The Getback Whip Issue Revisited.

California Motorcycle Accident Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez discusses the Getback WhipI wrote an article on July 6, 2008, about the Getback Whip, which you can read by clicking here now.

In the article I discussed the fact that the Getback Whip is not specifically made illegal by California Code, but that under certain circumstances, the use of a Getback Whip could be construed as a crime.

Since I wrote the article, I have been contacted by people who have been busted with the whip or whips, and have heard that certain prosecutors and law enforcement agencies throughout the State are busting people with Getback Whips by labeling them a “Slungshot” which is a prohibited weapon in the State of California.

A slung shot has been defined as a weight, as a stone or a piece of metal, fastened to a short strap, chain, or the like, and used as a weapon and is prohibited by California Penal Code §12020.

I have not heard the outcome of any of the Getback whip cases, but in my update to the original article, I have opined that you should not have a Getback Whip on your motorcycle in California until this issue gets resolved one way or another, or you risk being charged with a felony. (State Prison for a year or more)

Going one step further; in California Any person who commits an assault upon the person of another with a deadly weapon or instrument other than a firearm or by any means of force likely to produce great bodily injury shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for two, three, or four years, or in a county jail for not exceeding one year, or by a fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars ($10,000), or by both the fine and imprisonment. California Penal Code §245(a)(1).

Basically PC § 245(a)(1) can and is construed to make all types of instruments deadly weapons if they can and do produce great bodily injury. Under this statute, a hammer could be a deadly weapon, a wrench could be a deadly weapon, a screwdriver can be a deadly weapon, a flashlight can be a deadly weapon, and yes a Getback Whip can be a deadly weapon.

It is what you do with the instrument that counts.

Therefore in closing, I am again recommending that based upon the current climate in California, you should remove any Getback Whips from your motorcycle pending the outcome of the Courts decisions in these cases. In no circumstance other than Self Defense with reasonable force, should you use an instrument on someone else which is likely to produce great bodily harm.

Use common sense people.

By California Motorcycle Accident and Biker Lawyer, Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © 2009

31 Responses to The Getback Whip Issue Revisited.

  1. One guy was busted with one in Northern California and was offered a deal to attend some Lifestyle class, and it would be expunged.

  2. I have two of these whips. Never occured to me that these were illegal anywhere.

    Are these whips illegal in any other states as well?

  3. My local bike shop here in Bakersfield, CA is telling me once in a while CHP officers come in and show others what the whips look like…..AND that they will now arrest instead of cite anyone who has one on the bike

  4. whether its a whip, loud pipe, pocket knife on yer cut, Ape hangers, Chain wallet,ball point pen, toothbrush! it is any excuse to generate revenue for the counties, cities and states as long as we do not fight back against this type of oppression by our public SERVANTS(get it?).and abuse they will continue, If you are hassled PLEASE get the badge # and name of the “Ossifer” and file a complaint! it WILL go in his/her file regardless of the outcome! and remember DO NOT CONSENT TO ANYTHING!! KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT! till you can contact legal counsel!…take the connector off and zip tie it! If he stops you he has no cause and you can file!! FTP!!Stand up for yourselves! where would we be if our fore fathers didnt tell the kings men to take a hike?!! HMMM? the more power we give these “Public servants” the less freedoms we have!! join your local COC and Band together! dont be a pussy!!

  5. I fully agree with Rick, VMCF. We pay these pricks do work for us. Our founding fathers saw this coming. They put protections into place, however, our government did their best to dumb down society and make our citizens believe the Constitution is just a living document that could be changed. Can’t everyone see that the government see bikers as an obstacle? We believe in FREEDOM! We have the ability to organize and have been for years. Many bikers are vets. Instead of this pathetic obama administration focusing on islamic terrorists, they focus on patriots and American highwaymen. Rick suggested that we don’t say anything or consent to shit. That advise should be taken seriously. Don’t let them bullshit you, cops, just like journalists will spin your words. It’s not about the whip, it’s about big government bending us over.

  6. If anyone has to go to court in kali for a slungshot possesion charge, make sure that you point out that the prosecutor, the bailiff or any other male court official in the room is also most likely in possesion of a piece of metal at the end of a strap. You didn’t use your getback whip as a weapon, you never intended to use it as a weapon, just the same way as anyone else in the room probably has no intentions of removing their belts to use as weapons. About 11 years ago I was charged with a felony weapon possesion, the item in question was not illegal, but because I didn’t choose my words with the officer carefully, they had intent…that’s all it takes to make any legal object an illegal weapon.

  7. On Halloween night(2009) I was nearly run into the sidewalk by a car meging into my lane. I revved my Harly, blew my horn and yelled at the top of my lungs while this lady and her passenger were looking directly at me. Needless to say I want a get-back whip now but stumbled onto this website. Are there any news to the outcome of these being labeled “Slungshots”?

