Guinn signs stun gun law |

Guinn signs stun gun law

Appeal Capitol Bureau

Gov. Kenny Guinn signed AB123 on Thursday, which makes it a crime to illegally possess or use an electronic stun gun.

Individuals would still be allowed to buy stun guns for personal protection. The devices, which use electric shock to disable an attacker, have become more and more popular for women in particular as self-defense devices.

But AB123 makes it a Category B felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison to use a stun gun on any person except in self-defense.

And it prohibits those under age 18 from possessing or using a stun gun.

Stun guns were developed to temporarily disable a person or animal without causing permanent physical damage. But they are now available through the Internet and supporters of the legislation argued there were no rules governing the use of the devices and no penalties for misusing them. Experts testified some individuals can be seriously injured by the devices if they have health issues such as heart problems.

Ex-felons are also prohibited from owning or possessing stun guns under the new law as are illegal aliens, fugitives and those who have been adjudicated mentally ill.

All the violations listed in the bill except possession by a minor are felony counts. Juveniles in possession of a stun gun are, however, subject to jurisdiction and punishment in juvenile court.