramer emails me that "Actually, the big burst of laws aimed at Bowie knives and Arkansas toothpicks is earlier than 1850. My book Concealed Weapon Laws of the Early Republic examines this in detail. Alabama's law from 1837 prohibited carrying, and imposed a $100 transfer tax. Georgia's 1837 banned sale of Bowie knives and concealable handguns. Tennessee's 1838 law banned carrying and sale of Bowie knives and Arkansas toothpicks. Arkansas's 1838 banned carrying "any pistol, dirk, butcher or large knife." My book examines the manner in which these laws suddenly became popular--there's some strong similarity to the assault weapon panic of 1989-90, and for the same reason--popular press started making a big deal about how deadly and evil they were--and demand skyrocketed, because LOTS of people now wanted one."]
Some cities (including my own) have bans on numchuck sticks. A prosecutor once told me that the cases were interesting to try before new judges. The smaller ones are just a pair of dowels linked by a string or chain, hardly looking like a weapon.
One picked up the sticks, obviously puzzling over how these could be a weapon, let alone one singled out by law. He finally asked the officer what you did with them -- did you wrap them around the other guy's wrist and pinch him with the handles?