U.S.A. – -(Ammoland.com)- “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 in light of Heller,” the David N. Hurd, United States District Judge for the Northern District of New York ruled Friday.
Hurd’s opinion was issued in the case of Matthew Avitabile, Plaintiff, -v- Lt. Col. George Beach, in his official capacity as Superintendent of the New York State Police, Defendant. Avitabile wanted to purchase a taser or stun gun for self-defense in his home, but “has yet to purchase either device because he reasonably fears prosecution under New York Penal Law … which criminalizes the civilian possession of any ‘electronic dart gun’ or ‘electronic stun gun.’”
Attorneys for the plaintiff, Alan Beck, and Stephen Stamboulieh, should be familiar to readers of AmmoLand Shooting Sports News. They both were instrumental, along with co-counsel Ryan Watson, in winning a judgment to overturn a similar ban in New Jersey in 2017. Additionally, Stamboulieh has represented this correspondent in numerous Freedom of Information Act Requests and lawsuits and provides counsel in a still-unfolding attempt to win an injunction to forestall ATF’s “bump stock” ban scheduled to “go hot” next Tuesday.
While ceding that “this conclusion does not foreclose the possibility that some restriction(s) on the possession and/or use of tasers and stun guns would be permissible under the Second Amendment” and that New York “might consider” adopting statutes similar to those in another state, Judge Hurd’s order was unequivocal:
- Plaintiff's motion for summary judgment is GRANTED;
- Defendant's cross-motion for summary judgment is DENIED;
- New York Penal Law § 265.01(1), as applied to “electronic dart guns” and “electronic stun guns,” is an unconstitutional restriction on the right to bear arms; and – 28 – Case 1:16-cv-01447-DNH-CFH Document 63 Filed 03/22/19 Page 28 of 29
- Defendant, his officers, agents, servants, employees, and all persons in active concert or participation with the New York State Police are hereby ENJOINED from enforcing New York Penal Law § 265.01(1) as applied to “electronic dart guns” and “electronic stun guns.”
The Clerk of the Court is directed to enter a judgment accordingly and close the file. IT IS SO ORDERED.
“We are delighted to vindicate our client’s Second Amendment rights and very pleased with the decision,” Stamboulieh said. “This opinion confirms that the Second Amendment applies prima facie to all bearable arms, as the Heller opinion stated. We will continue to fight against governments that seek to disarm their citizens.”
About David Codrea:
David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating/defending the RKBA and a long-time gun owner rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament. He blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” is a regularly featured contributor to Firearms News, and posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.