Professor Volokh Quoted in Multiple Outlets on Stun Gun Law

December 1, 2014 – Professor Eugene Volokh is quoted in the Associated Press, Boston Globe and WBUR-90.9 FM, Boston's public radio station, about Massachusetts' Supreme Judicial Court being asked to decide whether a state law that prohibits private citizens from possessing stun guns infringes on their right to keep and bear arms. In an unusual twist, the court is also being asked to examine whether the Second Amendment right to defend yourself in your own home applies in the case of a homeless person, the Associated Press article states.

Massachusetts is among only five states that ban stun guns and Tasers for private citizens, said Eugene Volokh, a constitutional law professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, who has written extensively about Second Amendment issues. The devices are used by law enforcement agencies around the country.

A ban in Michigan was overturned in 2012 after the state appeals court ruled that a total prohibition was unconstitutional under the Second Amendment and the Michigan Constitution.

Volokh said the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms for self-defense "necessarily includes the right to do so outside one's home."

"Given that the Second Amendment secures a right aimed in large part at self-defense, we have to recognize that often people need to defend themselves in public," Volokh said. "So it's especially important that people have some useful device that would be effective in defending themselves outside the home."

Read the article.

Professor Volokh was also quoted in the Boston Globe about the case.

Massachusetts is one of five states that prohibits the possession of stun guns or Tasers by private citizens, said Eugene Volokh, a law professor at the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law.

In 2012, a court in Michigan struck down a stun-gun ban, and lawmakers in Wisconsin have repealed a law outlawing their possession, Volokh said.

He said stun gun bans can be “perverse” because they take away a less lethal form of self-defense.

Read the article.

Professor Volokh also was interviewed for WBUR-90.9 FM.