Know Your Stun Gun Laws Or Face The Law

Owning a stun gun can be a wonderful means of self defense but it comes with responsibility. Just like many things in everyday life, you need to know the laws. Owning an electric self defense device is no exception. If you don’t know the laws for your location then you will find yourself in a heap of trouble.

My goal today is to give you an in-depth look at the stun gun laws in several states. As far as I know there isn’t a single place you can go to get all the specify areas of legality, including punishment, in one place. So I want to make sure everyone can look at this article and know exactly what to expect when getting an electrical stunning device.

Due to this, the article will be on the long side. To make it easier finding the information you may be looking for, I will put each states name in bold. Also, in each section when available, I will highlight the specific laws in question to enable you to further research them.

The majority of states in the United States allow you to own a stun gun for self defense. There are, however, several that have outlawed them. Below you can find information about states where they are illegal. If you do not live in one of these states then there are no specific laws that outlaw them.


Legal Status: Legal with Restrictions

Relevant Laws: Connecticut Criminal Law Title 53 Crimes, Title 53a Penal Code, Title 54 Criminal Procedure

The first state I want to talk about today is Connecticut. If you live in Connecticut you are lawfully allowed to keep a stun gun in your home or place of business but are not allowed to carry it on you, outside of those locations. In order to carry one on your person you must first be granted a permit to do so.

You are able to get a permit from the following:

From the First Selectman of a town.

The Mayor or chief of police of a city.

The warden of a borough.

When requesting a permit you may need to provide finger prints and agree to a criminal history check. If you’re a felon then you can forget about obtaining a permit. Anyone that has been convicted of a felony is automatically disqualified from gaining a permit. If you are approved for a permit it is VERY important to know that the permit is only for the city/town you received it from. If you travel out of that town with it you are subject to criminal penalty.

Penalties: Being caught with one in Connecticut can result in a maximum fine of $500 and/or a maximum of 3 years in prison.

Washington DC

Legal Status: Illegal

Relevant Laws: DC Code Ann. Title 6, Chapter 23. Firearms Control. Subchapter I General Provisions 3-2302

If you live in Washington DC, owning a stun gun is not an option for you. They are outright illegal to own, which makes this explanation straight forward. The bottom line is you can’t own one and if you are caught with one you’re in trouble


Legal Status: Restricted

If you live in Illinois the process of purchasing a stun gun is very similar, if not identical, to purchasing a firearm.

You must hold a void FOID(Firearms Owners Identification) card which is the same that is required for firearms. The person that sells the stun gun must check your FOID card and keep record of the sale for 10 years. You are required to pass a background check. You will also have to commit to a 24 hour waiting period before you are allowed to complete the purchase.

Once you have legally purchased a one it is important to note that you are not allowed to carry it in a concealed manner. It is meant to be kept at home or primary place of business for self defense purposes.

Penalties: If you are found with a concealed stun gun or carrying it without a license you can be charged with a misdemeanor. However, if you use it one someone in an offensive, non self defense manner, it is considered a non-aggravated Class 4 Felony which can result in up to 3 years in prison. If it is considered aggravated it can become a Class 2 felony which is punishable by 3-7 years in prison.


Legal Status: Illegal

Relevant Laws: Rev. Stats. Title 10, Chapter 134. Firearms Ammunition and Dangerous. Part 1 General Regulations. Chapter 134-1 Definitions.

Hawaii is also another state that has outright banned the sale and possession of them. This means under no circumstances are you legally allowed to have one.

Penalty: If you are found with a stun gun in Hawaii you can be charged with a petty misdemeanor and will have it confiscated.


Legal Status: Illegal

Relevant Laws: Chapter 140 Sale of Firearms. Section 131J: Sale or possession of electrical weapons. Penalties Section 131J.

If you live in Massachusetts than your not able to own a stun gun. They are another state that has outright banned the ability to possess one. However, being found with one here has steeper consequences than other states. So if you’re thinking about breaking the law and getting one, you might want to rethink that.

Penalties: If you are found with a stun gun in your possession you will receive a fine of $500-$1000 and/or receive 6 months to 2 years in jail.


Legal Status: Illegal

Relevant Laws: Michigan Penal Code Act 328 of 1931. Chapter 750.224a

If you live in Michigan than owning a stun gun is not an option for you. I’ve searched through the laws on Michigan’s Government website and was unable to find the specific penalties for possessing one. Chances are they’re similar to other states so the fact remains, you flat out don’t want to be caught in possession of one.

New Jersey

Legal Status: Illegal

Relevant Laws: New Jersey Stat. Ann. Title 2C. New Jersey Code of Criminal Justice. Chapter 39-1, Prohibited weapons and devices.

New Jersey is yet another state that has outright banned the possession of stun guns. That means there are no permits you can receive. Bottom line is, if you are found in possession of one you can face some pretty stiff consequences.

Penalties: If you are found in possess of an electric stunning device in New Jersey you can face a stint in jail up to 18 months and/or a fine up to $7,500. In New Jersey crimes are not classified as Felony or Misdemeanor. They are classified as 1st degree through 4th degree with 1st degree being the most severe. Possession of one is considered a crime of the 4th degree.

New York

Legal Status: Illegal

Relevant Laws: New York Consolidated Law Book 39, Penal Law. Article 265, Firearms and Other Dangerous Weapons 265.00

New York is notorious for having hard laws against weapons. This includes stun guns. They have made it totally illegal to own one. With a population as large as New York it is important to have these hard line laws in place to protect the public.

Penalties: If you live in or travel to New York and have a stun gun you can be charged with a crime of the 4th degree, a class A misdemeanor. This means you can be charged with a fine up to $1000. That’s a pretty bad punishment but it can get worse. If you use any dangerous weapons to commit a crime against another person you can be charged with a class C felony. This means you could be fined up to $5000 along with prison time. The amount of the fine/jail time depend on the specific crime committed.

Rhode Island

Legal Status: Illegal

Relevant Laws: General Laws of Rhode Island. Title 11, Chapter 47. Statute Subsection 11-47-42.

Rhode Island is yet another state where it is illegal to own or possess one. They also have stiff penalties for doing so.

Penalties: If you are found in possession of a stun gun while in the state of Rhode Island you can receive a fine up to $1,000 and/or up to 1 year in prison. So the bottom line is, don’t possess one while in Rhode Island.


Legal Status: Illegal

Relevant Laws: Wisconsin Sta. Ann Chapter 939, Crimes – General Provisions. Chapter 939.22, Words and phrases defined.

In Wisconsin it is against the law to own or possess any “Electronic Stun Device”. A big difference in Wisconsin verses other states where they are illegal is the harshness of the penalties for getting caught with one.

Penalties: In Wisconsin, if you’re found with any electronic stunning device you will be charged with a Class E felony. A Class E Felony can carry a maximum fine of $50,000 and/or 15 years in prison. Keep in mind those are maximum figures for a Class E Felony in general. The circumstances involving your specific charge play a role in what you will actually face.

There you have it, an in-depth look at states where you cannot own a stun gun. If the state you live in is not listed above than you don’t have anything to worry about. However, laws tend to change over time so to be safe you should still check with your local police department prior to purchasing a one.

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