Can a felon own a taser? In many states, the answer is yes, although, some of those states require licensing and place some restrictions on use.
As a felon barred from firearm ownership, it’s sensible to explore the options you have to defend yourself, your family, and your home. Tasers and stun guns are popular alternatives to guns for self-defense purposes.
In this article, we’ll go over the situation in each state. However, you should check with local law enforcement to find out if there are any specific requirements you’ll need to follow in your city or county which differ from state law.
If you buy a device from a local retailer they should be able to give you some advice as well.
Are Stun Guns and Tasers The Same?
Before we go any further, we need to get some definitions straight. Taser is the term commonly used to refer to weapons that emit an electrical charge, but tasers and stun guns are not the same things and they may be treated differently under state law.
What Is A Taser?
Tasers are devices that shoot small probes attached to thin wires. On consumer models, the probes can hit a target 15 feet away. Once the probes hit the target, electricity passes between the probes, delivering a disabling electric shock. Repeated electric shocks can be delivered while the probes are attached to the target.
What Is A Stun Gun?
A stun gun delivers an electric shock when its probes make contact with the target. Unlike tasers, stun guns have no range and you need to be in direct contact with the target to deliver the shock.
Can A Felon Own A Taser in 2023? (List Of State Laws)
We couldn’t find any laws restricting the ownership of tasers or stun guns in Alabama.
Tasers and stun guns are classed as defensive weapons in Alaska, and there are no ownership restrictions in place. AS 11.81.900.
We couldn’t find any Arizona statutes that restrict the rights of felons to own or use tasers or stun guns. You will need to provide your ID when purchasing a stun gun, though.
Arkansas Code 5-73-101 “Weapons Possession and Use” details the restrictions on taser use in section 5-73-133 “Possession of a Taser Stun Gun”. This section does not prohibit felons from owning a taser or stun gun.
Under section 22610 of the California Penal Code which covers weapons and devices other than firearms, no person convicted of a felony may purchase, possess, or use a stun gun or taser.
Felons cannot own stun guns or tasers in Colorado.
Felons are prohibited from owning and using electronic defense weapons in Connecticut. A felon owning a stun gun or taser would be committing a Class C felony under Connecticut Penal Code 53a-217.
Felons cannot own tasers or stun guns in Delaware. Delaware Code title. 11, 222. General Definitions, define stun guns and tasers as deadly weapons. Delaware Code title. 11, 1448 prohibits felons from owning and using deadly weapons.
In Florida stun guns and tasers are electric weapons. Florida Statutes 790.23 states that it is unlawful for a convicted felon to own or use an electric weapon unless the felony has been expunged or firearms rights have been restored.
In Georgia, a felon can own a stun gun but not a taser because tasers fall into the firearms category. Georgia Code 16-11-131. “Possession of Firearms by Convicted Felons” gives the definition of a firearm as “any handgun [..] which will or can be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive or electrical charge.”
Stun guns and tasers are classed as electric guns in Hawaii. Chapter 134, Hawaii Revised Statutes, prohibits convicted felons from owning electric guns.
Idaho does not place restrictions on tasers or stun gun ownership. Idaho Statutes, Title 18, chapter 33 “Firearms Explosives and Other Deadly Weapons” specifically excludes tasers and stun guns from the definition of “deadly weapons”. As such tasers and stun guns do not fall under the requirement for a concealed weapons license.
Taser and stun gun ownership is restricted in Illinois to holders of a Firearm Holder’s Identification Card (FOID). A FOID is not available to convicted felons, so felons cannot legally obtain tasers or stun guns in Illinois. See 430 Ill. Comp. Stat.65/2
Indiana doesn’t restrict taser or stun gun ownership, but there are some restrictions. Section 35-7-2-1 “Carrying a Handgun Without a License” also applies to tasers and stun guns. Without a license, you’re restricted from possessing the device at your residence,
Iowa code 702.7 classes stun guns and tasers as dangerous weapons. You don’t need a permit to purchase either of these weapons to keep at your home, but you will need a permit to carry one.
Kansas doesn’t have any restrictions on who can own stun guns and tasers.
We couldn’t find any restrictions on felons owning stun guns or tasers in Kentucky. However, you must keep the weapon at your home unless you hold a concealed carry permit, and as a felon, you won’t be able to obtain one.
Louisiana law doesn’t impose any restrictions on felons owning stun guns or tasers.
We couldn’t find any restrictions that would prevent a felon from owning a taser or stun gun in Maine.
In Maryland, you need to pass a criminal background check if you want to own an electronic control device. Maryland Criminal Code 4-109 prohibits anyone convicted of a violent crime or certain drug offenses from owning a taser or stun gun.
Anyone who wants to own a stun gun or taser in Massachusetts has to undergo a background check and obtain a license to carry firearms. This license requirement means that felons can’t own stun guns or tasers in Massachusetts. Stun guns are defined as firearms under chapter 140 section 121 of the state laws.
The Michigan Penal Code section 750.224a states that tasers and stun guns may only be owned by those who get a concealed carry permit for a pistol. Since felons cannot get a concealed carry permit, felons are not permitted to own tasers or stun guns in Michigan.
