The City of Tacoma, Washington repealed their ban on the sale, use, and possession of “electronic arms”. This means that stun guns and, presumably, Tasers will now be legal to possess and use for self defense in that city. As legal scholar Eugene Volokh notes, this is just one of many repeals in recent months. The legal reason can be traced back to the Supreme Court’s decision in Caetano v. Massachusetts which found that stun guns were indeed covered by the Second Amendment.
Most of these cities would not have dropped their bans were it not for the Firearms Policy Coalition and their attorney Stephen Stamboulieh. They have been working their way through a list of municipalities with these sort of restrictions and have threatened lawsuits if the bans were not dropped. Mr. Stamboulieh, you may remember, was (unfortunately) an unsuccessful candidate for the NRA Board of Directors this year.
The FPC released the following on their win yesterday:
SACRAMENTO, CA (June 27, 2017) — Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) today applauded the unanimous repeal of Tacoma Washington’s ban on the sale, use, and possession of electronic arms.
Attorneys for FPC sent a letter to the Tacoma City Council on April 10, which warned that the group was ready and willing to sue based on solid case law if the city refused to repeal the ban.
Said FPC attorney Stephen Stambouleih, “As the Supreme Court noted in Caetano v. Massachusetts it “has held that ‘the Second Amendment extends, prima facie, to all instruments that constitute bearable arms, even those that were not in existence at the time of the founding.’”
As the latest municipality to repeal a ban, Tacoma was one of only a handful of municipalities nation-wide which still had an outright ban on possession and defensive use of electronic stun guns.
“The City of Tacoma did the right thing here,” said FPC President Brandon Combs. “Our staff and attorneys are already reviewing regulations in other cities and states for legal violations. By no means is our work done yet.”
“I think it’s obvious the city knew they would lose any court challenge and they wisely chose to repeal this law,” said Philip Watson, FPC’s Northwest region lobbyist and spokesperson. “We’re not done taking on bans on arms protected by the Second Amendment.”