Stun Gun Ban Revisited

Update, June 28, 2018

This issue was addressed in the conference report on the Extreme Risk Protective Order bill. The report goes back to my original proposal of treating stun guns as “firearms” for licensing purposes, in other words, they will require a license to carry.   I moved off this proposal because many regulations pertaining to firearms do not make sense as applied to stun guns.  The conferees chose instead to carve out exceptions to those regulations.

Image of the Gillio Firearms Taser Pulse Stun Gun from the Gillio website

A recent SJC decision is forcing the legislature to replace the current ban on stun guns. We were prepared when the new decision came down.

Current Massachusetts law prohibits the use of electrical weapons:

No person shall possess a portable device or weapon from which an electrical current, impulse, wave or beam may be directed, which current, impulse, wave or beam is designed to incapacitate temporarily, injure or kill, except: . . . a federal, state or municipal law enforcement officer . . ..

This law was challenged as unconstitutional under the Second Amendment, but our Supreme Judicial Court upheld it in 2015. Our court concluded that since stun guns did not exist at the time the Second Amendment right to bear arms was created, the Second Amendment does not apply to stun guns:

The ban on the private possession of stun guns will not burden conduct that falls within the scope of the Second Amendment if a stun gun is a weapon not “in common use at the time” of enactment of the Second Amendment and would be dangerous per se at common law without another, primary use, i.e., as a tool. . . . [T]here can be no doubt that a stun gun was not in common use at the time of enactment, and it is not the type of weapon that is eligible for Second Amendment protection.

However, on further appeal, in a very interesting example of the idea that old constitutional principles apply to new technologies, the Supreme Court of the United States overturned that decision. The U.S. court criticized our court’s decision saying:

. . . the [Massachusetts] court explained that stun guns are not protected because they “were not in common use at the time of the Second Amendment’s enactment.” . . . This is inconsistent with Heller’s [a previous U.S. case] clear statement that the Second Amendment “extends . . . to . . . arms . . . that were not in existence at the time of the founding.”

After reviewing this guidance from the U.S. Supreme Court, our Supreme Judicial Court recently issued an opinion finding our stun gun ban unconstitutional.

This result was inevitable in light of the Supreme Court’s unanimous opinion and we have been expecting it. Last year, I filed a bill that would repeal the ban and regulate stun guns as firearms.

Over the past year, we’ve been consulting with advocates of gun control as well as with gun owner advocates to refine our new approach. Some made the objection that many of the safety regulations applicable to firearms do not really make sense as to stun guns. For example, our laws state that a firearm cannot be sold in the Commonwealth if it:

Has a frame, . . . that is composed of: (i) any metal having a melting point of less than 900 degrees Fahrenheit; (ii) any metal having an ultimate tensile strength of less than 55,000 pounds per square inch; or (iii) any powdered metal having a density of less than 7.5 grams per cubic centimeter.

This language is, of course, intended to protect consumers from explosions — explosions are not a risk for stun guns.

Another important point is that there are really two different kinds of electrical weapons on the market today. True stun guns are sort of like cattle prods — you touch them to someone and cause pain. By contrast, Tasers shoot darts that can discharge current into somebody who is many feet away. Both tend to be referred to as “stun guns” and are readily available online, but tasers are a much more dangerous weapon.

We concluded that treating all electrical weapons as firearms was too simple. We settled on the following alternative: We will simply require that to purchase a taser, one should have a license to carry firearms. To purchase a stun gun, one should have a firearms ID card. Licenses to carry can only be obtained after a discretionary review by police chiefs. The FID card is readily obtainable for anyone who can pass a background check. (More on gun law basics at this link.)

The week before the new opinion came out, the Joint Committee on Public Safety approved and reported out a redraft implementing this two-tiered approach.. When the opinion came out, the Committee Chair, Senator Michael Moore issued the following statement:

The recent SJC ruling on the legality of electronic weapons has created a significant gap in the Commonwealth’s oversight of these devices. While the court ruled a wholesale ban of electronic weapons was unconstitutional, the Commonwealth has a duty to provide a reasonable level of regulation to ensure the use of electronic weapons is consistent with our public safety objectives.

The Joint Committee on Public Safety considered several bills this session that would establish new regulations for these devices. On April 13, the Committee favorably reported a redrafted version of S.1283 an Act relative to electrical defensive devices, filed by Senator William Brownsberger. The legislation incorporates regulation of electronic weapons into the existing firearm statute, providing necessary oversight that is in line with the SJC decision.

Following the SJC decision, the legislature must act quickly to enact new regulations to promote public safety. S.1283 offers the Senate an important opportunity to continue this discussion and I hope that the bill will advance through the legislative process in a timely fashion.

I look forward to working Senator Moore to get the replacement for the ban implemented swiftly. The Supreme Judicial Court stayed the effect of its decision for 60 days, until June 16, but in truth, the ban is already unenforceable.

Informal Poll Results

It’s always hard to gauge overall sentiment reading through comments — sometimes a particular group is especially vocal.  I got some initial negative comments on this piece that surprised me, so I did a poll of people on my mailing list.

The email I sent read as follows:

As a result of court decisions striking down our ban on stun guns, stun guns will be unregulated in Massachusetts unless the legislature acts to create a licensing scheme.

Stun guns include batons that shock people when you poke them. They also include tasers which shoot darts which shock people.

Please click the statement that best summarizes your views:

I feel that stun guns should be available to adults without any background checking or licensing.

I feel that there should be some degree of background checking and required licensing for stun guns.

You’ll have the opportunity to elaborate your views by commenting at the link you get to by responding. If you feel that neither option is close to your views, you can go directly to comment here [link to this post].

Of 723 who responded within 48 hours, the sentiment was overwhelmingly in favor of regulation:

  • 83% in favor of background checking and licensing;
  • 8% against background checking and licensing;
  • 9% not sure.

I also ran the same poll on facebook and got a similar result 83% for and 17% against (only 54 responding).

I took the position outlined in this piece without doing any polling, but I’m pleased to find that my constituents generally agree with it.

Response to comments — April 29

Thanks to all who have commented here. I respect the varying perspectives.

I am grateful for the dialog.  I will move forward in the process better informed as a result.

Some responses and reflections:

  • Revival of the ban is definitely off the table — the Supreme Court has made that clear.
  • I continue to feel that some or all of these electronic weapons should require licensing.  The overwhelming majority of my constituents agree.
  • Tasers should require a license to carry (or perhaps only an FID, but definitely some level of licensing and background checking).  Tasers are distinctly dangerous.
  • It is more debatable how batons that deliver shocks should be regulated.
  • I take the point that the internal discharge counter may not be necessary. I also take the point that the penalties should be moderate.

