I get asked this question pretty often and the quick answer is “IT DEPENDS.”  What you carry on your keychain and where you carry it are both variables that influence the answer. That said, let’s take a closer look, and I’ll leave you with my suggestion at the end of the blog.

Understanding Legality

The legal status of self-defense keychains is a topic that changes depending on what state you’re in and what you carry on that key chain. For example, if we stick to “cat ear keychains,” we find the following:

✅ Legal in 12 States

✅ Legal w/License in 17 States

🚩 Prohibited in 21 States

In many states these “cat ear key chains” would be classified under brass knuckles, even though they are much less powerful. This means there are some states that prohibit them completely, other states that require a license to carry them, and some states that permit ownership and carry with no restrictions.

So the legal landscape isn’t uniform across states and IT CHANGES! Those numbers might change by the time you read this! There is no universal sentiment.


Navigating the Gray Areas

As the legal terrain can be complex, it’s essential to navigate with care. Some self-defense keychains, like the MUNIO, are crafted not just for effectiveness but also with legality in mind. MUNIO, designed to avoid the appearance of a weapon, and stands as an example of a tool that the MFG says is legal across all states. Click hereto grab one off Amazon if you’re interested.


Choosing Wisely

In the pursuit of personal safety, please realize that “training” should come before any “tools” in your arsenal of self defense. Having an item that you keep in your pocket or on your key chain is only good if you can A) get to it when you need it, B) use it effectively and C) retain it so it does not get used on you. We would argue that most people need more training to successfully deal with a threat (and or avoid one) first, else they are putting themselves in greater danger by carrying a tool in the first place.

It’s adding insult to injury to have the item you brought with you “to keep you safe” turned against you and be the thing that gets you hurt. NO ONE WANTS THAT….and it’s why proper training is essential. A tool of any type, a knife, gun, defense keychain, pepper spray, etc….is not a replacement for training, it’s a tool who’s use is amplified by training.


Real safety is not just about wielding a keychain based tool….there’s more to it than that. Never think you can just “buy a thing and keep it in your pocket” that just creates a false sense of security. Unfortunately, it’s the easy, yet dangerous option, that too many people choose. Instead, find a good training facility that covers mental, verbal, physical defense and weapons like the A.C.W.A. does and get well rounded, practical solutions so you can realistically deal with the less than ideal situations life can present us with.


Stay Safe!

Justin J. Everman

A.C.W.A. Founder