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View Full Version : Stunguns and Tasers; possession is legal, BUT...


Window_Seat
06-11-2011, 4:29 PM
In the CA law, it's legal to own, but it's not legal to use it, even if I'm defending myself, or can I? I can understand that the Legislature doesn't want us having taser parties where we all tase each other (bro), but I could not find anything in the law that exempts a person from prosecution who is using one for true self defense.

12651. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any person may
purchase, possess, or use a stun gun, subject to the following
requirements:
(a) No person convicted of a felony or any crime involving an
assault under the laws of the United States, of the State of
California, or any other state, government, or country or convicted
of misuse of a stun gun under Section 244.5, shall purchase, possess,
or use stun guns.
(b) No person who is addicted to any narcotic drug shall purchase,
possess, or use a stun gun.
(c) No person shall sell or furnish any stun gun to a minor unless
the minor is at least 16 years of age and has the written consent of
his or her parent or legal guardian.
Violation of this subdivision shall be a public offense punishable
by a fifty dollar ($50) fine for the first offense. Any subsequent
violation of this subdivision is a misdemeanor.
(d) No minor shall possess any stun gun unless the minor is at
least 16 years of age and has the written consent of his or her
parent or legal guardian.
12652. Each stun gun sold shall contain both of the following:
(a) The name of the manufacturer stamped on the stun gun.
(b) The serial number applied by the manufacturer.


244.5. (a) As used in this section, "stun gun" means any item,
except a less lethal weapon, as defined in Section 12601, used or
intended to be used as either an offensive or defensive weapon that
is capable of temporarily immobilizing a person by the infliction of
an electrical charge.
(b) Every person who commits an assault upon the person of another
with a stun gun or less lethal weapon, as defined in Section 12601,
shall be punished by imprisonment in a county jail for a term not
exceeding one year, or by imprisonment in the state prison for 16
months, two, or three years.
(c) Every person who commits an assault upon the person of a peace
officer or firefighter with a stun gun or less lethal weapon, as
defined in Section 12601, who knows or reasonably should know that
the person is a peace officer or firefighter engaged in the
performance of his or her duties, when the peace officer or
firefighter is engaged in the performance of his or her duties, shall
be punished by imprisonment in the county jail for a term not
exceeding one year, or by imprisonment in the state prison for two,
three, or four years.
(d) This section shall not be construed to preclude or in any way
limit the applicability of Section 245 in any criminal prosecution.


245. (a) (1) Any person who commits an assault upon the person of
another with a deadly weapon or instrument other than a firearm or by
any means of force likely to produce great bodily injury shall be
punished by imprisonment in the state prison for two, three, or four
years, or in a county jail for not exceeding one year, or by a fine
not exceeding ten thousand dollars ($10,000), or by both the fine and
imprisonment.



12601. (a) "Less lethal weapon" means any device that is designed
to or that has been converted to expel or propel less lethal
ammunition by any action, mechanism, or process for the purpose of
incapacitating, immobilizing, or stunning a human being through the
infliction of any less than lethal impairment of physical condition,
function, or senses, including physical pain or discomfort. It is not
necessary that a weapon leave any lasting or permanent
incapacitation, discomfort, pain, or other injury or disability in
order to qualify as a less lethal weapon.
(b) Less lethal weapon includes the frame or receiver of any
weapon described in subdivision (a), but does not include any of the
following unless the part or weapon has been converted as described
in subdivision (a):
(1) Pistol, revolver, or firearm as defined in Section 12001.
(2) Machinegun as defined in Section 12200.
(3) Rifle or shotgun using fixed ammunition consisting of standard
primer and powder and not capable of being concealed upon the
person.
(4) Pistols, rifles, and shotguns that are firearms having a
barrel less than 0.18 inches in diameter and that are designed to
expel a projectile by any mechanical means or by compressed air or
gas.
(5) When used as designed or intended by the manufacturer, any
weapon commonly regarded as a toy gun, and that as such is incapable
of inflicting any impairment of physical condition, function, or
senses.
(6) A destructive device as defined in Section 12301.
(7) A tear gas weapon as defined in Section 12402.
(8) A bow or crossbow designed to shoot arrows.
(9) A device commonly known as a slingshot.
(10) A device designed for the firing of stud cartridges,
explosive rivets, or similar industrial ammunition.
(11) A device designed for signaling, illumination, or safety.
(12) An assault weapon as defined in Section 12276 or 12276.1.
(c) "Less lethal ammunition" means any ammunition that (1) is
designed to be used in any less lethal weapon or any other kind of
weapon (including, but not limited to, firearms, pistols, revolvers,
shotguns, rifles, and spring, compressed air, and compressed gas
weapons) and (2) when used in the less lethal weapon or other weapon
is designed to immobilize or incapacitate or stun a human being
through the infliction of any less than lethal impairment of physical
condition, function, or senses, including physical pain or
discomfort.

