Is it legal to carry a sword for self-defense?”
For instance, it would appear not to be a violation of the New York Penal Law, section 265.01 to possess a sword. per se. However, under section 120.15 of the New York Penal Law, a person carrying a deadly weapon in public could be charged with the crime of “menacing” in the third degree. It is illegal in Texas to carry any one of a number of weapons in public, including a sword, according to Texas Penal Code sections 46.01 and 46.02. That ban appears to be outright. In California, you can be charged Penal Code section 417(a) if you draw or exhibit a non-firearm deadly weapon in a rude, angry or threatening manner. There is enough wiggle room in these statutes, which are just listed as examples, for the police to arrest anyone bold enough to walk around carrying a sword in public display. Further, most states have additional regulations concerning carrying weapons into hospitals, public buildings, banks, etc.