As of June 5, 2017, law abiding citizens of Marylanders are free to possess Tasers and stun guns. Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh signed the ordinance repealing the city’s ban in response to litigation by Arsenal Attorneys.
Arsenal Attorneys initiated its lawsuit, Baran v. Baltimore, in January against the City of Baltimore as well as the Maryland counties of Howard and Baltimore. Leah Elizabeth Baran, the lead plaintiff in the case, was nearly killed by a vicious attack by a former boyfriend, who has threatened to finish the job when he is released from prison. Ms. Baran wished to possess and carry a Taser for self-defense because Maryland’s restrictive policies make it too difficult to obtain a permit to carry a firearm.
Howard and Baltimore Counties promptly repealed their electronic weapons bans earlier this year after being served with the lawsuit. Initially Baltimore City expressed its intent to oppose the litigation and Ms. Baran’s right to self-defense. At the time, Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh said “we are not interested in folks acquiring Tasers or guns.” Apparently the strength of Arsenal Attorneys’ case reached the Mayor, and the very next day the City agreed to repeal its ban and end enforcement of its ban pending repeal. The city also agreed to pay Arsenal Attorneys’ reasonable lawyers’ fees and costs in bringing the lawsuit. On May 20, 2017, the firm received a check from the City of Baltimore in the amount of $24,900 in settlement of the suit.
Residents and visitors to Baltimore may now carry Tasers and stun guns in the city. Electronic weapons, however, are prohibited in schools and government buildings in Baltimore. Possession is also prohibited to persons suffering from a mental disorder with a history of violence to themselves or others or persons subject to a protective order.