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US: Law Criminalizing Stun Guns May be Violating the 2nd Amendment

On Monday, the Supreme Court accepted an argument of a Massachusetts woman who the law criminalizing stun guns may violate the 2nd Amendment.

In an unsigned, 2 paged decision, supreme court threw out the conviction of Jaime Caetano, a Massachusetts woman who argued that her prosecution for carrying a stun gun for the purpose of self-defence violated her constitutional rights.

Quoting its landmark 2008 ruling in District of Columbia v. Heller supreme court stated that “the 2nd Amendment extends … to all instruments that constitute bearable arms, even those that were not in existence at time of founding.”

The court stopped short of saying that the stun guns are completely protected under 2nd Amendment. Instead, the justices sent case back to Massachusetts’ highest court to review its earlier ruling against Jaime Caetano. That ruling declared the stun guns to be “unusual & dangerous” & noted that they did not exist when the 2nd Amendment was enacted.

On Monday, the Supreme Court’s ruling was “per curiam,” meaning it was issued summarily & without oral arguments.

But Justices Samuel Alito & Clarence Thomas, had written discretely to elaborate the dissonance between  Massachusetts law & the right to bear arms for the purposes of self-defense — & presumably would have gone further than their colleagues.

“Jaime Caetano’s encounter with her violent ex-boyfriend illustrates the connection between those fundamental rights,” wrote Alito. “By arming herself, Ms. Caetano was able to protect against a physical threat that restraining orders had proved useless to prevent. And, commendably, she did so by using a weapon that posed little, if any, danger of permanently harming either herself or the father of her children.”

Justice Samuel Alito continued: “Under the Massachusetts law, however, Jaime Caetano’s mere possession of stun gun that may have saved her life made her a criminal.”

“If the fundamental right of self-defence doesn’t protect Jaime Caetano, then the safety of all Americans is left to the mercy of state authorities who may be more concerned about disarming the people than about keeping them safe,” he said at the end.

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