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. 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).

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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?

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

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

  11. 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?

  12. 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.

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. WE NEED A LAW BANNING BUTTER KNIVES. I BELIEVE LONDON IS RIGHT…NO LAW ABIDING CITIZEN NEEDS THIS INSTRUMENT OF DEATH (AND TOAST).

    USED INCORRECTLY, YOU COULD POKE YOUR EYE OUT!

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  21. 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?

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

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

  24. 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.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caetano_v._Massachusetts

    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?

  25. 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.

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

  27. 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!

  28. 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.

  29. 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.

  30. 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.

  31. 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.

  32. 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.

  33. 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.

  34. 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.

  35. 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.

  36. 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.

  37. “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.

  38. 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.

  39. 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.”

  40. 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.

  41. 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.

  42. 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.

  43. 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.

  44. 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.

  45. 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?

  46. 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

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