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The New Jersey Revised Statutes treats the Bill of Rights like a baby treats a diaper. So it’s not surprising that possession of nonlethal stun guns by New Jersey residents was banned…until last week, that is. Under pressure from litigation brought from the New Jersey Second Amendment Society (never give up the fight, guys,) the Garden State’s Attorney General decided that “an outright ban on the possession of electronic arms within the state…would likely not pass constitutional muster” in light of a bevy of cases on stun guns and the Second Amendment going all the way back to Heller.

As a result, both parties signed a consent decree that states, in part:

1. The Second Amendment guarantees individuals a fundamental right to keep and bear arms for self defense…. Further, ‘the Second Amendment extends…to all instruments that constitute bearable arms, even those that were not inexistence at the time of the founding….”

2. [T]o the extent this statute outright prohibits…individuals from possessing electronic arms, [it] is declared unconstitutional in that it violates the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution and shall not be enforced.

3. [The statute] shall not be enforced to the extent [it] prohibits, under criminal penalty, the sale or shipment of Tasers(r) or other electronic arms….

The consent decree will not go into effect for another 180 days, giving the state time to revise “existing controlling legal authorities.” For its part, the New Jersey Second Amendment Society will be able to recoup reasonable court costs.

Assemblyman Raj Mukherji (D-Hudson)

New Jersey State Assemblyman Raj Mukherji was dismayed by the civil rights victory. “I don’t know why anyone other than law enforcement officers need to have stun guns…. I think that our philosophy, our regulations when it comes to stun guns should be similar to our approach to gun [control] overall, which is as restrictive as possible.”

The New Jersey Second Amendment Society dismissed Mukerji’s comment, vowing to fight any “upcoming revenge legislation” in the State Legislature. “They will be paying our legal fees (again) as well when they lose… again.”

Jackson Square, New Orleans

There was also a victory for citizens’ right to keep and bear nonlethal weapons in New Orleans. The Big Easy reversed its stun gun ban last week pursuant to a December 2016 agreement with John Ford, a resident who had been pursuing litigation claiming for the violation of his civil rights.

Under the terms of their agreement, Ford gave the city time to revise its ordinances to remove the ban and resolve the litigation; in return, the city agreed that Ford would be able to own and possess stun guns in the city in the meantime. Because the terms of the Order applied only to Ford, he was the only person (not in the police or military, of course,) able to legally do so in NOLA until the new ordinance went into effect last week.

It’s confusing why people want to ban stun guns with apparently more vigor than they want to ban firearms at times. It could simply be that existing codes were often written with the assumption that “armed” equates to “firearm”, but that’s simply not the case. The Second Amendment exists to protect the right of the people to keep and bear arms, and it doesn’t single out firearms which the founders could easily have done.

In fact, the First Amendment is slightly more anachronistic than the Second, because it talks of freedom of the “press”, suggesting that it’s talking about people operating printing presses, a piece of equipment that many news organizations (fake or otherwise) in the nation today specifically do not use. It is good to see these laws being rolled back. But, as always: faster, please.

(See Professor Eugene Volokh’s article, Nonlethal Self Defense, (Almost Entirely) Nonlethal Weapons, and the Right to Keep and Bear Arms and Defend Life, published in the Stanford Law Review if you’re really interested in this line of law.)





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  1. “… slightly more anachronistic than the Second, because it talks of freedom of the “press”…”

    One could argue that the “freedom of the press”, was intended to be applied to only professional journalists (i.e., “the press”) in the same way the antis think the “militia” in the second only applies to professional militiamen. If one, why then, not the other as well?

    • Most paid journalists agree. I say paid instead of professional because their professionalism is sorely lacking.

      • Well, professional does not mean expert or high-quality. It just means you get paid for it. Pretty low bar.

        • Yes and no. Professional may no longer mean expert or high quality, but it used to mean almost exactly that.

  2. Seems to me that stun-guns are the soft underbelly of Won’t-Issue States’ policies. We PotG ought to aggressively attack this point of vulnerability; kudos to NJSAS.

    No question but that NJ’s legislature will strive to over-reach in drafting a bill to “regulate” keeping and bearing stun-guns. Good; we keep up the campaign and get another bite at the apple. At each step we build a record in the courts that either: 1) support the right to bear arms; or, 2) make the legislature of a State or municipality seem to tip public safety in favor of criminals. Heads, we win; tails, we win more.

    The more ridiculous the legislative response to lifting stun-gun bans the more the public will begin to doubt the wisdom of their politicians’ positions on the 2A. Many voters will never be comfortable with fire-arms in public places; but, their resistance will slowly erode. The judiciary will find it increasingly difficult to rationalize their gun-control decisions.

    • They admitted you have a right to self-defense OUTSIDE OF YOUR HOME. And that arms aren’t limited to 1700s weapons.

      Yeah, that’s a win!

      Even better, it’s a *legal precedent*….

  3. I don’t know why anyone other than law enforcement officers need to have stun guns…

    I’ll give you a few:

    Atlantic City

    You have a number of cities where it can be/is unsafe to stop at a red light at night and you wonder why people want to tool up?

  4. As an NJ slave, I decided to look this Raj Mukherji character up. Never thought I’d hear of a Marine who supports gun control so fervently, but here we are. Granted, he was in the Reserve, but there’s an important lesson to be learned here; military service doesn’t automatically make one a friend of the 2nd Amendment.

      • He was born in NJ, schooled , colleged , worked here too, and even served as a U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, Sergeant.
        And to you a few of you , he is still a ‘ Foreigner’ ?


  5. Baby steps. Now if New Jersey would only legalize BB guns and black powder flintlocks!
    I kid you not — a retired history teacher here in NJ was arrested for possession of a 17th-century Queen Anne’s flintlock, not a replica but an actual 17th-century antique!
    And even if you have an FPID card (required for purchasing firearms AND air guns, including BB guns), if your Crosman air gun happens to have an integral “silencer” on it (as many air guns do, mostly as a sales gimmick IMHO), New Jersey will treat you as if you had a silenced Glock, in other words throw you in prison for a long time! I’m not kidding — the NJ State Police actually sent out a warning to residents saying your airgun better not have been manufacturered with an integral silencer (or what the manufacturer calls a “silencer” for marketing reasons). And if your Daisy Red Ryder BB gun has a barrel shorter than 16 inches, under NJ law it would be a short-barreled rifle (SBR) and therefore a felony.

  6. “I don’t know why anyone other than law enforcement officers need to have stun guns…. I think that our philosophy, our regulations when it comes to stun guns should be similar to our approach to gun [control] overall, which is as restrictive as possible.” Damned from his own mouth. Safety my ass, control over our rights is the goal of these clowns.

  7. I’m positive that NJ will simply require you to have a carry permit to carry a taser. Total ban now simply becomes defacto ban.

  8. First time I’ve seen a ‘consent decree’ I’ve liked.

    Now… what the heck is their definition of “bear arms”?!?


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