The council passed the bill in order to comply with a federal court ruling that stun guns are included in the Second Amendment right to bear arms.
Pat Warren reports, Baltimore isn’t the only jurisdiction to reverse its ban against stun guns and tasers.
While stun guns have always been legal in state law, three local jurisdictions, Baltimore City, Baltimore County, and Howard County had banned them.
Baltimore City Council voted to reverse itself and legalize stun guns and tasers after a federal lawsuit was filed challenging the legality of the ban.
The challenge came after the Supreme Court ruled stun guns are included in the right to self-defense.
Not everyone thinks it’s a good idea.
“I don’t see the need for a regular citizen walking around would be to use a stun gun,” said City resident Ellie Mitchell.
“They’re weapons. I don’t think they should be allowed to buy guns either,” one man said.
Baltimore City, Baltimore County and Howard County all banned tasers and stun guns and Baltimore City is the last of the three to lift it.
The new law allows residents to possess and use an electronic control device as a form of non-lethal self defense in the home and in public.
The City’s regulation still prohibits possession of a stun gun by anyone who poses an unacceptable risk to public safety, including people under restraining orders for domestic violence and those who have been treated for mental illness.
City council voted 14 to 1 in favor of the new law. Brandon Scott, vice chair of the public safety committee, was the lone councilman to vote no.
“Who’s going to be doing the enforcement, who’s going to be setting the policy, regulations, making sure they’re being followed,” Scott said.
In Maryland most people can own and carry stun guns for self-defense without a permit, which some find troubling.
“I’m a parent, I have two children that are teens and I don’t think anyone should have any kind of thing that would harm them or harm other people without having some sort of permit or permission,” Alexa Corcoran said.
The justices said the Second Amendment applies “to all instruments that constitute bearable arms,” even those not in existence at the time of the founding.