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Are Tazors, stunguns, etc., legal in PA?
#1
I recently served jury duty (York Co.). I was talking to someone who's wife, that works at the courthouse, was thinking about getting a tazor or stun gun to carry to and from work. She asked a Deputy Sheriff about it and was told not to buy one cause they were illegal, to just buy a gun.
They are sold at every gun show I've ever been to and I would think the bleeding heart politicians would appreciate the "less lethal" aspect of these weapons.
Anyway, I'm just looking for some clarification. Can anyone help?
rodlxix, proud to be a member of pa2a.org since Nov 2012.
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#2
I know in Philly you can't carry them. It might be covered under local ordinances by townships/counties/etc.
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#3
The definitive answer is "maybe". In PA, there are two conflicting statutes.

18 Pa.C.S. § 908. Prohibited offensive weapons. completely prohibits them, but 18 Pa.C.S. § 908.1. Use or possession of electric or electronic incapacitation device. permits them in certain circumstances.

While it's not clear that they are always and completely illegal, it is true that the law is much more clear on firearms.
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#4
gnbrotz;118780 Wrote:The definitive answer is "maybe". In PA, there are two conflicting statutes.

18 Pa.C.S. § 908. Prohibited offensive weapons. completely prohibits them, but 18 Pa.C.S. § 908.1. Use or possession of electric or electronic incapacitation device. permits them in certain circumstances.

While it's not clear that they are always and completely illegal, it is true that the law is much more clear on firearms.

interesting, we sell them at work. you have to contact the company and do a background check before you get a code to activate the taser
"Fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity"

goofin, proud to be a member of pa2a.org since Sep 2012.
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#5
gnbrotz;118780 Wrote:The definitive answer is "maybe". In PA, there are two conflicting statutes.

18 Pa.C.S. § 908. Prohibited offensive weapons. completely prohibits them, but 18 Pa.C.S. § 908.1. Use or possession of electric or electronic incapacitation device. permits them in certain circumstances.

While it's not clear that they are always and completely illegal, it is true that the law is much more clear on firearms.

Thanks for the quick response, you must use those pages alot. I think that answered my questions.
rodlxix, proud to be a member of pa2a.org since Nov 2012.
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#6
Philadelphia Patriot;118779 Wrote:I know in Philly you can't carry them. It might be covered under local ordinances by townships/counties/etc.

It's more than that!


You cannot carry them, you cannot possess them on your property (meaning you can't leave them at home if home is in Philadelphia County), AND YOU CANNOT TRANSPORT THEM THROUGH PHILADELPHIA COUNTY.

Thinking of driving to the Wells Fargo center to catch the Flyers game? Don't have a Taser in your trunk--if it winds up in a search then the Philly DA has one up on you.

The PA Uniform Firearms Act does nothing to stop total Taser bans, and they are completely and totally banned in Philly. Don't take a Taser here, take a gun here. Guns are cool. Make sure you have a LTCF and you're good. You can even carry it loaded, with the hammer cocked and ready to go.


Just no Tasers. The cops here are totally wigged out by any civvy having the gall to possess a Taser. That's probably why they Taze so many people so often.
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#7
I ran into our county's District Attorney this morning. I asked him, "I just wanted to make sure, but is it legal to carry a taser?" He simply replied, "Of course it is. My wife carries one!"

Here's the two laws to reference...
Title 18, Section 908 - Prohibited offensive weapons
Title 18, Section 908.1 - Use or possession of electric or electronic incapacitation device

In section 908, just to quote a small relavent portion of the definition of an offensive weapon...
Quote:..any stun gun, stun baton, taser or other electronic or electric weapon or other implement for the infliction of serious bodily injury which serves no common lawful purpose.

The "which serves no common lawful purpose" would mean that if you're carrying a taser/stun gun for self defense, you're carrying it for a lawful purpose and it is legal.

In section 908.1, here's the portion that also allows you to carry a taser/stun gun for self defense...
Quote:(a) OFFENSE DEFINED. — Except as set forth in subsection (b), a person commits an offense if the person does any of the following:
(1) Uses an electric or electronic incapacitation device on another person for an unlawful purpose.
(2) Possesses, with intent to violate paragraph (1), an electric or electronic incapacitation device.
(b) SELF DEFENSE. — A person may possess and use an electric or electronic incapacitation device in the exercise of reasonable force in defense of the person or the person’s property pursuant to Chapter 5 (relating to general principles of justification) if the electric or electronic incapacitation device is labeled with or accompanied by clearly written instructions as to its use and the damages involved in its use.

So, I would say "yes" to your question. However, since tasers/stun guns aren't firearms, municipalities are permitted to enact ordinances regulating or prohibiting their possession. It's not that the laws conflict with each other or that they are unclear, it's just that the portions allowing you to carry a taser/stun gun don't jump out at you like with the firearms laws (most of them anyway).

As far as a background check being done before you can buy a taser, there's no law requiring that. That's just the manufacturer's requirement as far as I know. The only reason being is that if you're prohibited from owning/possessing a firearm, you're also prohibited from owning/possessing a taser/stun gun in Pennsylvania.
"There is no hunting like the hunting of man. And those who have hunted armed men long enough and liked it, never care for anything else thereafter."
-Ernest Hemingway
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#8
Be aware. A taser gun has about 25 mini confetti that's dispersed with your serial number on it.
ideaman, proud to be a member of pa2a.org since Mar 2013.
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#9
shademtarmory;118836 Wrote:In section 908, just to quote a small relavent portion of the definition of an offensive weapon...
Quote:..any stun gun, stun baton, taser or other electronic or electric weapon or other implement for the infliction of serious bodily injury which serves no common lawful purpose.

The "which serves no common lawful purpose" would mean that if you're carrying a taser/stun gun for self defense, you're carrying it for a lawful purpose and it is legal.

You're welcome to your opinion, but an attorney whom I trust and have used says otherwise. By your logic, bombs, grenades, machine guns, switchblades, and everything else classified as an "offensive weapon" are all legal, so long as they are for self-defense (a "common lawful purpose"). Of course, this simply is NOT the case.

Quote:"Offensive weapons." Any bomb, grenade, machine gun,
sawed-off shotgun with a barrel less than 18 inches, firearm
specially made or specially adapted for concealment or silent
discharge, any blackjack, sandbag, metal knuckles, dagger,
knife, razor or cutting instrument, the blade of which is
exposed in an automatic way by switch, push-button, spring
mechanism, or otherwise, any stun gun, stun baton, taser or
other electronic or electric weapon or other implement for the
infliction of serious bodily injury which serves no common
lawful purpose.
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#10
Well in my book, if the DA says it's legal, I'd take his advice since he'd be the one prosecuting your case (or lack of).

Either way, there's no law permitting the use of grenades, etc. like there is with tasers/stun guns.

But believe whatever you want. I always ask prosecutors and not defense attorneys. Defense attorneys tend to tell you what you can and can't do based on if THEY think is legal or not. They aren't the prosecutors.

Sent from my Samsung Galaxy Note II using Tapatalk 4
"There is no hunting like the hunting of man. And those who have hunted armed men long enough and liked it, never care for anything else thereafter."
-Ernest Hemingway
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