So unless I used the less lethal device on someone to try to cause their pacemaker to short out, how could 244.5(d) stand up in the appeals process if the less lethal device was designed and used for the specific purpose of stopping a person without causing injury or death?

In 244.5, "stun gun" is not the same thing as a "Taser", so it says it's legal to "use" a stun gun (12651), but then 244.5 says it's a crime to use it. Or did the Legislature purposely allow us to use stun guns on inanimate objects because they thought we might find it "electrifying"?

The section then defines "stun gun" as "any item,
except a less lethal weapon, as defined in Section 12601, and then says "stun gun or less lethal weapon", as defined in Section 12601,
shall be punished...

Does 244.5 conflict with 12651 and 12601?

Anyone?

Is 244.5 too vague to pass the muster, or is it just me (I ate my sandwich, I just need the nap :p)?

And sorry for so much code workup, but it's all relevant (to me)...

Erik.

Librarian
06-11-2011, 4:55 PM
But in all cases the crime specified is Every person who commits an assault upon the person of another
Self-defense is not an assault.

Jack L
06-11-2011, 5:06 PM
I have two of them. I use the highest power I can buy (1 million to 4 million volts). One is 10" long so I can use it on pit bulls as well. Keep it held against an assassin for 4 -5 seconds and watch them melt to the ground doing the funky chicken.

http://www.hughessecuritysolutions.com/Stun_Guns_Stun_Master_4_5_Million_Volt_Baton_p/1stsm-minibaton.htm

leelaw
06-11-2011, 5:09 PM
Keep it held against an assassin for 4 -5 seconds and watch them melt to the ground doing the funky chicken.

I hope you're quoting a movie or something. Either that, or you don't really have any practical experience with stun guns or Tasers, other than... the movies.

Vipersx911
06-11-2011, 5:15 PM
I own the M-26c, upon buying it I verified the use and legalities with the Escondido Police Department via phone. They told me that since it is the version that fires the cartridges I must use a cartridge that only has the 15 foot accepted self defense distance versions. They also stated that since it is not defined as a firearm there is no concealed permit required for it. To reafirm the sections that you quoted, assault with a taser or stun gun is a crime. However using one for self defense in case of a forcible felony or other malicious misdemeanor is perfectly acceptable under California Law. The posession, carry, and use of one is considered lawful as long as it is used in a defensive manner. To use either of these types of technology in an offensive manner is considered assault as defined in the PC listed above.

Note: Some cities do have restrictions on use or carry for tasers or stun guns. Always check with your local law enforcement agency before carrying one of these on your person.

Jack L
06-11-2011, 5:20 PM
I hope you're quoting a movie or something. Either that, or you don't really have any practical experience with stun guns or Tasers, other than... the movies.

Come on over and let me place this againts your head. A stun gun is not a taser buy any means but it gets the point across.

Connor P Price
06-11-2011, 5:25 PM
Come on over and let me place this againts your head. A stun gun is not a taser buy any means but it gets the point across.

I think his point is that the electric impulse causes ones muscles to become completely rigid. There would be nothing resembling a "funky chicken" because the muscles tense up and the person simply falls to the ground.

Cokebottle
06-11-2011, 5:28 PM
I hope you're quoting a movie or something. Either that, or you don't really have any practical experience with stun guns or Tasers, other than... the movies.
+1

Back in college, my buddy's GF bought a stun gun because she didn't have to get a permit and take a class for it like she did with mace (this was before OC spray was available).

Buddy told her she made a mistake. She refused to believe him.
We set up a "test" for her... He told her "Rich will go after you, use that stun gun as directed and we'll see what happens"

I moved in, she nailed me square in the chest.
I knocked it out of her hand.
My buddy said "Had he actually been attacking you, you just REALLY pissed him off"

She said "Oh, the batteries must be dead" and she popped my buddy in the thigh... his leg folded.

