January 9, 2007
It's called the Taser C-2, and it's intended to be in the pockets and purses of just about anyone.
The device proposes to be the best protection against an attacker by stopping a threat up to fifteen feet away and will work on any region of the body.
"It feels like someone has a jackhammer in your back," Charlottesville Lt. Gary Pleasants said.
Charlottesville police officers have been carrying the more powerful versions for years, but only after 4-hour training courses.
"The training goes into exactly how the device works, the components of it, how to operate it properly, things to not do with it that can make it dangerous or more dangerous," Lt. Pleasants continued.
But for the average civilian, the cell-phone size device can be yours in an array of colors after a quick on-line background check, and no training.
"Like any kind of weapon whether it be a firearm or any taser or anything else, people should know how to use it properly just so it's not used against them," Lt. Pleasants said.
So then will putting these high voltage guns in the hands of just anyone be a crime-deterrent, or more of a crime- initiator?
"If the right kind of people can get them, then it's a good thing, but criminals can get their hands on anything," Lt. Pleasants warned.
A spokesperson for Taser said the company has not released the voltage level the personal tasers will carry and won't be on store shelves until June. However, they are currently available only through the companies website.
As of right now, there is no law in Virginia that prohibits citizens from carrying personal tasers because they are not considered lethal weapons.