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.

Gun Defense Questions and Answers. Why have a gun in the first place?

I have been called, e-mailed and stopped on the street, questioned in my office, at a couple of places where I shop, and at the post office. I do radio ads for Steele’s Gun Shop and I’m known to be familiar with firearms to some degree. I have been asked about what kind of gun or ammo to purchase for home defense and about concealed carry of guns and knives. Some of these questions were from people who have never owned guns before and some from those who “hate” guns and even hate gun owners as well to some degree.

One of my friends has interest in a business near the World Trade Center site. One close friend was the one who first reported the plane that hit the Pentagon, about three windows from his office window. Another friend of mine lives on Long Island and works in the building industry and at a huge lumber store there; so she is in constant contact with workers and contractors connected to the New York City area. Several of my friends are military, National Guard, and police. I am no authority, in my mind, nor compared to some that I know, but I am very open in my communications on anything. So, I am asked about a lot of things. I have been around guns, gun shops, police, military, and worked as a Federal Law Enforcement Officer, as a Security Policeman in the U. S. Coast Guard, and as a Security and Public Relations person at FEMA for a while in disaster preparedness and as an on-site disaster center worker.

I do have some opinions and some are quite strong. They are based on knowledge and experience and information from those who know better than I. So here is some data in the form of;

Frequently Asked Questions and My Answers.

Q: WHY HAVE A GUN IN THE FIRST PLACE?

For the same reasons we have smoke detectors, first aid kits, fire extinguishers; life, health, dental and home insurance. Because planning, preparation and investment in proper tools and devices — give us more control over ourselves and our destiny and well being in any arena. And, having better control of our lives and future is a native concern and need for most of us.

I think, and most of us think, that any life worth living is worth defending. We have dedicated 40, 50, 60, or 100 hours a week to providing for our families so that they may live life without major interruptions or inconveniences and death or injury at the hand of a “Bad Person”. Disaster is certainly not part of our plan for optimum survival for us and our family.

Because people are neither natively brave nor courageous and because people are natively more comfortable, less fearful, having something to hand for self and family defense; having a weapon to hand or a method of defense and protection is an internal instinct that is intrinsic and native. That can include decisions to lock the doors, live in safer areas and staying alert to news and current events. Even those who hate guns and want all of them gone, always seem to have a kitchen knife, a baseball bat or a sword (Ha) to defend themselves with. The Bad Person, BP laughs as such implements in the hands of someone not used to fighting for their lives and it is in fact laughable if you’ve ever seen a street thug fight or attack someone.

Those who decry guns are the first to call 911 and beg someone, a policeman, with a gun to come and defend them – the police can not and WILL NOT ARRIVE IN TIME. In fact the police are not even expected to arrive to defend you. They are expected only, by law, to come and mark chalk lines around your dead body and that of your family – and to write up the reports, take pictures of the blood splattered walls and floor, and file them away along with a report on what they find at the scene of your murder. Check it out; even the Supreme Court of the United States had made a written decision to that extent.

Q: FOR A NON SHOOTER, WHAT GUNS ARE RECOMMENDED FOR DEFENSE?

None. A non shooter should not have any gun. Having a gun without taking the time and effort to learn how to USE it correctly and safely hit what is aimed at is not only silly but it’s dangerous. Here, I agree with the anti-gun people. THEY shouldn’t have a gun because they wouldn’t use the gun and would likely shoot someone for nothing, or miss and hit someone else. Non-Shooters should not own guns, period. Anti-gunners are more likely to become murderers or accidental killers with a gun than without. It is a cinch that if they don’t trust others with a gun, they certainly are not worthy of trust with one themselves, and that’s certain.

Q: FOR AN INEXPERIENCED, NEW SHOOTER, WHAT DO I RECOMMEND?

First of all, don’t buy a gun if you are not going to become proficient with it and that takes some time, repetition and training. My first suggestion is the .38 caliber/.357 caliber revolvers. These are inexpensive and easy to find new or used. The .357 revolver and can be used with low power .38 caliber ammunition for practice and for defense the same gun will allow the use of extremely powerful .357 ammunition. They are made to hold 5 or 6 cartridges and that should be fine for home defense. They are quite accurate and fairly easy to learn. They have no “safety” lever so under tension and in the terror of having to use one for self defense, there is no safety to remember about changing to the fire position from the safe position. Many, many people have died as a result of trying to defend themselves with a gun that was still on safe when they needed to fire it to stop someone from killing them. The Bad Person won’t wait for you to remember the safety. I’m not in favor of safeties at all. Every person in the home that has access to the gun MUST be trained in safe handling. No safety switch, lock or chain will make a gun safe in the hands of an idiot or an unsafe gun handler – same thing.

