Mass. Stun Gun Law Struck Down By State's High Court

Elias Hubbard
April 18, 2018

Sharply reversing course, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court on Tuesday overturned a state law banning civilian possession of stun guns.

The U.S. Supreme Court had ruled in March 2016 that Massachusetts' top court misapplied Second Amendment precedent when it upheld a ban on stun guns in 2015.

While Massachusetts law enforcement officers have been able to use stun guns, regular citizens have been unable to legally purchase them, in stores and even online. "Filled out everything, all the information, but when I filled out MA, they deny".

Tuesday's decision reflects a March 2016 United States Supreme Court ruling stemming from an appeal filed by a MA woman named Jaime Caetano, who was charged with a crime by the state after she used a stun gun to ward off an attack from an ex-boyfriend.

"We will be looking into options for amending the statute in accordance with the court's opinion", Chandler said in a statement.

"Because this will invalidate the Legislature's absolute ban and leave no lesser restriction on the possession of stun guns in its place, and because we recognize that the Legislature may wish to do what we can not (revise the statute in a manner that will preserve its constitutionality), we will direct that the entry of the judgment after the date of our issuance of the rescript in this case be delayed in order to allow the Legislature adequate time to amend the statute in light of this opinion, if it so chooses". "The Speaker intends to file legislation within 60 days", spokeswoman Whitney Ferguson said in a statement. We are now reviewing the decision and legislative options.

The public safety committee on Friday approved a redrafted bill filed by Sen.

The earlier ruling in MA involved the arrest of a woman who told police she carried a stun gun as protection against a former boyfriend. "We will be exploring all options that are available to us". Many other states have restrictions on sale and possession of the devices. He also was charged with firearms offenses.

The SJC's action is stayed for 60 days to give the legislature a chance to rewrite the law.

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. In one instance, a stun gun was used to incapacitate someone later strangled to death; in another, the device was used to force victims into "unwanted sexual intercourse;" and the weapon has been used to "punish and control victims of domestic violence".

The statute struck down by Tuesday's decision punishes those who violate it with fines of up to $500 to $1,000 and imprisonment for between 6 months to 2.5 years.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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