License to Carry vs Firearms Identification Card?

Please see this Massachusetts post which explains the greater flexibility that comes with an LTC.

The FID is easier to get. A police chief . . .

shall issue [an FID card] if it appears that the applicant is not a prohibited person.

The qualification to this that came out of our 2014 reform was that a police chief can petition a court for the right to deny an FID card.

By contrast, a police chief . . .

may issue [an LTC] if it appears that the applicant is not a prohibited person as set forth in this section to be issued a license and that the applicant has good reason to fear injury to the applicant or the applicant’s property or for any other reason, including the carrying of firearms for use in sport or target practice only, subject to the restrictions expressed or authorized under this section.

More on FID’s and LTC’s as affected by our 2014 changes here.

Published by Will Brownsberger

Will Brownsberger is State Senator from the Second Suffolk and Middlesex District.

146 replies on “Stun Gun Ban Revisited”

  1. Will,

    Why didn’t the legislature act after the SCOTUS decision was handed down? Why did the SJC simply vacate the Caetano conviction and wait for another case?

    Further, the SJC originally decided the Caetano case partially on the basis that tasers/stun guns have no valid use in a militia. Considering the state’s assault weapon laws, this is pretty bogus logic.

    If it’s not obvious, the aggregate position here induces a lot of cynicism for those of us who look at all of it.

    Also, I believe you’re incorrect on FIDs at this point. They’re subject to the same discretion as LTCs. Further, as you know “LTC” is a bit of a misnomer as the police chief has discretion over whether or not a person can conceal carry. Will a person with an FID be able to carry a stun gun?

  2. Will, why do they need to be regulated at all? Use of them in a crime would seem to be covered by existing “assault & battery with a weapon” laws at a minimum. Possession of them by felon is probably covered somewhere else as well. It seems additional regulation would only discourage those who might consider a non-lethal device for self-defense or those like a college student who cannot possess a firearm at school.

  3. Hey Will, eventually all state-level “licenses to carry” or “concealed carry permits” will be declared unconstitutional. The 2nd Amendment requires no permit. Enjoy the bureaucracy while it lasts 🙂

  4. Will, Mrs. Caetano was a homeless woman which because of a lack of a permanent address could not obtain even a FID card under the current licensing scheme. Chief’s discretion, which was expanded from Licenses to Carry to include FID cards in 2014, could allow by letter of the MGL for lawful discrimination against an otherwise qualified individual on the basis of homelessness (chief’s judgement that a homeless person has poor judgement and thus isn’t suitable). Furthermore a few cities/towns do not issue carry licenses to wealthy business owners, doctors, lawyers, and law enforcement with “no carry license-to-carry” policies. How will any legislation address this equal protection under the law issue? The SJC’s opinion seems to try to limit self defense to within the home, but isn’t that discriminating against those without a home? The legislation as proposed now would still place Mrs. Caetano in the same exact position she was before the state appealing up to the SCotUS because she would not be able to obtain a license

    1. Should have read, “…do not issue carry licenses EXCEPT to wealthy…”

      I don’t see why these need to be regulated any differently than mace is now for all the equal protection issues mentioned above.

  5. The reasonableness of state law escapes me sometimes. this is a good example. I can understand a taser being potentially a lethal weapon, but stun gun? I look at this as infringing on one’s right to defend one’s self. I think the laws should be written on how/where they are carried and (mis)used. i.e not in public and the penalties should be similar to that of a firearm. But the very possession. does not pass the smell test

  6. Treat stun guns/tasers the same as MACE.

    Also allow a person who has a LTC to purchase a so called “assault weapon”.

    It’s been shown over and over again, that a criminal does not care about gun laws. Stop punishing the law abiding citizens of the commonwealth

  7. I worry that those drafting these bills may greatly underestimate how widely such devices are currently, for defensive purposes, in the possession of young ladies in the Commonwealth who are unlikely to promptly learn about and comply with the statute. Penalties like these seems severely excessive:
    “shall be punished by a fine of not less than $500 nor more than $1,000 or by imprisonment in the house of correction for not more than 2 1/2 years, or by both such fine and imprisonment.”

    To quote from an 11/11/2016 letter I sent to you and Senator Chang-Diaz,

    “To paraphrase Senator Brownsberger’s words about marijuana: ‘There are too many ways that people can get in trouble with the criminal justice system and [stun gun possession] should not be among them.'”

    “I’m relatively far on the spectrum towards favoring gun control, but in respect to stun guns feel much more ambivalent. I sympathize with the fear and vulnerability that youngsters feel when they are involved in many highly volatile relationships and want something for self-protection to ward off rather than create danger, to keep situations from becoming physically violent rather than to hurt anyone.”


    “My tendency is to think that it would make sense now to decriminalize stun gun possession, treating the devices more like mace/pepper spray, except more intensively
    discouraging purchase, including via requirements for safety training to convey an understanding of the especially serious harms that can proceed from their misuse.”

    Might it not be feasible to initially go with just a civil penalty, a fine that could be worked off via community service? An intensive public education program? An amnesty with a stun gun turn in/buyback program?

  8. Thanks, Will, for your thorough, thoughtful, clear analysis of all sides of the issue. Pat

  9. Why do you feel the need to regulate electronic self defense tools *at all*?

    The vast majority of states don’t regulate stun guns of any sort in any form.

    Who are you protecting from whom with this? Do you seriously think someone who is willing to deliberately do harm to someone else is going to use a Taser or stun gun, and not a knife or a real gun? Do you really think they’re going to get a license for it? That’s ridiculous on its surface.

    Given the dissimilarity between actual real guns and electric “stun guns”, how do you plan to normalize the laws so they make sense? Trigger locks? Safe storage? Gun free zones? Arbitrary license restrictions?

    You need to think this through and see who this will make vulnerable, who it will protect, and from whom.

  10. I think this bill is short sighted – you leave a population that is totally unable to defend themselves and frankly a stun gun is safer than a weapon that discharges a projectile. Further more – many doctors offices have such devices that plug into a wall and can be used defibrillator – and in fact all defibrillator could come under this bill as well. Also Electronic components such as high voltage capacitors – Time to scrap this and just let them be legal for all – enough of the baby sitting – The commonwealth does not need to regulate every little thing

  11. Thanks Will. I hope this replacement is moved forward quickly. Massachusetts is such a safe state because we think these things through for the safety of the public and use available data.

  12. You’re not seeing the forest for the trees here, Billiam. The worst thing you can do is try to regulate something that is over-the-counter in 45 other states. Your bill is mirroring what red states do in terms of marijuana. They don’t like weed, we don’t like weapons. Break the cycle and do the right thing. Do you really want a young lady to be relegated to having to physically contact her attacker versus keeping him down at a distance and possibly giving her a chance to run away with a head start?

