OPINION | Barry Richard: You Have a Right to Own a Taser in Massachusetts
The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court has ruled that your right to own stun guns and tasers is protected by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
The ruling is a reversal of an earlier one by the court which upheld a 1986 state law, banning the possession of the non-lethal weapons. The law was amended in 2004 to allow law enforcement officials to use the weapons, but it remained illegal for the rest of us to have them.
In 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed the conviction of a Massachusetts man for possession of a stun gun in violation of the state law.
The leadership has already indicated it will attempt to legislate a way around the ruling. It plans to craft legislation that would regulate who can and cannot possess a stun gun or taser, using the existing laws that govern lethal firearms. Those rules require a person to be licensed to carry, and prohibit those convicted of violent crimes, those who have been committed to an institution for substance abuse and persons under age 15, among other things, from possessing a gun.
Some regulation of who can and cannot possess weapons make sense. No one wants criminals or the mentally ill to carry weapons of any sort. But an all-out ban on stun guns and tasers is a political statement, and robs society of its God-given right to bear arms and to protect itself.
The SJC, with a little help from SCOTUS, got it right.
Do you agree that legal Massachusetts residents should be allowed to possess stun guns and tasers?
Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.
The State House News Service contributed to this report.