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This Court May Have Just Banned All Non-Lethal Weapons

Image source: Omega Stun Guns [1]

Image source: Omega Stun Guns

The Second Amendment does not guarantee you the right to own or use modern non-lethal weapons – if you live in Massachusetts.

That state’s highest court, the Supreme Judicial Court, upheld a state law banning citizens from owning stun guns and Tasers in a case that could have a national impact.

“Because the stun gun that the defendant possessed is both dangerous per se at common law and unusual, but was not in common use at the time of the enactment of the Second Amendment [2], we conclude that stun guns fall outside the protection of the Second Amendment,” Justice Francis X. Spina wrote in an a unanimous opinion in a case called Commonwealth vs. Jaime Caetano.

The controversy began when a Massachusetts resident, Jaime Caetano, was arrested in 2011 for carrying a stun gun in her purse. She said she needed it to protect herself from an abusive ex-boyfriend. The stun gun has two metal prongs and a switch, and once activated, can deliver up to 50,000 volts. It has to make contact with a person to work. Caetano filed suit seeking to overturn the law.

Gun rights groups criticized the decision and noted an inconsistency in the law that defies common sense: Lethal weapons are legal, but non-lethal [3] ones are banned.

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“The Second Amendment is about arms,” James L. Wallace, executive director of the Gun Owners’ Action League of Massachusetts, told the Worcester Telegram. “It’s not just about guns. It’s basically, whatever reasonable force you can use to defend yourself and somebody else. The Second Amendment could cover pocket knives. It’s an arm. It’s not necessarily a firearm.”

In his opinion, Justice Spina advanced a series of legal arguments that could effectively gut the Second Amendment’s guarantees if they were widely adopted.

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Spina argued:

Wallace said his organization will work to change the law through the legislature.

“This particular court has a long history of being a little bit, shall we say, immature and antiquated when it comes to Second Amendment decisions. And they kind of followed that with this ruling as well,” Wallace said.

Do you believe Tasers and stun guns should be legal? Share your thoughts in the section below:

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