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Thread: Can you open carry a TASER?

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    Can you open carry a TASER?

    I have been searching through google for days and have not come up with a definite answer on this. There are two questions I'm trying to find the answer to:
    • Is it legal to open carry a TASER in Texas? I see people open carrying pepper spray, I would think that is in the same league.
    • Is it legal to bring a TASER into a school or other gun-free-zone? Since Texas doesn't classify a TASER as a firearm (from what I've read) how does that apply?

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    Quote Originally Posted by adric22 View Post
    I have been searching through google for days and have not come up with a definite answer on this. There are two questions I'm trying to find the answer to:
    • Is it legal to open carry a TASER in Texas? I see people open carrying pepper spray, I would think that is in the same league.
    • Is it legal to bring a TASER into a school or other gun-free-zone? Since Texas doesn't classify a TASER as a firearm (from what I've read) how does that apply?
    As I recall, in Texas it is legal for non-LEOs to own/carry TASERs, but not with the projectile "probes" (which anyone not a Taser International marketing ********* would call a "dart" or "spear"). So if you aren't an LEO, go ahead and carry one of the touch-only TASERs, and then expect to be confronted by cops who feel compelled to take anything out of the ordinary as an apocalyptic threat. Do not, however, attempt to buy, let alone carry, a TASER with a projectile pack.

    No matter what you do, you have not the slightest protection against harassment and arrest. Whether you'll be convicted depends on the thickness of your wallet, largely regardless of the law.

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    I've seen the little one shot tasers with projectiles for sale in Texas.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PracticalTactical View Post
    I've seen the little one shot tasers with projectiles for sale in Texas.
    I've just been doing some searching, and can't find anyone specifically claiming that projectile TASERs are illegal. There may well be restrictions on air guns that would apply to projectile TASERs, however.

    I've remembered when and where I was told, in no uncertain terms, that it was illegal for a non-LEO to have a projectile TASER in Texas. It was a guy in the cigar shop at Preston and NW Hwy in Dallas. Does it come as a surprise to anyone that this guy was, himself, a cop? What kept the incident in my memory is that one of the people there asked him about his TASER, and he decided to show everyone what it looks like when you take the projectile pack off a TASER and engage it in touch mode. He didn't actually shock anyone, but I remember being disgusted by his eagerness to try to impress a bunch of guys at a cigar shop. Small wonder he foisted an apparent load of legal horses__t on his audience.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PracticalTactical View Post
    I've seen the little one shot tasers with projectiles for sale in Texas.
    I have as well in many stores that carry guns. I have asked and been told they are perfectly legal to buy, own, and even carry one. My internet research tends to suggest the same thing. However, I have never seen anyone open-carry a taser except for police. So that is the part that is questionable, as well as the federal Gun-free-zones such as schools.

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    I wouldn't feel comfortable carrying a taser into a school.

    Hey, but that's just me.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MilProGuy View Post
    I wouldn't feel comfortable carrying a taser into a school.

    Hey, but that's just me.
    Some schools I wouldn't feel safe going into WITHOUT a taser!
    A gun in a holster is better than one drawn and dispensing bullets. Concealed forces the latter. - ixtow

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    Quote Originally Posted by Badger Johnson View Post
    Some schools I wouldn't feel safe going into WITHOUT a taser!
    You know, I think you're right.

    Now that you've made me stop and think about it, East High School in Memphis is definitely one I wouldn't want to enter under any circumstances.
    Last edited by MilProGuy; 11-07-2011 at 04:28 PM. Reason: edited to change font color
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    Texas Penal Code Chapter 46 is completely silent on electrical devices.

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    Tasers aren't mentioned anywhere in Texas state law. Perfectly legal to carry them openly or concealed just about everywhere in the state. I don't know of any cities or towns which restrict them, either, but I can guarantee you any municipal building which searches for weapons or other contraband wouldn't let you in. Same thing with courts and courthouse, although that would fall under standing orders from a judge rather than law. And if you assault someone with it unlawfully, it would be considered a deadly weapon, but the same thing applies from a beer bottle to a ball-point-pen.