A revolver is the gun that cowboys used. The cylinder holds six shots, and revolves as it’s shot, hence it’s called a six shooter or revolver, and after each shot the cylinder revolves to put another cartridge in back of the barrel ready to fire when the trigger is pulled to slam the hammer down and fire the bullet out the barrel to what is aimed or pointed at.

Once a person has fired several revolvers or several handguns, many of them choose a pistol. A pistol is a semi-automatic handgun that does not have a cylinder but has a magazine to hold several cartridges instead. It is called a semi-automatic because it moves a new cartridge in place to befired each time the trigger is pulled, just like a revolver. Some pistols hold 15 or 20 shots or rounds as we call it. Modern pistols are only allowed to have 10 rounds in America as a result of some idiotic laws passed by people who should not be allowed to have guns themselves. I prefer pistols to revolvers myself but advise revolvers for first timers to learn on.

By the way, an “automatic” is a gun that fires all of the shots, in machine gun rapid fire fashion with ONE pull of the trigger. Few people own and even fewer can effectively use an automatic weapon. They are better for noise than for hitting something. The real best choice for home defense is a shotgun. But most people want a pistol as it’s easier to have next to the bed and to get ready. The shotgun however is easier to aim under stress and is more likely to stop an attacker faster. Shotguns come in many configurations and sizes. They come in several cartridge sizes too. The two most common sizes are 12 gauge and 20 gauge, there are many other sizes but for home defense we’ll stick to the more common 12 or 20. Ordinarily the shotgun is less expensive, easier to use, and better for defense than a pistol by far.

Many people think that shotguns have shot that spreads, to send out a wall of lead, and that you can’t miss with a shotgun. That is BULL.. The longest distance most of us will be able to shoot in defense, inside our homes, is about 20 feet. At that distance the size of the circle of shot from a shotgun is about two and a half inches in diameter or less. It’s easy to miss with a shotgun, but not as easy as it is to miss with a pistol. Some people want to get all sorts of specialty ammo for a shotgun to use in home defense. That is not needed. The cheapest “bird shot” is the best for home defense and the least likely to go through wall after wall after wall through your house and into the sleeping rooms of the rest of your family and the neighbors up and down the street.

By the way, most pistol ammo will go through three or four walls, perhaps more, before it stops if you miss the person you are shooting at in self defense. Where are the kids? Think about it before you get a gun. In fact thinking is far superior to shooting, regarding self defense. In modern homes, made of foam insulation, wall board and vinyl siding; a pistol bullet can easily penetrate both sides of five or six homes before stopping.

Guns are expensive and good guns are very expensive. There are some ways to beat the system however. There are lots of used guns on the market, especially police guns, because everyone, especially the police, want to have the coolest and most awesome and most new gun that is being advertised. So they trade in the old guns and often the older guns are the better guns although less cool. Silly aren’t they? There are lots of good used pistols, revolvers and shotguns in the gun shops of America and many of them are superior to the new stuff in reliability and accuracy. Go figure! J Or you can purchase a new gun.

No matter what you get, make certain that you learn how to use the gun correctly and get some training from someone who really knows guns and safe handling. Most men think they are genetically endowed with gun smarts and they are not. In fact most men who are first time or infrequent users of guns are far more stupid and far more dangerous than women and no more likely to hit what they aim for either. As a matter of fact, women are usually better shots than men at

first, according to my experience. I have taught several hundred people how to shoot for the first time and have helped a few dozen others shoot better. By the way I’m not a professional firearms instructor, just a willing friend and neighbor who has shot a lot and owned a lot of guns over a lot of years.

IF you do get a gun, and I’m not at all certain that you should; keep your defensive firearm handy but secure and practice, practice, practice. Practice often enough to be dangerous to the Bad Persons and often enough to NOT be dangerous to yourself and your family. At a minimum that will be weekly for a few months and then monthly for several months and then at least every two or three months thereafter. Even those who hunted all the time 30 or 40 years ago but not much in the last 10 years, are not to be trusted to be safe and accurate with a firearm now.

