I this day and age, some states in the US are still bound to remain in tyrannical control of citizens’ lives right to the bitter end. Massachusetts is one such state, which never found a restrictive law or piece of legislation that it didn’t like. Long an infamous place when it comes to the civilian possession of various weapons, is it possible that you can have a taser in Massachusetts? Are tasers even legal in Massachusetts?
Yes, tasers are legal in Massachusetts but they are heavily restricted in the same way that firearms are. Tasers have their own definition in the state but they’re also classified as firearms and you’ll need a permit to even possess one.
I suppose that’s good news for people who are determined to get a taser in Massachusetts, but you’re still going to have to slog through odious regulations and red tape at every turn to get one, much less carry it. It isn’t good news, but at least it is possible. Keep reading and I’ll tell you what you need to know…
How are Tasers Classified in Massachusetts?
Under Massachusetts law, tasers are specifically categorized as “stun guns,” defined as any portable device or weapon that passes on electrical shock capable of incapacitating, injuring or killing via projectile, or direct contact.
But, if we look elsewhere in 140 Section 121 we find that stun guns themselves are under the definition of “firearm,” meaning any weapon of any type from which a shot or bullet can be discharged. Accordingly, stun guns are treated and categorized broadly in Massachusetts as firearms.
Read the exact text of the relevant definitions yourself below.
c.140 Section 121
“Firearm”, a stun gun or a pistol, revolver or other weapon of any description, loaded or unloaded, from which a shot or bullet can be discharged and of which the length of the barrel or barrels is less than 16 inches or 18 inches in the case of a shotgun as originally manufactured; provided, however, that the term firearm shall not include any weapon that is: (i) constructed in a shape that does not resemble a handgun, short-barreled rifle or short-barreled shotgun including, but not limited to, covert weapons that resemble key-chains, pens, cigarette-lighters or cigarette-packages; or (ii) not detectable as a weapon or potential weapon by x-ray machines commonly used at airports or walk- through metal detectors.
“Stun gun”, a portable device or weapon, regardless of whether it passes an electrical shock by means of a dart or projectile via a wire lead, from which an electrical current, impulse, wave or beam that is designed to incapacitate temporarily, injure or kill may be directed.
Are Stun Guns Legal in Massachusetts?
Yes, true stun guns, along with tasers, are legal in Massachusetts although the legal definition of these devices is interchangeable. That means even if you only want a stun gun you’ll have to go through all the same hoops that you would in order to obtain a genuine taser.
Can You Carry a Taser Openly in Massachusetts?
Yes, but only if you have the appropriate carry license for the taser or stun gun. You cannot openly carry a taser or stun gun without it.
Can You Carry a Taser Concealed in Massachusetts?
Yes, but once again you’ll have to have the appropriate firearms license to open carry a taser or stun gun in Massachusetts.
Now I have to point out that violating the weapon statutes, even with a taser or stun gun, is a substantial crime in Massachusetts, one that will see you charged with a serious felony and sent to prison for years. Read for yourself and 269 section 10 below, and note that there is a whole lot more in that statute you’ll need to read for yourself. I abbreviated it here.
c.269 Section 10
(a) Whoever, except as provided or exempted by statute, knowingly has in his possession; or knowingly has under his control in a vehicle; a firearm, loaded or unloaded, as defined in section one hundred and twenty-one of chapter one hundred and forty without either:
(1) being present in or on his residence or place of business; or
(2) having in effect a license to carry firearms issued under section one hundred and thirty-one of chapter one hundred and forty; or
(3) having in effect a license to carry firearms issued under section one hundred and thirty-one F of chapter one hundred and forty; or
(4) having complied with the provisions of sections one hundred and twenty-nine C and one hundred and thirty-one G of chapter one hundred and forty; or
(d) Whoever, after having been convicted of any of the offenses set forth in paragraph (a), (b) or (c) commits a like offense or any other of the said offenses, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not less than five years nor more than seven years; for a third such offense, by imprisonment in the state prison for not less than seven years nor more than ten years; and for a fourth such offense, by imprisonment in the state prison for not less than ten years nor more than fifteen years. The sentence imposed upon a person, who after a conviction of an offense under paragraph (a), (b) or (c) commits the same or a like offense, shall not be suspended, nor shall any person so sentenced be eligible for probation or receive any deduction from his sentence for good conduct.
Are there Age Restrictions on Taser Ownership or Possession in Massachusetts?
Yes. You have to be 21 years old to purchase, possess or carry a taser or stun gun in Massachusetts. No exceptions.
What Do You Need to Do to Purchase a Taser in Massachusetts?
If you want to even purchase a taser or stun gun in Massachusetts you’ll have to comply with all of the usual laws and regulations concerning firearms.
Find a local taser retailer in your area and consult with them for more information concerning the necessary permits and processes. Also, note that, in Massachusetts, you need to securely store a taser in the same way as a firearm, meaning it must be in a locked container at all times if it is not under the direct possession of the permit holder. And the permit holder is the only person that can have access to the container.
Is Training Mandatory for Taser Ownership?
Not necessarily, but it might be required for certain categories of firearms permit. 140 Section 131J notes that 140 sections 131K and 131P shall not apply to stun guns, even though the Secretary of Public Safety and Security can and shall promulgate regulations restricting access or the use of stun guns.
Where Can You Carry a Taser in Massachusetts?
There are many restrictions on where you can carry a taser in Massachusetts assuming you can carry it legally. Quarters, you cannot carry it anywhere in public without the appropriate permit, and even then you can’t carry it anywhere that has signage up barring weapons or firearms. Remember that tasers are considered firearms under Massachusetts law.
Accordingly, that means you can never carry your taser inside any sort of secured area or installation, into any government facility, office or property, onto the grounds of or into any school, and many, many other places.
Consult with a knowledgeable attorney in your area, because these laws change regularly in Massachusetts and local municipalities, specifically Boston, have their own laws and regs governing firearms and by extension tasers, if they don’t have laws regarding tasers and stun guns specifically.
When Can You Use a Taser to Defend Yourself in Massachusetts?
You should only ever use your taser or stun gun to protect yourself from a legitimate threat of death or great bodily injury. Misuse of a taser, in any other way and for any other purpose, is a severe crime in Massachusetts.
Tom Marlowe practically grew up with a gun in his hand, and has held all kinds of jobs in the gun industry: range safety, sales, instruction and consulting, Tom has the experience to help civilian shooters figure out what will work best for them.