Massachusetts Courts Decide Stun Guns Aren’t Protected by Second Amendment

** ADVANCE FOR MONDAY, AUG. 4, AND THEREAFTER ** An electrical arc glows at the end of a Taser as  Kentucky State Police Capt. Jeff Mayberry squeezes the trigger of the device in Frankfort, Ky., Thursday, July 31, 2008.  Kentucky State Police have spent more than $170,000 on Taser guns and cartridges that troopers will be using by September.  (AP Photo/Ed Reinke)

Taser!  (Photo: AP Photo/Ed Reinke)

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court has decided that stun guns will no longer be protected under the Second Amendment, but one criminal law professor has filed a detailed amicus brief explaining exactly why the motion is unconstitutional.

As most of you very well know, stun guns are less-than-lethal neuromuscular incapacitation devices designed to temporarily immobilize a target. While an increasing number of police officers carry Tasers while on-duty, and even though stun guns are clearly far less dangerous than firearms, the electronic devices have been deemed “dangerous and unusual weapons” and are therefore excluded from the protection of the Second Amendment.

Eugene Volokh, a professor at the UCLA School of Law who specializes in criminal law and firearms regulation policy, has extensive experience on the subject and recently filed an amicus brief arguing against the court’s decision.

Volokh articulately raised several points, starting with the fact that being able to legally possess less-than-lethal weapons is in direct correlation to the right to keep and bear arms.

Volokh explained that stun guns may be a more practical alternative to firearms for those who have “religious or ethical compunctions about killing,” those who feel they may be “unable to pull the trigger on a deadly weapon,” those concerned with fatally shooting the wrong person, those who are “reluctant to kill a particular potential attacker,” those who are concerned a firearm “might be misused by their children or by a suicidal roommate,” or those firearm owners who want the option of using less-than-lethal force.

However, under the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court’s new ruling, all the above listed individuals are now denied the right to possess a stun gun.

Volokh enumerated several other points breaking down the court’s decision to label stun guns as “dangerous and unusual weapons.” His amicus brief mentions several court cases that clearly show stun guns are neither “dangerous” (when compared to a firearm, which is protected under the Second Amendment) nor “unusual.”

Volokh hopes his amicus will cause the courts to reconsider their decision to exclude stun guns from the protection of the Second Amendment.

(This article was a submission from freelance writer Brent Rogers)

About the author: S.H. Blannelberry is the News Editor of GunsAmerica.

{ 10 comments… add one }
  • mike August 4, 2017, 9:36 pm

    MA was also the last state to let people buy pepper spray . they only legalized that a few years ago.

  • Noduty2submit February 26, 2016, 10:11 am

    “Carrying” a firearm is NOT a Right; it is a commercial activity and a regulable PRIVILEGE…

    Think about it… a Nurse — nurses; an accountant — accounts; a plumber — plumbs; a builder — builds and a CARRIER — CARRIES!!!

    All those are regulable and licensable commercial activities and that’s why you can be REQUIRED to get a License to “carry.” How else can you “license” a the 2nd Amendment? I can’t seem to find a “License to Bear Arms,” can you?

    So follows that “carrying a firearm” is a PRIVILEGE; to be distinguished from the RIGHT “to keep and bear Arms.”

    please watch “Why you should NOT carry firearms” —

    and “Why Gun licenses are NOT law, they are commercial contracts” —

    Therefore, fight tyranny — DON’T CARRY! — BEAR ARMS instead!!!

  • Jon doe August 31, 2015, 9:59 pm

    Well i’ll be sure never to move into that shithole of a state!

  • oldfuzz695 August 19, 2015, 10:21 am

    Hildabeast will love this insanity!

  • Sheldon August 17, 2015, 10:08 pm

    Massachusetts is a bastion of socialism. What do you expect. Criminals have rights; law abiding citizens have none. Ted Kennedy was a piece of garbage. Good riddance. I go armed. I wonder how their cops dislike palm hits to the nose,

  • Otis August 17, 2015, 12:48 pm

    Massachusucks, the home of Dead (ted) Kennedy, also prohibits BB guns as they are treated the same as firearms. You can’t own anything that might be used for self defense but if you are one of chosen elites you can drown young women in your car and be called a hero.
    These people are so hoplophobic, they blame the gun for all their problems while they give early release to murders, rapist, armed robbers, car jackers, and criminal illegal aliens.
    Truly the land of the luddite (global worming/sarc) loony left. And they believe they are the model for the rest of the country.

  • Doc Loch August 17, 2015, 12:31 pm

    This issue goes back several years to ignorance and bigotry and potentially conspiracy to commit treason. It stems from motives designed to destroy the INALIENABLE right of U.S. citizens. Somehow several years ago (at least around 1934) either ignorant or conspiring persons began to change the wording of the 2nd amendment by changing definitions or leaving out key words or phrases in congressional law and court decisions.

    Granted, all of us like to forget the entire first part of the second amendment where we have a responsibility to belong to a state regulated (and here the original meaning of the word regulated is “trained” as in the “regular army”) militia. No one wants to be “required to be part of the militia” so we really haven’t even had that discussion, but we should.

    But I digress from my point: The 2nd amendment says, the right to keep and bear ARMS shall not be INFRINGED. Those two words that I emphasized need to have their definitions given and remembered and SCOTUS justices apparently need to be educated regarding them. ARMS is a shortened version of ARMAMENTS, and the two are synonymous. Here is the current definition from online: Notice the military references. INFRINGED means:

    Please click on the word origins as they are even more instructive, especially when defining words that were in use 200+ years ago. So lets get back to Stun Guns. Lethal or non-lethal aside, no one is arguing that they are an arm or armament. They should be discussing this, for if they are an “arm” then you simply apply the law. If it is an arm or armament it’s possession (keeping) and carry (bearing) cannot be infringed by the US Government. Anyone else who tries to infringe this right is to be stopped by the US government.

    Sadly, even in the majority opinion of Heller vs. D.C., the ignorance (or conspiracy to commit treason) was evidence by purposefully omitting any mention of the phrase, “shall not be infringed” and instead replacing it with “this amendment is subject to REASONABLE RESTRICTION”[emphasis added]. Now I believe those two phrases are in direct opposition to each other. The Federalist papers indicate that the framers of the Highest Law intended everything they meant by this. The second amendment is THE ONLY amendment to carry this phrase. Not even the 1st amendment has this command phrase “shall not be infringed” (one could argue that “shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech” is almost as powerful).

    At any rate, we have already seen the violation of these laws by those whom we have in good faith considered the keepers of this Highest Law of the land. I therefore officially charge them with this violation and demand that they be investigated for the crime of conspiracy to commit treason to determine if their legal violations were due to conspiracy to commit such or ignorance or simple incompetence, in which latter cases the sentence would be more lenient.

    Too bad this would never happen because I and probably you are just poor helpless serfs.

    • Mike Bolton March 10, 2017, 9:34 am

      Every male and recently now, females sign up for selective service register. There sir, is your militia

  • DRAINO August 13, 2015, 10:30 am

    Now they area after the Stun guns????!!!! Steak knives are next. Wait and see. Insanity!!!

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