    Beyond that, they are a nice example of what ALL weapon law should be - you buy it with all the difficulty of buying a cheese sandwich, carry however and wherever you damn well please with no permission slip from Daddy Guvmint, and punish people who actually HURT PEOPLE with it rather than carrying it to defend themselves.

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    Quote Originally Posted by denwego View Post
    Tasers aren't mentioned anywhere in Texas state law. Perfectly legal to carry them openly or concealed just about everywhere in the state. I don't know of any cities or towns which restrict them, either, but I can guarantee you any municipal building which searches for weapons or other contraband wouldn't let you in.
    Yes, it's good to point out that while Texas law is silent on possession and carry of such devices, municipal code might not be. Unlike firearms, the state does not preempt all possession/carry law when it comes to Tasers, knives, etc.

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    Don't know. I would be very leery about it though, if a person is detained by a TASER-can you hope that there is a LEO near that can subdue that person? Don't think that you could use any type of restraints as a CIVILIAN-this would be the first question to ask!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cowboy_Rick View Post
    Don't know. I would be very leery about it though, if a person is detained by a TASER-can you hope that there is a LEO near that can subdue that person? Don't think that you could use any type of restraints as a CIVILIAN-this would be the first question to ask!
    Using an item for self defense, and using it to detain/restrain someone, are completely different. Opposites, in fact. The former is a case of "get away from me!", while the latter is "don't move!"

    Citizen's arrest is authorized in Texas. The means of seizing, detaining or restraining someone in order to take them before a magistrate isn't addressed in the law. You can do so with handcuffs, zip ties, lariat or piggin' string, gun point, or a Taser.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KBCraig View Post
    Using an item for self defense, and using it to detain/restrain someone, are completely different. Opposites, in fact. The former is a case of "get away from me!", while the latter is "don't move!"

    Citizen's arrest is authorized in Texas. The means of seizing, detaining or restraining someone in order to take them before a magistrate isn't addressed in the law. You can do so with handcuffs, zip ties, lariat or piggin' string, gun point, or a Taser.
    I prefer 90mph tape and a generous application of McDonald's special blend of (sue them for a million cause it's so dang hot) coffee. After I've had my cup, of course...

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    Quote Originally Posted by ()pen(arry View Post
    As I recall, in Texas it is legal for non-LEOs to own/carry TASERs, but not with the projectile "probes" (which anyone not a Taser International marketing ********* would call a "dart" or "spear"). So if you aren't an LEO, go ahead and carry one of the touch-only TASERs, and then expect to be confronted by cops who feel compelled to take anything out of the ordinary as an apocalyptic threat. Do not, however, attempt to buy, let alone carry, a TASER with a projectile pack.

    No matter what you do, you have not the slightest protection against harassment and arrest. Whether you'll be convicted depends on the thickness of your wallet, largely regardless of the law.
    You are incorrect. See https://legalbeagle.com/6508682-texa...sonal-use.html For more information. While some local police officers will errantly attempt to define a TASER as a firearm, the United States BATF has repeatedly stated that the current models available, even for law enforcement officers, ARE NOT firearms, because they don't employ an explosive charge.
    Last edited by bakertaylor28; 09-24-2018 at 08:29 PM. Reason: Edit link containing incorrect information.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KBCraig View Post
    Using an item for self defense, and using it to detain/restrain someone, are completely different. Opposites, in fact. The former is a case of "get away from me!", while the latter is "don't move!"

    Citizen's arrest is authorized in Texas. The means of seizing, detaining or restraining someone in order to take them before a magistrate isn't addressed in the law. You can do so with handcuffs, zip ties, lariat or piggin' string, gun point, or a Taser.
    Its NOT a good idea to use such laws. While Texas does recognize citizen's arrest, One must be careful to have "Probable Cause" that a person committed a felony or a misdemeanor which is a breach of the peace as requisite. Because of the fact that a judge will determine "probable cause" on a case by case basis, and because of the fact that most citizens aren't trained to know exactly what does and does not constitute a "felony" or a "misdemeanor which constitutes a breach of the peace" (the latter being especially a term of legal art), as well as not being trained as to exactly what you have to have to constitute "probable cause" in most cases it's a bad idea to make a citizens arrest absent a forcible felony such as attempted murder, felony battery, or rape, because of the fact you can be charged with felony criminal confinement and battery if a court of law later determines that you made a citizen's arrest without "probable cause" to arrest the person. Also worth noting, is that if you are sued, unlike the police, you ABSOLUTELY WILL NOT get "qualified immunity" against suit for excessive force and other constitutional violations that can easily accompany an otherwise lawful arrest, because citizens are barred from claiming "qualified immunity" as a matter of federal law. This means that you can also stand to loose quite a bit of money, even if a citizen's arrest is lawful.

