A stun gun, also called a Taser or an electroshock weapon, is a weapon that temporarily immobilizes someone by delivering a high-voltage electric shock. Stun guns are sold commercially in the United States and are used by individuals for self-defense and also by law enforcement. However, some states and cities have restricted or banned the use of stun guns. In New York, stun guns are restricted.
Stun Gun Laws
In New York, stun guns are illegal under Sections 15-a and 15-c of Article 265 titled "Firearms and Other Dangerous Weapons." New York state law bans the use and possession of both electric stun guns as well as electric dart guns. A stun gun is a weapon that temporarily immobilizes someone by delivering a high-voltage electric shock. An electric dart gun ejects darts that are attached to the main device with wires. Once those darts penetrate the skin, they deliver electric volts that temporarily disable the person targeted.
Penalty for Possession
A person in possession of an electric stun gun or an electric dart gun in New York can be convicted of criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree.
Other Gun Laws
While stun guns are banned in New York, other types of weapons are permitted with a valid permit. In New York, individuals can carry, possess and buy a handgun with a permit. In New York City, a permit is also required to possess, carry and buy a rifle or shotgun, but the rest of the state does not so require.
Stun Guns in Other States
In addition to New York, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Wisconsin, plus the District of Columbia, Chicago, Annapolis, Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York City have all made stun guns illegal. Connecticut and Illinois allow stun guns but have restrictions on who can possess a stun gun. In most cases, the individual needs a permit.
Reasons for Restrictions
Many lawmakers have outlawed stun guns because of the danger associated with them. The use of a stun gun or electric dart gun can cause cardiac arrhythmia, which can lead to a heart attack and death. Stun guns and electric dart guns can also ignite nearby flammable liquids, making their use potentially hazardous to the user and everyone around him.