Texas Laws on Taser Guns for Personal Use

By Teo Spengler - Updated March 15, 2018
Man with a stungun

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"Tom A. Swift's electric rifle." That's where the Taser gun got its name, after the developer's favorite young-adult book called "Tom A. Swift and His Electric Rifle." Today, the Taser is widely known as an electroshock weapon that can incapacitate a person without killing him most of the time. Texas, like many states, does not regulate Tasers.

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Texas devices are legal to sell and own in Texas. No background check or license is required, and you can even carry it concealed without any paperwork. It won't shock anyone to hear that it's against the law to wrestle one from a police officer.

What is a Taser?

A Taser is a weapon that looks somewhat like a gun. It shoots two darts with electrodes. They remain connected to the device and, on contact, deliver an electrical shock to the person. The electrical current disrupts muscle control and can cause temporary paralysis and incapacitate the person hit.

Tasers are used by the police to incapacitate unruly or fleeing suspects. They are also sold as personal defense weapons. Occasionally, use of a Taser has resulted in the death of the person hit.

Is it Legal to Carry a Taser in Texas?

Yes. Tasers are not regulated in Texas. That means that a consumer can buy a Taser and own a Taser. You are not subject to a background check when you buy one. Consumers are only permitted to own Tasers for personal defense, however, not for any other purpose.

Is Anyone Forbidden from Carrying a Taser in Texas?

No. Anybody can buy, own and carry a Taser, regardless of their criminal background.

Do I Need a License to Carry a Taser in Texas?

You do not need a license to carry a Taser in Texas. You can even cover carry without any type of documentation.

Is Texas the Only State that Doesn't Regulate Taser Ownership?

No. Some 46 states plus Puerto Rico allow their residents to own and carry Tasers without significant regulation. A few states require you to get a license, like Iowa and Mississippi, and several states require a license before carrying a concealed Taser, including New Mexico and Delaware. A few states require that you keep the Taser on your own premises.

Does Any State Make it Illegal to Own a Taser?

Yes. It is illegal for a consumer to own a Taser in several states, including New York, Hawaii, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Illinois and Maryland require background checks.

Are There any Crimes You Can Commit When You Acquire a Taser?

Yes. If you take or try to take a Taser from a police officer, it is a crime. In fact, it is a third degree felony. You can get hit with a fine of up to $10,000 and a jail term of up to 10 years.

About the Author

From Alaska to California, from France's Basque Country to Mexico's Pacific Coast, Teo Spengler has dug the soil, planted seeds and helped trees, flowers and veggies thrive. World traveler, professional writer and consummate gardener, Spengler earned a BA from U.C. Santa Cruz, a law degree from Berkeley's Boalt Hall, and an MA and MFA from San Francisco State. She currently divides her life between San Francisco and southwestern France.

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