Can a Felon Own a Taser? -
Civilian Rights

Can a Felon Own a Taser?

While incarcerated, felons are restricted from using many instruments that could be a weapon.

Unless working a job under close supervision in prison, knives or any other sharp objects are off limits.  They can easily become a weapon to attack fellow inmates or prison staff.

Following release from prison and returning to society, there is still the concern of felons coming into contact with weapons that could be used against another person.

This blog post will cover the question of whether a felon can own a Taser.

  • What is a Taser?
  • State Taser Laws
  • Supporting a Felon Who Wants to Own a Taser

What is a Taser?

A Taser is an electroshock weapon that shoots probes connected to wires to deliver electric current to a target.

A civilian Taser can be shot from a range of 15-30 feet and delivers a current lasting 30 seconds.  A police Taser delivers a current lasting only five seconds with the shooting range being up to 30 feet.

The term Taser is not a name but an acronym for Thomas A. Swift Electric Rifle (TASER) from a science fiction novel.  It was developed in the 1960s for use in emergencies.

A Taser isn’t intended to kill a person because the voltage used is not high enough to be lethal.  The current used in a Taser is safe and will not disrupt the heart rhythm.

It is powered by a battery with the capacity to deliver a current for only a few minutes.

The term stun gun is often used in place of the word Taser.  A stun gun is different from a Taser.  A stun gun also delivers an electric current, but the stun gun must be in direct contact with the target.

A stun gun is illegal to own in several states.

The Taser is not considered to be a firearm by the U.S. Bureau of Tobacco and Firearms.

A Taser is considered to be a defense weapon to be used in emergencies when an individual is being threatened by another and fears for their life.

It is legal to own a Taser in 45 states.  The exceptions to this are Hawaii, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, and Rhode Island.

While a background check used to be required to purchase a Taser, this is no longer the case.

Individuals must be at least 18 years of age to purchase a Taser.

State Taser Laws

While it is legal to carry a Taser in almost all states, in Connecticut a person cannot carry one in public.

Anyone owning a Taser must be at least 18 years old.

If a Taser is carried in a hidden or suspicious manner, legal authorities may view it differently and may mistake it for a firearm.

This can place felons in the position of facing a deadly weapon charges.  If this occurs it is important to contact a lawyer.

With the sensitive nature of felons’ situations, it is important for them not to even consider carrying a Taser in public.

There is no reason for felons to call attention to themselves needlessly.

Obeying the laws and restrictions they already face is difficult enough.

Felons who want to protect themselves and their home need to be cautious regarding what type of weapon they possess.

Supporting a Felon Who Wants to Own a Taser

For families of felons, it is crucial to recognize that your loved one is trying to readjust to society and do the right thing.  Be there to encourage and support them in living an honest life and fitting back into society once again.

It may seem like a little thing, but obeying the laws regarding owning a Taser will help them follow other laws also.

While it is legal for felons to possess a Taser, they still place themselves at risk by owning one.  Even having one at their residence invites disaster as the Taser could wind up seriously injuring or killing someone.

Why take the chance of becoming involved in a situation that could result in their being arrested and possibly ending up back in prison again?  It isn’t worth the risk.

So, be honest with your felon family member or friend.  Encourage them to think carefully about owning a Taser.

So what do you think about this blog post about can a felon own a Taser?  Have you or someone you know owned a Taser as a felon?  What was that like?  Please tell us in the comments below.

7 responses to “Can a Felon Own a Taser?”

  1. Nero says:

    I can’t wrap my mind around why being caught with drugs one time means you lose the right to defend yourself with anything above a stick….God gave me the right to arm myself, “he who haveth not a sword, sell your ckoak and buy one.” I will die for that right.

  2. James Snyder says:

    I don’t see any problems with a felon owning a taser if a felon wants to hurt or kill someone there’s other objects he or she could use other than a taser so i don’t see any problems with a felon owning a tasers think outside the box guy’s.

  3. Tom Smith says:

    I was convicted 30 years ago.since them I haven’t had any trouble.i have led a good law abiding life.i recently purchased a civilian taser but I am a little worried about carrying it in it sits in a box.i don’t want a gun.i just want to be able to carry my taser

  4. Alex says:

    I honestly think laws need to be amended. I could totally support a felon who used a weapon or acted violently being prohibited from owning a gun….but someone who has no history of violence on their record shouldn’t lose the right to defend themselves. Especially when you consider a violent felon could stab someone with a knife, do their time, then after probation they’re able to own / use a knife which they used in their crime but not a gun which they didn’t use. Many states automatically restore rights like voting, I think the same should apply to gun rights. 1) base it on the crime – no violence / violent history rights restored after their sentence / probation ends; had a weapon but only “threatened” with it, maybe a 3-5 yr ban after the sentence ends, use a weapon 10+ yrs ban after sentence / probation. 2) restore the rights automatically after a certain time period of time rather than make the person who has paid their debt to society jump through all sorts of hoops to try to be a “regular” citizen again.

  5. John Doe says:

    First off, a taser isn’t a firearm. This is BATF rules and regulations that have force of federal law that the states are required to abide by under the supremacy clause of the U.S. constitution. This essentially means that the state can’t apply firearms law to tasers, ever as a matter of long standing U.S. Constitutional law that is old enough that qualified immunity claims are but a joke. That said- the appearance of a firearm does not a firearm make. One had better make sure its a firearm before acting. Police don’t get qualified immunity for reckless or willful ignorance of fact or law- they only get qualified immunity if they weren’t put on notice of what the law is, and there’s no argument that government actors weren’t put on notice of 1800s supreme court precedent. Let Mr. PoPo pull that shit because they will be facing a lawsuit that will strip them of every possession they have. You can make sure they can’t afford a pack of cigarettes or even a pair of clean underwear for this shit.

  6. John Doe says:

    except that D.C. v. Heller said that the right to self defense is a “Fundamental Right” under the U.S. Constitution. The term “Fundamental Right” means a right that is considered so sacred that government regulation of it must pass strict scrutiny that the government’s proposed regulation doesn’t hamper the ability of the person to execute that right. Plus, we don’t have any limiting language in the second amendment AT ALL. Gee, why might that be? Maybe because the framers of the Constitution didn’t want firearms regulated AT ALL- Otherwise they would have said what they meant. If you don’t like the constitution amend it but to restrict someone’s constituional rights based on “Suzie-feel-good” logic is nothing short of treason against the the United States.

  7. Grumpy says:

    Everyone here is making good arguments. When the Constitution was written, it was not uncommon to see a 12 year old walking down a road with a rifle helping Mom with “food shopping” so to speak.

    A felony by historical definition was designed to indicate a term of incarceration beyond 10 years. In recent times it has been used to define the seriousness of a crime.

    Recent mass shooting events have proven that crimes classified as a felony do not deter people with mental illness or emotional problems from carrying out their crimes.

    Political correctness only seem to reinforce the beliefs that being convicted of a felony makes those who live in glass houses more fearful of you.

    I strongly believe that someone convicted of a felony should have their rights restored if they have stayed out of trouble for a 5 year period.

    To say that being convicted of a felony reduces the value of that persons life is wrong and unjust.

    Unfortunately, due to other articles in the Constitution, individual states and cities may be selective about who has the right to bear arms.

    Food for thought . . .

    Laws were inacted for businesses and even the government to prohibit lawfully licensed card carrying people from carrying a weapon on certain properties. Nobody seems to complain that it too restricts your right to bear arms.

    As a felon I have the right to purchase a new taser in my state and carry it. Don’t think I don’t

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