The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) announced on Monday that a lower court’s decision to uphold Massachusetts’ ban on stun guns must be revisited.
SCOTUS pointed to District of Columbia v Heller (2008) and McDonald v Chicago (2010) as grounds for their decision. Both of those cases emphasized self-defense as a “central component” of the Second Amendment.
The decision comes in response to an appeal by Jaime Caetano, who was arrested in 2011 for carrying a stun gun in order to defend herself against “an abusive former boyfriend.” She was convicted of violating Massachusetts stun-gun ban, but appealed the decision in light of Heller. USA Today reports that the state’s Supreme Judicial Court ruled that stun guns were not covered by the Heller decision, and therefore allowed Caetano’s conviction to stand. SCOTUS is now remanding that case to be reheard.
Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito expressed frustration that the SCOTUS did not simply strike down the stun gun ban altogether. Alito wrote, “While less popular than handguns, stun guns are widely owned and accepted as a legitimate means of self-defense across the country. Massachusetts’ categorical ban of such weapons therefore violates the Second Amendment.”
Thomas and Alito claim SCOTUS made a “grudging” decision that allowed them to do something in light of Heller, without actually doing all that the Heller precedent justifies.
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.