    We might as well go all the way like London and ban all knives and say you can only have a rape alarm as self-defense ( )

    Realize that you legislate in America, not England. Not everything needs to be like a policy from Human Resources.

  13. Whether it is a fist, a knife, a gun, a taser, a stun gun, any weapon that is used to hurt, restrain or kill an apparent law-abiding citizen should be illegal.

    Heller v. Washington DC, which was the case cited by the U.S.Supreme Court to overturn the Mass law was retrograde. It was the worst decision written by Justice Antonin Scalia. He didn’t mind that guns killed people or the death penalty, because he believed that there is life after death.

  14. It seems that any regulation of weapons attracts the same stale arguments and taunts that we’ve heard over and over. Thanks, Will, for working with your colleagues to come up with a solution to the issue of electronic weapons.

    The research is overwhelmingly clear that more weapons in circulation and fewer restrictions on their possession generally correlate with more deaths and injuries. Massachusetts is a prime example. Regulation saves lives, including in the category of gun violence that 2nd Amendment extremists don’t like to talk about: suicide.

    I know you need a thick skin to be a legislator even in a state that is progressive. I appreciate the determination you’ve shown over the years.

  15. Regulation could, at the very least, keep these things out of domestic violence situations.

    1. Or prevent people from using them to defend themselves. The case that went to the Supreme Court was a woman who was the victim of domestic violence.

  16. The legislature needs to find a way aournd the Supreme Court decision. Whatever that approach is, it should be as strong as the current rulings allow it to be.

  17. Will: I appreciate the effort you have put into this and agree with your two tier approach. Thanks, Shippen

  18. Especially if it turns out that most respondents favor background checks and licensing, I hope you will ask the follow up survey question as to whether violations should result in 1) civil penalties with fines, education, and confiscation or instead 2) criminal penalties including jail time of up to 2 1/2 years for simple possession of a device.

  19. We need less regulation in this country and in particular in this state; not more.

  20. I would like to see stun guns limited to those without convictions of violent crimes. I fear they will not be used in self defense but as offensive weapons to commit domestic abuse, robbery, rape, against officers, etc. They totally incapacitate for some period of time and in the right conditions, can kill.

  21. It is somewhat troubling that this case had to go to SCOTUS, when ” This is inconsistent with Heller’s [a previous U.S. case] clear statement that the Second Amendment “extends . . . to . . . arms . . . that were not in existence at the time of the founding.” Given that the SCOTUS decision was unanimous, hard for me to avoid the conclusion that SJC was doing something other than reading the law.

  22. Until this court decision can be overruled, I support a high degree of background checking and required licensing.

    1. No
      Licensing is no longer required for pepper spray. It has been that way since August 2014 and here we are nearly four years later and mace has not been used to the arm-flapping degree going on here. Think about it, you did not even know the law changed in pepper spray and the sky did not fall. Imagine that.

  23. I don’t know enough about stun guns. However, it would not surprise me that they could surprise, shock and cause other distress to people and perhaps serious reactions and could easily be misused. Therefore, I support sensible regulations.

  24. Why would someone need a stun gun! I liked the argument that stun guns were not around when the second amendment was written, so they are they not a right. I’m so tired of guns and gun violence. When the second amendment was written, no one could have imagined the world we live in. or the weapons that we have access too. Times have changed, we need the laws to change as well.

    1. Unfortunately, the Supreme Court of the United States UNANIMOUSLY disagreed. Yes, including RBG, Elena Kagan, etc. They called your argument “frivolous”. (Like saying the First Amendment doesn’t apply to the Internet because it didn’t exist in 1780.) Read the case and see for yourself.

  25. What use do these weapons have in the hands of ordinary citizens? They should be highly regulated.

  26. It seems these fall in between pepper spray/mace and a fire arm relative to dangerousness and use as a defensive versus offense weapon. I believe there is still some kind of licensing required for pepper spray and mace – although I’m not certain how different it might be from a fire arm – maybe a FID card. There should at least be some kind of background check for anyone to own these.

  27. I feel that ownership and use of stun guns, tasers and similar electronic weapons should be strictly regulated. I don’t know enough about the various technological features or functional comparisons with other guns and weaponry to comment on specific regulatory controls or legislative proposals – but I feel that is in the interest of all the people of our Commonwealth and our individual and communal safety to institute a new regulatory regimen and as tight a set of restrictions as the constitution will allow.

  28. Guns are bad enough…… now we stun/taser guns…… WOW !

    Having regulations must be for all gun type weapons !

    Stun / taser guns should be treated as weapons /guns…..need back ground checks , license, training, etc ,

    What about laws/ unlawful…. using these weapon ? Fines ? Jail time ….. felony? Etc ,

  29. I don’t think anyone but police should have these, and they should be trained ahead of time. I can imagine these even causing heart attacks in some vulnerable people, and also these are likely to be abused. Also if someone got out that gun you picture quickly, it would look like a real gun to many people and then they might shoot their own real gun.There must be a safer way to protect ourselves, and we should find it. Enough guns. I also recommend a public education campaign in kindness, empathy, and the golden rule, and taking measures to de-stress us all such as building more parks and having better noise laws so people can calm down at least at home or in a park. (Please see my blog if you get a chance–The Serene City–, and I also write extensively about this in my book I hope will be published soon–called Stress in the American City. Research shows we are all way too stressed by the chaos and difficulties of big city life–bad traffic, noise, crime, drugs, lately increased rudeness and meanness, etc. I think a public PR campaign is the way to go plus again give us some peace with parks and decreased leaf-blowers and aircraft flyovers so we can be in our own gardens–(more gardens will calm the neighborhood! Come see ours–it’s on Watertown’s Life-Friendly garden tour every year! Only we can barely stand to be in it to take care of it due to leaf-blowers of others, people doing construction all week including weekends at all hours, helicopters, etc. This is stressful! Also poor areas need gardens and parks–research shows nature helps reduce crime!–Susan Cooke, researcher on public health and wellbeing

    1. The above comment is perhaps the best example of the toxic white liberal. All control is to be laid at the feet of the government and as long as you’re a good neutered little serf you will be in good graces. I can clearly see why the Democratic Left championed Jim Crow laws as a way to neuter us free people of color. Susan, not all people need to be controlled no matter how much you wish to crack the whip or tighten the shackles.

  30. No need for anyone other than law enforcement to own a taser. A stun gun is more of a defensive weapon and all that should be needed is a strong background check.

