TRENTON, N.J. - (AP) -- A New Jersey man who wants a nonlethal way to defend himself and his family is suing the state, saying its law prohibiting private ownership of stun guns violates the Second Amendment.

Mark Cheeseman and the New Jersey Second Amendment Society filed a lawsuit Thursday in federal court in Trenton.

In court papers, Cheeseman said Taser International declined his order for a Taser Pulse model because the state bans the sale of such merchandise. Cheeseman said he wants the device to protect himself and his family.

He argues that a person who justifiably uses deadly force may be taken into police custody and have to defend his actions in court. He also could be sued and suffer psychological effects, he said.

The New Jersey Second Amendment Society said its members want to own stun guns for self-defense and other lawful purposes.

The lawsuit seeks to block the ban on private ownership of stun guns and have it declared unconstitutional and unenforceable.

The state law defines a stun gun as "any weapon or other device which emits an electrical charge or current intended to temporarily or permanently disable a person."

The Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution says, "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

Cheeseman referred a message seeking comment to his lawyer, who has not returned messages.

The state attorney general's office said it doesn't comment on matters involving pending litigation.