Currently it is illegal to possess a stun gun in Baltimore, but this may become a thing of the past. On Monday, legislation was introduced during a City Council meeting that would allow a person to “possess and use an electronic control device as a form of non-lethal self-defense in the home and in public.”
However, the legislation would place restrictions on the use of the stun gun. However, a person who “poses an unacceptable risk of public safety” may not possess one of these devices.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Second Amendment extends to stun guns. In January, a federal lawsuit was filed by a group of area residents challenging local stun gun bans in Howard County, Baltimore County and Baltimore.
In response to the lawsuit, Howard County officials lifted its ban on stun guns. The Baltimore County Council previously voted to repeal its ban, as well.
At a lunch on Monday, Hilary Ruley, Baltimore law department chief solicitor, told City Council members that to avoid being fined by the federal court, they would have to work quickly on a bill to repeal its ban.
“We’ve put in this bill because the federal court has essentially asked us to,” she said. “If the bill doesn’t pass within 90 days, we’ll be hit with more than the $40,000 in attorney’s fees.”
The Baltimore law department wants to keep stun guns out of the hands of people with mental illness or under a protective order for domestic violence. The legislation will also push for a ban in public buildings and schools.
A hearing on the bill is set for May 2.