  31. The SJC decision on stun guns is disappointing. Stun guns are an offensive weapon. Why would an ordinary citizen need such a weapon? Unfortunately, the 2nd amendment has morphed into a disease upon American citizenry — that kills. I grew up with rifles and a shotgun in our home which was meant for hunting for meat for the family. Now, guns are for killing people and they do.
    As far as stun guns they should be regulated as much as possible to keep them from becoming yet another weapon applied against the American citizenry.

  32. I do not believe possession of stun guns by private citizens should be allowed under Mass. law. They should only be legal for a very strictly defined class of professional use (law enforcement, for example) and there should be mandated training at the time or before such licenses are granted. The law should require license renewal at regular intervals to ensure that the individual is still employed in the permitted activity.

  33. No one but police should have stun guns or tasers. Thanks for working on this important issue. I thInk the founding fathers would be “stunned” by how their 2nd amendment has been interpreted today.

  34. Ther needs to be regulation for stun guns and tasers. Tasers have caused numerous deaths since 2000. The darts and voltage have caused cardiac arrest. Any weapon that can be lethal rerequires training an d regulation Even though stun guns are less lethal they too should be regulated in some form.,

    Heller did not say that there is an absolute right tor arms but in essence said state can enact reasonable regulations.

  35. These are defensive weapons, there is no need to regulate them at all. Regulation of these will cost lives.

  36. Any tool that is designed to hurt other people or animals should be seriously regulated, and background checks should certainly be part of that regulation.

    1. Jane,

      The Supreme Court unanimously found that that stun guns and tasers should be legal. This decision was based on a case where the police were incapable of enforcing a restraining order against a highly abusive ex boyfriend.

      How would you recommend a woman in that situation protect herself?

  37. My feeling is that hand held electrical weapons should not be regulated. I do not see that much of a public safety threat as compared to their usefulness as self defense tools. They are particularly effective for those of small stature facing a larger attacker. I do think that Tasers, or any device that throws a projectile capable of producing a debilitating shock should be highly regulated.These are in a very different category than hand held devices and can be used as an offensive weapon if the possessor so chose. They should be regulated the same as handguns because they are capable of producing deadly force in the wrong hands. There is little justification in allowing unrestricted possession of Tasers.

  38. How could there even be a question about the need for background checks?! Allowing total freedom to purchase stun guns with no background check is irresponsible and insane!

  39. Less lethal tools should be available to everyone.
    If violent offenders wanted stun guns, previous law wouldn’t have stoped them.
    We have seen time and time again that gun/weapon charges are dropped.
    Why make new laws that only law abiding citizens will follow, when they will be responsible anyways?
    If one of the devices owners is irresponsible and a child or someone misuses the device then the adult responsible should be charged.

    Less lethal tools are not a reliable way for self protection. There is a myriad of videos online that show more than enough evidence of less lethal tools failing to perform their intended purpose.

    Than you!

  40. Stun guns should require a license and background check and no history of assault or domestic violence or animal cruelty.

    1. I agree and they should not be meat eaters either. There’s something to say about anyone who can cut open an animal and eat their muscle – absolutely violent people who cannot be trusted.

  41. I agree that taser type guns should
    be regulated like other guns. They
    can maim and kill. Thanks for the
    opportunity to comment on this.

    And congratulations on the passing of
    the new criminal justice law, a big step!

  42. I would like to see the original total ban on stunguns restored. There is no need for any citizen to have a stun gun. Sometimes they are used in kidnappings to disable the victim temporarily.
    Kathy Greenough, Boston

    1. Really? Aside from tv, can you quickly cite an example? Try without using Google.

      People that don’t want to own this defensive tool have an easy choice…people that want a non lethal way of stopping a dangerous person will buy them.

      I don’t need another law from this state telling me what I am “allowed” to do and how to do it.

  43. As technology advances, our rights do too. Free speech covers the internet, freedom of religion covers religions not yet created at the founding. The right to bear arms a thousand years ago would have been swords and bows, 200 years ago, arms of the day, and today the arms that have advanced to electronic devices, so good people are armed equal to their government and to criminals that wish to do us harm.
    Arms should not be licensed, as that would imply a right is a privilege that can be denied, and the most important part of the 2A is to aid the defense of liberty vs tyranny. You certainly don’t ask permission of those who wish to control you, criminals certainly won’t.

    But this is MA and we make everything illegal and difficult for law abiding people. So I am sure they will make it as hard as possible for good people to defend themselves, protecting only criminals, and drop the weapons charges like they do when they arrest a drug dealer to get information.

    1. Edwin – No one likes regulation, even liberals. But do you really think your “law-abiding people” stand a chance of defending themselves against a bad guy with a taser, coming up behind them or even surprising them from the front. Better that the bad guy doesn’t have access to a taser.

      1. Don,

        How do you reconcile what you’re saying here with the Caetano case that led to this?

        1. She certainly had a need to defend herself somehow since the state was not doing so. But you cannot build the law around a small class of examples.

          1. Don, so you’re saying that in the 45 states that don’t regulate stun guns there are waves of crime where people are walking up and tazing each other? Because otherwise you’re building a law around a small class of examples.

          2. “But you cannot build the law around a small class of examples.”

            Certainly you realize there are plenty of instances of that, right?

            If you’re unwilling to have a law that deals with Ms. Caetano’s decision, you are sacrificing her for some, alleged, greater good.

  44. I agree with the general direction of the solution you have outlined. Stun guns and tasers are devices that are specifically designed to harm and/or incapacitate other people. Hence they have a great deal in common with guns, even if they are not specifically designed to be lethal.

  45. Stun guns and tasers need to be regulated. They can be lethal. They can be used very effectively in a street assault or robbery. Imagine also if kids had free access to them. I believe that Mace is regulated. And Mace is much less dangerous than stun guns and tasers.

  46. To those who believe that only the piloce should have tasers, what other option did Jaime Caetano have to protect herself?

    She should not have to live cowering in fear that her ex-boyfriend was going to harm her.

    She was prohibited legally from having a firearm. She is unable to afford personal security guards. The police were not going to assign her a security detail.

    With the current stringent firearms laws in effect, I think there should be a graded system of progressively freer access to firearms -> stun/taser -> pepper spray.

    Remember, more people are killed with baseball bats than tasers (or AR-15s for that matter).

  47. I think you should go as fas as you legally can to prohibit and/or regulate these dangerous weapons.

  48. Anything that can be done to keep dangerous weapons out of the hands of those not capable of using them safely must be done as soon as possible. We can not let the NRA and some of those in DC overturn our state rights to protect our citizens. Thank you for being at the front of this issue.

