Taser Bill Back Up For Debate

By: Meaghan M. Norman Email
By: Meaghan M. Norman Email

You could soon be carrying a taser to keep yourself safe, thanks to a bill making its way through the state legislature.

A similar bill failed two years ago but this time, one lawmake says he has the power of the people behind him.

"I've been contacted by literally thousands of Michiganders that say 'Give me the option of carrying a taser," said Rep. Rick Jones.

Judy Hodges on Lansing is one of those people. She says she's always wanted to carry one and has been in situations where she believes a taser would have been helpful.

"I keep my cross, a Bible and Mace and Taser wouldn't hurt," said Hodges.

This is the second time Representative Rick Jones has introduced legislation to make it legal to carry a taser for personal use.

"We should be like 43 other states and allow you to have a taser," said Rep. Jones.

On Tuesday, a house commitee unanimously passed the legislation, which would treat a taser just like a gun; the same permits and restrictions would apply, as well as background checks.

"This device can only be used in defense of your life or in defense against rape, just like a pistol," said Rep. Jones.

But as Jones demonstrated two years ago by getting tasered, it's a non-lethal alternative. There are others, however, who believe tasers can be lethal and would get overused and cause more harm than good.

Lansing resident Bernie Gillaspie says people would not only overuse but misuse without thinking.

"[For example,] if you have a problem with a family member, these hot headed people would just tase you," said Gillaspie.

But Jones and Representative Goeff Hansen say the tasers are not programmed to be a toy.

"Every one has micro-coded confetti in it and everytime it's discharged, the micro-coded confetti comes out and it's readable by the police," said Hansen.

The bill still has a long way to go and a lot of people to persuade; but, Jones is confident that tasers ultimately will help make michigan safer.

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