You Can Now Buy a Taser, Legally, in Downtown Rochester
The law that legalized the sale of Tasers went into effect Monday, and the Rochester-area is a hub for Taser sales and training.
On Monday morning, Tasers became legal to buy and use by those with a concealed pistol license in Michigan.
And of the 10 authorized Taser dealers in southeast Michigan, three are located in Rochester.
A Taser, also known as a stun gun, is a weapon that uses electro-muscular disruption technology to "shock" a person.
Under Michigan law, police officers can already use a Taser as a weapon. This spring, lawmakers made Tasers legal for licensed citizens to use in self-defense.
Under the law:
- You must have a CPL (concealed pistol license) to buy a Taser. The seller must verify the license.
- You must take training to use the Taser.
- You must not use the device except "under circumstances that would justify" the lawful use of force.
In other words, Tasers aren't toys — they are to be used in self-defense.
The law specfically legalizes the sale and use of the Taser C2, made by Taser International. It's described as a stun gun with a replaceable cartridge unit that fires two small probes connected to 15-foot wires.
The Taser C2 weighs 5.36 ounces and is said to "disable even the most aggressive subjects."
At Spy Shops USA, one of the three authorized dealers in downtown Rochester, it's $399.99
Kevin Poole is the manager at Spy Shops. He said the legislation was created with many checks and balances — the training and the background check, for example. Also, when you buy at Taser, you won't receive a code to activate it until you complete the necessary steps, he said. In addition, when the Taser is used, it shoots off small tags with the Taser's serial number on it so the shooter can be tracked.
"They're very specific about this," said Poole, who has been busy stocking his shop with the Tasers.
Poole said the safety features of a Taser make it something that may be an attractive purchase to area residents.
"We've had calls from people who are interested — they would rather carry a Taser than a handgun," he said. "Tasers are non-lethal, so that makes people more comfortable."
According to a report on MLive, Michigan now joins 44 other states that allow civilians to carry the electroshock guns.
"People with CPL licenses have proven that they respect the law and the responsibility that comes with the permission to carry weapons," said Rep. Goeff Hansen, R-Hart, the lawmaker who sponsored the bill.
"Adding a non-lethal option to the ways people can protect themselves is a step in the right direction for Michigan."
Dealers who violate the law are guilty of a misdemeanor and could serve up to 30 days in jail or a fine of up to $500. 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.