Know Your Stun Gun Laws Or Face The Law

Owning a stun gun can be a wonderful means of self defense but it comes with responsibility. Just like many things in everyday life, you need to know the laws. Owning an electric self defense device is no exception. If you don’t know the laws for your location then you will find yourself in a heap of trouble.

My goal today is to give you an in-depth look at the stun gun laws in several states. As far as I know there isn’t a single place you can go to get all the specify areas of legality, including punishment, in one place. So I want to make sure everyone can look at this article and know exactly what to expect when getting an electrical stunning device.

Due to this, the article will be on the long side. To make it easier finding the information you may be looking for, I will put each states name in bold. Also, in each section when available, I will highlight the specific laws in question to enable you to further research them.

The majority of states in the United States allow you to own a stun gun for self defense. There are, however, several that have outlawed them. Below you can find information about states where they are illegal. If you do not live in one of these states then there are no specific laws that outlaw them.

Connecticut

Legal Status: Legal with Restrictions

Relevant Laws: Connecticut Criminal Law Title 53 Crimes, Title 53a Penal Code, Title 54 Criminal Procedure

The first state I want to talk about today is Connecticut. If you live in Connecticut you are lawfully allowed to keep a stun gun in your home or place of business but are not allowed to carry it on you, outside of those locations. In order to carry one on your person you must first be granted a permit to do so.

You are able to get a permit from the following:

From the First Selectman of a town.

The Mayor or chief of police of a city.

The warden of a borough.

When requesting a permit you may need to provide finger prints and agree to a criminal history check. If you’re a felon then you can forget about obtaining a permit. Anyone that has been convicted of a felony is automatically disqualified from gaining a permit. If you are approved for a permit it is VERY important to know that the permit is only for the city/town you received it from. If you travel out of that town with it you are subject to criminal penalty.

Penalties: Being caught with one in Connecticut can result in a maximum fine of $500 and/or a maximum of 3 years in prison.

Washington DC

Legal Status: Illegal

Relevant Laws: DC Code Ann. Title 6, Chapter 23. Firearms Control. Subchapter I General Provisions 3-2302

If you live in Washington DC, owning a stun gun is not an option for you. They are outright illegal to own, which makes this explanation straight forward. The bottom line is you can’t own one and if you are caught with one you’re in trouble

Illinois

Legal Status: Restricted

If you live in Illinois the process of purchasing a stun gun is very similar, if not identical, to purchasing a firearm.

You must hold a void FOID(Firearms Owners Identification) card which is the same that is required for firearms. The person that sells the stun gun must check your FOID card and keep record of the sale for 10 years. You are required to pass a background check. You will also have to commit to a 24 hour waiting period before you are allowed to complete the purchase.

Once you have legally purchased a one it is important to note that you are not allowed to carry it in a concealed manner. It is meant to be kept at home or primary place of business for self defense purposes.

Penalties: If you are found with a concealed stun gun or carrying it without a license you can be charged with a misdemeanor. However, if you use it one someone in an offensive, non self defense manner, it is considered a non-aggravated Class 4 Felony which can result in up to 3 years in prison. If it is considered aggravated it can become a Class 2 felony which is punishable by 3-7 years in prison.

Hawaii

Legal Status: Illegal

Relevant Laws: Rev. Stats. Title 10, Chapter 134. Firearms Ammunition and Dangerous. Part 1 General Regulations. Chapter 134-1 Definitions.

Hawaii is also another state that has outright banned the sale and possession of them. This means under no circumstances are you legally allowed to have one.

Penalty: If you are found with a stun gun in Hawaii you can be charged with a petty misdemeanor and will have it confiscated.

Massachusetts

Legal Status: Illegal

Relevant Laws: Chapter 140 Sale of Firearms. Section 131J: Sale or possession of electrical weapons. Penalties Section 131J.

If you live in Massachusetts than your not able to own a stun gun. They are another state that has outright banned the ability to possess one. However, being found with one here has steeper consequences than other states. So if you’re thinking about breaking the law and getting one, you might want to rethink that.

Penalties: If you are found with a stun gun in your possession you will receive a fine of $500-$1000 and/or receive 6 months to 2 years in jail.

