Lawsuit Challenges New York’s Rare Ban on Tasers, Other Stun Guns, By Civilians

Coverage of our lawsuit challenging New York’s ban on Tasers and other electronic stun guns.


A federal lawsuit is challenging New York’s ban on Tasers and other stun guns, one of the few such remaining laws nationwide.

In New York state, it’s a misdemeanor for a civilian to own a Taser or other electronic stun gun. But recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions have led advocates to seek protection for owners under the Second Amendment.

The lawsuit filed this month by a Hudson Valley mayor argues the ban is unconstitutional. Matthew Avitabile, of Middleburgh, with help from the Firearms Policy Coalition, argued that non-lethal stun guns should be available for self-defense — much like traditional firearms. The coalition is a non-profit advocacy group that promotes citizens’ rights to own and use guns.

Stun guns are legal in 45 states and hundreds of thousands have been sold to private citizens, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito noted in a decision earlier this year.

That decision in March overturned Massachusetts’ ban on stun guns. And in September, Washington D.C. lifted its stun-gun ban after a lawsuit.

The lawsuit in New York argues that Avitabile should be allowed to own a Taser to defend his property, much the same way he’d be allowed to own a firearm. Having a non-deadly form of self-defense would save him from possible arrest if he’s forced to use it against an intruder, the lawsuit argues.

Tasers and other stun guns are more effective than other self-defense products, such as pepper sprays or knives, the lawsuit argues

Read more here.

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