Protecting Your Firearms with a Taser

Second Amendment supporters recently received an unlikely vote of support when the U.S. Supreme Court not only referenced it when reviewing a case involving Taser ownership, but in doing so defeated the anti-gun side’s biggest argument.

Massachusetts, along with 7 other states, prohibits the possession of Tasers or other electronic control weapons. This is not really a surprise and this fact usually gains little attention, even among pro-second amendment groups. Very few people connect stun guns with traditional firearms, but that is exactly what the U.S. Supreme Court did and in a big way in their recent review of Caeteno v. Massachusetts. (2016 U.S. Lexis 1862. USSC March 21, 2016)

The case appeared rather routine from the start. Caeteno was a young woman who had obtained a PFA due to problems with an ex-boyfriend. Fearing for her safety but unable to obtain a legal firearm, she did the next best thing – she borrowed a Taser from a friend. When the boyfriend did come around, she showed him the Taser and warned him to leave her alone. Although the boyfriend did the smart thing, which was to leave the area, he also went to the police who subsequently charged Caeteno with possession of an illegal weapon.

Handheld TaserCaeteno was found guilty and this finding was upheld by the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, who determined a stun gun was not “the type of weapon contemplated by Congress in 1789 as being protected by the Second Amendment.”  According to the anti-gun culture, this is a valid argument and it is one used repeatedly when discussing why assault rifles, high capacity magazine or a host of other modern firearms should not be afforded the same protection as your great grandfather’s muzzleloader.

Three reasons were offered to support this decision:

  1. Stun guns were not in “common use” at the time the 2nd Amendment was enacted (470 Mass., at 781, 26 N.E. 3d, at 693)
  2. Stun guns are “dangerous per se at common law and unusual” (470 Mass., at 781, 26N.E., 3d, at 694)
  3. There is “nothing in the record to suggest that [stun guns] are readily adaptable to use in the military” (470 Mass., at 781, 26 N.E. 3d, at 694)

Although the Supreme Judicial Court claimed to have applied the USSC’s early Heller ruling during each step of its review, the Justices disagreed. Not only did the U.S. Supreme Court disagree, they found the argument “that only those arms in existence in the 18th century are protected…bordering on frivolous.”  In closing, the Justices likened limiting 2nd Amendment protection to only those weapons in existence in 1789 as ludicrous as the idea of failing to protect electronic communications for similar reasons.

Despite a common theme to the contrary, the current administration’s continued attempts to limit the 2nd Amendment have repeatedly failed under review by the U.S. Supreme Court. Although these attacks are sure to continue, it is good to see that at least someone is thinking clearly.

Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.

Tom Burrell

Tom enlisted in the US Marine Corps Reserves in 1987. Following service in Desert Storm, he transitioned to active duty with the US Coast Guard. In 1997 he left the USCG to pursue a position in conservation & maritime law enforcement. Tom is currently a Captain and he oversees several programs, including his agency investigation unit. He is also a training instructor in several areas including firearms, defensive tactics and first aid/CPR. In 2006 Tom received his Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Harrisburg Area Community College and in 2010 a Bachelor’s Degree from Penn State University.
Tom Burrell
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