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.