It is now legal to carry electronic guns, such as stun guns and Tasers, after the Annapolis City Council voted to repeal its ban against the weaponry on Monday night.
The repeal was passed with a unanimous vote after it was discovered the law could be deemed unconstitutional after a March Supreme Court decision last year. A lawsuit against the city, backed by gun rights activists, catalyzed the decision.
"Because of the lawsuit brought by this resident and foundation for gun rights, it is rather clear that it is presently ruled by the courts as unconstitutional against people's rights to bear arms," said Mike Leahy, city attorney. "It is highly likely we would lose this (lawsuit)."The lawsuit against the City was filed in December of 2016. Howard County, Maryland has already lifted its ban. The City of Baltimore, Maryland is considering what to do. A number of other lawsuits have been filed in the few jurisdictions that ban electronic weapons. The lawsuits are based on the Supreme Court decision on the Caetano v. Massachusetts. The last direct action on the Second Amendment by the United States Supreme Court was on Caetano. The Court unanimously held, in the Caetano PER CURIAM decision (pdf), that:
The Court has held that “the Second Amendment extends, prima facie, to all instruments that constitute bearable arms, even those that were not in existence at the time of the founding,” District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U. S. 570, 582 (2008), and that this “Second Amendment right is fully applicable to the States,” McDonald v.Chicago, 561 U. S. 742, 750 (2010).
Caetano was directly about electronic weapons. Lawsuits against bans on electronic weapons have had success in New Jersey, New Orleans, the District of Columbia, and parts of Maryland. Ongoing lawsuits are being pursued in New York State, Massachusetts, and Baltimore, as mentioned.
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