  49. Are you serious? What could possibly be a legitimate and rational use for such a weapon other than to control or torture people or animals. They should be banned by law enforcement as well.

    1. What? What if someone is trying to rape a woman at gunpoint or knife-point? Wouldn’t it be “legitimate” and “rational” for her to defend herself with a Taser?

  50. I don’t know why anyone feels a need to own such a thing as a stun gun or taser. However, since it appears we cannot ban them, then subjecting them to the same rules and scrutiny that apply to those purchasing a gun seems to be the sensible thing to do. I also think that it is very important to add screening for animal abuse/cruelty to the background check to be sure that these devices don’t fall into the hands of people who aim to torture pets and wildlife.

  51. So much violence is domestic. I want to make sure someone w restraining order would not be able to get weapons, and that someone who is trying to defend themselves can get weapons.

  52. These devices can inflict enough harm when used as intended that I think they should both be regulated in some form. The latest proposal seems a reasonable solution to me.

  53. I am very unhappy that the ban was overturned. I do not think anyone should have these weapons. What if we require anyone with a stun gun or gun to wear a body cam?
    As a quadriplegic senior citizen, I’m not able to defend myself, but neither can our children. We are becoming a very violent society, and adding stun guns to the mix is, I believe, very foolish.

  54. Interesting we don’t have flint lock muzzle loading weapons so that would mean all modern weapons are not covered????? do you know the first machine gun was invented well before the second amendment? It seems that all these laws and made to hurt the law abiding citizen. The justice system just lets the criminals who don’t observe the laws out to commit more crime

  55. I dont see why private citizens need such protection as stun guns. They seem rather dangerous.

  56. I feel that both types of electrical weapons should be banned for sale to all but law enforcement personnel. They seem excessive for those who are already licensed to own guns and they increase the level of danger to all.

    1. How about those who are not interested in owning guns but still wish to defend themselves? The original case that led to this decision was a homeless woman who was the repeated victim of domestic violence. When a friend loaned her a stun gun she was able to chase off the abuser when he came back again but she was promptly arrested for possessing a stun gun.

      What solution would you propose for that woman?

  57. Massachusetts stands out as one of the safest states in the country, thanks to its strict gun laws. Why weaken those regulations? Please do whatever you can to ban these weapons. And thanks.

      1. HI Craig,

        By the metric of all violent crime — including robberies, rapes and assaults as well as murder — Massachusetts comes out in the middle.

        If you look at murder alone, Massachusetts is where you’d expect it to be — near the lowest rate.

        Homicide is the crime that is best reported and least subject to variations in definition. The other crimes are subject to varying reporting rates and more variable definitions.

        Massachusetts is safe and is probably the safest urban state.

  58. It is common sense that stun guns should be regulated for individual citizens. Let’s keep Massachusetts at the forefront of sanity.

  59. I believe that regulating the stun weapons is necessary for public safety. It is reasonable and practical to have owners of these weapons registered using fire arm identification procedures. Thank you for your work in keeping the public safe.

  60. These are tactical offensive weapons. Pepper Spray (for instance) is a tactical defensive weapon. OF course there are thin lines about how to use these devices but intended use defines the need for interpretation. I feel mental fitness needs to be considered for all weapons purchases, and registration (esp for guns) so that stockpiling is known within a community.

  61. Really? Aside from tv, can you quickly cite an example? Try without using Google.

    People that don’t want to own this defensive tool have an easy choice…people that want a non lethal way of stopping a dangerous person will buy them.

    I don’t need another law from this state telling me what I am “allowed” to do and how to do it.



  63. Not only should background checks be required but also completion of an approved course with passage of a qualifying test. Licensure for the device should be required with periodic renewal stipulation.

    There is desire in most people to be able to protect themselves. A stun gun can kill by causing cardiac arrest. The possession and use of a stun gun can provoke and enrage a perpetrator who is approached. Having a stun gun instantly available in a threatening situation in the hands of a skilled person are challenging qualifications. Security personnel in my own place of work say that leaving/running should always be the first line of defense. Only if there is no means of escape should a stun gun ever be used. Preventive strategies should always dictate behavior in potentially risky encounters.

  64. Because my earlier remarks upset some people (like some others, I said only police should have these weapons), I want to say I do understand how those upset people feel–defenseless. I have felt that way often too. What I would like to have said but was afraid to is I wish almost all people would NOT have weapons including police (I just read that in a large part of the UK most police still do not carry arms, only one special unit does). That seems the way of most peace and safety. I do think we should find SOME way to help protect in such cases as women who know they’re in danger from an angry spouse, or people attacked suddenly by a crazy person, etc. What about super-loud hand alarms that at least might scare a person away? (I used to use one walking at night and felt a little safer. But the point is the attacker would have no weapon like a gun or taser since they all would be banned.) Or the alarm plus a milder pepper spray? Maybe we should investigate what those parts of the UK do in such cases? And investigate what other countries with limited arms do–Australia and others? This would mean however that the NRA would have to back off. Again let’s see what other countries do. I realize this is too sweeping for most to find it practical now, but in the end it just seems less weapons all around is best, and I hope we get there someday soon..

    1. ” But the point is the attacker would have no weapon like a gun or taser since they all would be banned.”

      An absurd premise, leading to an absurd result.

      Prohibition “banned” liquor – and corrupted the police and judiciary, and made the Mafia the powerful crime organization it is now.

      Drugs like marijuana, opium, heroin, and cocaine have been illegal for decades. Show us anyplace that prohibition worked – you can’t. It created international drug cartels.

      MA has had rigid regulations on guns for over a century – criminals still have them.

      Those of us functioning in the real world address its real threats. EDWs are a means of protecting ourselves from them.

  65. It’s not the first time, nor will it be the last, that I think the Federal SJC has made a mistake. Given its mistake, thank you for your work on this bill regarding stun guns. Like all weapons of supposed self-defense, I have no intention of owning such a weapon. My approach to life has to be that most people are good and trying to contribute to the greater good of the community.

  66. I agree with the other comments calling for regulating them along the lines of handguns: background checks, waiting periods, kept away from people with domestic abuse or animal abuse in their histories. Also, could we at least say available stun guns need AFID tags, or some other means of easily identifying the owner?

  67. I feel that stun guns should be available to adults without any background checking or licensing.

  68. Any concealed weapon, including stun guns, and and automatic military style weapons should be banned. Pellet guns should be regulated

  69. For all of those who are saying these types of weapons should be banned, you should take the time to read about the original case that led to the need to change MA law.