An actual taser? I have no desire to mess with one, but stun guns?
Toys that make a lot of money for MLM people.

leelaw
06-11-2011, 5:35 PM
I think his point is that the electric impulse causes ones muscles to become completely rigid. There would be nothing resembling a "funky chicken" because the muscles tense up and the person simply falls to the ground.

No, the point is that I think his complete knowledge of electronic control devices is based off the movies.

leelaw
06-11-2011, 5:37 PM
Come on over and let me place this againts your head. A stun gun is not a taser buy any means but it gets the point across.

Do you always expect your "assassins" to hold still for "4 -5 seconds?"

A stun gun causes localized pain, not a debilitating effect. Try it sometime.

Jack L
06-11-2011, 5:37 PM
I own the M-26c, upon buying it I verified the use and legalities with the Escondido Police Department via phone. They told me that since it is the version that fires the cartridges I must use a cartridge that only has the 15 foot accepted self defense distance versions. They also stated that since it is not defined as a firearm there is no concealed permit required for it. To reafirm the sections that you quoted, assault with a taser or stun gun is a crime. However using one for self defense in case of a forcible felony or other malicious misdemeanor is perfectly acceptable under California Law. The posession, carry, and use of one is considered lawful as long as it is used in a defensive manner. To use either of these types of technology in an offensive manner is considered assault as defined in the PC listed above.

Right on. My CCW classes suggested owning a quality taser. They cost as much as a quality handgun.

During my career I watched a lot of bad guys get sprayed by SO and found out at close range under controlled conditions it worked pretty good, not 100%. If a bad guy is really non compliant, you need the taser or industrial size cans of spray like the COs have. Last week my dog was attacked by a pit bull. I already knew from experience, those small containers of spray do not cut it at all as the pit bull is to focused on the attack. I needed a stun gun. A cattle prod is good too because it's longer. I found out that if I was not going to shoot the dog, I need to neutralize it fast and a high quality stun gun, cattle prod or the bear spray does that well but you have to get right in the conflict. If the dog starts to bite you, you can shoot it ( I have a CCW). In this case it was $400 vet bills and I went up to the owner and he was shaking in his shoes thinking he was next. I told him I was going to the vet and I'd be back with the bill. He agreed as he owns a house next to my mother and could not very well disappear easy. My wife works at the command center and there seems to be a number of dog attack calls on dogs as well as humans these days.

see attachments. regardless of what the product info says, if you can hold the stun gun againts a head, that is a zapper. If the shirt is off, the heart area, and the groin is good too. Best to go for skin, not clothes.

Connor P Price
06-11-2011, 5:48 PM
No, the point is that I think his complete knowledge of electronic control devices is based off the movies.

Fair enough.

Tasers work great. Stun guns make great fun for prodding your friends in the hamstring with at parties.

Vipersx911
06-11-2011, 6:12 PM
Right on. My CCW classes suggested owning a quality taser. They cost as much as a quality handgun.

During my career I watched a lot of bad guys get sprayed by SO and found out at close range under controlled conditions it worked pretty good, not 100%. If a bad guy is really non compliant, you need the taser or industrial size cans of spray like the COs have. Last week my dog was attacked by a pit bull. I already knew from experience, those small containers of spray do not cut it at all as the pit bull is to focused on the attack. I needed a stun gun. A cattle prod is good too because it's longer. I found out that if I was not going to shoot the dog, I need to neutralize it fast and a high quality stun gun, cattle prod or the bear spray does that well but you have to get right in the conflict. If the dog starts to bite you, you can shoot it ( I have a CCW). In this case it was $400 vet bills and I went up to the owner and he was shaking in his shoes thinking he was next. I told him I was going to the vet and I'd be back with the bill. He agreed as he owns a house next to my mother and could not very well disappear easy. My wife works at the command center and there seems to be a number of dog attack calls on dogs as well as humans these days.

They do run around $499 for the M-26c or $999 for the X-26c. They have 50,000 volts and the amperage although I dont know it off hand is not designed to be for pain compliance. How a taser works is that its frequency of operation immobilize the Central Nervous Systems impulses and seizes the individual up. They do hurt like H*** however they are extremely effective even for the most tough individuals as they are not pain compliance. I would recommend one to anyone who is interested in a less than lethal means of defending themselves. Also something that people dont realize is that without the cartrdge they can be used as a stungun, which will have the same debilitating effect.

Jack L
06-11-2011, 6:16 PM
Fair enough.

