Tasers is the brand name of Axon, the manufacturers of the stun gun. However, it is now a generic term for stun guns of similar nature. A Taser is fashioned to look like a weapon. But instead of ammunition, it discharges electrical impulses that render the assailant immovable.
In 2016 the US Supreme Court permitted civilians to carry Tasers under the Second Amendment Protection Act. Some states require civilians to apply for a permit to carry a Taser. Three states in the US conduct background checks before a civilian is allowed to carry or buy a Taser.
Can Civilians Carry Tasers?
Tasers became popular in the early 1990s where every cop show on television used these stun guns to incapacitate the villains. It gained popularity as a self-defense weapon because instead of live ammunition it uses electrical impulses that shocks the perpetrator.
A Taser, when discharged, emits an electric current that reaches a maximum voltage of 30.000 Volts. A police officer’s Taser emits a current of 50.000 Volts.
Before 2017 civilians were prohibited from carrying and buying Tasers or other stun guns. The argument to permit civilians to carry Tasers came before the United States Supreme Court. It was ruled that under the Second Amendment Protection Act civilians be allowed to carry and purchase Tasers or other stun guns.
However this ruling permitted civilians to carry Tasers only for self-defense purposes. Under the ruling self-defense is defined as an immediate and direct threat of violence. Some states like Connecticut restrict civilians from carrying Tasers on their person on in their car.
Civilians may not use Tasers for anything other than self-defense. When a civilian is found to use a Taser to harm or injure another person then they are charged with assault. In this case the civilian can face prosecution and liability.
Most states in the United States have changed their laws regarding civilians carrying and buying Tasers. Hawaii and Rhode Island were the only two states where civilians were not permitted to carry or purchase a Taser. Tasers in these states are restricted to use by law enforcement only.
However from January 2022 Hawaii changed their laws that permits civilians to carry Tasers. There are two stipulation to this amendment. Civilians must purchase the Taser in Hawaii and they must attend a Taser training class.
For civilians to carry a Taser some states stipulate certain regulations. These regulations permit civilians to carry a Taser if they work as a volunteer treasurer for any organization. If they carry large amounts of money they are permitted to carry a Taser.
Police officers are permitted to carry Tasers when they are off duty. And if they feel threatened and feel the need to defend themselves and their families.
The TSA also has regulations with regard to civilians carrying Tasers.
- Civilians can carry Tasers in their checked in luggage but not in their carry-on bags.
- When flying from one state to another civilians should ensure the state they are flying into permits them to carry a Taser or if a permit is required.
- Before a civilian flies out of any state ensure they have the necessary paperwork with them.
Do Civilians Require Permits To Carry Tasers?
In some US states Tasers and other stun guns fall under the category of firearms for the purpose of gun control. And as such there are regulations around whether civilians are allowed to carry a Taser and other stun guns.
Due to the nature of a Taser many states require civilians to have a permit to carry a Taser. Permits to carry Tasers are necessary for the states to regulate the number of stun guns, age restrictions, and to create awareness of stun guns.
Civilians require permits for ownership of a Taser and a permit to carry a concealed weapon. The permits may differ from state to state. And therefore it is best for any civilian who wishes to carry or buy a Taser to check with their local law enforcement agency for the laws regulating Tasers and other stun guns.
For people interested in carrying or buying a Taser it is also helpful to keep the updated documents with them at all times to avoid any misconceptions with the law.
In the following states civilians require a permit to carry and buy a Taser;
- West Virginia
- Puerto Rico
- New Mexico
The permit stipulate that civilians be allowed to carry a concealed weapon. A Taser is sometimes categorized as a concealed weapon. A permit to carry a concealed weapon expires after five years and therefore requires regular updates.
Do Civilians Require Background Checks To Carry A Taser?
Before a civilian purchases any firearm or Taser some states request a background check be done. This determines if the person has a previous felony. And if they are in possession of a FOID card.
A FOID card, which is a type of firearm identification card proves ownership of the firearm. The FOID card is issued to persons over the age of 21 or a guardian.
There are three states in the US that require background checks before a civilian is allowed to carry or buy a Taser.
What Laws Regulate Civilians Carrying A Taser?
Each state has a set of regulations that define the carrying of not just a Taser but other stun guns and a firearm in general. Tasers belong in the firearm category. Since they may cause harm or injury to another person firm laws are required for civilians to carry or buy a Taser.
The following classification of weapons laws define the possession, carrying and buying of Tasers by civilians.
- Tasers defined as a weapon and defense weapon.
- Taser as a projectile weapon.
- Tasers can cause injury, death, or pain.
- Tasers are capable of causing death, serious injury and as a deadly weapon.
Civilians are allowed to carry Tasers under the following laws. However, the laws may differ between each state and therefore they should check with local law enforcement agencies before purchasing one.
- Civilians can carry a Taser only if it is for self-defense purposes.
- Civilians do not have felony records.
- Civilians under the age of 18 are not permitted to carry or buy a Taser.
Can Red-Flagged Civilians Carry A Taser?
Some civilians who have a tendency towards gun violence are red-flagged and by law must turn in their firearms to their local law officials.
In states like Oregon those civilians who are red-flagged are also required to turn in their Tasers and stun guns. These are categorized as dangerous weapons and harmful to others.
Can Civilians Carry The Same Tasers As Police?
The Tasers law enforcement officers carry emit an electrical charge of 50.000 Volts, while a Taser for civilians emits an electric current of around 25-30.000 Volts. Therefore civilians are not permitted to carry the same Tasers Police officers do.
Police issued Tasers also cycle around 5 seconds and a Taser meant for civilian use cycles around 30 seconds. This means that a police issued Taser will shock the perpetrator for five seconds and stop. And a civilian’s Taser will shock for thirty seconds and then stop.
The police can shoot a Taser from 25 feet (7.62 meters). A civilian’s Taser has a shorter range of 15 feet (4.57 meters).