An MRI technician at Brigham and Women's hospital who says she has to drive through "difficult areas" on her nightly drive home is one of three people who say a state ban on tasers and stun guns violates their 2nd Amendment rights.
The three filed suit this week in US District Court in Boston, asking a judge to throw out the state law that bans Massachusetts residents from protecting themselves with weaponry that would only leave their attackers incapacitated, not dead. They say the weapons are as much "arms" as the guns allowed under the amendment.
Plaintiff Donna Major, who works an evening shift as an MRI technician at the Brigham, explains her need for a taser:
Her commute to work requires a half hour drive after 10:00 p.m. through difficult areas. Major has a moral aversion to taking human life and cannot contemplate the circumstances under which she would use a firearm even in self-defense. If Massachusetts law permitted her to carry a stun gun, she would do so for purposes of self-protection while traveling between home and work. Major wishes to purchase and possess a Taser, stun gun, or other similar electrical weapon to use for lawful self-defense purposes in the Commonwealth of
Another of the plaintiffs, Lyn Bates, is a founder of Arming Women Against Rape and Endangerment. She says she already has a license to carry a gun, but wants to carry a taser or stun gun for use "in situations where deadly force might not be justified or necessary, such as a mentally ill or impaired attacker."
The third plaintiff, Christopher Martel, also has a license to carry, but says he needs a taser for protection because he frequently goes around with large amounts of expensive electronic equipment, "often in downtown areas and sometimes in dangerous neighborhoods." But currently, "Martel reasonably fears arrest, criminal prosecution, incarceration, and fines if he purchases or possesses an electrical weapon in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts."
In addition to asking that the state law be overturned, the three ask for attorneys costs for their two lawyers, one local, one from the Washington-based Center for Individual Rights.