Great Gifts For Anyone Into Law Enforcement

Castle, Law & Order, Psych, Lie to Me, Cops, America’s Most Wanted; all these are current shows related to the work of solving crimes. For those enthusiasts who can’t get enough or for the brave men and women whose profession is keeping others safe, here are some unique and fun gift ideas.

One of my favorite, inexpensive gift ideas is a Counterfeit Detector Pen. This amazing little pen is typically used at banks and many retail locations. The way it works is surprisingly simple. According to HowStuffWorks.com, “The counterfeit detector pen solves the biggest counterfeiting threat today. It used to be that a counterfeiting operation used expensive presses and special inks and papers to create exact duplicates of the bills. Today…people with color copiers and color printers try to create passable facsimiles of a bill…These folks are not particularly careful or meticulous, so they copy or print onto normal, wood-based paper. The counterfeit detector pen is extremely simple. It contains an iodine solution that reacts with the starch in wood-based paper to create a black stain. When the solution is applied to the fiber-based paper used in real bills, no discoloration occurs. The pen does nothing but detect bills printed on normal copier paper instead of the fine papers used by the U.S. Treasury.”

Self defense is a category that holds loads of idea for gifts. How about for example, pepper spray or mace to go on your recipient’s keychain? Or even better, a flashlight stun gun? Items like these may seem like superfluous, even gag gifts, but you never know when they might come in handy. For example, just a few days ago there were a series of dog attacks at the Golden Gate Bridge Park in San Francisco. Several women who ran through the park were attacked by multiple dogs.

This type of event makes stun guns much more attractive. Adam Katz, author of “Secrets of a Professional Dog Trainer” also recommends stun guns to deter dog attacks. “If you see a stray or unleashed dog approaching you, press the button [on a stun gun] a couple of times. We’ve found that the electrical charge hits ultra high frequency sound waves that only the dog can hear. About 50% of the dogs would IMMEDIATELY turn tail and run away.” He also says if you are in imminent danger or if the dog has bitten another animal or person you can stun him.

Surveillance equipment is another category full of gift ideas. For example, you can find spy pens with up to four hours of video recording time. Thumb Camera, Car Alarm Remote Keychain DVR Camera, Hat Camera, Glasses Camera; almost anything and everything you can think of can be used to spy on others these days. Fun, technical, useful gifts such as these are perfect for those who enjoy puzzles and solving crimes.

Crime Prevention Tips – Lifestyle Safety Checklist

The following is a checklist to help you measure how well you have eliminated risk of being a victim of crime from your daily life during your work or leisure time.

Around the House

  • Do you keep a list of emergency telephone numbers next to your home phone?
  • Do you lock all your outside doors at all times even when you are within your house?
  • Does everybody in your house know they should ask for a picture identification before opening the door?
  • Do you make it a point to check the references of persons who work in and outside your house?
  • Do you know where the local police stations are in your community?
  • Do you notify police when you will be absent from your house for an extended period of time?
  • Are you present when workers or repairmen enter your home?

Among Your Neighbors

  • Do your children know how to call 911 and get help from neighbors during an emergency?
  • Do you talk with your neighbors at least two times per month?
  • Do you have a buddy system established with one of your neighbors for keeping a watchful eye on your property? Have you instructed him to collect your mail and newspapers when you are gone?
  • Do you keep a key with a neighbor you can trust rather than having one stashed under a rock outside your house?
  • Do you partake in a Neighborhood Watch program?

Daily Personal Routine

  • Do you on occasion carry more than $250 in cash?
  • Do you practice boxing or any form of self defense?
  • Do you keep personal safety on your mind regularly?
  • Do you practice safety when handling power tools and other dangerous equipment?
  • Is your personal history void of any accidents or injuries?
  • Do you vary your daily activities every day?
  • Do you carry a cell phone?
  • Do you use ATM’s during the daytime or in well-secured public areas?
  • Do you travel with other people on a regular basis or check in with somebody at home or the office when you travel?

Fire Safety Tips

  • Do you have an escape plan in the event of a fire?
  • Do you keep a fire extinguisher next to your oven or stove?
  • Do you check the batteries in your smoke alarm on a regular basis?
  • Do you keep all lighters and matches in places where kids can not gain access to them?

Your Motor Vehicle

  • Do you make it a point to lock up your motor vehicle and close all the windows whenever you park?
  • Do you look into the back seat before you unlock and enter your motor vehicle?
  • When shopping, do you make an effort to park in well-lit areas of the parking lot and avoid shopping by yourself at night?
  • Do you lock your doors while driving?
  • Do you keep your car and house keys on separate key rings?

Sometimes our normal, everyday routines make us a target for criminal activity. Following these simple rules of home security and personal safety can provide you with more protection from crime than purchasing an expensive burglar alarm system.

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.