License to Possess and Use Taser Discussed on Beacon Hill

By Bob Katzen

Bill (H 1249) allows people who have a firearms license to also possess and use a Taser, also known as a stun gun, for self-defense. The person must be 18 years of age or older and have completed a 4-hour training session in the use of a Taser. The training session would include an explanation of self-defense, a review of the mechanics of a Taser and the effects of the weapons on individuals with pre-existing medical conditions.

In March 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a Massachusetts law that prohibits citizens from possessing and using a Taser violates the Second Amendment.

Supporters of the bill say it would put the Bay State in compliance with the Second Amendment. They note that it is essential that individuals have the right of self-defense. They argue that the device is designed to incapacitate, not kill, an attacker at short range and relieves the shooter from the possibility of harming an attacker or another person by mistake.

Opponents say Tasers do not belong in the hands of non-law enforcement people. They note that Tasers have killed and seriously injured many victims.

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