New York law banning right to bear “electronic” arms faces lawsuit


A civilian practices firing a stun gun at Travis Air Force Base in California last year. (credit: Travis AFB)

A New York law making it illegal for members of the public to possess “electronic” arms like Tasers is facing a federal lawsuit claiming that making such possession a criminal misdemeanor is a violation of the Second Amendment.

New York, one of five states outlawing electronic weapons, is being sued (PDF) by the Firearms Policy Foundation and Matthew Avitabile—the mayor of Middleburgh, New York. Avitabile wants to purchase a Taser for self-defense. But New York Penal Law § 265.01 says, “A person is guilty of criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree when:(1) He or she possesses any firearm, electronic dart gun, electronic stun gun…”

The suit claims the New York law is unconstitutional, saying:

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