Lawsuit filed to challenge Rhode Island stun gun ban

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Marcus Thomas fires a Taser during training. U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman David Owsianka

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) – Two gun-rights advocates ask asking a federal court to declare Rhode Island’s ban on the sale and possession of stun guns unconstitutional on Second Amendment grounds.

The Providence Journal reports that Michael O’Neil, vice president of the Rhode Island Second Amendment Coalition, and Nicola Grasso, former president of the Rhode Island Federated Sportsmen’s Association, last month sued state Attorney General Peter Neronha and state police Col. James M. Manni in their official capacities.

The plaintiffs say in the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court that stun guns; Tasers, which shoot darts that deliver an electric shock; and other electric arms represent a non-lethal and effective way to incapacitate would-be assailants.

The state police declined comment. A spokeswoman for Neronha’s office did not immediately return an email seeking comment.