    The woman at the center of the case, Jaime Caetano, had been put in the hospital at least once by an abusive ex-boyfriend. There were multiple restraining orders against the boyfriend and police were incapable (or possibly unwilling) to enforce those restraining orders. A friend gave Caetano a stun gun and when she was confronted again by the ex, she was able to avoid further harm from him. Notably, the ex-boyfriend weighed about 100lbs more than Caetano.

    For those who think stun guns should be banned, how would you propose a woman in Caetano’s situation defend herself? If you have no answer, realize that a ban on these types of weapons necessarily sacrifices people like Caetano.

    1. I should have also noted that Caetano v. Massachusetts was an 8-0 decision (it happened after Scalia passed away). Yes, the liberal justices were for this.

      To Will, I think you should also read this case again before you consider what type of licensing requirements are needed. Statutorily, police departments are supposed to issue LTCs and FIDs within 40 days of application. There are plenty of cases where police departments take 6 months to issue the license and there’s no penalty to hold them to the 40 days.

      For a woman in Caetano’s situation, is 40 days acceptable, much less 6mo? It was also noted in another comment that she was homeless at the time. How can she get a license like this if she’s homeless and the license is predicated on residency?

  70. Either on purpose or accidentally they can maim or kill. A hit in the eye. Or a jit to someone with a pacemaker or at risk for heart attack or stroke. I’m sure there are many other reasons for careful regulation.

  71. Stun guns are not to beallowed to be used, except by local, federal official personnel and police officers under special circumstances.

  72. I spent last week at the wake and funeral of Sgt. Sean Gannon, the police officer murdered by a person who appeared over 115 times before the Massachusetts judicial system. Until the courts and parole boards are corrected and held accountable, all of these rules and regulations are meaningless!

  73. I am still baffled by the posts here about how only police and government officials should have them. What makes any of our lives worth less to defend? If you are a good person and a bad situation comes upon you, would your family not want you alive?

    We all have choices to make and some are more difficult than others. Just imagine everything you worked hard for flushed down the drain because you didn’t defend yourself with a tool (it’s a tool, just like a hammer or knife). It’s pretty selfish to not have consideration for your loved ones who prefer you alive rather than dead.

    If someone wants to lay down and die like a dog to show how they are taking the higher moral ground, then let it be their choice. Some people are sheepdogs and some people are comfortable being sheep.

  74. The state’s ban on Electric Defensive Weapons; i.e., “Stun guns,” was unnecessary and intrusive. The Supreme Court’s decision was hardly revolutionary; it applied the same logic it did to technological threats to the Fourth Amendment. The SJC’s analysis was so egregiously wrong that the Supreme Court overturned, unanimously and without need of a hearing.

    Note that most states do not regulate EDWs, just as most do not regulate defensive sprays.

    We do not need still more regulations. It makes no sense to treat stun like actual guns by requiring licenses.

    The state already went through this with defensive sprays, before eliminating licenses for them altogether. The same policy applied to sprays should be applied to EDWs.

  75. While I agree these guns can be useful in some dire circumstances, they have been known to kill even in use by say a police officer. Stunning more than once, or perhaps stunning someone with a heart condition, possibly unknown to either party!, can and has happened. So proper training, and a permit should be REQUIRED.Use of any stun weapon without training or a permit should carry a serious consequence, at least similar to killing someone with a car in an accident where responsibility is appointed.

  76. I like the two tier approach which is in the draft bill you described. Both types of “stun guns’ need to be regulated for the safety of the public but should have distinct laws. Also, what about regulating design/looks so that law enforcement and others know what they are seeing.

  77. defensive electronic devices should not be regulated as firearms are. Even though there’s a reduced fee (sec 129B, par 9B) for mace and such, and this paragraph could be applied to electronic devices, I do not believe that the state needs yet another source of income. These devices, as well as mace and “pepper spray” should be removed from state control entirely. In no other area do we have to pay to exercise a Constitutionally protected right.

  78. My only thought is that, a if MA does not require it, the law should require of concealed carry permit holders to show they know the law and demonstrate ability to shoot and aim in both a target environment and a pressure to shoot scenario, annually or often enough to show skill, judgement and knowledge of the law to keep their permit. People who are unable to hit the side of a barn or if they show bad judgement should not have or keep a carry permit. If their skill degrades for any reason they should not keep the permit. Shooting is a skill that needs to be practiced. The Commonwealth has a safety interest in making sure that carry permit holders are able to have and keep a permit.

    The 2 tiered approach is reasonable for these devices.

    1. Many police could not pass this requirement – and they carry firearms as part of the job.
      Also – let’s apply this same logic to drivers – how many would be able to pass these same requirements if applied to motor vehicles? And motor vehicles kill thousands on Massachusetts highways.

  79. Perhaps the point is more clear in the legislation itself, but the explanation given here seems to imply that if a person were granted a “license to carry” a taser, this license would also permit the person to carry a firearm of any type. Is that in fact the case?

    1. Donald,

      “License To Carry” (LTC) as a term is a misnomer. An LTC *might* allow a holder to conceal carry a firearm, but not necessarily.

      Massachusetts has two levels of license that give the holder permission to own a firearm. Those two levels are LTC and Firearm Identification (FID). The latter is also a bit of a misnomer given other MA gun laws, but we’ll ignore that for now. The FID is the lower level and LTC is the higher level. An FID allows the holder to own certain rifles and shotguns, but not handguns. The LTC allows the holder to own everything the FID allows, plus handguns and certain other rifles.

      The local police chief has discretion over whether or not to issue these licenses. As part of that (s)he can put restrictions on the LTC to limit the holder to certain uses of the firearms. Typical restrictions include either “hunting & sport” (hunting, target shooting) or “employment” (security guards). If the chief issues the LTC with no restrictions, the holder can conceal carry a handgun. An FID holder can’t conceal carry any firearm and it’s also, effectively, illegal to carry a rifle.

      That said, if the person goes through all the same requirements to get an LTC for a taser, why wouldn’t they be allowed to have/carry a handgun?

      As a side note, I chose the words “allow” and “permission” quite on purpose. Whether people here like it or not, we are talking about a Constitutionally protected right. Think about how you’d feel if you had to get permission from your local police chief (a political appointee) to exercise any other right.

  80. Stun guns can do as much damage as a firearm when used improperly and should be regulated. The stringency should be less than that of firearms.Background checks should be required.

    1. I think that stun guns should be illegal for everyone. Someone comes along and has an angry position against someone can use it to get some sort of revenge and damage to whomever he/she is angry at.

  81. Sen. Brownsberger,

    The draft as written seems reasonable, with some caveats. Since electronic weapons can be lethal, background checks are a reasonable minimal standard to pass. This would (potentially) prevent domestic abusers and others with violent histories from obtaining devices that could be used in further commission of abuse or other violent acts. I can see an argument, as well, that some minimum level of training would be a reasonable requirement for obtaining a stun gun, with a higher level required for a stun dart.