  8. I am the one who makes the whips for the local bike shop here in Bakersfield, Ca that Pshyco Dave mentioned above. Cops did in fact come by and take a look at them, and although they are not illegal, it was enough for us to re-look the design. The main issue they have with them is the large horse clip on the end and in my opinion, after beating the hell out of a watermelon with one, I have to agree that it can be a very dangerous weapon. That being said, I can not find a single case where one has been used as such. I also tried to remove and swing it while riding up my street and almost dumped the scooter. The new design has no metal at all and if you try and hit some giant biker with one he is going to either like it, or beat the hell out of you, either way the result will not be good. Before we put the new ones out, I plan on asking several agencies thier opinion. I’ll let you know how it comes out.

  9. Hey I wanted to get hold of Dave Arnold, if you read this or anyone knows what bike shop in Bakersfield he works for please let me know. I live in Bakersfield and wanted to get my husband a whip for his Harley and buying one that does not have the metal at the end sounds like a smart idea considering the cops in this area are not “fun”. If you have info please let me know. thx!

    • I have been making getback whips since ’03. I can also put a snap on the attachment. Let me know if you are still looking for one. I have about 30 colors and 60 if you reverse the leather with rough side out. Thanks, Cactus

  10. I have heard of a few reports; they are all from Northern California. I assume in the case you mentioned, he was offered a plea bargain to plead no contest to a felony? Hell, no thanks, it is easier to not ride with the whip.


    • i know this is two years old, but i have to chime in. its not about needing the hassle its about not getting pushed around by the local government. sure its starts with get back whips but what next 8 oclock curfews no motorcycles above 500cc, no guns. NO, BULLSHIT, IT HAS TO STOP. one of our founding fathers stated that “it is not the citizens right to fight for what he believs, it is his responsibility to stand up and fight.” I’m a good guy with no intention of using a get back whip as a weapon, why am I being punished????

  11. Iso I want to make it clear that as of now, a Biker Getback Whip is not expressly illegal in the State of California. What is happening is that people in possession of the whips are being charged with possession of a slungshot. The DA’s and Police are not making a distinction between the two.

    If there were a way to remove the fastener and still connect the whip to the motorcycle, it should then be OK. However, they could find another reason under existing law to make it illegal. We will have to let the cases work through the system to see how it pans out.

    As far as other States, I have not heard anything either way.


  12. My husband was arrested just today April 4,2014 for having is whip on his bike. We are from Texas and do not know the CA laws but I’m on Google checking the laws and I see no laws against these whips, I was just wondering an outcome of the case in the story and what I and my husband should expect. I am in Texas right now and hes sitting in a Van Nuys jail cell because of this?!?! Thank you any info is appreciated.

  13. So might it be construed same as the bayonet lug on the banned that it is an issue of a fixed versus quick release device…..lemme elaborate.
    The Get Back whip is designed as a telltale, to remain constantly streaming back while underway at highway speeds, but will whip you to get your attention if side-drafted…by a semi or a car passing too closely. In that purpose, it is a legitimate device.
    When getting angry at someone and removing it via a Quick Disconnect mounting device and using it to beat someone senseless, you are using a regulated or illegal weapon, regardless of whether or not it is classified as a Lethal Weapon…it is still construed as Assault with a deadly or restricted weapon, even in self defense. (whereas, for instance, a licensed pistol owner, seeking to defend himself in similar circumstances, would be lawfully using a firearm in self defense.).

    Thus, I identify that the quick disconnect mounting hardware of the Get Back whip is the issue. If it were permanently fastened to the handelbar and used as a telltale indicator for riding conditions, then it is a lawful device and attached hardware to your motorcycle.

    It is the design of the quick disconnect for quick deployment of a restricted weapon that makes it illegal.

    If you removed the quick disconnect and hard fastened it to your motorcycle, I think you would have a better defense against ticketing, or prosecution.

  14. I thought we just lived in a STATE of confusion here in the people’s republic of Californicate! The motorcycle hating pubic(small minority) & fat ass politicians- hey who doesn’t try to get your attention so – the citizens & people in cages can give you a thumbs up or hey man righteous scoot!! Sounds beautiful!! Most law enforcement cops are pretty cool- at least the ones I’ve dealt with, mostly non pull overs… They dig the same shit we do!! Just remember the GOLDEN RULE . If any of you are ever in San Diego- east county and are stopped by CHP OFFICER ENSIGN on your scooter believe me he had a good reason- he cut me a REAL SOLID! Probably I could have went to JAIL for more than a couple of things. As being a bro & his buddies being fellow bikers just asked me to put my whips in my bags! Big Man with a BIG HEART for BROTHER BIKERS!!

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