Stun Gun Laws in Connecticut

Learn about Connecticut’s restrictions on possession and use of stun guns and Tasers.

As of July 2021, Connecticut allows people who are at least 21 years old to carry Tasers or stun guns outside their homes if they have a gun permit. Read on for details.

What Counts as an Electronic Defense Weapon Under Connecticut Law?

Connecticut law defines an "electronic defense weapon" as a device that can temporarily immobilize someone with an electronic impulse or current. This definition should cover both stun guns and Tasers, despite their differences. The legal definition previously excluded devices that could inflict death or serious physical injury, but that exclusion was removed from the law in 2021. (Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53a-3 (2021).)

Permit Required to Carry Stun Gun or Taser

It's a Class D or E felony in Connecticut to carry an electronic defense weapon on your person or in a vehicle unless you're 21 or older and you have a handgun permit or a gun eligibility certificate (which requires successful completion of a gun safety course). The permit requirement doesn't apply to on-duty peace officers or security guards. (Conn. Gen. Stat. §§ 29-28, 53-206 (2021).)

Illegal Possession of an Electronic Defense Weapon

It's a Class C felony to possess an electronic defense weapon in Connecticut—even in your own home—if you:

  • have been convicted of a felony, a serious juvenile offense, or a certain type of misdemeanor (such as stalking, third-degree assault, threatening someone with violence, or unlawful restraint)
  • are subject to a restraining or protective order (after notice) in a case that involved attempted, threatened, or actual violence
  • are subject to a firearms seizure order (after notice and a hearing) because you pose a risk of immediate injury to yourself or others
  • are addicted to or illegally using controlled drugs, or
  • have a certain history of mental illness (including a recent psychiatric hospitalization).

(Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53a-217 (2021).)

Illegal Use of a Stun Gun or Taser

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 (2021); 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.

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