Proos: Tasers are nonlethal self-defense

LANSING — Individuals with Concealed Pistol Licenses (CPL) would be allowed to legally carry Tasers under measures recently approved by the Michigan Senate, said Sen. John Proos.

“These common sense reforms are about public safety,” said Proos, R-St. Joseph. “Using a Taser is a nonlethal means for self-defense. Allowing someone who is already trained to carry a gun to use a Taser is a responsible policy that will enable the people of Southwest Michigan and our entire state to protect their families in the safest manner possible.”

Senate Bill 29 would allow CPL holders to possess and reasonably use an electro-muscular disruption device, commonly known as a Taser or stun gun. The legislation would also require authorized dealers to provide training to CPL holders on the use and risks of Tasers and restricts use of the devices to self-defense.

“Law enforcement officers in Michigan have been using Tasers for years,” Proos said. “This reform will expand our state’s CPL law to allow our most responsible citizen gun owners to use these nonlethal devices – with all the restrictions of a concealed weapon.”

Under current law, individuals who have been trained in the use of a Taser, such as law enforcement peace officers, are only allowed to use one while performing their official duties. Electro-muscular disruption devices are designed to stimulate the sensory and motor nerves to produce involuntary muscle contractions that can temporarily incapacitate a criminal suspect or attacker.

SB 30 would require CPL holders carrying Tasers on their person or in their vehicle to disclose this to peace officers. The proposed law would also prohibit qualified individuals from carrying the devices while under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances.

SB 93 outlines sentencing guidelines for violations, including up to 30 days in jail or a fine of up to $500 for dealers who violate SB 29. Individuals convicted of using a Taser for anything other than self-defense would be guilty of a misdemeanor and would face up to two years in prison and a fine of $2,000.

The three measures have been sent to the House of Representatives for further consideration.