stun gun

Law
5:03 pm
Wed June 27, 2012

Court says Michigan and U.S. constitutions include right to bear tasers

A handheld stun gun which discharges high-voltages to penetrate clothing, followed by low-voltages to cause Neuromuscular Incapacitation.
user Rama Wikimedia Commons

A court has ruled Michigan’s ban on private citizens owning Tasers and stun guns violates the right to bear arms that is protected in the state and federal constitutions.

Michigan’s ban on Tasers and stun guns will be relaxed come August. That’s when a new state law will allow people with concealed weapons permits to carry the devices. These cases date back to 2011 and 2010. A convenience store worker was arrested for carrying a stun gun on the job; another person was arrested in his home for possession of an illegal weapon.

The non-lethal devices rely on a surge of electricity to disable their targets. The Michigan Court of Appeals says the weapons are not sufficiently dangerous or unusual to be banned. The court did not address restrictions like Michigan’s new concealed weapon license requirements.

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Law
11:57 am
Wed June 27, 2012

Appeals court strikes down Michigan stun gun ban

user jasonesbain wikimedia commons

BAY CITY, Mich. (AP) - The Michigan appeals court says the state can't stop people from owning stun guns.

A three-judge panel at the court says the Michigan and U.S. constitutions allow people to bear arms. The court says a total prohibition on stun guns can't stand.

The decision released Wednesday involved cases from Bay City and Muskegon. In Bay City, a store employee was carrying a stun gun while he worked behind the counter. In Muskegon, a stun gun was seized from a man at his home.

A new Michigan law that takes effect in August would allow people to have stun guns if they also have a permit to carry a concealed weapon. That law was not at issue in the cases at the appeals court.

Crime
3:18 pm
Tue May 1, 2012

Michigan State University study claims stun guns cause more injuries

(courtesy of Guyism.com)

There’s a new study from Michigan State University that finds stun guns, when used by police officers, are more likely to cause injuries to civilians than previously believed.

Its becoming more common for police officers to carry stun guns. The weapons deliver a high voltage electric charge subduing combative individuals. The weapons are marketed as being ‘non-harmful’.    

But MSU criminologist Bill Terrill disagrees.

"It’s clearly not the case in our studies," says Terrill, "In fact, they have significant greater percentage of injuries when officers use a Taser as opposed to using other types of force.”

Steve Tuttle is a spokesman for Taser, the largest manufacturer of stun guns.  Pointing to other studies, he says the MSU study’s numbers are inflated. Tuttle says the type of minor puncture wounds and burns caused by most stun guns are hardly significant injuries.

"We would be seeing challenges in court if there were significant injuries from these and we’re not," says Tuttle.

MSU researchers also found police officers who use a stun gun to subdue an individual are half as likely to be injured as an officer who uses a different non-lethal method.