    Also, the use of handcuffs and "arrest" are separate and distinct concepts under the case law- the term "arrest" means to deprive a person of liberty to answer for a criminal charge. A police officer can use handcuffs to "detain" someone for investigation prior to making an "arrest" for reasons of "officer safety", etc. A citizen, however, does not have the right to "detain" outside of an "arrest". Thus the use of handcuffs by a civilian will likely be charged as felony battery with a weapon. (because handcuffs are deemed a "weapon" in the common law.) Also, even though a citizen has a right to make an arrest, a citizen, once such an arrest is made, may not move the person arrested from the location of the arrest without having committed felony kidnapping by definition of statute. Essentially, if one makes a bad citizens arrest by not following the citizens arrest law to the T, then one will be likely be facing felony charges of their own.

    In summation, its a good idea not to make a citezen's arrest while in possession of a firearm, because of the fact that there are criminal enhancement charges where one comitts any felony offense while in posession of a firearm, and even if you shoot someone while making a citizen's arrest in "self defense", one could still face "felony murder" charges if one is found to have violated the citizen's arrest law in a manner that constitutes a felony. (felony murder law makes it first-degree murder to cause a death while in the commission of any felony offense, and notably, "self defense" is NOT a defense to felony murder).

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    The Supreme Court in Caetano v. Massachusetts, 577 U. S. ____ (2016) unanimously held that “the Second Amendment extends, prima facie, to all instruments that constitute bearable arms, even those that were not in existence at the time of the founding,” and that this “Second Amendment right is fully applicable to the States.”

    Caetano v. Massachusetts court found that a stun gun is a bearable arm. A Taser can also be used as a direct contact stun gun, allowing for close proximity self defense. What is the argument?

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    Quote Originally Posted by bakertaylor28 View Post
    You are incorrect. See https://legalbeagle.com/6508682-texa...sonal-use.html For more information. While some local police officers will errantly attempt to define a TASER as a firearm, the United States BATF has repeatedly stated that the current models available, even for law enforcement officers, ARE NOT firearms, because they don't employ an explosive charge.
    Welcome to open carry, tho posting to a seven (7) year olde thread while failing to meet forum rules of posting to authority, [and no, sorry, legal beagle doesn’t count as citing a legal authority] nor does your commentary about ‘BATF HAS...’ qualify!

    I did say welcome didn’t I?
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    Quote Originally Posted by bakertaylor28 View Post
    Its NOT a good idea to use such laws. While Texas does recognize citizen's arrest, One must be careful to have "Probable Cause" that a person committed a felony or a misdemeanor which is a breach of the peace as requisite. Because of the fact that a judge will determine "probable cause" on a case by case basis, and because of the fact that most citizens aren't trained to know exactly what does and does not constitute a "felony" or a "misdemeanor which constitutes a breach of the peace" (the latter being especially a term of legal art), as well as not being trained as to exactly what you have to have to constitute "probable cause" in most cases it's a bad idea to make a citizens arrest absent a forcible felony such as attempted murder, felony battery, or rape, because of the fact you can be charged with felony criminal confinement and battery if a court of law later determines that you made a citizen's arrest without "probable cause" to arrest the person. Also worth noting, is that if you are sued, unlike the police, you ABSOLUTELY WILL NOT get "qualified immunity" against suit for excessive force and other constitutional violations that can easily accompany an otherwise lawful arrest, because citizens are barred from claiming "qualified immunity" as a matter of federal law. This means that you can also stand to loose quite a bit of money, even if a citizen's arrest is lawful.

