Over the last decade or so, it has become much harder to purchase firearms in the US. As more liberal courts and municipalities have tracked towards a progressive approach to the question of self-defense, the regulation of firearms or deadly-force weapons has dramatically increased. Even less-lethal defensive tools have become more difficult to legally purchase and carry in many of these locales.
However, the need for defensive tools has never been greater. As population saturation in cities continues to increase it is only to be expected that violent confrontations will also escalate. Unfortunately, sociologists and criminologists have known for decades that as more people from varied backgrounds are forced to live in ever closer proximity to each other…friction and confrontational issues will increase. For that reason, the need for non-lethal yet formidable defensive tools is also growing.
In the US today you can legally own and carry a Conducted Energy Weapon (Stun Gun) in 46 States. In some of these States, you are required to have a license or permit or be of a certain legal age to possess a Conducted Energy Weapon (CEW). In almost all of these States you cannot have a felony conviction on your record to possess any type of weapon. Overall, in most of these States a CEW is covered under similar regulations applied to chemical weapons such as pepper spray. However, four States… Hawaii, Massachusetts, New York and Rhode Island have continued to ban them from civilian possession.
New York & Massachusetts…
The civilian access to legitimate self-defense tools can no longer be overlooked by law enforcement and government officials. It is only natural that other defensive tools be considered as legitimate and legal alternatives to firearms today. Mind you, we are discussing legitimate Conducted Energy Weapons or Stun Guns. We are not talking about the novelty type stun guns that “…make noise and generate sparks.” This article deals with the legal possession of high-microcoulomb producing Conducted Energy Weapons that are anything but a toy!
In that regards, a Federal Judge ruled this past Friday (March 22nd) in the District Court of Albany New York that the State of New York’s ban on the possession of stun guns is unconstitutional. The decision came in a lawsuit filed by Mathew Avitabile of Schoharie County New York, who said he wanted to buy a stun gun for self-defense in his rural home in upstate New York. His lawyers argued that the longstanding New York ban on civilian ownership of stun guns violated the Second Amendment right to bear arms and US District Judge David Hurd agreed.
“New York’s sweeping prohibition on the possession and use of tasers and stun guns by all citizens for all purposes, even for self-defense in one’s own home, must be declared unconstitutional,” Hurd wrote in his decision. Illinois’ State Supreme Court made a similar stun gun ruling Thursday (March 21st), deciding in favor of two men charged with carrying the devices as well.
A Massachusetts court struck down that State’s stun gun ban late last year, also ruling that banning civilian possession of the weapons violates the US Constitution’s “Right to Bear Arms.” The Massachusetts ruling is based on a similar style lawsuit brought by one of the Commonwealths residents who (also) rightly claimed that as other viable defensive tools are outlawed by State statute, the Commonwealths citizenry are left defenseless and in need of (at minimum) non-lethal means of protection.
Stephen Stamboulieh, of Madison Mississippi is one of the team of lawyers who successfully argued the case before the New York District Court said, “…in all cases the judges ruled the stun guns are “bearable arms,” and therefore (are) covered under the protections guaranteed by the Second Amendment.” He went on to say, “…a right is a right. It is a Taser (stun gun), a billy club, a handgun; it’s all protected by the Second Amendment!”
Attorney Stamboulieh said he and Alan Beck (co-counsel on the New York case) have also now filed lawsuits aiming to overturn stun gun bans in Hawaii and Rhode Island based on the same established legal precedents supported by the latest successful court cases in Massachusetts, Illinois and New York. It is their expectations that by the end of the 2019 it is very possible that Conducted Energy Weapons or Stun Guns may be legal in all 50 States as opposed to the current 48.
Legal scholars caution however, that States that are used to supporting the over-regulation of constitutionally recognized rights do not take kindly on such over-reach being undone. Therefore it can be expected that States such as New York will attempt to author future regulatory guidelines to “manage” the possession of stun guns. For that reason it is expected that the final disposition of this successful judicial outcome may well still be a work in progress.
Nevertheless, the handwriting is on the wall. Civilian ownership of stun guns will soon be the law of the land!
Please Note: No information contained in this article/blog should be mistaken as the publishers/owners legal opinion. This article/blog should only be accepted for information purposes only and in no way should be construed or interpreted as a legal opinion on the sale, ownership or possession of CEW’s, Stun Guns or weapons in general in any State or Locale in the United States. Before purchasing, owning, possession or carrying any weapon and/or stun gun the reader is advised to seek out legal counsel familiar with the laws and regulations of the State and/or municipality they are located in. It is the reader’s responsibility to ensure they meet and/or follow all applicable laws and regulations concerning stun guns and/or other weapons where they are located. Stinger Solutions, LLC management.