RI Asks For Stay In Stun Gun Ban Lawsuit

The state of Rhode Island is a fairly bizarre place. While I have no doubt there are some wonderful people there, there’s also an awful lot of stupid for such a small state. After all, this is the state that requires you to take a gun safety class before exercising your constitutionally-protected right to keep and bear arms.


However, they also have a stun gun ban in place.

In other words, they make it as hard as they can for you to buy a firearm while also banning non-guns.

There’s a lawsuit to overturn the law, of course. Especially since the Supreme Court already ruled on the topic and stun guns are, indeed, covered by the Second Amendment.

Not that Rhode Island gives a damn. They not only still have a ban in place, but also are now asking for a stay in the lawsuit.

The state is asking a federal judge to put on hold a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the state’s ban on the sale and possession of stun guns and Tasers as the General Assembly considers proposals to legalize electronic weapons.

Michael P. O’Neil, vice president of the Rhode Island Second Amendment Coalition, and Nicola Grasso, former president of the Rhode Island Federated Sportsmen’s Association, sued Attorney General Peter F. Neronha and Rhode Island State Police Col. James M. Manni in November over a state law barring the possession and attempted use of stun guns and electric arms. Both gun-rights advocates, they argued that it infringes on their rights to bear arms under the Second Amendment.

Neronha and Manni on Feb. 14 asked U.S. District Court Judge William E. Smith to stay the proceedings for 60 days as the legislature considers a bill that would make it legal for anyone 18 years or older to use a licensed stun gun for self defense. Carrying an unlicensed Taser or stun gun would be a crime. Legislation to enact safety regulations for electronic weapons is expected to be filed in the coming weeks.


Of course, the keyword here is “licensed.” What they want to do is change the law while still keeping an effective ban in place, then argue that the lawsuit is moot since there’s no real ban. After all, they’ll say, the law allows people to have stun guns.

This is a state where they make it as difficult as possible to own the most efficient means of self-defense currently on the market, they also want to basically keep a ban on what is arguably the second most efficient means to defend yourself.

And the kicker? Stun guns aren’t used in crime nearly as often as laws such as these would suggest. Further, they’re not federally restricted, which means even a licensing scheme wouldn’t actually keep such items out of the hands of those who would use them for nefarious purposes.

If Rhode Island wants to change the law, change it. They don’t need the court to hold off on the case while they decide. Frankly, I’d love for the courts to not just rule against the stay, but also make it clear that you can’t require a license in order to engage in a constitutionally-protected individual right.


Not that Governor Gina Raimondo actually cares anything about that. I suspect she’s too busy trying to suck up to certain anti-gun presidential candidates in search of a VP slot.

Besides, when has she shown she gives a damn about anyone’s rights in the first place?

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