Michigan

Legal Status: Illegal

Relevant Laws: Michigan Penal Code Act 328 of 1931. Chapter 750.224a

If you live in Michigan than owning a stun gun is not an option for you. I’ve searched through the laws on Michigan’s Government website and was unable to find the specific penalties for possessing one. Chances are they’re similar to other states so the fact remains, you flat out don’t want to be caught in possession of one.

New Jersey

Legal Status: Illegal

Relevant Laws: New Jersey Stat. Ann. Title 2C. New Jersey Code of Criminal Justice. Chapter 39-1, Prohibited weapons and devices.

New Jersey is yet another state that has outright banned the possession of stun guns. That means there are no permits you can receive. Bottom line is, if you are found in possession of one you can face some pretty stiff consequences.

Penalties: If you are found in possess of an electric stunning device in New Jersey you can face a stint in jail up to 18 months and/or a fine up to $7,500. In New Jersey crimes are not classified as Felony or Misdemeanor. They are classified as 1st degree through 4th degree with 1st degree being the most severe. Possession of one is considered a crime of the 4th degree.

New York

Legal Status: Illegal

Relevant Laws: New York Consolidated Law Book 39, Penal Law. Article 265, Firearms and Other Dangerous Weapons 265.00

New York is notorious for having hard laws against weapons. This includes stun guns. They have made it totally illegal to own one. With a population as large as New York it is important to have these hard line laws in place to protect the public.

Penalties: If you live in or travel to New York and have a stun gun you can be charged with a crime of the 4th degree, a class A misdemeanor. This means you can be charged with a fine up to $1000. That’s a pretty bad punishment but it can get worse. If you use any dangerous weapons to commit a crime against another person you can be charged with a class C felony. This means you could be fined up to $5000 along with prison time. The amount of the fine/jail time depend on the specific crime committed.

Rhode Island

Legal Status: Illegal

Relevant Laws: General Laws of Rhode Island. Title 11, Chapter 47. Statute Subsection 11-47-42.

Rhode Island is yet another state where it is illegal to own or possess one. They also have stiff penalties for doing so.

Penalties: If you are found in possession of a stun gun while in the state of Rhode Island you can receive a fine up to $1,000 and/or up to 1 year in prison. So the bottom line is, don’t possess one while in Rhode Island.

Wisconsin

Legal Status: Illegal

Relevant Laws: Wisconsin Sta. Ann Chapter 939, Crimes – General Provisions. Chapter 939.22, Words and phrases defined.

In Wisconsin it is against the law to own or possess any “Electronic Stun Device”. A big difference in Wisconsin verses other states where they are illegal is the harshness of the penalties for getting caught with one.

Penalties: In Wisconsin, if you’re found with any electronic stunning device you will be charged with a Class E felony. A Class E Felony can carry a maximum fine of $50,000 and/or 15 years in prison. Keep in mind those are maximum figures for a Class E Felony in general. The circumstances involving your specific charge play a role in what you will actually face.

There you have it, an in-depth look at states where you cannot own a stun gun. If the state you live in is not listed above than you don’t have anything to worry about. However, laws tend to change over time so to be safe you should still check with your local police department prior to purchasing a one.

Does This Mean the Law Cannot Stop the People From Owning Personal Guns for Self Defense?

The Second Amendment of the US Constitution states the following:

“A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

Does this mean the law cannot stop the people from owning personal guns for self defense?

Gun ownership is a civil right according to some law analysts. They declare that ownership of self defense guns are part of the fundamental freedom and privileges that are guaranteed I the 13th and 14th Amendments of the US Constitution which equates it with freedom of speech, freedom of the press and freedom of religion. But up to what extent are citizens allowed to have gun ownership?

Further analysis of the Second Amendment mentioned above reveals the purpose of the modification. Apparently, the spirit of the law proceeded with the adjustment so as to protect the individual from abuse of government powers during that time. At present, citizens feel no abuse of power from the government instead we see how it works hard to protect the individual rights of its citizenry. Criminals are still on the loose but the government has managed to keep it at a minimal number except for some cities with extremely high crime rates.

The Second Amendment thus asserts the right of individuals but citizens should remember that they have surrendered most of their natural rights in belief that these will bring forth a more peaceful society. Thus in case the government and state law require a stricter guidelines before self defense guns can be issued to an individual then they should be more understanding about it. The task of the government is not very easy. Imagine what will happen if everyone is allowed to purchase and own their own self defense guns without knowing the responsible use of this deadly weapon. The risk for higher death rate is all the more possible because irresponsible and foolish citizens may start abusing the power behind this steel weapon.