    One question I do have is if there is any regulation that limits the maximum amperage that an electronic weapon can discharge? I approve of the requirement that devices have a means of recording how many times they have been discharged, but it would also be advisable that they be required to record amperage of discharge and duration of discharge (or place limits on the duration of an individual shock). Likewise, there should be a statutory scheme in place to deal with modifications to electronic weapons that increase the amperage or duration of discharge.

    As these are intended to be, and in general are, non-lethal devices, the bar to acquiring one should not be at the same level as a firearm, but there should be certain checks in place to prevent them from being acquired by violent individuals, as well as those who are mentally unfit to safely operate them.

  82. “gun” should be clearly defined. Just because a device is name “x gun” should not automatically provide the owner with 2nd amendment privileges: Ray gun? Laser gun? Nail gun? Deafening sound gun? High pressure (tearing off skin) gun?

    Each of these should be evaluated on a cost benefit basis, balancing public danger against public good.

  83. I’m concerned about proliferation of weapons (of any type) that can be used to torture or kill people. I sympathize with those who legitimately seek tools of self-defense, and public policy must maintain a balance favoring defense over those who seek to harm others.

    Electronic discharge weapons currently do not represent the same threat as AR-15 weapons, in that they’re not designed to target large numbers of victims. In making policy on this matter, keep in mind that the weapons industry seeks to earn profits by increasing popularity of its products across broader numbers of people, and by rolling those profits into additional capabilities over time.

    So I’d look for ways to deter sales (limit ways for distributors to increase their visibility) and to restrict development or distribution of weapons which can be used to target mass numbers of victims. A future EDW could, for example, deliver a shock to everyone aboard a crowded commuter train.

  84. All “stun guns” are less lethal than a firearm. if a person can carry a firearm, then they should be able to carry a “stun gun.”

  85. Stun guns, like tasers, and guns are weapons, all of which must require a background check and licensing.
    There are more stringent laws for obtaining a driving license.
    Thank you for your awareness and wisdom in seeing this regulation and law through after the SJC ruling.

  86. Stun guns, or guns of any sort, have no place in a civil society. The 2nd Amendment was written during “frontier” days. Now most of us live in and near crowded cities. It is terrifying to think that someone sitting next to you on the T might have such a weapon. The fact that stun guns don’t necessarily “kill” only makes them more dangerous since some might feel less inhibited about using them.

    1. News flash: a world where we have people getting violently attacked for no apparent reason isn’t a civilized one. Where do you live, that you feel so sheltered and safe? I want to be able to protect my well being if someone decides to attack me. This is of real concerns to people, especially for women.

    2. Why don’t you educate yourself before posting something so ignorant. The second amendment was written to make sure a tyranical government could never overthrow their people, foreign or domestic. When it was written the government only had muskets, guess what…the government has automatic weapons, drones and tanks nowadays, which they didn’t have back then either. The whole point of the second amendment is that the people are supposed to have the same weapons that the government has or at least the ability to fight back against them. We are already not allowed to have even close to the types of weapons the government has. Do you really believe that the founding fathers thought that weapons would never advance? There are already over 300,000,000 guns on the streets of America, and most of those are not registered or tracked. So yeah, let’s make it much harder for law abiding citizens, who are doctors, lawyers, teachers, grocery store workers, etc… to be able to defend themselves. Because we all know if the government ever banned guns that all the criminals would walk right into their local PD and turn in their illegal, unregistered, stolen guns, right? I swear some people have zero common sense. Educate yourself before posting such an ignorant comment.

  87. Background checks and licensing should be required. With new technology comes new challenges and the need to regulate it. We all want proper use of any type of weapon.

  88. I would like to see some regulation of stun guns, however I do not want to see the situation worsened by any legislation that could lead to further expansion of the definition of firearms.

  89. Thanks, Will for addressing the issue. But the question I have is why can we not rewrite the ban legislation to comply with the second amendment standard.

    1. Because the whole point of the court striking the ban down is a ban doesn’t comply with the second amendment.

  90. I strongly feel that there should be background checks for any weapon that can injure someone. If someone wants a weapon then they should have no problem with a background check unless their background holds something that would make it wrong for them to have a weapon.

    1. Patricia,

      ” If someone wants a weapon then they should have no problem with a background check unless their background holds something that would make it wrong for them to have a weapon.”

      Would you let the police search your house just because they want to?

  91. Thank you will for doing what you can. Regulate as much as possible! I hope you are aware of the judge rotenberg Center which uses electrical shocks to discipline and sometimes torture people with disabilities. The center’s use of electrical shocks is a stain on Massachusetts well-deserved liberal reputation

  92. For all those arguing that only police should have these non-lethal, defensive weapons ….

    WASHINGTON, June 27 – The Supreme Court ruled on Monday that the police did not have a constitutional duty to protect a person from harm, even a woman who had obtained a court-issued protective order against a violent husband making an arrest mandatory for a violation.

    The decision, with an opinion by Justice Antonin Scalia and dissents from Justices John Paul Stevens and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, overturned a ruling by a federal appeals court in Colorado. The appeals court had permitted a lawsuit to proceed against a Colorado town, Castle Rock, for the failure of the police to respond to a woman’s pleas for help after her estranged husband violated a protective order by kidnapping their three young daughters, whom he eventually killed.

    For hours on the night of June 22, 1999, Jessica Gonzales tried to get the Castle Rock police to find and arrest her estranged husband, Simon Gonzales, who was under a court order to stay 100 yards away from the house. He had taken the children, ages 7, 9 and 10, as they played outside, and he later called his wife to tell her that he had the girls at an amusement park in Denver.

    Ms. Gonzales conveyed the information to the police, but they failed to act before Mr. Gonzales arrived at the police station hours later, firing a gun, with the bodies of the girls in the back of his truck. The police killed him at the scene.

  93. To those who dream that only government official should have guns/electric defense devices/chemical irritant sprays… how should a homeless woman, who already had a restraining order in place, defend herself against a much larger threatening ex-boyfriend?

    Ask Jaime Caetano. She made the most human of decisions… to protect her life.

    Why should she need to ask for permission to defend herself?

    Why should she need to pay a licensing fee to defend her life?

    Why should she have to wait for a beaurocrat to process paperwork?

    Unless you advocate for every citizen to be afforded a government sponsored security guard, then you are promoting helplessness.

    Yes stun/tasers can cause severe harm and death. But so can baseball bats and fists, which are not regulated despite causing much more mayhem.

