Good News on the Second Amendment Front

And from New York!  Avitable v. Beach (N.D.N.Y., 2019).


Important points:

  1. Second Amendment protects possession of stun guns and Tasers.


  1. New York State argued that Tasers are not in “common use,” by comparing the number in private hands “to the relatively small number of civilian-owned machine guns that were sold prior to the 1986 federal ban on those weapons.”


  1. “Avitable argued that he preferred one of these electric weapons over using his rifles or shotguns because he would prefer not to kill in self-defense,  (A good argument–it shows he is humane.)
  2. In particular, the State argues Avitabile can use the shotgun and rifles he already owns or, if he finds those inadequate, he is welcome to purchase a handgun. Defendant further argues that if plaintiff has some legitimate objection to using lethal weapons, he can also purchase less-lethal ammunition or other non-lethal weapons, such as pepper spray.


  1. Oh yeah, New York State is arguing for handgun ownership.  Furthermore, New York’s restrictions on private ownership of pepper spray and having different limits on how strong it can be for police and civilians destroys the “pepper spray is an adequate alternative to electric weapons:” As Avitabile points out, though, law enforcement enjoys access to a much stronger formulation of pepper spray than civilians do. Thus, the State’s argument that pepper spray is an “adequate alternative” for self-defense purposes might make some sense if plaintiff in this case were seeking to possess and use law enforcement-strength pepper spray.

Clayton E. Cramer teaches history at the College of Western Idaho. His most recently published book is Lock, Stock, and Barrel: The Origins of American Gun Culture.

Click Here to buy a copy on Amazon.

Clayton Cramer

Clayton Cramer – Conservative. Idaho. Software engineer. Historian. Trying to prevent Idiocracy from becoming a documentary.

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