    Also, the use of handcuffs and "arrest" are separate and distinct concepts under the case law- the term "arrest" means to deprive a person of liberty to answer for a criminal charge. A police officer can use handcuffs to "detain" someone for investigation prior to making an "arrest" for reasons of "officer safety", etc. A citizen, however, does not have the right to "detain" outside of an "arrest". Thus the use of handcuffs by a civilian will likely be charged as felony battery with a weapon. (because handcuffs are deemed a "weapon" in the common law.) Also, even though a citizen has a right to make an arrest, a citizen, once such an arrest is made, may not move the person arrested from the location of the arrest without having committed felony kidnapping by definition of statute. Essentially, if one makes a bad citizens arrest by not following the citizens arrest law to the T, then one will be likely be facing felony charges of their own.

    In summation, its a good idea not to make a citezen's[sic] arrest while in possession of a firearm, because of the fact that there are criminal enhancement charges where one comitts[sic] any felony offense while in posession[sic] of a firearm, and even if you shoot someone while making a citizen's arrest in "self defense", one could still face "felony murder" charges if one is found to have violated the citizen's arrest law in a manner that constitutes a felony. (felony murder law makes it first-degree murder to cause a death while in the commission of any felony offense, and notably, "self defense" is NOT a defense to felony murder).
    Arrest may or may not be defined in any state's statutes. In MO, arrest is defined. Restraint in MO via the use of handcuffs, by a cop, is a arrest. There is no detainment in MO, under the law, which means that the cop safety canard does not exist in MO, under the law. Then there is what the courts will decide (interpret) based on their precedent.

    I have found no evidence to indicate if a citizen "detained" has pursued a legal remedy for being "falsely arrested: where the cop did/could not inform the defendant by what authority he acts.

    QI extends to cops making mistakes thus the use of the term immunity...Heien strengthened QI...abolish QI!!!

    QI is not needed if the cop is acting within the confines of any particular state statute or municipal code...nor would (should?) a citizen be prosecuted.
    "I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." - Thomas Jefferson.

    "Better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer" - English jurist William Blackstone.
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    Quote Originally Posted by solus View Post
    Welcome to open carry, tho posting to a seven (7) year olde thread while failing to meet forum rules of posting to authority, [and no, sorry, legal beagle doesn’t count as citing a legal authority] nor does your commentary about ‘BATF HAS...’ qualify!

    I did say welcome didn’t I?
    First off, I didn't cite legalbeagle as an authority, rather legalbeagle tends to independently cite its own legal authorities, which are quite numerous. Not only that, but legalbeagle is also written by people that have a license to practice law in the state, and therefore, it is quite credible, considering the definition of the practice of law in Texas. And regardless of the age of the post, people are still relying on it for information, therefore, information needs to be correct. But since you object to such, I will spell it out to be crystal clear: Notably, The term "Taser" or "Stungun" Doesn't appear in Texas Penal Code Chapter 46, et. seq. which sets out the definitions pertaining to illegal weapons. Texas Penal Code 38.14(2) defines a Taser as being a "stun gun", and the only other law that mentions such that I could locate after reading the Texas Penal code front to back was under the 38.14 statute which had to do with disarming a law enforcement officer.

    As for the comment on BATF policy, this is well known fact that anyone can look up. BATF defines firearm as a device that propels a projectile by means of an explosive charge. (see, e.g. 18 U.S.C. 921) and https://www.atf.gov/firearms/docs/ru...asers-firearms - Notably the early model of the TASER used an explosive charge, but this is no longer the case according to TASER international's website. The taser and the Paintball gun notably do not constitute "firearms" by means of federal pre-emption statutes, because of the fact that they employ compressed gas, as opposed to an explosive charge. This is based upon what is known as the "Supremacy clause" in the United States Constitution that says that the laws of the federal government control to the extent that they contradict state law- e.g. the states are prohibited from "defining" a firearm for purpose of second amendment law by reason of the 10th amendment, which says that the states may not encroach on the federal governments interstate commerce power. (or any other power for that matter.) Notably firearms are nearly always produced in interstate commerce. This should be basic constitutional law theory, for anyone that is interested in learning it.
    Last edited by bakertaylor28; 10-01-2018 at 04:12 AM. Reason: clarification

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    Quote Originally Posted by OC for ME View Post
    Arrest may or may not be defined in any state's statutes. In MO, arrest is defined. Restraint in MO via the use of handcuffs, by a cop, is a arrest. There is no detainment in MO, under the law, which means that the cop safety canard does not exist in MO, under the law. Then there is what the courts will decide (interpret) based on their precedent.

