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MA Stun Gun Ban Fought in Court

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Yesterday's Metrowest Daily News reported that there is currently a court case involving the legality of stun guns in Massachusetts.  Currently, both stun guns and tasers are illegal for private citizens to own.  

Stun Gun

A stun gun is a relatively small, handheld device with two prongs.  To be used, the prongs must be pressed against someone's body, and the current activated by a switch.  It is effective for as long as it is in contact.  A taser is quite a different kind of device.  A taser can be fired like a gun, and fires two barbs on the end of wires.  When the barbs contact a person, current is applied.  Generally, police have been using tasers quite successfully for many years.

The paper reported that in 2011, a 4-foot 11-inch woman named Jamie Caetano had two restraining orders against her former boyfriend, and she was carrying a stun gun for protection against him.  She was a passenger in a car that was pulled over by police, and the police found the stun gun in her purse.  She was charged with its possession - not with any other cirme.

Her case is about to come up in Framingham District Court, and her lawyer, Paul McManus, is challenging the constitutionally of the law, in light of the Supreme Court case that said the right to bear arms is not restricted to firearms.  Because Caetano was clearly carrying the stun gun only for personal protection, and since self-defense is many circumstances is legal, her lawyer will argue that she should not be convicted, and that, indeed, such weapons should be legal. 

Michigan's supreme court has rules that a ban on stun guns was unconstitutional in that state.  Stay tuned for further information about these less-lethal weapons, and their possible future legality in Massachusetts.

Comments

  • tony Wednesday, 06 November 2013

    i believe that stun guns should be legal in state of Massachusetts cause for self defense 2nd amendment says keep right in bare arms i lived in Massachusetts my whole life and i see a huge crime rate in Worcester and it is completely unsafe for anyone to not carry a weapon i see drugs,whores,house invasions and people getting mugged everywhere left and right and nobody does anything some law enforcement try there best

  • db Tuesday, 29 July 2014

    I agree....I too am a MA worchester local. And stun guns should be legal.

  • RL Friday, 13 February 2015

    Im from Worcester MA myself. I belive they should make them legal but don't allow people to purchase withought an FId or LTC
    FID-allows people to have stun guns
    LTC-allows people to have tazers
    Maybe in order to get them everyone should have to take a class on them (get tazed themselves)
    best way people know what kind of power they have in there hands

  • Gary Bryant Sunday, 03 August 2014

    It's not like the lady is carrying a regular gun that shoots bullets. A stun gun is a non-lethal weapon that she apparently needs to keep her boyfriend away or at bay. What should she do, wait for the police to arrive? By then she could really be hurt or worse. Since she is so small there has to be some means of leveling the playing field against her violent man. Guns are legal and not stun guns? Go figure. It makes you wonder how these hold-out states justify not legalizing stun weapons and so many other states allow them. Are Massachusetts citizens more sensitive to shock than those in other states. Come into the 20th Century where you need all the leverage you can get to fight today's criminal.

  • Smithe829 Friday, 15 August 2014

    I think this is a real great blog post.Much thanks again. kbkgedeegfkekdbe

  • Gary Bryant Friday, 15 August 2014

    I agree with her lawyer because bearing arms of this kind is less damaging than the effects of a pistol or rifle which usually are lethal. People have to be able to defend themselves in this increasingly hostile world.

  • Az Ben Saturday, 16 August 2014

    I agree guys, I my self was threatened today by an angry coworker, we are both suspended for few days till police and security do their investigation. Do you imagine if this guy lose his job. I feel in danger, and I can't even carry a stun gun for self defense. This is not right. Maybe it will become legal after something happens to me.

  • Lyn Bates Saturday, 16 August 2014

    Ben, I'm sorry you feel yourself in danger from that coworker. That's indeed a situation where a stun gun might have been helpful. An alternative tool, pepper spray, might be something to have in case of future similar incidents. Pepper spray is not lethal, and very effective. In Massachusetts, you need a license that you can apply for at your police department. There is good information about buying it here http://www.aware.org/resources/blog/entry/how-to-choose-pepper-spra and using it here http://www.aware.org/resources/blog/entry/how-to-use-pepper-spray

  • RL Friday, 13 February 2015

    MA requires no license for pepper spray now

  • Gary Bryant Saturday, 16 August 2014

    Az Ben,
    Just do your best to avoid any confrontation whatsoever unless you take a hidden camera and or a small recorder. More often than not, in most any confrontation the wrong people get blamed and you or bith of you may end up with a huge fine or worse. My brother-in-law just flicked some guy's sunglasses off of his face and got a $25,000 fine and some jail time. Don't let this happen to you. Try to keep your distance and avoid anymore contact if at all possible.

  • Az Ben Saturday, 16 August 2014

    Actually while he was threatening me I grabbed my phone and started to audio record, unfortunately when I went to police and security, they didn't even wanna listen to it, and they said it was illegal to record him without him knowing. I think pepper spray is my only option, thanks Lyn Bates, I'm so stressed that I didn't even think about pepper spray, thank you so much.
    And you Gary bryant, you seem like someone who really cares about other. If only the whole world were like you, we'll be living all in peace. What you guys said went straight to my heart, it even made me cry.
    Thank you so much for being human and caring about others

  • FALCON Sunday, 30 November 2014

    OK FOR COPS SHOULD BE OK FOR US

  • Nansye Saturday, 21 February 2015

    Why can't there be a class-action suit of some type against this blatant disregard for the
    of women who are under 'constant' threat of rape, murder, etc. to protect themselves
    a weapon that is non-lethal???

    Just make someone register it with the police, like they would
    A gun.. This was a shock to me that I'm NOT allowed to own a
    weapon, but I CAN? own a gun?? Insane! Just Insane!

  • Lyn B Saturday, 21 February 2015

    Nansye, in Massachusetts, individual guns are not registered with the police. What you get from the police, after taking a firearm safety class, is a Firearms License, and then you can buy guns allowed under that license without telling the police about them, so there would be no need for the police to know that you have purchased a stun gun or a Taser that if the law is ever changed, you don't need a license for.

  • nansye Sunday, 22 February 2015

    Was not aware of your insightful information. Thanks. :)

  • Nansye Saturday, 21 February 2015

    They should really let people EDIT
    comments after publishing, because what is
    posted is NOT what I reviewed. Odd.

  • Lyn B Saturday, 21 February 2015

    How did your draft differ from what was published? This might be a problem our website needs to address. Thanks.

  • nansye Sunday, 22 February 2015

    Ehrr, well, I am using a new android keyboard, haha, so it may
    somehow have deleted words that I swear were clearly there when I re-read
    comment. It's really a first for me that's inexplicable.

  • Tony Wednesday, 23 March 2016

    Hi all
    Self defense items do not cause death, if used wisely and with intention of self defense.
    I know nothing is certain, but I still feel that self defense items should be allowed in all the countries, due to increasing crime rate.

    I thank you for sharing this post and letting everybody to share their views as well.

  • Gary Bryant Thursday, 24 March 2016

    I feel the same because what the perpetrator will do to you if you don't have and use one is many times worse. Once again the criminal has more consideration than the victim. SELF DEFENSE IS SELF DEFENSE. We still have our right to defend ourselves but the laws are almost never enforced these days in all walks of life.

    My take on this is STUN NOW and save your life. Worry about the legalities later.

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