A deadly weapon, sometimes dangerous weapon, is an item that can inflict mortal or great bodily harm. By statutory definition, certain items, especially firearms, are designated “deadly weapons per se”, meaning they are regarded as deadly weapons no matter how they are used, from the Latin for “by itself”. In addition, deadly weapons statutes often contain provisions covering other implements intended to be used to inflict harm.
The use or possession of a deadly weapon during the commission of a crime often constitutes a penaltyenhancer. The deadly weapon penalty enhancer is premised on a belief that commission of the particular crime is inherently more dangerous.
In some jurisdictions, a distinction is made between deadly weapons and destructive devices, such as explosives, incendiary or poison gas bombs, grenades, landmines, rockets, missiles, or similar devices, including the unassembled components from which such devices can be made.
Deadly weapons per seEdit
A deadly weapon per se is usually defined as a firearm and may include knives of a certain length (usually three inches or longer, depending on jurisdiction). Statutes list weapons such as switchblade, gravity knife, ballistic knife, stiletto, sword, dagger, blackjack, brass knuckles, nunchaku (fighting sticks), shuriken (throwing stars), among others.
Other deadly weaponsEdit
Any object designed, made, or adapted for the purposes of inflicting death or serious physical injury can be considered a deadly weapon.
For example, a shoe or a shod foot used for kicking may be considered a dangerous weapon. A Florida manwas charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon after throwing a live alligator through the open drive-through window of a fast food restaurant. In Texas a grand jury decided that a flashing GIF, intended to provoke an epileptic seizure resulting in death, can be considered as a deadly weapon.
Examples of statutes
^ “Deadly Weapon”. Wex. Cornell Law School. Retrieved 16 December2017.^ Commonwealth v. Marrero, 19 Mass. App. Ct. 921, 922 (1984)^ “Assault and Battery by means of a Dangerous Weapon”, Jury Instruction 6.300, 2009 edition, p. 8^ Niraj Chokshi; Sarah Larimer (2016-02-09). “Assault with a deadly weapon: Florida man charged with throwing alligator into Wendy’s”. Washington Post.^ “Kurt Eichenwald Case: Texas Grand Jury Says a GIF Is a ‘Deadly Weapon'”. NBC News. March 21, 2017. Retrieved March 24, 2017.^ 7-A M.R.S.A. § 2(9)^ 17-A M.R.S.A. § 2(12-A)