GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — If you own a Taser or other stun gun, you could be committing a felony.
Under Michigan law, it’s illegal to have a Taser — out in the open or concealed — without a concealed pistol license. A Kent County court case aims to change that.
Attorney Andrew Rodenhouse with Rodenhouse Law Group is representing a Grand Rapids man who is looking at up to four years in prison for owning a Taser.
“He thought they were legal to own,” said Rodenhouse.
Rodenhouse says most people in Michigan have no idea what the laws are concerning Tasers and stun guns. The defendant he is representing was at York Creek Apartments in Comstock Park when police were called for a domestic dispute. When they found the Taser, the defendant was charged with possession of a Taser.
“There is nothing else. It’s just this one charge,” Rodenhouse said.
Michigan is one of only a few states that require a permit to own a stun gun or Taser. You need a concealed pistol license, even though the class to get a CPL doesn’t cover any training or laws concerning Tasers or stun guns.
“And in order to get your CPL, you have to use a firearm; you have to actually fire a firearm. And if you don’t like guns, you have to get over that hurdle to get your CPL … good luck with that,” Rodenhouse said.
It is legal in Michigan to open carry a gun, though you may not carry one concealed without a permit.
Rodenhouse is appealing the charge against his client, arguing that the statute requiring the CPL license to have a stun gun is unconstitutional because it violates the right to bear arms.
“Why would you be allowed to own or possess a pistol inside your home without a CPL but you couldn’t own a less lethal weapon in your home for self-defense purposes?” Rodenhouse said.
A judge could decide on the case as early as Friday. If the judge rules in favor of the defendant, it won’t change Michigan law, but Rodenhouse hopes that a higher court will agree and change the statute.