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Court tosses state's current ban on stun guns

The Supreme Judicial Court today dismissed a Revere man's conviction for possession of a stun gun, because the state's current complete ban on their ownership violates the Second Amendment. The ruling could spur legislation to regulate the weapons, similar to the way more traditional guns are.

The state's highest court said the US Supreme Court left it no choice: Stun guns are "arms" under Second Amendment and that:

Therefore, under the Second Amendment, the possession of stun guns may be regulated, but not absolutely banned. Restrictions may be placed on the categories of persons who may possess them, licenses may be required for their possession, and those licensed to possess them may be barred from carrying them in sensitive places, such as schools and government buildings. But the absolute prohibition in [current state law] that bars all civilians from possessing or carrying stun guns, even in their home, is inconsistent with the Second Amendment and is therefore unconstitutional.

In 2015, the SJC had ruled that stun guns were not arms covered by the Second Amendment, but the matter went up to the US Supreme Court, which told the Massachusetts court to think again.

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Comments

The 2015 MA SJC ruling was a disgrace. SCOTUS was not kind in its response.

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Notice how the SJC and the legislature ignored an unanimous SCotUS ruling for 3 fricken years.

But the voter approved pot laws managed to be changed in a matter of weeks because the legislature wanted $$$$$$$$$$$$

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I want to be able to carry some protection now that I'm older.

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you won't be able to without a firearms license. This same ruling by the SJC classified all stun guns as "deadly weapons". Meaning, the same use-of-force restrictions that exist on firearms will apply to all stun guns.

It will be interesting to see how that ruling affects police in the state. As of this ruling, using a stun gun for anything other than defense of your life or grievous bodily injury will be a felony.

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Just remember, the ring mark on the side of your wallet is only going to impress your friends. Latex can become brittle so you might went to replace it every few years, just in case.

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George Washington's love of stun guns is well documented. I am very excited to get a stun gun when a motorcyclist starts revving their engine early in the morning I'll have constitutional response.

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Still illegal to assault people unless you are in mortal fear for your life and even then it's up to a court to decide if your response was justly proportional to the threat against your life.

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I guess it is a good think SCOTUS unanimously addressed your concerns in the Caetano case.

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Caetano decided usual and unusual firearms are to be decided in the contemporary context. What makes it usual or unusual? That seems like a subjective standard.

Grenade launchers are usual. West Springfield has one.

How did the court decide stun gun is substantively similar to a handgun and so is subsumed under 2A? i'll bet it didn't even consider the question, it assumed it is because it's shaped like one and used for self-defense.

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The SCotUS ruling in Heller was the "in common use test". If it's in common use by police & the military it's covered. A gun/taser/pepper spray dispenser, or edge weapon concealed in a cane or umbrella for example wouldn't pass that test and be bannable.

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i don't think this is full precedent as decided in Heller and/or subsequent relevant SCOTUS decisions. :

If it's in common use by police & the military it's covered.

The first circuit just upheld Mass ban on AR-15s and high capacity magazines.

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1st Circuit decision was based on politics and not the law per SCotUS precedent. The flippant comment toward Scalia and quote mining to state the opposite of Scalia's own arguments was a blatant tell the judge gave no fucks.

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If we're going to read the Second Amendment that broadly, is there literally ANY class of "arms" that doesn't qualify for 2A protections?

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There's arguably difference betweens bearable arms and crew served cannon or artillery. In the 1930s Miller case SCotUS ruled that arms protected by the 2A had to have military value, such that sawn off shotguns, cane guns, and other unusual or assassination type weapons weren't considered kosher.

I'd argue the SJC is still partially ignoring the Caetano ruling by failing to note the SCotUS affirmed the right to bear stun-guns(non-lethal arms) outside the home. MA's licensing scheme itself is in violation of Heller by requiring a "may issue" permit for possession within the home. Legally by SCotUS precedent MA should only be able to require a permit for possession outside the home. "May issue" itself is a 14th amendment violation unless someone is disqualified as crazy, a convicted domestic abuser, or a felon by the state, in which case federal law already disqualifies such persons.

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If it doesn't apply to one class of things that are considered arms and that are legal in most states, why should it apply to any? Why should you be able to walk into a store and come away with a 10 inch kitchen knife, or a chainsaw, or hedge clippers?

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See
Caetano v. Massachusetts, U.S. 577 (2016)
&
District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008)

Then reference the restrictions in
United States v. Miller, 307 U.S. 174 (1939)

Include the NFA of 1938 and GCA of 1968
https://www.atf.gov/firearms/national-firearms-act-handbook

For your answer.

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If it's unconstitutional, how can the court even think it can decide to leave it in place for 60 days. I would think it's defunct now. Here comes another lawsuit or two.

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I think 60 days is time for government to make necessary administrative change.

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