Stun Gun Ban Violates Second Amendment, Rules Massachusetts High Court

by | April 19, 2018

By Gintautas Dumcius

The Second Amendment protects civilians possessing stun guns and tasers, the highest court in Massachusetts said Tuesday.

The ruling from the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court stated that the prohibition in Massachusetts state law is a violation of the Second Amendment. The law allowed for law enforcement to possess the weapons.

The ruling came in a case in which a defendant was charged with possession. The court ruled that the complaint against him be dismissed and that the state law is struck down.

The court is giving the Massachusetts legislature 60 days to revise the statute behind the prohibition so it meets constitutional muster.

"Therefore, under the Second Amendment, the possession of stun guns may be regulated, but not absolutely banned," said the Supreme Judicial Court ruling issued Tuesday. "Restrictions may be placed on the categories of persons who may possess them, licenses may be required for their possession, and those licensed to possess them may be barred from carrying them in sensitive places, such as schools and government buildings."

The court's ruling was a reversal after the US Supreme Court provided some guidance: In a 2015 case, the Supreme Judicial Court ruled that the Second Amendment did not cover stun guns.

The leaders of the Massachusetts House and Senate, Speaker Robert DeLeo and President Harriette Chandler, said they were reviewing the latest court decision.

"We are currently reviewing the decision and legislative options," a spokeswoman for DeLeo's office said. "The Speaker intends to file legislation within 60 days."

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