Stun Gun Laws in Arizona

You don’t need a permit to buy or carry a stun gun in Arizona, but there are limits on sales and use of these devices.

By , Legal Editor

Arizona doesn't regulate the possession of stun guns. However, the state does impose restrictions on authorized sales of Taser-type weapons, and use of a stun gun during a crime could result in stiffer penalties. Read on for details.

What Counts as a Remote Stun Gun Under Arizona Law?

Stun guns and Tasers are devices that can immobilize someone with an electrical current. Although some people (and state laws) use these terms interchangeably, they are different. Stun guns require direct contact to deliver a shock, while Tasers can either work from a distance (by shooting small probes) or on direct contact. Arizona laws on electric weapons apply only to "remote stun guns," defined as any device designed and used to incapacitate someone with an electrical charge, through either direct contact or wired probes, or through some other "conductive means." Tasers (a brand name that has become a popular term for these weapons) should fall under this definition. (Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 13-3117(E)(2) (2019).)

Arizona Restrictions on Sales of Remote Stun Guns

Anyone in Arizona can buy or possess a stun gun without a permit. However, it's illegal to sell remote stun guns for consumer use in the state without meeting all of the following requirements:

  • Stun gun dealers (other than secondary sellers) must require the buyer to show government-issued identification and must keep an accurate sales record with manufacturer.
  • The device's electrical discharge must less than 100,000 volts and less than nine joules of energy with each pulse.
  • The device must be equipped with identification numbers on all of the probes and a tracking system that disperses coded material (microdots like confetti), which can be traced to the buyer through the sales records on both the stun gun and the individual cartridges.
  • The manufacturer must offer a training program.

(Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 13-3117(A), (E)(1) (2019).)

Illegal Use of a Remote Stun Gun

It's a felony in Arizona to use or threaten to use a remote stun gun against an on-duty law enforcement officer.

State law also increases the penalties for certain crimes when remote stun guns are involved. For example:

  • Use of a remote stun gun during a felony is one of the aggravating circumstances the courts must consider when deciding whether to impose the maximum legal sentence.
  • If a stun gun is used during a crime in a way that makes it a "dangerous instrument" under Arizona law—meaning that it can readily cause serious injury or death—the defendant could face more serious charges, such as aggravated assault (a felony) rather than simple assault (a misdemeanor).

(Ariz. Rev. Stat. §§ 13-701, 13-704, 13-1204, 13-3117 (2019); State v. Gustafson, 311 P.3d 250 (Ariz. Ct. App. 2013).)

Look Out for Legal Changes

States can change their laws at any time. You can use this search tool to find the current statutes discussed in this article.

Getting More Information and Legal Help

Some Arizona local governments (including tribal governments) may have regulations on stun guns and Tasers that are stricter than state law. You may want to contact your local law enforcement agency or a local criminal lawyer with any questions about your legal right to own, carry, or use one of these weapons where you live. However, if you're facing charges for a crime that may have involved the use of a remote stun gun, you should speak with an attorney immediately. A qualified criminal defense lawyer can evaluate the facts in your case and develop strategies for defending against the charges.

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