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Tasers now Legal for Civilians

On May 7, 2010 Michigan law limited the use of electroshock devices (tasers) to law enforcement and correction officers, licensed private investigators and private security, and air craft pilots. On May 8, 2012 Governor Snider signed a new bill making the carrying of tasers by civilians, legal; and causing Michigan to join 43 other states that allow citizens to carry tasers.

The process is similar to obtaining a concealed carry weapons permit. The Taser Citizen Defense Fact sheet outlines taser's reporting, registration and tracking system, their comprehensive SSN identification, and criminal background search for felonies and verification of age and identity of citizen purchasers.

The civilian taser is slightly different from law enforcement tasers. Both, civilian and law enforcement, tasers rely on compressed gas to shoot two probes connected by wires to its target and emit confetti marked by serial numbers to identify its owner. However, civilian tasers use cartridges with a 30 second discharge that extends 15 feet for one-time use, where law enforcement tasers use cartridges with five second bursts that extend for 35 feet.

Although it is now legal in Michigan to carry a taser, by permit, the use of a taser, for civilians, is a defensive measure. First aggressors that use a taser may still be charged regardless of having the permit to carry. Charges may range from simple Assault to manslaughter if the victim dies and self defense or defense of other laws do not apply. 

Assault is a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment up to 93 days, and/or a fine up to $500.00.

Manslaughter is a felony punishable by imprisonment up to 15 years, and/or a fine up to $7,5000.00.

If you have been charged as a result of you carrying a permitted taser, it is imperative that you retain an experience defense attorney who can protect your interests and present a solid defense.

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