Who then have the right to carry self defense guns? Individuals who are of legal age and those who are mentally competent to use it. Thus if you are asked by the state to present certification that you have learned how to responsibly use self defense guns as well as documents that you do not have violent tendencies to use this as a deadly weapon against anyone; you should simply comply with their requirements.

One of the federal law requirements for gun ownership is the Brady law which requires instant background checks done to any prospective gun buyers. Aside from this there are approximately 22,000 gun control laws passed in the United States. Included in it are the lists of guns that are allowed to be owned and purchased by ordinary citizens of the land. So for best legal information with regards to self defense guns, a visit to your State Office or legal attorney will answer most of your inquiries with regards to this matter.

Gun Control in America Today – Is It the Answer?

First we have to look at these statistics and see what they really say. As the United States is a much larger country than most, it is best to view the figures per capita. According to the UN, there are 14 countries, mainly in South and Central America, which have higher rates than does the US, if compared per capita, ie. crimes per 1000. The biggest difference is among other affluent countries, like the UK and Europe. Adding those affluent countries with the less well to do, there are still 2-5 countries which are ahead of us in gun related death.

Those in the 18-24 year old category have historically committed the most gun related crimes. How many of these ‘children’ were drug users in school and became drug dealers once they were out on the street? How many deaths among this group were from one criminal killing another? And yet, if we consider them children, these deaths are reported as ‘child deaths’.

The statistics for ‘child deaths’ can be difficult to figure. It all depend on where you draw the line. Are 18 and 19 year olds children? Should those deaths be put together with grade school children? The figures from the CDC on child deaths are around half of what the gun control lobby claims. Considering 18-19 year olds children doubles the child death statistics, which is convenient for the gun control lobbyists. But as the USA considers anyone18 years old legally an adult, is this appropriate?

Let’s look at another country which ranks highly in numbers of private firearms possession, Switzerland. This country ranks third in terms of firearms possession, compared to the US. 45.7 out of every 100 people in Switzerland own a firearm, compared to 88.6 in the USA, or about 51% of the USA. So we would expect to see crime statistics of roughly half.

But the number of homicides per 100,00 people in Switzerland is 0.52 compared to 2.98 in the USA, 0r.17%.

Suicide rates are 3015 per 100,000 compared to 5075 in the USA, or about 54%.

What’s the difference?

All young men must have military training, and after their discharge must undergo periodic training a few days or weeks each year for most of their lives. Each man is given a bolt-action M-57 and 24 rounds of ammunition to keep at their home. Women are encouraged to own a firearm.

But in Switzerland, firearms are associated with defending the country. The social perspective is different from that of the United States. There is a collective sense of responsibility. Also, Switzerland doesn’t have the drug crime or urban deprivation seen in the United States.

Getting away from the statistics, let’s look at practicality. There are plenty of gun control laws in place, but if they are not or cannot be enforced, what good are they? In the case of Haynes versus the United States, the Supreme Court ruled that the Fifth Amendment protected a man from being forced to register his firearm. { http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haynes_v._United_States } This is not the only time the Supreme Court this ruling has been cited.

Because of this loop-hole, the law forbidding a convicted felon from owning a firearm is rarely enforced. And guess who knows this? Correct. Those criminals who are now out on parole, in illegal possession of firearms.

If we are going to write even more laws on gun control, let’s at least look at this from a point of defense. Banning firearms altogether means that the only guns will be illegally owned, or in the hands of the criminals. Remember those people who have a Fifth Amendment out? Those homeowners who live rural areas of our country, or who live in high crime areas of our major cities will be unable to defend against firearms brought to bear against them.

So if we want to make a start, let’s restrict ownership of handguns.

  • Home protection can be achieved by owning and learning to use a good shotgun.
  • Require gun owners to show proof of instruction in the use of their firearm.
  • Require mental health screening for high-powered rifle and handgun buyers.
  • Require home firearms to be under lock and key.
  • Close the loop holes which allow felons to hide their guns from law enforcement..
  • Provide better access to mental health care.

Another issue on the table is media coverage of shooting events, like the one which occurred in Connecticut. Until recent times, before news travelled across the country in a matter of seconds, the notoriety factor was much lower.

