LANSING (WWJ) - The Michigan House has passed a series of bills allowing people with a concealed pistol license to carry a Taser for personal protection.
The legislation would allow licensed citizens to have consumer-grade stun guns, which only fire once and don’t have the range of police-grade ones.
WWJ Lansing Bureau Chief Tim Skubick said the legislation has overwhelming bipartisan support.
“On Thursday, 104 members of the Michigan house said ‘Yeah lets put these on sale. Yeah, lets let the individual gun owner have one of these.’ As you know, right now only the police officers are using Tasers. They say instead of using live bullets, use the Tasers to stop the crooks and so lawmakers are reasoning here ‘Why not allow the general public to do the same thing? It might actually save some lives,’” said Skubick.
Consumer-grade Tasers, which are legal in 44 states, cost about $400 and are the size of a small handgun. Also know as a Taser C2, it contains a single shot with a typical range of about 15 feet. That’s compared to police-grade Tasers which contain multiple shots with a maximum range of 35 feet.
Supporters say it’s a good, non-lethal alternative to handguns, but critics are concerned about the appropriate use of the weapons.
“Now there is an internal dispute going on as to whether these Taser guns are actually lethal, because in some cases they have killed people. But the sponsors of the legislation say there were ancillary reasons why these people died and it wasn’t the Taser’s fault,” said Skubick.
The bills now move to the full state Senate, which if passed would then advance to Gov. Rick Snyder for his consideration.