Q: WHAT IS THE BEST KIND OF AMMO FOR MY GUN AND FOR SELF DEFENSE? IS IT BEST TO USE THE BULLETS THAT COST 2 OR 3 OR 4 OR EVEN UP TO 12 DOLLARS PER SHOT?

The silly news shows, the major media evening news is fond of showing off all sorts of buzz saw bullets and bullets that will penetrate bullet proof vests and all manner of other nonsense. Almost anything on the evening news about guns, ammo, self defense, etc. is a lie or at best BULL. Now, regarding ammunition; you don’t need a lot of ammo for self defense. In a defensive situation if you need more than ten or twenty shots, you are likely going to die anyway as there are either too many people for you to defend against or you are too bad a shot to defend yourself. However, under the stress of self defense, it is not unusual for police to miss every single shot from a 15 shot

pistol when shooting at a Bad Person that is only 15 or 20 feet away. In shoot outs where trained police are shooting at BPs who also have guns, it is not unusual for several hundred shots to be fired for each person that is killed. Think about it. They need to practice a LOT more don’t they. Luckily BPs don’t practice much, if any, either. What you need lots of ammo for is practice.

How about all these wonderful and special self defense bullets? There are bullets that cost $6 each or more that are supposed to work better and faster for self defense. The real truth is that it doesn’t matter a HOOT how expensive the bullet is, if you miss a vital spot in the attacker. What you need is practice, practice, practice, so that you can certainly hit what you are aiming at and STOP an attacker. REAL experts say: It is better to shoot the attacker 6 times quickly and accurately when you need to stop the attack than it is to hit them with one super-duper-Cowabunga-pooper bullet. So practice. It is bullet placement that will save the life of you and your family; bullet placement that STOPS the Bad Person fast enough to stop that BP from hurting you or a loved one.

Q: GUNS ARE NO HELP AGAINST AN AIRPLANE AIMED AT YOU, OR SOME ANTHRAX SPORES. WHY ARE YOU SO SET ON HAVING GUNS?

Some folks are concerned about potential social turmoil, rogue bands of harmful burglars, perhaps dangerous riots, and there is a certainty that, for the first time, this war is happening here and there are no safe zones, at least no certain safe zones. As members of a community, we seek to support our community with personal and community commitment — a price others are and have been willing to pay. Now it MAY be our turn. I’m not saying this is correct or right or even necessary; I’m just saying that is what some people feel and think.

Owning a weapon is a personal decision. Some people have swords, canes, baseball bats, pepper spray, potato mashers and even hornet spray or a water pistol full of vinegar for self defense. Years ago almost all women carried a few long hat pins for defense and almost all men carried a stout umbrella or a walking stick. In many countries, even today, it is considered sensible to carry a dagger, a dirk, or even a pistol (such as in Israel) or a rifle all the time for self defense. I don’t take a position either way for whether or not YOU have a weapon or decide to defend yourself against those who would rob or harm you and those near you.

I do take one position however. I think that those who say guns are bad and no one should have a gun and no one should protect themselves with a gun should have signs on their clothing, their cars and around their homes and businesses. That sign should say “I do not believe in guns or other weapons, and I do not have any weapons, and I will not defend myself, and I do not believe in anyone protecting themselves against an assailant.” If you are really against self defense and against guns – prove it and post the signs!

Otherwise, for those of intelligence; Take care, prepare, practice and be safe.

By www.JodyHudson.com Copyright 2001

A Solution to Gun Violence

A true solution to gun violence does NOT lie with regulating law-abiding citizens. It should be obvious – even to pea-brained politicians – that the causes of gun violence are criminals.

While it’s easy for the government to punish the innocent through legislation and feel as though they’re addressing the problem, increased legislation targeting law-abiding citizens will have absolutely no impact on crimes committed by criminals with guns.

“Why not?”, you may ask. It’s simple: criminals break the law so it’s impossible to enact a specific law that will stop criminals from perpetrating crimes. Laws that merely make it more difficult for someone to protect themselves or their families only work to benefit the criminal.

If I were a criminal, I know I’d target people who weren’t likely to, or couldn’t, fight back. It’s much safer for the criminal that way, and they don’t want to get hurt while committing crimes any more than the victim wants to get hurt during a crime. Doesn’t this make sense? So tell me: how does it make any sense to hand criminals MORE victims through legislation? It obviously doesn’t make sense, but it’s easier to feel as though you’re addressing the problem if you’re doing something – even if it’s the wrong thing.

