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July 20, 2018

Stun Gun Laws And Restrictions



Stun guns are an appealing personal weapon for many people. Not only can you carry a stun gun discreetly in your purse or keep it in your glove box for emergencies, but it’s fairly easy to be trained to use one safely. However, the legality of stun guns is determined by each state, and sometimes by a particular city. Before you purchase one, it’s important to understand if this powerful self-defense weapon is allowed where you live. If you have a stun gun where they’re illegal, you risk being charged with a crime for possessing it – even if you never deploy the weapon.

Stun Guns vs. TASERs: Are They the Same Under the Law?

Stun guns operate differently than TASERs, but they are typically grouped together under the law. They aren’t considered firearms so there is no protected right to own and operate them. What’s the difference between these two self-defense weapons? While many TASERs can often be deployed from a distance, stun guns require direct contact. If stun guns are illegal for civilians in your area, TASERs will be outlawed as well. Police stun guns, however, are allowed for law enforcement officers in every state.

Understanding Stun Gun Laws in Your State

Stun guns are legal without major restrictions in most states. Some states, however, allow stun guns but require a permit or other special considerations. States that require a permit to own and operate stun guns are:

  • Connecticut

  • Illinois

  • Michigan

  • Iowa

  • Wisconsin

Some states outlaw stun guns altogether. You can’t buy or own a stun gun if you live in:

  • Hawaii

  • New York

  • Rhode Island

  • Washington DC

  • Annapolis, MD

Even if stun guns are legal in your state, there may be restrictions based on age, criminal history, and other factors. You can find out more about the specific laws and restrictions in your area by contacting local law enforcement or researching criminal codes on your state’s official website – states have specific legislative codes associated with their stun gun laws that will outline the exact conditions under which you can or can't own a stun gun.

Checking City Statutes

A final consideration when you’re looking for a stun gun is whether your city has separate legal codes from your state in regards to TASERs and stun guns. In a handful of cases, stun guns are legal at the state level but illegal at the city level. For example:

  • Stun guns are legal in Pennsylvania but illegal in Philadelphia

  • Stun guns are legal in Maryland but illegal in Baltimore, Annapolis, and Baltimore County

  • Stun guns are legal in Illinois but illegal in Chicago

  • Stun guns are legal in Iowa but illegal in Crawford County

If you live just outside of a city or county where stun guns are illegal, you may not travel with your stun gun into the restricted area. Going on a road trip? Make sure stun guns are legal in every state and city where you will stop along the way. TSA does allow you to check stun guns in your luggage if it is disarmed – but the stun gun should be legal in your departure city and final destination. 

Stun guns are a powerful self-defense weapon for the home, car, and beyond. Even if you don’t deploy it, the presence of zap stun guns can often deter an attacker. If you live in a city and state that allows stun guns and have questions about the stun guns for sale online, contact The Home Security Superstore today! We can help you select stun guns for women and other self-defense gear to feel safer in just about any scenario. 

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