ALBANY, N.Y. — New York state’s ban on personal ownership of stun guns is unconstitutional, a federal judge ruled Friday in the latest in a series of court decisions that have led to the loosening of restrictions on the weapons in several states.
The decision came in a lawsuit filed by Matthew Avitabile, of Schoharie County, New York, who said he wanted to buy a stun gun for self-defense in his rural upstate home.
His lawyers argued that New York’s longstanding ban on civilian ownership of stun guns violated the Second Amendment right to bear arms. U.S. District Judge David Hurd agreed.
“New York’s sweeping prohibition on the possession and use of tasers and stun guns by all citizens for all purposes, even for self-defense in one’s own home, must be declared unconstitutional,” Hurd wrote in his decision.
Illinois’ Supreme Court made a similar stun gun ruling Thursday, deciding in favor of two men charged with carrying the weapons.