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Judge: Michigan’s Ban On Stun Guns Unconstitutional

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Stun gun. (Credit: Ethan Miller/Getty Images) FILE PHOTO

Stun gun. (Credit: Ethan Miller/Getty Images) FILE PHOTO

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BAY CITY (AP) – A local judge said Michigan’s law prohibiting possession of stun guns is unconstitutional in a decision that could lead to a state Court of Appeals review of the issue.

In an opinion Thursday, Bay County Circuit Court Judge Joseph K. Sheeran dismissed weapons charges against a 41-year-old Bay City man arrested for carrying a stun gun.

Sheeran says the ban violates the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which guarantees the right to keep and bear arms.

“Because the court finds that a stun gun is an arm under the Second Amendment, it likewise follows that states may regulate the ownership and possession in the same manner as any other arm,” the judge wrote. “However, this court holds that a total ban of stun guns … is unconstitutional.”

The case could lead to a decision by the appeals court on whether Michigan’s law is legal. Assistant Prosecutor J. Dee Brook told The Bay City Times he will ask for the opinion to be reviewed.

Dean S. Yanna was wearing the device on his belt for protection last June while working the night shift at Old Town Party Store in Bay City. Yanna’s court-appointed lawyer Kenneth M. Malkin said Sheeran’s ruling was an important decision for Second Amendment rights.

“I suspect the higher courts will end up making the ultimate decision,” Malkin said.

Yanna no longer works at the store. He has said he wasn’t aware of the law and his father in Texas had given him the stun gun.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

In an opinion issued Thursday, Bay County Circuit Court Judge Joseph Sheeran dismissed weapons charges against a 41-year-old man arrested for carrying a stun gun. Sheeran says the ban violates the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which guarantees the right to keep and bear arms.

Prosecutors say they will review the opinion.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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