Felons who have not yet completed a sentence will typically have more restrictions on them when it comes to carrying weapons than those who have already done so. As a result, individuals who are currently on probation or house arrest may be limited to carrying only pepper spray or bully clubs. These restrictions are put in place in order to prevent felons from committing another offense before they have become rehabilitated.
Once a sentence has been adjudicated, prior felons are normally then free to own weapons such as tasers and stun guns. There could however, continue to be restrictions on carrying knives, especially for those who have previously been convicted of a violent offense. Knife laws for felons varies from state to state, so it can be a good idea to check state law before traveling to other areas.
Prior felons have the same right to defend themselves that ordinary citizens have, regardless of the fact that their gun rights may be restricted. As such, those who use a permitted weapon for protection would have the same defenses available to them under law as individuals without a criminal record.