TRENTON, NJ—Federal judge Michael A. Shipp issued an order stating that the state’s ban on “stun guns” is an unconstitutional violation of the Second Amendment to the US Constitution, and should no longer be enforced by the state.
The case, NJ Second Amendment Society & Mark Cheeseman vs. New Jersey Attorney General Christopher S. Porrino & Superintendent of NJ State Police Col Rick Fuentes, was considered to be a large win for supporters of the Second Amendment.
According to New Jersey Second Amendment Society President, Alexander Roubian, the society and other plaintiffs decided to bring this case forth after receiving a number of requests from their members, predominantly females.
““It is a massive victory for people in high crime areas, and women in general who feel that they should have this in order to have at least one form of protecting themselves,” said Roubian.
The challenge was partly inspired by the Supreme Court case of Caetano v. Massachusetts, which revolved around an incident where Jamie Caetano was arrested for illegally carrying a stun gun.
According to Oyez.org, “Caetano appealed and claimed her conviction violated her Second Amendment right to posses a stun gun in public for the purpose of self-defense, which was necessary to protect herself from her abusive ex-boyfriend.”
Ultimately, the court decided that when the Second Amendment was originally enacted stun guns were not common, however they are still included in the Second Amendments Protections.
After seeing this case, the Second Amendment Society of New Jersey felt it was necessary to bring this case forward.
Upon receiving the legal assistance of acclaimed pro-gun lawyer Stephen Stamboulieh, the plaintiffs were hoping that by doing this they could in fact lift this ban. Both Shipp, and Porrino agreed that the existing ban was in fact a violation.
The only concessions made in the ruling would prevent access to stun guns for:
- Individuals under the age of 18
- Those adjudicated mentally ill
- Individuals convicted of a felony
Many are looking forward to being able to own a stun gun to protect themselves.
Nonetheless some legislators are still pushing to make the new legislation just as difficult to obtain a stun gun as the original ban itself.
“I am cautiously optimistic that new jersey will not attempt to keep this ban in place,” added Stamboulieh.
While this is viewed as a win for those who want to protect themselves, some organizations were not pleased.
Executive Director of the Coalition for Peace, and Ceasefire New Jersey, Reverend Robert Moore currently does not have a strong stance on this issue.
They feel that any issue can be solved through non-violence, but also that if there was in individual who needed to protect themselves, loud whistles are a better option than weapons.
Currently, there is a 180-day stay in place while the state decides what to do to potentially replace the ban.
The office of Attorney General Porrino was contacted, but decided not to comment.
Charlie is the founder and editor of New Brunswick Today, and the winner of the Awbrey Award for Community-Oriented Local Journalism. He is a proud Rutgers University journalism graduate, a community organizer, and a former independent candidate for mayor of New Brunswick.