    I have found no evidence to indicate if a citizen "detained" has pursued a legal remedy for being "falsely arrested: where the cop did/could not inform the defendant by what authority he acts.

    QI extends to cops making mistakes thus the use of the term immunity...Heien strengthened QI...abolish QI!!!

    QI is not needed if the cop is acting within the confines of any particular state statute or municipal code...nor would (should?) a citizen be prosecuted.
    well the thing is flat out a citizen cannot, by definition, claim Qualified immunity, because the doctrine from it's inception has been restricted to government actors (i.e. the police)- thus it follows that citizens will never be able to have such an easy defense. The term "Detainment" actually takes root out of federal case law- See e.g. Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1 (1968). (which is binding precedent in MO, as it is in all states.) Notably, Terry and its progeny doesn't authorize a law enforcement officer to transport a person away from the place at which an officer finds an individual. Therefore, in essence the transport will generally tend to mark the difference between detention and arrest in that context. However, notably, the court has never extended Terry doctrine to the context of citizen's arrest or the like. Therefore, in essence if a citizen were to detain under the circumstances described in Terry, the judiciary is likely to see it as an "arrest".

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    Regular Member solus's Avatar
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    Ah yes, speaking of ‘actors’ we appear to have a player from the infamous Baker & Taylor Dallas law firm amongst us. One hopes Matt knows someone is using the firm’s name.

    And BT28, sorry, ‘legal beagle’ might suffice for those jurist(s) representing clients, but I personally wouldn’t take their website as meeting this forum’s cite to authority! Especially since there is a caveat at the bottom of LB’s site:

    The material appearing on LEGALBEAGLE.COM is for informational and educational use only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional legal advice.


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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by bakertaylor28 View Post
    well the thing is flat out a citizen cannot, by definition, claim Qualified immunity, because the doctrine from it's inception has been restricted to government actors (i.e. the police)- thus it follows that citizens will never be able to have such an easy defense. The term "Detainment" actually takes root out of federal case law- See e.g. Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1 (1968). (which is binding precedent in MO, as it is in all states.) Notably, Terry and its progeny doesn't authorize a law enforcement officer to transport a person away from the place at which an officer finds an individual. Therefore, in essence the transport will generally tend to mark the difference between detention and arrest in that context. However, notably, the court has never extended Terry doctrine to the context of citizen's arrest or the like. Therefore, in essence if a citizen were to detain under the circumstances described in Terry, the judiciary is likely to see it as an "arrest".
    I did not contend that non-cops could enjoy QI.
    QI extends to cops making mistakes thus the use of the term immunity...Heien strengthened QI...abolish QI!!! - OC for ME
    Then I stated that a cop would not need QI if he was following the law. Nor would a citizen. Although, a citizen in MO does have QI in some very narrow circumstances. Such as a retail business loss prevention officer "detaining" a suspected shoplifter.
    QI is not needed if the cop is acting within the confines of any particular state statute or municipal code...nor would (should?) a citizen be prosecuted. - OC for ME
    Perhaps you should review your state's statutes to determine what is defined as a arrest, if their is a definition. And to determine if there are any specific applications of QI for non-cops.

    Please review 4th Circuit's US v Black back in 2013. https://www.fedagent.com/columns/cas...ard-of-seizure

    SCOUTUS has not decided any such case as US v Black to my knowledge.
    "I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." - Thomas Jefferson.

    "Better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer" - English jurist William Blackstone.
    It is AFAIK original to me. Compromise is failure on the installment plan, particularly when dealing with so intractable an opponent as ignorance. - Nightmare

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