Federal judge agrees to repeal stun gun ban in Baltimore
BALTIMORE (WBFF) - An update regarding Baltimore City's ban on electronic weapons: the city filed an order Thursday effectively getting rid of that ban.
It has already been approved by a federal judge.
That order was filed Thursday morning and approved a few hours later.
"Residents and visitors to the City of Baltimore may possess and carry and use stun guns and Tasers for lawful self-defense," says George Lyon with Arsenal Attorneys.
Lyon represents six Maryland residents suing Baltimore City, Baltimore County and Howard County for the right to own the weapons for protection.
Howard County repealed its ban Tuesday night.
A federal judge signed off on Baltimore city's order Thursday - "so it now has the force of law," says Lyon.
"We are not interested in folks acquiring Tasers or guns," said Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh on Wednesday.
On Thursday, city attorneys filed the order to remove the ban.
The mayor sent a statement Thursday afternoon saying:
"With regard to litigation about the use of electronic weapons in Baltimore City, the city and plaintiffs have agreed to wait up to 90 days to allow for potential legislative action by the city which would remove the need to move forward with the lawsuit...The agreement keeps in place the ban on stun gun and Taser-type devices currently existing under state law, as well as prohibiting the possession of devices in a public school, state or city buildings, by persons suffering from mental disorders or persons subject to a protective order for domestic violence."
Lyon says that 90 day period will allow Baltimore to repeal its ban outright, though restrictions still apply.
"There are restrictions on carrying a Taser or stun gun in public school or in a city or state building," he says.
It would also be illegal for someone with a history of mental illness or violence to purchase the weapons.
There's also a clause in the order where the city agrees to pay the plaintiffs' attorney fees and costs.
Lyon says that number is in the five figures.
Maryland state law requires that a person be at least 18 years old and have a clean criminal background to purchase an electronic weapon.
If someone illegally possesses the weapons, they could face up to two months imprisonment and/or a fine up to $500.
If a person commits a violent crime with the weapons, it’s considered a felony and could result in up to three years imprisonment and/or a $5,000 fine.