In recent weeks, tensions have been escalating in the United States between the country’s police force and its citizens, specifically among minority groups. There has always been a backlash against the tactics used by police, with many stating that the weapons and procedures used are too harsh and acts of brutality are too often aimed toward minorities and people of color. A recent instance where an Atlanta police officer fatally shot a black man, Rayshard Brooks, after the man grabbed a taser from the officer has reignited public concern over tasers and stun guns and their effectiveness as law enforcement tools.
In Connecticut, stun guns and tasers are referred to as electronic defense weapons and are actually classified as “dangerous weapons.” This also means that they are subject to certain rules and restrictions, as well as Connecticut residents who choose to own them. Similar to gun regulations, permits are required for anyone seeking to legally own a taser or stun gun. Anyone who does not comply with the state’s dangerous weapons laws faces criminal charges and consequences.
What Is an Electronic Defense Weapon?
A stun gun or electronic defense weapon is a device that was created to temporarily immobilize its targets. Stun guns have been used by law enforcement officers for decades, especially in situations in which suspects have been difficult or uncooperative. A stun gun has the ability to deliver 50,000 volts of electricity to a person, which courses through his or her body. When the weapon is used directly on a person, it typically only causes pain, similar to a shock. When the weapon is used and the probes are discharged, the voltage causes temporary paralysis, pain, and in some cases, death.
Can I Carry a Taser in Connecticut?
The state of Connecticut classifies stun guns, tasers, and other electronic defense weapons as “dangerous or deadly weapons.” Most people are not permitted to carry an electronic defense weapon on themselves in public or in their vehicles. For those who wish to own a stun gun, they must obtain a dangerous weapon permit from their local area. State-wide permits do not exist, and thus, the deadly weapons must remain within the local area that the permit was issued. These permits allow taser owners to keep the devices in their place of business or home, but they cannot be carried on the owner.
Since it is impossible to never carry your taser from one place to another, Connecticut legislation includes a few exceptions for deadly weapon owners. If someone is moving from one residence to another, they are able to carry the taser while in the moving process. They can also not be charged if they are carrying the stun gun from their home to a repair shop to keep the weapon in working order.
Violating Connecticut’s dangerous weapons laws can result in serious consequences. If you are caught carrying an electronic defense weapon on your person, you face a Class E felony, which carries a possible fine of up to $3,000, up to three years in prison, or a combination of both. If you are caught carrying or transporting an electronic defense weapon in your vehicle, you face a Class D felony, which carries a possible fine of up to $1,000, up to five years in prison, or a combination of both.
Police officers also face stiff restrictions and are only permitted to carry electronic defense weapons on their persons and in their vehicles when they are working and performing official duties.
Contact a Hartford, CT Weapons Charges Defense Lawyer
When it comes to electronic defense weapons, Connecticut’s laws are rather strict. Carrying a taser or stun gun in Connecticut could lead to serious criminal charges that may result in expensive fines or even jail time. If you have been charged with a dangerous weapons violation for carrying a taser or stun gun, you should speak with a knowledgeable East Hartford, CT criminal defense attorney. At the Woolf Law Firm, LLC, we have been providing much-needed legal counsel to clients throughout Connecticut for more than 20 years. Call us today at 860-290-8690 to schedule a free consultation.