There are a few states out there that have highly restrictive gun laws, and there, citizens often turn to alternate means of self-defense. Tasers are a great option, because they combine decent range and effectiveness with a generally less lethal mode of operation. When they work, they work really well.
Unfortunately, even tasers aren’t legal everywhere! Let’s look at Connecticut, a highly restrictive State when it comes to guns. Is it the same for tasers? Are tasers legal in Connecticut?
Yes, strictly speaking tasers are legal in Connecticut but highly restricted. You can only get a taser with an appropriate firearms permit, and keeping one on your person or in your vehicle without appropriate certificates is a harsh felony.
It turns out that tyrants greatly prefer to keep citizens disarmed, even from lesser weapons like tasers.
We definitely know how Connecticut feels about its subjects because obtaining a taser, and keeping it handy without turning yourself into a criminal is very difficult in the state.
There’s plenty you’ll need to know, so keep reading…
How are Tasers Classified in Connecticut?
Tasers are broadly classified as dangerous weapons in Connecticut, and subject to all of the same laws affecting every other item in that category.
But they’re specifically defined as electronic defense weapons, a term that the state statutes explain as a weapon which by electronic impulse or current is capable of immobilizing a person temporarily, including a stun gun or other conductive energy device. That definitely covers tasers…
Check out the relevant definitions below, and then we will move on.
Section 53a-3. – Definitions
(20) “Electronic defense weapon” means a weapon which by electronic impulse or current is capable of immobilizing a person temporarily, including a stun gun or other conductive energy device;
Section 53-206. – Carrying of dangerous weapons prohibited.
(a) Any person who carries upon his or her person any BB. gun, blackjack, metal or brass knuckles, or any dirk knife, or any switch knife, or any knife having an automatic spring release device by which a blade is released from the handle, having a blade of over one and one-half inches in length, or stiletto, or any knife the edged portion of the blade of which is four inches or more in length, any police baton or nightstick, or any martial arts weapon or electronic defense weapon, as defined in section 53a-3, or any other dangerous or deadly weapon or instrument, shall be guilty of a class E felony. Whenever any person is found guilty of a violation of this section, any weapon or other instrument within the provisions of this section, found upon the body of such person, shall be forfeited to the municipality wherein such person was apprehended, notwithstanding any failure of the judgment of conviction to expressly impose such forfeiture.
Are Stun Guns Legal in Connecticut?
Yes, but only barely legal in the same way that true tasers are. Stun guns fall under the precise Connecticut definition of “electronic defense weapon,” and accordingly they are categorized as a dangerous weapon under the state statutes.
You can see the preceding definitions for yourself.
Can You Carry a Taser Openly in Connecticut?
Yes, but only if you have a Handgun or Long Gun Eligibility Certificate, a Permit to Carry or Sell Handguns, or an Ammunition Certificate.
Any other carry of a taser on your person is a class E felony.
Can You Carry a Taser Concealed in Connecticut?
Yes, but as with open carry above, you may only legally carry a taser on or about your person or in a vehicle if you have a Handgun or Long Gun Eligibility Certificate, a Permit to Carry or Sell Handguns, or Ammunition Certificate.
Violating these restrictions is a class E felony if carried on your person, or a class D felony if it is knowingly carried in your vehicle.
Are there Age Restrictions on Taser Ownership or Possession?
Yes. Only people who are 21 years old or older may legally own a taser assuming that the device and the acquisition thereof is legal and you have all of the relevant permits or certificates as described in the previous sections.
What Do You Need to Do to Purchase a Taser in Connecticut?
If you want to even purchase a taser in Connecticut you’ll have to get one of several firearms related permits or certificates.
As described previously, this can be your Handgun or Long Gun Eligibility Certificate, a Permit to Carry or Sell Handguns, or your Ammunition Certificate generally.
Also, you can only legally be in possession of a taser if you aren’t a felon, a juvenile delinquent, an adjudicated “metal defective” or subject to a restraining- or firearms seizure order, among other things. 53a-217 has much more to say, see the partial list of disqualifiers below.
53a-217 – Criminal possession of a firearm, ammunition or an electronic defense weapon: Class C felony.
a) A person is guilty of criminal possession of a firearm, ammunition or an electronic defense weapon when such person possesses a firearm, ammunition or an electronic defense weapon and
(1) has been convicted of a felony committed prior to, on or after October 1, 2013, or of a violation of subsection (c) of section 21a-279 or section 53a-58, 53a-61, 53a-61a, 53a-62, 53a-63, 53a-96, 53a-175, 53a-176, 53a-178 or 53a-181d committed on or after October 1, 2013,
(2) has been convicted as delinquent for the commission of a serious juvenile offense, as defined in section 46b-120,
(3) has been discharged from custody within the preceding twenty years after having been found not guilty of a crime by reason of mental disease or defect pursuant to section 53a-13,
(4) knows that such person is subject to (A) a restraining or protective order of a court of this state that has been issued against such person, after notice and an opportunity to be heard has been provided to such person, in a case involving the use, attempted use or threatened use of physical force against another person, or (B) a foreign order of protection, as defined in section 46b-15a, that has been issued against such person in a case involving the use, attempted use or threatened use of physical force against another person,
Is Training Mandatory for Taser Ownership?
Yes. You’ll have to undergo the prescribed education and training to get any of the aforementioned certificates which are necessary for you to purchase, much less possess, your taser.
Kind of a raw deal if you have no interest in firearms and just want a taser, isn’t it?
Where Can You Carry a Taser in Connecticut?
Assuming you are legally entitled to carry a taser on your person or in your vehicle, you can carry it anywhere that you may legally possess a weapon.
In Connecticut, this is something of a minefield: you’ll have to pay close attention to any place where weapons are restricted from carry generally, and the businesses or institutions that bar weapons from the premises will likely have the law on their side.
Also, as usual, you should never take your taser into any government building, office or installation, including those at the municipal, state or federal level.
This includes military bases, the post office, and any other such institutions. Also don’t forget that you cannot take your taser into the secured area of any airport or seaport.
When Can You Use a Taser to Defend Yourself in Connecticut?
The only time you can use a taser to protect yourself in Connecticut is if you are in genuine fear for your life or fear of great bodily injury.
Using force against someone else, even in self-defense, is always serious business, but tasers are not like pepper spray: even that’s serious, but using a taser is far more so…
Tasers are not non-lethal weapons; they are less-lethal weapons, meaning less likely to inflict death or serious injury.
When you taze someone, there’s a non-zero chance that they will be seriously wounded or killed.
This means that deploying your taser is always a very serious act with very serious consequences if you get it wrong.
Criminal possession of a taser is bad enough in Connecticut, but using it in the commission of what turns out to be a crime is even worse.
Never use your taser as a joke, in response to an insult, or because someone is merely harassing you! There must be a genuine threat against you before you taze someone!
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