Civilians in Connecticut are only allowed to have stun guns or Tasers in their homes—and some people aren’t allowed to have them at all. Read on for details
Connecticut law defines an “electronic defense weapon” as a device that can temporarily immobilize someone with an electronic impulse or current but is not capable of inflicting death or serious physical injury. For the most part, this definition should cover both stun guns and Tasers, despite their differences. Although people can occasionally be seriously injured (or even die) after being “tased” or stunned, the state’s laws on possession or use of electronic defense weapons also apply to dangerous instruments that are capable of causing death or serious physical injury under the circumstances in which they’re used. So a stun gun or Taser could potentially be considered a dangerous instrument, depending on how it’s used and the condition of the victim. (Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53a-3 (2019).)
It’s a Class D or E felony in Connecticut to carry a stun gun or any other dangerous weapon on your person or in a vehicle, unless you’re an on-duty peace officer or security guard. The penalties are more severe for having one of these weapons in a vehicle. (Conn. Gen. Stat. §§ 29-38, 53-206 (2019).)
It’s a Class C felony to possess an electronic defense weapon in Connecticut—even in your own home—if you:
(Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53a-217 (2019).)
Look Out for Legal Changes
States can change their laws at any time. (You can find the current laws discussed in this article on the Connecticut General Assembly's website by clicking on "Search the General Statutes.") In addition, court opinions may affect how laws are interpreted and whether they may be enforced.
It’s a misdemeanor in Connecticut to injure someone with an electronic defense weapon or any other dangerous instrument through criminal negligence. You can also be charged with a felony if you use a stun gun or Taser while committing another felony. However, Connecticut courts have found that you can’t be convicted for both criminal use of an electronic defense weapon and the underlying crime. (Conn. Gen. Stat. §§ 53a-61, 53a-216 (2019); State v. Hardy, 858 A.2d 845 (Conn. Ct. App. 2004).)
If you’ve been charged with a crime that involves stun gun or Taser, you should strongly consider speaking with a qualified criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.