With the advent of instant communication, any major event is on air within minutes of the occurrence. People who commit mass murders, or massacres are often seeking recognition or notoriety. They can go down in history as the “worst serial killer in… “. It feeds their twisted egos.

Instead of focusing on the killer, why not focus on the victims. Keep the killer out of the news, report the incident, but keep it local. Spreading news of this kind across the globe only makes the next event bigger, more horrific, as the next killer tries to become number one.

We need to think also about the number of people on medication for mental illness, those kids graduating high school who stop taking Ritalin, the bipolar patients who decide they like the world better without their meds. How many lives could be spared if we paid more attention to mental illness and depression instead of pushing the issue behind the door and pretending it doesn’t exist? How many refuse to get the help they need because of the stigma concerning mental illness?

My opinion is that if someone decides to kill, they will find a way. It may be more inconvenient without firearms, but murder has been committed as long as there has been humankind on earth. With the internet, what one can’t accomplish with a high-powered rifle, one could probably find out how to do with homemade explosives.

Restricting firearms decreases the ‘heat of the moment’ shooting. If a person is angry and a firearm is near at hand, yes, it will probably be a factor. But a determined killer will kill, with whatever is available. And a killer who prefers to use a firearm will find a way to obtain one. If you’re considering murder, why worry about the illegality of a weapon?

Before we do something rash and make sure all the guns are in the hands of the criminals, let’s stop and think. The gun is a tool and tools should be used only by those trained to use them. If you have a gun, make sure you, and anyone in your home who might need, it has been instructed in its proper use.

Citizens without protection are at the mercy of their criminals, who are sometimes in the government. Think Nazi Germany. Before you give away your rights to defend yourself, think it over.

Animal Abuse and Domestic Violence – A Correlated Generalized Deviance

I believe it is safe to say that a majority of defendants charged in our courts with animal abuse have prior domestic violence convictions as well. It is because of the “generalized deviance” that domestic violence and animal abuse are correlated. Anti-social behavior of different levels can happen in one individual but how that individual came to exercise the deviance is more complicated as there are many pathways that lead to it. An example of one of these exercises is the individuals use of violence or other anti-social manipulations to “solve” problems which is called “modeling” and explains why violence is often intergenerational. Although animal abuse and domestic violence are correlated, it varies as to which occurs first.

But are there any numbers we can connect here; any studies conducted to make this deviance a little more tangible? A study done in New Jersey found that in 88% of households where children were physically abused, there were records of animal abuse as well. In Wisconsin, four out of five battered women cases revealed the partner had been violent toward pets. The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence conducted a study of abuse victims after arriving at domestic violence shelters and found that 85.4% of women and 63.0% of children reported incidents of pet abuse. The Chicago Police Department’s Domestic Violence Program compiled a history of arrestees for animal fighting/animal abuse for the period of 2000-2001 and found that approximately 30% had a conviction of domestic violence on their record. Animal abuse is often associated with other serious crimes such as drug offenses, gangs, weapons violence, sexual assault, and domestic violence and the individuals committing these acts of violence against animals are viewed as a danger to the public and therefore, must be addressed. The whole premise of an animal abuser is to demonstrate power. The abuser will batter an animal to hold control over his family, to isolate them and enforce submission. He will abuse a pet to perpetuate a fearful environment; to prevent a victim from leaving or coerce them to return. They will batter an animal to punish a victim for showing independence.

First responders and professionals who investigate abuse should be aware and trained to observe the cycle of violence. Some states practice this observance and take it a step further by implementing cross-reporting laws. When an animal control officer is called to investigate animal abuse in a home with children, they are mandated to report child abuse when animal abuse is confirmed. Children are generally more willing to discuss what happened to a pet than they are to their own victimization. In Ohio, any child under the age of 18 years of age who commits cruelty to a pet, is required to undergo psychological evaluation to determine individual or family counseling as necessary. The legislation also permit’s the court to include a protection order for any companion animal in the home of the person seeking a criminal protection order, domestic violence protection order, a civil stalking order, a sexual offense protection order, or the approval of a civil domestic violence consent agreement. Often a partner will abuse a pet that is in the home as a tactic to keep the victim under control. It is understood that many victims will not leave when it puts their pets in harm’s way. When questioning victims and their children, first responders should be alert for signs of child and/or pet victimization. They should ask if the abuser or anyone else threatened to harm their pet and ask if they need help finding a safe place for their pet to go if they leave. Many victims will not prosecute their abuser however, animal cruelty prosecution can result in incarceration or treatment that is equal to results from a domestic violence prosecution.

