Most people in Pennsylvania can buy stun guns and Tasers without a permit. But the state's restrictions on gun ownership also apply to these weapons. And no one may use a stun gun or Taser for an illegal reason. Read on for details.
Stun guns and Tasers are hand-held devices that can temporarily immobilize or incapacitate someone with an electrical current. Stun guns require direct contact, while Tasers work from a distance by shooting darts attached to wires that transmit the electrical current. (Taser is a brand name that has become the popular term for these weapons.)
Pennsylvania law uses the term "electric or electronic incapacitation device" for both stun guns and Tasers.
Most Pennsylvanians may legally possess a stun gun or Taser without a permit. Unless you're a law enforcement officer, however, you may only use one of these weapons with a reasonable amount of force to defend yourself or your property.
You may not possess or use a stun gun or Taser if you are in the class of people prohibited from having firearms in Pennsylvania. This group includes those who:
(18 Pa. Con. Stat. §§ 908.1, 6105 (2019).)
Look Out for Legal Changes
You can use this search tool to find the full text of the Pennsylvania laws discussed here, including details on all of the crimes that would make you ineligible to possess stun guns or Tasers. Also, states can change their laws at any time, so it's always a good idea to check the current statute.
There could be local ordinances or regulations on stun guns and Tasers. If you have any questions about your legal right to own, carry, or use one of these weapons, check with your local law enforcement agency or a local criminal defense lawyer.
If you've been charged with a crime that involved the use of a stun gun or Taser, you should promptly speak with a qualified criminal defense lawyer who can explain how the law applies to your situation and any legal defenses that might be available to you.