PHILIPPINES – Manila lawmaker wants to regulate sale of ‘stun guns’ (2010-08-15)

Published on August 15 2010 by admin

An administration lawmaker seeks to curb the importation, distribution and sale of electronic control devices (ECDs), or “stun guns” designed for use in law enforcement, private security and personal defense. No discussion yet of the police yet receiving tasers.

MANILA, Philippines – An administration lawmaker seeks to curb the importation, distribution and sale of electronic control devices (ECDs), or “stun guns” designed for use in law enforcement, private security and personal defense.

Cavite Rep. Elpidio Barzaga aired the call after a man was arrested for allegedly using a stun gun to try to subdue and kidnap the father of actress-singer Sarah Geronimo.

The suspect in the failed abduction of Delfin Geronimo allegedly tried to immobilize him with a stun gun and shove him into a van at the ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corp. compound in Quezon City, according to a police report.

“Our sense is, this early, it might be better for the authorities to impose some controls to prevent the potential misuse of ECDs, particularly by lawless elements,” Barzaga said.

He said that at the very least, users of ECDs should be required to undergo an extensive background check.

Barzaga said the sale and marketing of ECDs in the United States requires “responsible ownership,” noting that buyers of ECDs there have to complete an exhaustive background check, either online or via a toll-free number, before their devices are activated.

The most popular ECD in America, the Taser, was developed for use in law enforcement, military, corrections, professional protection and personal defense markets.

The Taser uses a “refined energy pulse” to quell highly aggressive individuals in confrontations with the police and similar situations.

The device transmits the electrical pulse along a wire and into a body, temporarily affecting the sensory and motor functions of the peripheral nervous system.

A less intimidating version of the Taser is also being sold to consumers in America and elsewhere, mainly for personal safety, much like the pepper spray.

More than 15,000 law enforcement agencies in over 50 countries have made initial purchases of these devices, developed by Scottsdale, Arizona-based Taser International Inc.

Barzaga has also been pushing for a wider closed-circuit TV (CCTV) surveillance web at major thoroughfares and key public places, to help fight crime and rigorously enforce traffic rules.

He said video cameras should compensate for the lack of police officers. The officer-population ratio now stands at 1:700, still a far cry from the ideal 1:500, he pointed out.

By Paolo Romero (The Philippine Star)

http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleId=602813&publicationSubCategoryId=65

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