Second Amendment Applies to Stun Guns in Michigan

This is an excellent ruling. I have hopes other courts will look at this opinion when they consider similar cases. The City of Philadelphia currently bans stun guns. I am particularly pleased to hear the court looking at prevalent use in law enforcement when considering a weapon’s utility for self-defense. I think law enforcement use has to be considered when the state claims a weapon is dangerous or unusual, and therefore falls outside of Second Amendment protections.

16 thoughts on “Second Amendment Applies to Stun Guns in Michigan”

  1. It’s not just Philadelphia. 18 Pa.C.S. §908 outlaws “any stun gun, stun baton, taser or other electronic or electric weapon”, and 18 Pa.C.S. §908.1 regulates “electronic incapacitation devices”.

    1. 908.1 is interpreted to cover Tasers or other electronic stun guns. If you can legally possess a firearm, you can legally possess a stun gun.

      1. Nothing in 908.1 exempts a person from the prohibition in 908 though. They’re two separate statutes. 908 says that a stun gun is a prohibited offensive weapon. 908.1 says that you can’t use a stun gun for an unlawful purpose, but that you can possess it for self defense if you meet their requirements (“…the electronic incapacitation device is labeled with or accompanied by clearly written instructions as to its use and the damages involved in its use.”)

        Where in 908.1 does it nullify the prohibition in the offensive weapons definition of 908?

        1. The way I heard it from a Lawyer is that it’s generally assumed that the language in 908 “except as authorized by law” allows stun guns to be possessed under conditions of 908.1. But there is no case law, so it’s not absolutely clear.

          1. Ah, that’s an interesting point. I had an attorney recommend avoiding stun guns because of the possibility of prosecution under 908.

  2. Second Amendment applies to arms…not guns. That means knives, swords, batons, tazers, lazers, phasers, and PPCs all should have legitimate protection.

    I’ve often felt we made a mistake by placing so much emphasis on guns.

    This is a very good decision!

  3. Good decision, I agree. Yada Yada Yada

    I must have missed the part of the Second Amendment that states we are only able to keep and bear safe and common weapons.

    1. That is where the “common use” test fails. Since full auto weapons were heavily regulated from 1934 until 1986, and illegal to manufacture since, there is no way that any platform invented after 1934 can be in “common use.”
      If the common use test were what the founders intended, then the 2A actually does only apply to muskets.

      1. This depends on how you define “common use”, of course. I would propose that since automatic weapons are standard issue to the armed forces, and that many police divisions carry automatic weapons, these weapons are under common use.

        Of course, that doesn’t mean a court would agree with me! And that’s a shame.

        1. My principle has always been to seriously question any policy that bans from civilian use anything that’s routinely issued to an individual infantryman.

    1. Well, the fed commonly uses them, in large numbers, all around the country.

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