Updated: April 02, 2020

A stun gun is a great weapon to have to protect yourself. Because of how easy it is to use and how effective it is, this can literally save your life. It could be the very weapon you need to carry with you in an emergency situation.

While this is a great self-defense device, it is important to understand that some states restrict your ability to own such a device. Before deciding that you were going to buy one, it pays to know whether you have the legal right to own one of these devices are not. Understand that there are some restrictions, so knowing those can help keep you from wasting your money.

Where You Absolutely Cannot Have a Stun Gun?

While there may be some restrictions regarding ownership in some states, the reality is that there are a few out there that ban the ownership of stun guns altogether. These states include Rhode Island, Hawaii, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York.

It is also important to know that there are some states that allow you to own stun gun but cities within those states don’t. For example, it is legal to own a stun gun in Illinois, but you cannot own or possess one in Chicago. The same is true of Ocean City and Annapolis, Maryland and Ruston, Washington. You also are not allowed to own a stun gun in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In Baltimore County, Maryland you are also not allowed to own or use a stun gun. Crawford County, Iowa also bans stun guns. Where You Cannot Own a Stun Gun:

  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Rhode Island
  • Hawaii
  • Massachusetts
  • Chicago
  • Annapolis
  • Ocean City
  • Philadelphia
  • Baltimore County, Maryland
  • Crawford County, Iowa

Ownership with Restrictions

There are four states out there that allow you to own a stun gun, but there are few hoops you have to jump through. In Illinois you are required to own a firearm owners identification card to own a stun gun. This requires a certain amount of training and performance before you were able to receive the license.

Iowa also requires a permit to carry this device. It is very much like owning a firearm, where you may be required to take some classes. The same is true of Mississippi, Connecticut, and Indiana, where you are required to have a license.

In Michigan, there are quite a few more requirements than these. Not only are you required to go through training and receive a license, but there are several forms to fill out and you must receive approval from local law enforcement agencies.

In North Dakota, you are allowed to own and carry a stun gun. However, if you are carrying it concealed in your purse or pocket, you are required to acquire a concealed weapon permit. This is also true in Wisconsin. Failure to acquire such a permit can result in heavy fines and even jail time. Own with Restrictions:

  • North Dakota
  • Wisconsin
  • Mississippi
  • Connecticut
  • Indiana
  • Illinois

The Nation’s Capital. In Washington, D.C. there are some special laws. Because this is not a state, it acts on its own jurisdiction. Thus, the laws are a little different. It is legal for you to carry a stun gun in the nation’s capital, but you are not allowed to carry or possess such a weapon in a building that is owned or run by the city or federal government. Penalties for violating this law can be very severe, so it is important that the device is locked securely in your vehicle before you enter one of these official buildings.

Legal Everywhere Else

What this means is that there are roughly about 40 states where you are not required to have any kind of permit to own and carry a stun gun. You should be able to purchase a stun gun add local specialty shops, such as tobacco stores, or you can purchase one online.

While legal in these states, it is important to understand that there may be other restrictions. You may have to be at least 18 years old to be able to own or operate one. You may not be able to carry them into public buildings, such as schools or police stations.

Before deciding to purchase a stun gun it is important that you look into the laws regarding carrying an operating one of these devices. Just because the state is allowing you to purchase one doesn’t mean that there are not additional restrictions. Know the law.

Also understand that laws change. You may find that your city, county, or state government may impose different laws next year that are currently on the books this year. Check to make sure that you have the legal right to purchase one of these weapons, especially if you are purchasing online. You don’t want to have the device sent to you, only to find you are in violation of some law.

An Important Safety Note

One last important note for you. When you get your stun gun, don’t just stick it in your purse or jacket pocket and walk out the door ready to defend yourself. These devices require a little practice and expertise to be successful in using them.

Consider that to incapacitate a would-be attacker, they have to be in close proximity to you. The last thing you need is to be testing out your stun gun for the first time while someone is trying to rob or rape you.

Practice using this. Study and learn how to properly apply it to your attacker so that they are incapacitated. Know what it takes to get someone down and to keep them down. Practice taking it out of your pocket or purse so that you know how quickly you can get it out in an emergency situation.

This can be an incredibly effective device in protecting you in a dangerous situation. It literally could be the difference between you walking away safely and you never walking again. That means you should take the time to get to know your weapon.

Practice, learn, and practice some more. The more you do this, the more confident you are going to feel with your stun gun. That means you were going to be a lot more effective at protecting yourself when an emergency arises.

Derrick Irvyn

Derrick Irvyn

A passionate researcher and marketing manager. He made hundreds of reviews on various safety products for the last decade. He is fond of blogging and also likes to hear from the curious people about their experiences and opinions.

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