Domestic Violence Shelters, Animal Shelters, and Humane Organizations can do much to offer protection for animal victims. When working with abuse victims in their safety planning, be sure they include their pets. Question them about any threats or injuries to their pets. Work with legislators to include pets in orders of protection and educate judges on the necessities of these inclusions. Team up with your local animal control and humane organizations and local domestic violence shelters to establish emergency housing of pets coming from homes experiencing violence. If there is no space available, establish a network of homes that provide emergency care for these pets through foster care agencies then incorporate these connections in school programs where they might reach children who are at risk of family violence. Also, many YWCA’s have pet shelter programs that are in partnership with the humane society, local clinics, kennels, stables, and veterinarians.

Unfortunately, victims of domestic violence often choose to stay in abusive relationships to protect their pets. A study shows that 71% of women seeking “safe haven” in domestic violence shelters had companion animals threatened, hurt, or killed by their abuser. Many victims never even go to a shelter because of this fear for their pets. It is in recognition of this fact that many states have passed laws including pets in court-issued orders of protection and to include any animal that is harmed or threatened with harm in the state’s definition of “domestic violence.” Society doesn’t consider animal cruelty as severe as violence against humans but it is increasingly viewed as a serious issue by professionals in law enforcement and mental health. Effective prosecution of animal abuse can provide early and timely response to those who are, or who are at risk of becoming, a threat to the safety of others. It is a tool for protection for victims of family violence, developing new skills and understanding which will help build a truly compassionate society.

Gun Control Debate – In The Wake Of So Many Tragedies!

After 19 Mass Shootings the past 5 years, there needs to be a honest debate about guns in the United States. Should we as citizens have less guns? More guns? Stricter gun laws? etc etc. Maybe it goes deeper than just banning certain types of assault guns! There seems to be a few things in common with all these shooting tragedies:

#1. Guns
#2. Mental Health Problems
#3. Antidepressants
#4. Gun Free Zones

So we had individuals with mental health problems, on antidepressants, with guns going to gun free zones, to kill unarmed innocent people… Lets take a look at all four and see what we as a society can change for the Greater Good Of Everyone!

#1. Guns – Guns in the United States will never be taken out of the picture because the Second Amendment (Amendment II) to the United States Constitution is the part of the United States Bill of Rights that protects the right of the people to keep and bear arms. It was adopted on December 15, 1791, along with the rest of the Bill of Rights.

So do we need more or less gun Laws to keep our citizens safe? While I do agree with tightening up some of the Gun Laws, that will still do very little to stop someone that wants to commit a homicide. History statistics show no real change between more Gun Laws and any less Gun Crimes. A unarmed citizen in my opinion is nothing more than a VICTIM.

#2 Mental Health – How do we look at people with mental health issues as a society? These people are the forgotten and unwanted. Are they getting the help they need? Due to the high cost of medical care, even our mental health citizens living with family members may not be getting the right care – if any at all.

Mental Health Care in the U.S. will also have to be debated if we are to keep our society and children safer. Will this stop all violence NO, but in my opinion its moving towards the right direction. Think about that the next time you look at someone homeless – living in the shadows.

#3 Antidepressants – Antidepressants are they working? Are we over medicating our Society? That might be best left for another story – but I think we are at the expense of our children.

We seemed to be more fixated on a quick fix (even if its temporary), than the cause and long term solutions to our problems.

#4 Gun Free Zones – In a perfect world where everyone, would read a sign and obey the rules this would work. Now back to reality and keeping yourself and family safe. Not sure about your town, but the bad economy has brought less, not more to my public services including police officers on the street. The Police can not be everywhere all the time, and usually show up to mop up the crime. So why should we have Gun-Free Zones when they end up being “Magnets for Mass Shooters”? Why should my children be sitting ducks with no protection?

You can put your families life in your own hands and arm yourself, or in someone else’s dream world filled with mental illness and antidepressants – its your choice.

The solution to the mass violence in our society may be more than just more Gun Laws, and then forget about it. We will never be able to get rid of all gun tragedies, but there does seem to be steps we can take to slow the pace down. But before that can take place we need a honest national debate. What do you think would be the solution to America’s mass gun violence?

I will put my families life in my own hands – the odds are sooooo much better in my favor!