ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — After months of debating gun rights and regulations, a new controversy in Maryland. Anne Arundel County took a bold step, allowing citizens to carry Tasers and stun guns.
Adam May has reaction from all sides.
Tasers and stun guns are allowed under state law but they’ve been banned in the most populated counties—until now.
Tasers are a popular and controversial tool used by police across the country. Now they’ll be for sale to the public next to assault weapons and handguns in Anne Arundel County gun shops. A new law will allow people to carry them around.
“Pretty much everywhere—restaurants, stores,” said Frank Loane.
Frank Loane owns Pasadena Pawn and Gun. He expects some will want Tasers, instead of guns, for protection.
“A lot of people are afraid of handguns but they want something,” said Loane.
But the new law has others outraged.
On Facebook, viewers wrote, “Exactly what we need, more weapons. Sarcasm.” and “Every good idea ends up being abused” and simply “Bad idea.”
Many law enforcement groups are also against expanding Taser ownership, fearing they can be used against police.
Councilman Derek Fink sponsored the bill, which was approved Monday night.
“They have concerns and they’re valid, but it’s the same concerns you’d have with a handgun and at the end of the day, guns are more dangerous with a Taser,” Fink said.
According to Amnesty International, Tasers are blamed for more than 500 deaths across the US since 2001.
County Executive Laura Neuman will sign the bill, saying “As a rape survivor, I’d like to think that having a self-protection device might save others from the trauma of a violent crime. Unfortunately for me and many others if you wake up in the middle of the night with a gun pointed at your right temple, neither a Taser nor a gun will protect you.”
Buyers will need to go through a background check, similar to purchasing a handgun.
Smaller, personal stun guns are also allowed under the bill.