Spokane Leaders Concerned About Civilians Buying Stun Guns

SPOKANE, Wash. - Worried over the availability and ease of purchase, the Spokane City Council has the city attorney looking into exactly what the law says about stun gun use. When the attorney brings those finding to the council August 22, they'll decide what can be done, that could include stiffer penalties and even a limit on where stun guns can be sold.

Just the sound of one is intimidating and while these electronic devices are made to protect some people are concerned a stun gun can easily be used to harm.

"They are being sold all over town and not even in stores sometimes a lot of times they are on the streets being sold," Spokane City council member Bob Apple said.

Apple says that's causing people to look on the shocking devices as a mere source of entertainment.

"They can be very damaging and very deadly and these are not toys and that needs to be clear, very clear to the public," says Apple.

Apple brought the idea for stiffer penalties for stun gun misuse before the council at the public safety meeting on Monday. He says seniors at the Cop Shops around town are concerned that stun gun use on someone with a pace maker could be deadly. Apple also says teachers are concerned about students using the devices and bringing them to school.

Right now the city attorney is looking into exactly what the law says about stun gun use.

"There's not a specific law regarding Tasers in and of itself as a weapons system and that's how we from law enforcement community will look at it," Spokane Police spokesperson Jennifer DeRuwe said.

The police department says stun gusn fall under the category of any object used as a weapon.

"While a ball point pen may not be, on its face value, a lethal weapon certainly you can kill someone with it," DeRuwe said.

The council will now decide if that is enough.

"There needs to be stiff penalties in the law for misuse of these these sort of items," Apple said.

DeRuwe, however, said that the police department hasn't seen a significant issue regarding stun gun misuse.

There aren't any proposals or new ordinances on the table yet and the city council is waiting for more information before deciding to anything.