    Beware fear over logic, emotions over facts, deciding what’s best for others based on your own narrow life experience, thinking that others are responsible for your personal safety. Beware wishing that only the police have anything more dangerous than a butter knife.

    Jaime Caetano’s RIGHT to a self-defense weapon trumps your fear of that weapon

    Although it ills me to limit a natural right, the MA legislature will undoubtedly write laws regarding stun/tasers. So I propose this: If you self identify as vulnerable to evil deeds, then you get to keep and bear pepper spray or contact stun guns. Unless you are adjudicated as a risk to others then you can keep and bear projectile tasers. If society would be better served with an individual in jail, only then should that person be deprived of the right to a firearm.

  94. Senator,

    I feel that there should be some degree of background checking and required licensing for stun guns.

    I think a real risk is that because a stun gun is not regarded to be lethal, its use will become widespread and be used as an instrument of coercion and to induce fear without the risk of grievous bodily harm,.

    Ed Woll

    1. Ed, with that line of thinking we need to outlaw knives, Baseball Bats, Hockey sticks, rolling pins, bowling balls and pins. etc.

  95. Additionally, if you are an individual who has had a restraining order filed against you, you should not have access to a stun gun or firearm.

  96. Frankly, I don’t think these (or other firearms) should even be MADE, much allow anyone (even police) to have them. If weapons were really hard to get criminals wouldn’t have them and police wouldn’t need them.

    1. You live in a fantasy world. The fact is: there are guns. Why not have an equal chance to defend yourself against a would-be criminal. Criminals don’t follow laws, so what’s the point of making new ones? Oh, wait… To make it harder on law abiding citizens to defend themselves. Got it.

  97. Ridiculous.
    All of the these restrictions and regulation will effect the ability of law abiding citizens to carry these non-lethal means of protection and self-defense. Up until four years ago mace required an FID card.
    How many crimes are committed with stunguns vs. self defense? This law was unconstitutional before, and placing new restrictions is simply another form of infringement. Make the age of purchase 18 and call it a day.

  98. Extensive background checks but I don’t feel you should need a license to carry or an fid card that’s my opinion but I don’t see that as one of the options why??

  99. Why do the democratic politicians of this state always need to infringe on its citizens rights to defend themselves?! Stun guns of both varieties are perfectly legal to buy over the counter without any type of license throughout 90% of the country. Have there been a huge number of “stun gun attacks” in those states? Furthermore, what is getting an FID in order to purchase a stun gun going to stop? The same people that are over 18yo that are going to walk into a store and buy one over the counter are the same people that are going to go to the police station, pay $100 for an FID or LTC and have to wait 6-9 months before they can buy one. So this law won’t stop anyone that wants to buy one, it just makes it more expensive and take a much longer time. I can’t stand the democratic politicians in this state. It’s like they can’t just leave their citizens constitutional rights alone. Whether it’s the AG’s overreach with her “reinterpretation” of a law that has worked fine for years, which on a side note when she banned MODERN SPORTING RIFLES (not assault rifles because there is no such thing) there had only been 2 murders in MA in the previous 10 years using rifles. So there was absolutely no reason for her “reinterpretation” because it wasn’t stopping a current problem and we know by current statistics that it sure as hell is not going to stop any future problems. But that is a topic for a different day. All that this bill that you have introduced is going to do is stop someone that doesn’t currently hold a FID or LTC, that may be in a bad situation and may need a way to defend themselves quickly, not be able to. The research and statics are there, I wish you guys would use them. These laws, whether it’s this new stun gun bill, the AG’s “reinterpretation”, or the stupid gun bans that don’t allow us to purchase glocks, kimbers and other popular firearms don’t do a thing to stop crime……because criminals DON’T FOLLOW THE LAW! It’s why they’re criminals! So all that these unconstitutional laws do is INFRINGE upon law abiding citizens rights to protect themselves. Have the democratic representatives in this state ever read the 2nd Amendment? Because you sure do love ignoring the whole “shall not be infringed” part of it. Furthermore, I think your “83% favorable” poll is a little far fetched. Most of the comments I have read, and most of the people I have spoken with are against this bill. But then again, you’re a politician and we know how well you guys are at telling the truth! How many of the past, let’s say, 10 murders in this state committed with a firearm have been by a law abiding, LTC holding citizen? How many have been by a gang banger or the like? I’m going to guess that at least 90%, if not 100% have been people who do not follow the law or do not have an LTC. So this bill makes it harder for law abiding citizens to get a non lethal way to defend themselves who may not be comfortable handling a firearm, while the people killing people will still be on the streets with their unregistered guns. MAKES A TON OF SENSE. Then again, democratics seem to lack common sense when it comes to our constitutional right to defend ourselves.

  100. The Massachusetts Supreme Court is full of a bunch of moonbats to site that the technology of weapons as a reason to ban a citizen’s access under the 2nd Amendment.
    I believe that, especially any non lethal device that stops a crime or acts as a deterrent to bodily harm to a woman or an elderly man should be available to all law abiding citizens of Massachusetts WITHOUT the Massachusetts socialist Democrat government impinging on a human’s basic right to defend oneself by burdensome regulations and laws. Stun guns fit that need. No one dies. Even if the aggressor intends lethal harm, he can be disabled long enough for the police to get there.

  101. The whole ban on stun guns is unnecessary. We have books filled with laws about not hurting people. banning them only hurts law abiding citizens who want a non lethal means of protection. stun guns are no more deadly than mase. stop banning things you think are scarry.

  102. The onerous restrictions proposed on stun guns will only serve to increase the red tape and cost for law-abiding citizens to acquire these self-defense weapons without affecting criminals.

    Since the stun gun ban was struck down recently, it is time to allow law-abiding citizens to own and carry these devices for self-defense without a bunch of regulatory efforts to deny or discourage the exercise of this right.

    Please oppose S.2476

  103. S. 1283 has major deficiency in that no training is required, unlike forearms. There is no stun gun course approved (by the State Police – who approve the firearms courses)in Massachusetts which addresses the use of stun guns.
    The idea that firearms permits provide a form of vetting is start – but without appropriate training – it’s a false perception. Firearms course do not address use of stun guns.
    Also – requiring a firearms permit without a restriction to just stun guns gives those who only want stun guns access to firearms as well. Is that the desired outcome? Hardly seems so. In fact, the Supreme Court specifically rebuked the SJC when they mentioned in their (SJC) decision that the defendant could have gotten gun. The Supremes clear said it’s not the role of the SJC to advocate deadly force when the victim is looking for non-lethal means for self defense.
    Also – S1238 should have severe penalties for those who use stun guns in the commission of a crime.

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