Yesterday's Metrowest Daily News reported that there is currently a court case involving the legality of stun guns in Massachusetts.  Currently, both stun guns and tasers are illegal for private citizens to own.  

Stun Gun

A stun gun is a relatively small, handheld device with two prongs.  To be used, the prongs must be pressed against someone's body, and the current activated by a switch.  It is effective for as long as it is in contact.  A taser is quite a different kind of device.  A taser can be fired like a gun, and fires two barbs on the end of wires.  When the barbs contact a person, current is applied.  Generally, police have been using tasers quite successfully for many years.

The paper reported that in 2011, a 4-foot 11-inch woman named Jamie Caetano had two restraining orders against her former boyfriend, and she was carrying a stun gun for protection against him.  She was a passenger in a car that was pulled over by police, and the police found the stun gun in her purse.  She was charged with its possession - not with any other cirme.

Her case is about to come up in Framingham District Court, and her lawyer, Paul McManus, is challenging the constitutionally of the law, in light of the Supreme Court case that said the right to bear arms is not restricted to firearms.  Because Caetano was clearly carrying the stun gun only for personal protection, and since self-defense is many circumstances is legal, her lawyer will argue that she should not be convicted, and that, indeed, such weapons should be legal. 

Michigan's supreme court has rules that a ban on stun guns was unconstitutional in that state.  Stay tuned for further information about these less-lethal weapons, and their possible future legality in Massachusetts.