California has some strict and complex weapons laws that go beyond mere gun possession and detail everything from switchblades to pepper spray use. In fact, while the state’s stun gun laws allow most people to own these weapons, there are situations where they are not. Here’s what you should know in order to help you avoid weapons charges.
California Stun Gun Laws
First, it is important to acknowledge that while many people make a distinction between tasers, which can be fired at targets from a distance, and stun guns, that require you to make direct contact with the victim, laws in California do not. No matter what brand or type of device you have, if it immobilizes someone using an electrical charge, it falls under the same California law, whether it’s technically a taser, a stun baton or a stun gun.
The good news is that stun guns are legal for most people to possess and carry and no permit is necessary. The reason for such liberal possession laws is that these weapons are non-lethal and an effective means of self-defense. However, you might want to speak to a defense attorney if you aren’t sure whether you can legally carry one in a given situation as the devices are not legal for everyone to carry and there are certain locations where no one but law enforcement officials are allowed to possess them.
Stun Guns Are Only for Self Defense
California state taser laws state that all of these electronic devices can only be used for self defense. Anyone charged with committing an assault with a stun gun in California will not only face a misdemeanor or felony charge for the crime, but also be prohibited from possessing a weapon of this type in the future.
Not Everyone Can Possess Stun Guns
Penal Code 22610 PC says that anyone convicted of a felony, of misdemeanor assault or of misusing a stun gun cannot use or possess a taser. Additionally, they cannot be used or possessed by those addicted to narcotics or by children under 16. Minors between 16 and 18 years of age can own and carry stun guns, but only with written parental consent. Similarly, those who have been convicted for misusing a stun gun cannot carry one as well.
The good news is that a first-time violation of these laws is only an infraction, punishable by a fine of $50. A second or subsequent offense will result in criminal charges. This crime is a misdemeanor, which is punishable bu up to six months jail time and a fine of up to $500.
Using a Taser in a Prohibited Location
Additionally, it is also a crime to carry a stun gun in certain locations, including the secure area of an airport, state and local government buildings, public school grounds and places where public meetings are held. It is easy to understand how a person could be carrying a stun gun and forget to put it down to visit one of these locations, so if you are charged with carrying a stun gun in a restricted location, an attorney may be able to have the charges against you dropped.
If you have any questions about stun gun and taser laws in California, please call violent crimes lawyer Peter M. Liss at (760) 643-4050 or (858) 486-3024.
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