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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: January 4, 2019 03:50 PM
From: Representative William C. Kortz, II
To: All House members
Subject: Taser/Stun Gun Possession
Recently, a constituent of mine was pulled over on a routine traffic stop. As he reached into the glove compartment to fetch his documents, the officer saw that the compartment contained a Taser and immediately confiscated the device. Then the nightmare began.

The DA charged my constituent with violating Title 18 Section 908 unlawful possession of an offensive weapon. However, Title 18 Section 908.1 clearly lays out the parameters for possession of a Taser which includes carrying it for the purpose of self-defense as my constituent was doing. In addition he has concealed carry permit and a stellar record. None of this mattered as the DA pressed charges. My constituent hired an attorney at a cost of $1,500 to defend himself. At the District Magistrates office a deal was made to plead down to a disorderly conduct charge with a resultant fine of $300. He also lost possession of the Taser at a cost of $600. Total cost incurred was $2,400 and many sleepless nights.

I firmly believe that the laws governing which weapons Pennsylvanians can and cannot use for the purpose of self-defense ought to be as clear as possible. To this end, my legislation will clarify the legality of possessing and using a Taser or stun gun for the purpose of self-defense in Section 908 so this unnecessary ordeal will not play out again in Pennsylvania. The confusion that currently exists in this law must be eliminated.

Please join me in clarifying current law to ensure even-handed enforcement and to prevent innocent Pennsylvanians from being wrongfully arrested and convicted.

Introduced as HB585