In Minnesota, state law classifies stun guns and tasers as electronic incapacitation devices. Minnesota statute 609B.345 prohibits anyone who is banned from owning a pistol from possessing a stun gun or taser.
Felons cannot possess stun guns or tasers in Mississippi. In Mississippi, a license is required to own a stun gun, and tile 45-9-101 states that convicted felons are ineligible for a stun gun license.
We couldn’t find any statutes restricting a felon’s right to own a taser or stun gun in Missouri.
There are no restrictions on taser and stun gun ownership in Montana.
We couldn’t find any statutes which prohibit a felon from owning a taser or stun gun in Nebraska. Nebraska Revised Statutes 28-1206 covers the possession of deadly weapons by prohibited persons, and this statute does not include tasers or stun guns.
Felons are prohibited from owning a taser in Nevada unless they received a pardon that restores their firearms rights. The Nevada Revised Statutes 202.357: Electronic Stun Device, is the relevant state law.
It’s legal for felons to possess electronic defense weapons in New Hampshire as long as the weapon remains at home. New Hampshire statute 159:21 makes possessing a stun gun or taser away from the home by a felon a class B felony.
In New Jersey, a felon may be committing an offense if they own a taser or stun gun. Both devices are considered weapons under New Jersey Code 2C:39-1 “Definitions”.
Some serious felony offences give rise to the Certain Persons Not To Have Weapons classification under N.J.S.A. 2C:39-7. You should check with a lawyer to find out if you can legally own a taster or stun gun in New Jersey.
We couldn’t find any laws prohibiting felons from owning stun guns or tasers in New Mexico.
Until 2019 it was an offense for anyone to possess a stun gun or taser in New York, however, the ban was ruled unconstitutional, and residents of New York State are no longer barred from owning these devices. The court allowed New York to introduce restrictions on ownership, though, and you should check with a lawyer to find out what the current situation is.
Felons can own tasers and stun guns in North Carolina, but the weapons must be open-carried. It’s a criminal offense to conceal carry a stun gun or taser.
In North Dakota, stun guns are not classed as dangerous weapons. Tasers are classed as dangerous weapons if the device is capable of multiple applications of voltage in one incident. Tasers fitting that description may not be owned by individuals subject to firearms restrictions, so felons cannot own this type of device. North Dakota Century Code – Title 62.1, “Weapons”.
We couldn’t find any laws restricting felon ownership of stun guns and tasers in Ohio. Neither device is mentioned in Section 2923.11, “Weapons Control Definitions”.
We couldn’t find any laws that restrict the ownership of stun guns or tasers in Oklahoma.
Felons cannot own tasers or stun guns in Oregon. Oregon Revised Statutes Section 166.270 – “Possession Of Weapons By Certain Felons”, prohibits felons from owning an Electro-Muscular Disruption Technology device (tasers and stun guns).
Felons cannot own stun guns or tasers in Pennsylvania. A felon is a prohibited person under Pennsylvania Statute Title 18, Section 908.1, and is banned from using or possessing an electric or electronic incapacitation device.
Until 2022 Rhode Island banned all stun gun and taser ownership. However, after a court ruling found the ban unconstitutional, the ban was lifted. The state has the right to impose some restrictions on ownership, though, and you should contact a lawyer to check the current situation before you purchase a device.
We couldn’t find any laws restricting felons from owning stun guns or tasers in South Carolina.
Stun guns are defined as “deadly weapons” and “dangerous weapons” under 22-1-2 of the South Dakota codified laws, however, there are no restrictions on felons owning these devices.
We couldn’t find any laws that prohibit Tennessee felons from owning stun guns or tasers.
We couldn’t find any laws that restrict taser or stun gun ownership in Texas.
We couldn’t find any restrictions on felons owning stun guns or tasers in Utah.
We couldn’t find any laws that prohibit Vermont felons from owning stun guns or tasers.
Felons may own a taser in Virginia but there are restrictions in place. Virginia Code 18.2-308.2
details weapons restrictions on felons, and prohibits the ownership of stun weapons unless the weapon is kept at home.
We couldn’t find any restrictions on felons owning a taser or stun gun in Washington, but you can only use it at home. Carrying any weapon that can cause bodily harm is a misdemeanor offense.
We couldn’t find any restrictions on felons owning stun guns or tasers, however, you’ll be restricted from keeping the device at your home because West Virginia requires a permit for concealed carry.
Tasers and stun guns are classed as electric weapons under Wisconsin law. Felons can own these devices at their homes but cannot carry the weapons because a concealed carry license is required and the state does not issue licenses to felons.
We couldn’t find any restrictions on felons owning stun guns or tasers in Wyoming.
Can Felons On Probation Own A Taser?
You’ll need to check the rules and conditions you were given covering your probation. If you don’t see a specific restriction, you’ll probably be safe to follow the rules in place in your state. But to be extra certain, contact your probation officer and get a definitive answer.
In many states, felons can own tasers and stun guns. Some states place restrictions on carrying the devices, and in states where a license to carry is required, felons won’t be able to carry or use the weapons for self-defense outside the home.
See Also: Can Felons Go To Gun Range?
Robert Eric (a lover of Cats and Dogs) is the co-founder of HireFelonsJobs. In our search for a better life, after… A platform was created for the purpose of easing the search for ex-convicts.