Tasers work great. Stun guns make great fun for prodding your friends in the hamstring with at parties.

Try their eye sockets or their groin (if their clothes are off). If the shirt is off keep it on their heart area until battery goes out. Give us an update on how long they laughed.:D

Connor P Price
06-11-2011, 6:26 PM
Try their eye sockets or their groin (if their clothes are off). If the shirt is off keep it on their heart area until battery goes out. Give us an update on how long they laughed.:D

It would appear your only experience with hand to hand combat comes from the movies as well.

Think about how the arms are positioned on the human body, then consider how easy it would for an attacker to deflect your arms as your tried to press a stun gun to any of those targets. As far as holding it on their heart area until the battery goes out, unless the person is asleep on their back when you start, its just flat out not going to happen.

The only way you would be able to accomplish either of those scenarios is if you were able to significantly overpower your attacker. Something to the effect of you being a well muscled 6'4" 240lb male and your attacker being a relatively small female. Be honest with yourself, criminals don't prey on people that can overpower them, so that's not going to happen.

leelaw
06-11-2011, 6:35 PM
see attachments.

I did. I laughed.

http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/attachment.php?attachmentid=101973&d=1307840975

"assassins"

"Depenging"

"or any other major organ" considering that the skin is considered the largest organ of the body

leelaw
06-11-2011, 6:36 PM
Also something that people dont realize is that without the cartrdge they can be used as a stungun, which will have the same debilitating effect.

Negative. Even Taser's training literature states that in order for what they call "neuro-muscular incapacitation" (that debilitating effect) to occur, there must be a spread between the contacts of 4 or more inches, with a greater effect being felt the larger the spread is. Using the contacts at the front of the device will cause localized pain only.

Jack L
06-11-2011, 6:39 PM
It would appear your only experience with hand to hand combat comes from the movies as well.

Think about how the arms are positioned on the human body, then consider how easy it would for an attacker to deflect your arms as your tried to press a stun gun to any of those targets. As far as holding it on their heart area until the battery goes out, unless the person is asleep on their back when you start, its just flat out not going to happen.

The only way you would be able to accomplish either of those scenarios is if you were able to significantly overpower your attacker. Something to the effect of you being a well muscled 6'4" 240lb male and your attacker being a relatively small female. Be honest with yourself, criminals don't prey on people that can overpower them, so that's not going to happen.


Your scenario sounds like a healthy muscle bound psycho killer or a super aggressive male. What about a slow moving drugged out stooge or drunks, or females (or dogs)? Easy to use a product like this when appropriate. They are great and work excellent for what they are.

I would recommend this for anyone wondering what all the fuss is about and if they in fact kick ***. Or go one up and buy a taser

http://shocknawestunguns.com/

Kid Stanislaus
06-11-2011, 7:17 PM
+1

Back in college, my buddy's GF bought a stun gun because she didn't have to get a permit and take a class for it like she did with mace (this was before OC spray was available).

Buddy told her she made a mistake. She refused to believe him.
We set up a "test" for her... He told her "Rich will go after you, use that stun gun as directed and we'll see what happens"

I moved in, she nailed me square in the chest.
I knocked it out of her hand.
My buddy said "Had he actually been attacking you, you just REALLY pissed him off"

She said "Oh, the batteries must be dead" and she popped my buddy in the thigh... his leg folded.

An actual taser? I have no desire to mess with one, but stun guns?
Toys that make a lot of money for MLM people.



What power stun gun was she using?

Jack L
06-11-2011, 7:19 PM
Some funny stun gun hits with the older less powerful units.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XAHDd-JRoBA&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PfO_sUH-Rhk

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ig-pfC5sAMc&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nSPyljev-4U&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H2R-T904RwM&feature=related

vintagearms
06-11-2011, 7:23 PM
I hope you're quoting a movie or something. Either that, or you don't really have any practical experience with stun guns or Tasers, other than... the movies.

And the sad thing is he has a CCW. :eek:

Cokebottle
06-11-2011, 8:12 PM
What power stun gun was she using?
Whatever was available in 1982. She said it was the strongest one they had. It used four AA batteries and was about the size of two packs of smokes not including the contact head.

She took it back that afternoon and signed up for the mace class.

Our point to her was that it will be effective on some people, ineffective on others, and some people won't even feel it.
Hydration level, overall skin resistance, etc... It is completely unpredictable.

