Tasers are legal for consumer use and ownership in 49 states, with the states of Hawaii, New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts being the most recent to authenticate the use of tasers by citizens. Rhode Island is the only state where taser purchase, possession, and use are illegal.
Keep reading to find what states tasers are legal in and to what extent the legality is applicable.
Thirty-three states and the District of Columbia allow citizens to own and use tasers without a license or permit. This does not mean that there are no requirements, however. All states have an age requirement. This is usually 18 years old but can be as low as 16 in some states like Florida. Additionally, no one who has committed a felony can purchase or own a taser.
States also want to ensure that tasers are used for self-defense only. Using them for any other purpose is not legal in any state. Additionally, anyone who has previously committed a felony cannot own or use a taser.
The remaining sixteen states allow tasers to be owned and used, but some restrictions exist. One of the most common restrictions is the need for a permit. Delaware, Kansas, Mississippi, North Carolina, and Wisconsin require a permit if the owner will conceal carry the taser.
Another popular restriction is to limit where tasers can be carried. Georgia, Kansas, New Jersey, North Carolina, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia all ban tasers from school property. Virginia also bans tasers in airports, courthouses, and busses, while the District of Columbia does not allow them in penal institutions and any DC-owned and operated buildings. North Dakota does not allow tasers in any establishments that serve alcohol or in any gaming halls.
Background checks are required to purchase a taser in Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, and Minnesota. This helps to ensure that those who have a felony record are not able to purchase a taser illegally.