BALTIMORE (WJZ)– It’s the argument being made by some in Maryland to help overturn a ban on tasers and stun guns. The fight has made it all the way to federal court.
George Solis reports on the legal battle brewing on the issue.
Baltimore City, Howard and Baltimore Counties are named in the lawsuit. The push to overturn the longstanding electronic weapon ban has even reached the Supreme Court.
Wednesday, lawmakers took quick action to lift the ban currently in place, filing an emergency bill to lift it.
“We were already in effect putting legislation together to change it, but just last month a suit was filed against Howard County and other jurisdictions saying that this was is unconstitutional you need to get rid of it,” said Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman.
The federal lawsuit also names Baltimore City and County.
One of the main arguments cites a Supreme Court decision back in March that suggests electronic weapons should be protected under the second amendment. Though it does not flat out call a ban unconstitutional.
Howard County’s top official told WJZ police are currently not enforcing the ban.
It’s a victory for people like Leah Elizabeth who is one several involved in the lawsuit.
“The only people being punished are the law-abiding citizens,” Elizabeth said.
A victim of domestic abuse, she told WJZ after threats made against her life, she wanted the option to defend herself that didn’t have to necessarily involve using lethal force.
“You’re not going to stop a criminal from getting what they want, you’re just stopping us from protecting ourselves, and our lives are on the line,” she said.
Leah’s attorney spoke with WJZ by phone.
“We’re trying to get people a choice to use a taser or a stun gun for self defense in circumstances that warrant it,” attorney George Lyon said.
Howard County leaders will meet later this month to vote on whether or not repeal the ban.
Leah told WJZ she’s hopeful that Howard County repeals the ban. WJZ reached out to Baltimore County and City leaders who say they are not commenting on the pending lawsuit.
Anne Arundel County was the first in the state to ban stun guns, a decision they overturned back in 2013.