Philadelphia to Legalize Stun Guns

In a unanimous vote by the Philadelphia City Council on Thursday, Pennsylvania’s largest city approved language for a new ordinance lifting a general 40-year-old ban on electronic weapons.

The adopted measure, Bill No. 170674-A, repeals Philadelphia blanket 1977 ban on “stun guns, also known as electric or electronic incapacitation devices,” and comes after a Second Amendment group pressed the city to remove the seldom-enforced law. A more narrow ban on possession of the devices by those under age 18, or selling them to minors, will take its place.

“It was easier for a child to purchase a stun gun than a cell phone in Philadelphia,” said Councilman Curtis Jones, Jr, a West Philadelphia Democrat and sponsor of the measure. “The prohibition of sales and possessions of stun guns [for those under 18] is a step in the right direction.”

For adults, stun gun sales and possession will now be governed by state law that allows for the exercise of reasonable force in defense of a person or the person’s property.

The Firearms Policy Coalition, who in April had attorney Stephen Stamboulieh contact the city about the ban and subsequently followed the repeal process, applauded the news.

“We thank Councilmember Jones for his leadership on this important issue,” said Brandon Combs, president of the coalition. “City of Philadelphia residents and visitors can now exercise their Second Amendment right to keep and bear these important arms for self-defense.”

Stamboulieh had made the city aware of the flaws in their Taser ban, citing the 2008 Heller decision as well as Caetano, a 2016 Supreme Court case directly concerning stun guns.

Since the Caetano case, a flood of lawsuits and pre-litigation letters has seen bans on the devices scrapped in Baltimore, New Jersey, New Orleans, Tacoma, Washington, D.C. and other cities. Litigation is pending in New York and Massachusetts.


  • Terry Butts

    So long as people are made to understand that like actual firearms these are only to be used in the same instance that regular firearm would have to be used to defend oneself.

    There are numerous medical and other conditions that can result in the use of a “STUN GUN” being lethal that is why even the manufacturers have stated they are only to be used as a potentially non lethal response where otherwise lethal force would be used.

    Many cities actually had to take these away from officers because to many of them seemed to think they were a TORTURE device to be used simply because someone did not instantly respond to their orders.

    This was BLATANTLY displayed on one of those camera shows that played the security video from one police station where the officer had a DRUNK handcuffed at the station he ordered the guy to stand or sit I forget which but the guy would STAY in the position ordered so the officer used his tazzer on him without being in fear of anything from the handcuffed man simply because he was to drunk to understand and obey the officers orders. What was even more (fill in your own adjective) is that the Hollywood individuals hosting it LAUGHED at the man as if he was at fault for being tortured and his life put at risk by the officer simply because he was to drunk to understand the officer.

    However if used as intended just like actual firearms they are tool that can be used to save lives in the event the intended victim has access to one and the knowledge of how to use one and when it is appropriate to do so.

  • Alan404

    Might the local government there next come to realize that in this part of the world, the month of Decemberis actually one of the winter months?