Stun Gun Laws in Arkansas
Learn about stun gun laws and possession requirements in Arkansas.
Arkansas’s criminal code contains several crimes concerning the possession or provision of a stun gun. Punishments for crimes involving stun guns can range from a fine to a lengthy prison sentence.
Stun Gun Defined
Arkansas’s criminal code defines a “taser stun gun” as any device that is battery-powered and either emits an electrical charge greater than 20,000 volts or emits an electrical charge sufficient to incapacitate another person.
Crimes Involving Possession of a Stun Gun
The Arkansas stun gun statute prohibits the possession of a stun gun by a person 18 or younger. The law further makes it criminal for any person to sell, give, or otherwise furnish a stun gun to a person 18 or younger.
(Ark. Code § 5-73-133)
A person 18 or under who purchases or possesses a stun gun is guilty of an unclassified misdemeanor, punishable by a fine between $500 and $1,000; the offense does not carry the possibility of jail time.
A person who provides a stun gun to a person 18 or younger is guilty of a Class B felony. Class B felonies can carry up to 20 years in prison.
(Ark. Code § 5-4-401)
A person who uses a stun gun to commit a felony involving a homicide, assault or battery, or domestic violence is subject to an additional prison term of one to ten years if the crime is committed in front of a child. Similarly, a person who uses a stun gun to commit aggravated cruelty to an animal in front of a child faces an additional sentence of up to five years in prison. Any such additional prison sentence must run consecutive to the sentence imposed for the underlying violent act. Furthermore, an offender serving an extended sentence is not eligible for parole or any type of early release.
For example, a person who uses a stun gun in Arkansas to assault a spouse faces a 20-year maximum prison term; however, if the couple’s 12 year-old child is present in the room where the assault takes place, the assailant faces a 30-year prison sentence.
(Ark. Code § 5-4-702)
Mandatory Training of Police Officers
The statute that prohibits possession by and sale to persons 18 and younger also requires that all law enforcement officers who use a stun gun must be properly trained. The law mandates that the training inform the officer of any risks of serious injury posed by use of the stun gun.
(Ark. Code § 5-73-133)
Defenses to Crimes Involving Stun Guns
A person charged with a crime involving a stun gun may raise the same types of legal defenses raised by people charged with committing violent crimes or possessing contraband.
For example, a defendant accused of committing a violent crime using a stun gun may argue that the use of the stun gun and any other force used by the defendant was done so in self defense. The prosecutor must prove to the judge or jury that the defendant was the aggressor and not acting in response to violence or threats of violence from the alleged victim.
A person 18 or under charged with possessing a stun gun may argue that the stun gun was not in the person’s legal possession. For example, the defendant's attorney may introduce evidence that another person had the opportunity to place the stun gun in the car and that the defendant had no knowledge of the stun gun’s presence in the car. Or, where a stun gun is found by police during the search of a 17 year-old’s car, the 17 year-old’s attorney may assert that the police lacked legal authority to search the car and that therefore the evidence should be excluded from the case.
Consult with an Attorney
If you are charged with committing a crime involving a stun gun, you should immediately speak with an attorney. A person charged with providing a person 18 or under with a stun gun faces the possibility of a substantial prison sentence. An attorney will evaluate your case and discuss possible defenses. An attorney is also experienced in guiding you throughout the criminal justice process. An attorney is essential to mounting a successful defense to criminal charges.