taser

Washington, D.C., in recent years has lost a series of court decisions regarding guns, including the noted Heller decision in 2008 that affirmed the Second Amendment establishes an individual right to bear arms.

The Supreme Court decision was an earthquake in a district that had essentially forbidden concealed carry, banned the registration of all handguns, ordered that only registered guns would be allowed in the district and required owners to store their weapons at home unassembled or with a trigger lock.

With all the restrictions and regulations regarding weapon ownership, some would rather protect themselves with a nonlethal defensive tool, such as a Taser.

Sorry, Washington bans those, too.

At least for now, as a new lawsuit has been filed by lawyers representing Crystal Wright, Brandon Turner and Traci Dean challenging the district’s decision to mandate that “no person or organization in the District of Columbia shall receive, possess, control, transfer, offer for sale, sell, give, or deliver any destructive device” when those devices are defined as “intended to stun or disable a person by means of electric shock.”

The rule should be overturned, the case filed Tuesday by lawyer George L. Lyon Jr. of Arsenal Attorneys asserts.

This infallible argument for armed self-defense presents real stories of Americans fighting back against criminals – and surviving because they were armed. “America Fights Back: Armed Self-Defense In A Violent Age” is a must-read for anyone who has ever wondered if concealed carry can actually save and protect.

“Given the decision in Heller, the District of Columbia may not completely ban the keeping and bearing of arms for self-defense that are not unusually dangerous, deny individuals the right to carry arms in non-sensitive places, deprive individuals of the right to keep or carry arms in an arbitrary and capricious manner, or impose regulations on the right to keep and carry arms that are inconsistent with the Second Amendment,” the complaint against the city states.

Tasers, it explains, “are arms in common use for self-defense by civilians as well as by law enforcement.”

“Plaintiff Crystal Wright is an individual who is outspoken on political matters. She operates a blog on the Internet under the name ‘Conservative Black Chick.’ As a result … she has been threatened with physical harm. One person sent her an email saying that he intended to break into her home and bash her head in,” the court is told.

“She is ready, willing and able to use deadly force to defend herself and her home from a potentially lethal attack, if necessary and unavoidable.”

However, dangers remain, because a jury could second-guess a person’s decision to use force, including lethal force. Those who attack and survive a gunshot can bring civil claims.

“She is aware that she would be at the mercy of policy, prosecutors and jurors who will have weeks or months to second guess a decision to use deadly force made in seconds,” the complaint explains.

Wright, the complaint says, “would prefer to minimize the likelihood that she would have to resort to deadly force in the event she is forced to defend herself or her home from a violent criminal attack.”

She would like “to utilize a Taser for defense of herself and her home due to its proven effectiveness and its proven record of minimizing injury to suspects and/or assailants.”

But she can’t because of Washington’s ban.

Turner is in similar circumstances regarding the ownership and use of a firearm for self-defense.

“But for D.C. law, Mr. Turner would acquire, possess, carry and where appropriate use a Taser device to protect himself, his family and his home,” the complaint states.

Dean, the last plaintiff, has similar concerns.

“Dean would prefer where appropriate to utilize a Taser for defense of herself and her home due to its proven effectiveness and its proven record of minimizing injury to suspects and/or assailants.”

The city’s ban, on the other hand, “violates the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution, facially and as applied against the individual plaintiffs in this action.”

Washington’s “classification of Tasers as destructive devices is arbitrary and irrational and thus violates the due process clause of the Fifth Amendment to the United States constitution in light of the plaintiffs’ Second Amendment rights to arms for self-defense that are not unusually dangerous,” the lawyers allege.

At the Volokh Conspiracy legal blog, Eugene Volokh said, “I think it’s a very good explanation of why restrictions on Tasers are serious burdens on self-defense, even when handguns are legally allowed.”

The attorney handling the case, George Lyon, was one of the original plaintiffs in the Heller decision.

The case asks for a judgment that the labeling of Tasers as destructive devices is arbitrary, a ruling that the ban on possessing them violates the Constitution and an order preventing enforcement of the city’s existing bans.

This infallible argument for armed self-defense presents real stories of Americans fighting back against criminals – and surviving because they were armed. “America Fights Back: Armed Self-Defense In A Violent Age” is a must-read for anyone who has ever wondered if concealed carry can actually save and protect.

 

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