On the topic of weapon ownership, the situation can become rather complicated if the individual who is looking to own a taser has a felony on their record. Perhaps you’re asking, can a felon own a taser? Perhaps you have a felony on your record and you’re trying to find out if you are able to legally purchase and carry a taser?
It is important to make sure you are operating within the laws of your state and country to ensure you don’t get caught up in a legal complication. It’s especially important to remain conscious of the law around taser ownership if you have a felony since any slip up can be a trip back behind bars for you. Don’t worry, I ’ll keep you on the right track!
As far as answering the question, it really depends. The Federal Statutes of the gun control act don’t mention anything about an electronic weapon which means it is federally legal for a felon to own a taser. However, it is illegal in some states. Even though I will provide you with the current information on which states allow felons to have tasers, it is still best to look up the statutes of your particular states in case the law changes.
Ok, So Is It legal?
Well, let me break it down for you. The majority of states do allow it and that is probably largely due to the fact that the federal gun laws don’t make any mention of an electronic weapon when they are discussing the prohibition of felons owning firearms. If a firearm is not defined in the statute to include electronic devices, then an electronic device is allowed.
It is illegal in some states, though. It is important to check up on your local state to make sure. Taser International gives a rough view of regulations that vary across the states but it isn’t really geared towards felons. This view is good if you are not a felon and you want to see general regulations to see if you can purchase taser in your state.
When you’re checking if you or a loved one with a felony can own a taser, you really need to check your state statutes personally. This is because information can become outdated and the first place it’s going to be updated to is the state’s statutes. Also, this is the information police are going to be going off and they’re going to be the ones that care if you have a taser.
As an example, both California and Georgia state statutes indicate that a felon cannot own a taser. However, they are worded differently in both. California specifically mentions stun gun whereas Georgia defines a firearm to include a “weapon which will or can be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive or electrical charge.”
Where You Can And Where You Can’t
I went ahead and did a lot of the work for you by checking into each states law. This is for informational purposes only as I would very highly advise to check up on the law yourself for your individual statute. You never know when a law is going to be changed!
States where felons cannot own tasers:
States where felons have certain restrictions regarding tasers:
Indiana – You are allowed to have a taser after 15 years has passed from your most recent felony conviction.
Virginia – You can keep a taser at home, but not carry the device in public if you are a felon.
You can check up on the laws here for each state individually and they’ll have the state statutes referenced for you as well. Personally, I would recommend to go to your state and find the statute and copy and paste that into your search. This will pop up the statute specifically for your state on your state governments website. This will be the most up to date information for you, in case anything changes!
It’s worth it to note that this list does not include anything about states where it is illegal for everyone to own a taser! This video will give an overview of laws that vary by state, in general:
In certain situations, a felon would still be allowed to use a taser and even a firearm, even if it is illegal. Keep in mind, this is extremely rare and not an excuse to use a taser if it’s illegal or you are a felon. An affirmative defense is a defense that a defendant will present in court when being charged with a crime but the defendant claims that he acted out of necessity.
These defenses are extremely rare because there are a lot of elements to consider. These include everything that follows: The defendant was in an emergency to save himself/herself or others, had no legal alternative, they did not create more danger by their action, the defendant believed it was necessary, a reasonable person would have believed the same, and finally, the defendant did not cause the emergency themselves.
I bring this up just to clarify that as a felon you are still protected under self-defense laws even with the restrictions that come with being a felon.
What If I Don’t Understand The Law?
A lot of time’s we find in researching a law that the wording is ambiguous at best. A good tip for this topic is to know that the statute you find will be in regard to firearms possession and the state will have defined a firearm to include something of an electronic weapon or simply state it outright.
However, if you still find yourself confused the next best option would be to contact your local legislators to see what they have to say on the subject. You should start by contacting state elected officials but you can even contact President Trump if you want! Though, he might be a bit too busy to get back to you. Call it a hunch!
Now you know if a felon can own a taser! You’ve learned that it’s federally legal but also that it’s important to check state laws to ensure your specific state allows you to own and carry a taser as a felon. You’ve also learned that felons are still protected by self-defense laws and if you feel unclear about a law that you can contact your local legislators through the USA’s government website! That makes things easy!