That was not my only encounter with stun guns.

A couple of years later, we were partying on my buddy's boat and one of the mall security guards (mall was at the marina) came by for a beer.
I felt what felt like two needles in my thigh. Looked around and said "WTF was that?" The guy held the stun gun up, hit the switch, and it completed the arc. He said the same thing... "Batteries must be dead" and popped the guy next to me. It dropped him.

At that point, it became a shooter game... who could handle the stun gun and whoever couldn't had to drink.
Of the 10 people on that boat, the stun gun dropped 4 of us and 3 were completely unaffected.

Seeker
06-11-2011, 9:37 PM
I own the Taser C2 (http://www.itaser.com/product_tour.html). its pretty sweet. Haven't had to use it on anybody, yet.:D
PLUS, you can use it in scenarios where a using a gun would get you into legal trouble. 'nuff said.

Cokebottle
06-11-2011, 10:07 PM
PLUS, you can use it in scenarios where a using a gun would get you into legal trouble. 'nuff said.
No... use of a taser falls under the exact same guidelines as the criteria for a "good shoot" in a self-defense situation.

A taser can be just as deadly as a gun.

thebronze
06-11-2011, 11:33 PM
No... use of a taser falls under the exact same guidelines as the criteria for a "good shoot" in a self-defense situation.

A taser can be just as deadly as a gun.

Fail.

Librarian
06-11-2011, 11:58 PM
Fail.

I don't think so.

There is an argument in many of the taser-associated deaths that an underlying physical condition might be the actual cause of death, but use of taser -- > death is not unknown.

BJS has a study, http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/pub/ascii/ardus05.txt , Increasing number of arrest-related deaths involved the use
of tasers or other conducted-energy devices

Conducted-energy devices (CEDs), such as stun guns or tasers,
were involved in 36 arrest-related deaths reported to DCRP
during 2003 through 2005. In about half of these deaths (17),
the CED was reported as the cause of death. In the remaining
19 deaths, the use of a CED was indicated, but it was not
reported as the cause of the death. *** Among medical and law
enforcement experts, the ability of CEDs to cause a death is a subject
of debate. Due to reporting gaps these 36 cases do not represent a
complete count of all deaths in which the use of a CED was involved.***
The involvement of CEDs in arrest-related deaths increased from 3 deaths
in 2003 to 24 in 2005.

Every type of arrest-related death was reported among the 36
deaths involving the use of CEDs. The most common cause of
death was intoxication (10), followed by accidents (8), and
homicides by law enforcement (7). One death was attributed to
illness and another death was a suicide. In 9 cases where
CED-use was reported, a cause of death could not be
determined.

USDOJ has a June 08 study www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/222981.pdf which concludes tasers are not especially dangerous if properly used (but it doesn't include numbers - a surprise.)

The Taser folks, being sensitive to accusations, maintain a library of info on the use of CEDs at http://www.taser.com/research-and-safety/research-library.

Summary - deaths associated with tasers and other electrical compliance-encouraging devices are rare, and disputed in many cases, but evidence suggests sometimes there may be a causal relationship.

So "A taser can be just as deadly as a gun. " is not incorrect. (ETA but might reasonably be followed by " but probably won't be".)

Dreaded Claymore
06-12-2011, 12:31 AM
Your scenario sounds like a healthy muscle bound psycho killer or a super aggressive male. What about a slow moving drugged out stooge or drunks, or females (or dogs)? Easy to use a product like this when appropriate. They are great and work excellent for what they are.

I would recommend this for anyone wondering what all the fuss is about and if they in fact kick ***. Or go one up and buy a taser

http://shocknawestunguns.com/

Yeah, because women are all sissies who will faint if you use a stun gun on them. Sure.

Anchors
06-12-2011, 5:01 AM
Do you always expect your "assassins" to hold still for "4 -5 seconds?"

A stun gun causes localized pain, not a debilitating effect. Try it sometime.

My friends and I bought two 500,000 volt stun guns when we were younger and all lived together.
We would stun gun each other all the time for "fun" (until they disappeared or got thrown away because it was getting too serious).

It doesn't hurt that bad, but in my experience it caused all of us young, healthy, adult males to clench up and fall to the ground without so much as breaking our fall with only a second or two of juice. That is pretty debilitating.

Then again, we got back up immediately afterward, so unless you really stay on top of someone with those things it probably isn't a great self-defense tool.