Post # 1
So by far the most unexpected gift I received for Christmas was…a stun gun! A childhood friend gave me this, probably because of a conversation we had where I described being harassed and feeling unsafe sometimes in NYC.
I’m hesitant to take it back to NYC with me, here’s what I’m thinking:
-It’s a class 4 misdemeanor in NYC. Aka it’s illegal, but not severely punishable. If I felt that it was my absolute best self-defense option, the legality issue is probably a risk I’d be willing to take.
-I think I’m actually safer with my pepper spray. I can use the pepper spray from far away and it isn’t complicated to use, and it’s unlikely someone could take it from me and use it against me. The stun gun has to be held against a potential attacker’s body, and I hope I’d never be that close to an attacker…if I was, I’d have to already have it armed and in my hand to use it, and even then an attacker could probably take it from me.
-My pepper spray is legal!
-The biggest one is I get a terrible mental image of Fiance somehow being hurt by it. Pepper spray is horribly unpleasant but doesn’t usually cause lasting damage, but a stun gun can in some cases be lethal. This is also why I prefer not to have guns in my home, the WHAT IF is too frightening for me.
What about you, bees? Do you own a self-defense weapon? Would you keep this one if it was given to you?
Post # 3
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
@PromiseRooster: If it’s illegal and you use it on an attacker, they can probably sue you and collect damages for any injuries they sustain from the stungun. A sucky outcome for just defending yourself. That alone would make me regift it or pawn it.
Post # 4
It seems like you have a lot of solid and reasonalble points as to why you do not need or want it, and no reason to keep it. Personally I would not. They are illegal where I live as well, so if I got one I woudn’t keep it. I would thank the gift giver but not mention that I didn’t keep it, and if they asked further explain that you appreciate the thought and care for your safety, but they are not legal in the city so you couldn’t keep it.
Post # 5
@PromiseRooster: Eh if it is illegal, I wouldn’t use it and run the risk of getting sued or something happening. I have pepper spray and that is good enough.
Post # 6
@PromiseRooster: It’s a class A misdemeanor that can get you up to a year in jail (yes, it’s “criminal possession of a weapon in the 4th degree,” but that’s not a 4th degree misdemeanor– it’s an A misdemeanor, A being the most serious). It’s penal law 265.01(1) if you want to google it.
Post # 7
@Kit_Kath: Good call. I have thanked here and I am genuinely grateful, it was an extremely thoughtful and creative gift!
Post # 8
I’ve carried a knife since the home I was brought up in got robbed in broad daylight. I still carry it even though I’ve moved to a safer area. You just never know. It’s less than 4″ (I think).
Post # 9
I would thank the person for the gift and keep it at home. I would be too nervous to carry an illegal weapon with me. I would worry that should I ever need to use it I’d wind up in trouble for having it on me.
I carry pepper spray on my keys and feel like that’s protection enough. I suppose my pocket knife counts as a self defense weapon… but I can’t imagine I’d reach for the little 3 inch knife before the can of spray. That and I’m not 100% on the legality of carrying a knife in my city.
Post # 10
@PromiseRooster: I carry a collapsable riot baton that I purchased when I lived in NY….for the right kind of person, that is the right kind of weapon to discourage further harrassment…but you can’t be afraid to get into it with someone.
Post # 11
I guess I’d keep it by my nightstand (I keep my pepper spray there after I had some nightmares about my downstairs neighbor lol) and stick with my pepper spray or a nice solid stick held in my fist (extra punching power!) Or the good ol’ keys to the eyes.
Post # 12
@HopefulForLittleOne: I did google it, yeah, but perhaps I misunderstood class A vs 4th degree. But I did find the same thing– no time to up to a year, potentially just a fine or community service or confiscation, reasonably easy to fight based on legality of searches etc…basically I don’t think that just carrying this particular self-defense weapon would result in my receiving the most severe punishment allowable by law, and if I really felt it was a necessary self-defense choice I would be willing to assume that risk…
But under the circumstances probably not worth it.
Post # 13
@Nona99: Thus confirming my already-held belief that you’re not someone to mess with 😉
Personally I feel I’d lose any fight I got into so I prefer the longest-range weapon I feel reasonably comfortable with.
Post # 14
@PromiseRooster: That makes sense…I think the key with self defense is finding something that works for you….everyone has a comfort zone and you have to operate within those parameters, so that should something bad happen…you’re able to function and take care of business.
Post # 15
I’m not sure what all the laws are in NY, because I live in GA. Is it possible to get a permit or license to carry it? Otherwise, I would leave it behind. The major downside to pepper spray is that you can’t fly with it. The major upside is that pepper spray is legal in all 50 states, so you can drive across state lines and not worry about legalities.
I personally have a gun that my Fiance gave me over a year ago. It’s nothing fancy, but it’s a good personal defense weapon. I have a permit that allows me to carry it with me pretty much wherever (with some exceptions). I grew up around guns because my father is a hunter and in law enforcement, and my Fiance loves marksmanship. So obviously guns aren’t something that make me uncomfortable.
I would like to advise you to make sure you replace your pepper spray a few months before it expires because those containers can puncture if they get too old (which is super unpleasant). I’d also like to point out that pepper spray can also be lethal to people with asthma, so be careful if you have asthma (and even if you don’t) and never spray it at someone upwind.
Post # 16
Pepper spray is not as effective as you think. My Fiance was a correctional officer in Florida and he has seen men barely flinch when gassed. If you are that worried about someone attacking you, you might want to look into self defense courses or look into getting a taser.