Action News 5 Investigates: Personal Tasers - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Andrew Douglas

Action News 5 Investigates: Personal Tasers

Police officers across the country have long used Taser guns to subdue suspects.  Now, police-issue Taser guns, that require hours of training, can easily be yours with no training whatsoever.

One such device is the consumer friendly Taser C2 model.  It doesn't look like a police-issue weapon, but it's just as powerful.

Taser markets the gun to women.  The company has a female host in a demonstration video, and you can even order it in pink.

Here's how it works:

  • Pulling the trigger breaks open a compressed gas cartridge inside the gun, building pressure behind the electrodes and launching them through the air.
  • When the small barbs grab onto an attacker's clothing, the current travels down the wires into the attacker, stunning him in the same way as a conventional stun gun.

We ordered a blue Taser on a Friday, and Monday it arrived.  All it took to activate was an online background check.  Reporter Andrew Douglas received no training, needed no permit, and was not made to sit through a waiting period.

When a user fires the C-2, small, confetti-like pieces of paper are ejected from the weapon.  The serial number of the Taser is written on each piece of paper, allowing law enforcement to track the owner of the weapon.

We showed the Taser to Chip Holland, who teaches a Taser training course in Memphis.  Holland has been shot with a Taser gun twice for training purposes.

"You can carry them into places you can't carry a firearm," he said. "Places that service alcohol...things like that...things like parks."

In fact, it is legal to carry a Taser in more than 40 states, include the Mid-South's tri-state area.  But are they safe?  Shelby County Sheriff Mark Luttrell told us they can be deadly.

"A Taser can be a lethal weapon," he said.
 
According to Luttrell, if you get a Taser, you're taking a huge risk legally.  It may protect you on the street, but could hurt you in court.
 
"The reality of it is, it does have the potential of being lethal," he said. "And when you start getting into that potential, there are a lot of liability questions that come up."     
 
It only takes a quick search online to find dozens of lawsuits surrounding the weapon and its use.


Click here to send an email to Andrew Douglas.
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