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    As a former Deputy Public Defender in Riverside County, Mr. Donath has always been on the defense side of the law. 

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    Top 100 Trial Attorneys in California 2012-2014, 2008 Trial Attorney of the Year by the Riverside County Public Defender's Office, and dozens of other awards and accolades.

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What are the Stun Gun Laws in California?

Posted in California Law on March 2, 2022

Protecting yourself and your loved ones is vital now more than ever, and carrying a stun gun may be the safer way to do it. 

In California, it is legal to purchase, own, and carry stun guns in most places and situations, but do you know everything you need to know about these weapons to protect your rights and your family? We have gathered more details on the latest laws for you. 

How California Defines a Stun Gun

Stun guns, also known as tasers, are defined by the California legislature as hand-held devices with the power to temporarily immobilize someone with an electrical current shock. Stun guns deliver the electrical charge by direct contact. Tasers, on the other hand, are used from a distance, shooting electrified darts that are attached to wires. 

Regardless of the type, both devices temporarily paralyze the neuromuscular system of the target. They can either be used as self-defense or an offensive weapon as a temporary line of protection. If misused, however, stun guns can be dangerous for the operator and the target. 

Where are Stun Guns Allowed in California?

California has lighter restrictions than other states on the use and possession of stun guns; for example, people are allowed to conceal-carry them without a permit, since they are not firearms, in most places. 

There are state laws in place, however, that restrict carrying stun guns into these locations:

  • Government buildings (state or local)
  • Schools (anywhere on the property)
  • Airports beyond TSA checkpoints
  • Any secured passenger terminals (airports, harbors, or ports)
  • A meeting open to the general public (held in any venue)

Keep in mind that on-duty law enforcement officers are exempt from these location restrictions. Punishment depends on the location, but most misdemeanors are a maximum of one year in jail and/or $1,000 in fines. And if the targeted victim was part of the school staff or an on-duty police officer or firefighter, the punishment is increased.

California Laws on Who and Who Cannot Carry Stun Guns

Any California resident has the legal right to buy, own, carry, and use a stun gun for lawful self-defense without obtaining a permit. But there is state legislation enacted that prohibits them from someone who:

  • Has been convicted of a felony 
  • Has a prior conviction of an assault or misuse of a stun gun
  • Is addicted to narcotics
  • Is under the age of 16 or, if over 16, does not have a parent’s written consent

Any of these violations will result in a misdemeanor (jail time and/or fines). 

How You Can Defend Your Right to Carry a Stun Gun

If you have been involved in and charged with committing a stun gun crime in California, our team of criminal defense attorneys is prepared to fight for justice in your case.

Three common defense strategies we can discuss with you are proving to the court that you:

  • Have had no prior convictions
  • Did not have possession (not on your person)
  • Were the victim of an illegal search or seizure by a police officer’s failure to get a search warrant when necessary


Contact Graham Donath Law Offices today for a free consultation.