[Pending Legislation] Regulating TASER use by Consumers in Texas
Many of you probably do not realize that there are TASER devices designed for use by private citizens. As a Department of Defense Non-Lethal Weapons instructor I have had the opportunity to learn more about the program, though I have have yet to have the opportunity to fire one.
Currently there is pending legislation in the Texas House of Representatives proposed by Representative Martinez Fischer of San Antonio. The goal of the legislation is to regulate the use of TASERs by non-law enforcement individuals much in the same way that the state regulates the concealed carry program. This has an impact on emergency management because it adds another dynamic of things to think about when conducting sheltering and resource control/distribution during a response scenario.
Consider if you will, you coordinated to have food, water and other necessities dropped off and distributed in the parking lot of your city’s largest retailer, “Big-Mart”. First question is, because it’s private property, who is going to be liable for something that goes wrong? Again, this is why we need legal counsel involved; however, lets go back to the main point. Someone wants more water than what is rationed out. They pull a TASER out and disable the person at the water control station. What do you do? What can you legally do? Do you allow your police to open fire on the individual? Is the city liable for the person having a TASER and inflicting intentional harm on the volunteer/employee at the water station (also known as a battery)? If police open fire on a person that has already expended their one and only shot with a consumer taser device, is it still a threat that needs to be responded with deadly force to?
All these questions and more could be answered by a legal counsel if they were brought in to the planning phase. I know it’s a pain to have a lawyer dump a ton more work on you, but it might be worth it in the end when you can avoid litigation and avoid litigation.
Read Rep. Martinez’s statement on the proposed legislation here: http://www.house.state.tx.us/news/member/press-releases/?id=1932
Checkout TASER International’s CEW’s for Consumer Self Defense: http://www.taser.com/products/self-defense-products