The answer is state specific. Some locations view them as a lethal weapon. As far as baton training vs Arnis/Kali, if you have learned the control techniques as well as the striking techniques you should be good to go. With a baton you really need to know what you are doing because it requires you to be up close and personal, and it is easy to seriously hurt or kill someone if misapplied. Having said that, a baton is an excellent weapon if you know how to use it-very versatile! It can be used for strikes to hard or soft targets, leverages, take-downs, and come-along holds.