Howard County, Maryland has introduced an emergency bill to remove the current ban on electronic weapons. The bill is in response to a lawsuit challenging the ban as violating the Second Amendment. The last direct action by the United States Supreme Court was on Caetano v. Massachusetts. The Court unanimously held, in the Caetano PER CURIAM decision (pdf), that:
The Court has held that “the Second Amendment extends, prima facie, to all instruments that constitute bearable arms, even those that were not in existence at the time of the founding,” District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U. S. 570, 582 (2008), and that this “Second Amendment right is fully applicable to the States,” McDonald v.Chicago, 561 U. S. 742, 750 (2010).
The Caetano case is about electronic weapons. There are a number of States and local governments that have universal bans on electronic weapons. Howard County, Maryland, was one of them. From the baltimoreson.com:
Howard County lawmakers introduced an emergency bill Wednesday that would lift a ban on electronic weapons in response to a federal lawsuit that challenges the county’s longstanding restrictions on the use and sale of Tasers and stun guns.
In the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Maryland in late January, Leah Baran, a Marriottsville resident, is suing Baltimore City and Baltimore and Howard counties — which have electronic weapons bans in effect — to allow her to carry a stun gun.
The Howard County Council is scheduled to vote on the repeal of the ban on Tuesday, 21 February. The Howard County Police Chief has stated the police department does not enforce the ban.
The Maryland case is the latest in a string of lawsuits Second Amendment supporters have enjoyed using the Caetano decision. Such lawsuits have had success in New Jersey, New Orleans, and the District of Columbia. Another lawsuit is being pursued in New York State. Internet searches have not revealed legal challenges to similar bans in Hawaii and Rhode Island.
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