This week, Massachusetts’ top court ruled that the state’s stun gun and taser ban is unconstitutional. According to the ruling, stun guns cannot be fully banned because they are classified as “arms,” and therefore, protected by the Second Amendment. However, they can be regulated.
In its ruling, the Supreme Court stated that:
“Having received guidance from the Supreme Court, we now conclude that stun guns are ‘arms’ within the protection of the Second Amendment. Therefore, under the Second Amendment, the possession of stun guns may be regulated, but not absolutely banned.” A MA criminal defense attorney can help you protect your rights if you’ve been charged with a firearms offense.
“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. But the absolute prohibition in [state law] that bars all civilians from possessing or carrying stun guns, even in their home, is inconsistent with the Second Amendment,” wrote Chief Justice Ralph Gants.
To implement new restrictions on the use of stun guns, MA must go back to the drawing board, as the entire stun gun prohibition statute was made invalid. However, the new ruling won’t go into effect for 60 days, which gives lawmakers ample time to consider what regulations may be most effective. Regulations may include restrictions on who is permitted to own stun guns, restrictions on where they can be carried (for example, no schools or government buildings), and a license requirement for anyone who carries one.
“We believe the current restrictions on stun guns can be updated in a manner consistent with the high court’s ruling and Massachusetts’ common-sense firearm legislation,” said Jake Wark, Suffolk County spokesman. A Boston gun crimes attorney can help you determine how to proceed if you’ve been charged with any type of firearms offense.
Penalties for Firearms Offenses in MA
If you have been charged with any type of firearms offense, you may be facing the following penalties. Unless you satisfy the requirements of one of the statutory exemptions, you will face a mandatory minimum sentence of 18 months in jail if you are convicted of any of the crimes below:
- You knowingly possess a firearm without being present in your home or workplace, or having a license to carry (up to five years in prison);
- You are carrying a loaded firearm while under the influence of alcohol or illicit drugs (up to two-and-a-half years in jail);
- You are carrying a shotgun or rifle on a public way (up to two years in jail);
- You are carrying a large capacity shotgun or rifle on a public way (up to 10 years in prison);
- You remove, alter, or deface any type of identification number on a firearm (up to two-and-a-half years in jail).
Altman & Altman, LLP—Boston’s Top Criminal Defense Law Firm
If you are facing criminal charges, the skilled legal team at Altman & Altman, LLP can help. We have been protecting the rights of individuals charged with crimes for more than 50 years. Our experienced, knowledgeable attorneys have an impressive track record of getting clients’ charges reduced, or dismissed entirely. We will thoroughly analyze the details of your case to determine the most appropriate legal strategy, and we’ll ensure that you understand your rights and options before moving forward. If you are facing criminal charges, don’t make the mistake of hiring the wrong attorney. A criminal record can come back to haunt you for decades, even if it’s a minor offense. We can help. Contact Altman & Altman, LLP today for a free and confidential consultation about your case.