Massachusetts court strikes down ban on stun guns - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Massachusetts court strikes down ban on stun guns

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The highest court in Massachusetts is striking down a law that bans residents from possessing stun guns.

It’s a device that hundreds of police officers at the Springfield Police Department use already, but now, civilians may soon be able to have one as well.

"We’re a nation of laws. We follow those decisions and we’ll take that back and we’ll make sure that it is incorporated into a law moving forward to regulate these devices, make sure they’re safe," said Senator Eric Lesser. 
In 2016 the U.S. Supreme Court made a ruling contrary to the Massachusetts court decision; citing that it was a citizen’s right to bear arms.

Now, Massachusetts courts are aligning their ruling but lawmakers can still put regulations in place.
"This is normal course. We get guidance from courts all the time on the scope of laws; what needs to be changed, what needs to be edited," said Lesser. 
In the court ruling, there was no legal distinction between stun guns and tasers.

Massachusetts is one of eight states where stun guns are banned including Rhode Island and New York.
 "You can’t do an outright ban, but you can do quite a lot of safety regulations and controls over who has them; where they are, allowed near schools or not allowed near schools," Lesser explained. 
Springfield Police Spokesperson Ryan Walsh told Western Mass News regardless of any regulations put into effect down the road they do not foresee an issue.
"If a criminal wants to get an illegal firearm, they will get an illegal firearm. If a criminal want to get an illegal stun gun, they will find a way to get an illegal stun gun," said Walsh. 
Right now, 250 Springfield police officers are certified to use a stun gun.

The future of how civilians may gain access to the electronic weapon remains up in the air.
"As long as the legislature does falls in line with the license to carry law or more severe we don’t expect to see any problems," Walsh added. 
Legislators have a 60-day stay to come up with a new bill.

Copyright 2018 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved. 

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