There are two root causes of gun violence that need to be addressed, and are mainly ignored since addressing them is difficult. Those two issues are: 1. ILLEGAL guns, and 2. Criminals.

While screaming about “gun control,” it’s proponents seem to ignore a very real and true fact: that guns don’t, and have never, killed ANYONE. It’s the PERSON who does the killing. It’s the PERSON who made that choice and committed the act. The PERSON chose to put that gun in their hand and pull the trigger. The gun is simply an instrument.

And I can hear gun control proponents saying, “But guns make it easier to kill!” I freely admit that guns can make it more convenient to kill a larger number of victims. But truthfully, a criminal who wants to commit such an act will find a tool. Someone running around the mall with a samurai sword can kill just as many people before police arrive as can someone with a gun. Someone could drive a car through the mall and kill a bunch of people too. Or simply blow them up. There are many ways to accomplish such a thing, and it’s the person, not the instrument, who is responsible. We, as a society, need to remember that.

And let’s not forget that we accept other things into our lives that kill far more people than even illegal guns – legally prescribed medication, for example. On average, legally prescribed medicines kill over 100,000 people per year – second only to heart disease. But no one mentions that, and those deaths are accepted because medicines help millions of others. Well, not surprisingly, legally armed citizens, and the police, use guns to thwart or stop many thousands of crimes every year – crimes that could easily have ended in the victim’s death. Yet the media fails to mention that, too.

So what do we do about gun violence?

As previously mentioned, we need to focus on stopping illegal guns, and criminals who commit violent acts. Even though these are much harder than punishing the innocent, they’re the only things that will have a positive effect and help to reduce gun violence.

Stopping illegal guns is difficult, since there are varied sources for illegal guns. I suspect the main source of illegal guns used in most street crimes is theft from homes and businesses. If that’s true, then it may be wise to focus legislation on gun security, rather than gun control.

But even more important is to focus on criminals – the criminals who steal the guns, then use them to victimize the populace. The solution to this problem is more simple than it may seem on the surface. However, our legal system would need to be adapted to these solutions, and it may also be necessary to address housing a temporarily increased number of prisoners. However, by using these solutions, I firmly believe the number of criminals will ultimately decrease.

Here are the solutions I believe will help to drastically reduce violent crimes:

1) The punishment needs to EXCEED the crime. Prison could be a deterrent to crime if the price of getting caught – for even minor offenses – is much greater than the potential gain. I believe that any criminal convicted of any sort of assault should have a minimum 25 year sentence without parole. That may seem extreme, but that’s the only way to use incarceration as a deterrent.

2) No suspended sentences. If they do the crime, they do the time.

3) Have a nationalized death penalty for extreme cases.

4) Allow citizens to protect themselves and their families without fear of legal reprisal from criminals or their families. Someone who legally and correctly defends their life should NOT have to be subjected to any legal proceeding brought by the criminal or their family. If local law enforcement investigation finds the action justified, then the matter is dropped and everyone can happily accept that a criminal got what was due.

5) Consider implementing standards for gun storage in the home or business, to reduce the chances of criminals breaking in and acquiring guns.

6) Make a thorough background check necessary to purchase a gun. There’s no harm in having a permit system to purchase guns. This maintains the right to purchase, and may help weed out some people who have no business owning a firearm. It’s OK if this initial background check and getting the permit to purchase takes a little time. Chances are good that someone who wants a firearm in a hurry wants it for an illicit purpose.

7) Make tactical firearms training mandatory for anyone who wishes to carry a weapon. Make home defense training mandatory for anyone who wishes to have a firearm at home for defense. A system similar to getting a drivers license is reasonable. Get a permit to learn, take the training, then take a test to prove you can safely use the training. That may seem like an “infringement” of Second Amendment rights, but I believe it’s a necessary infringement since other people’s lives can be deeply affected by defensive actions a legally armed person may take. In addition, it’s foolish to have the gun without the training. It’s unsafe for everyone under those circumstances, and I find it reasonable to have some sort of minimum training standard that ensures proficiency and protects the safety of others.

Focusing on the things I’ve mentioned in this article can make a real difference in gun violence. More legislation to limit the actions of people who already follow the law is wasted time, energy, and money. Let’s spend our tax dollars wisely, and impress upon our sometimes misguided representatives the need to work on the real problems, rather than continuing to add more laws that only punish the innocent and have no affect on the guilty.