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Calling for a Ban on TASER Guns, Until Independent Scientific Research can be Performed Regarding their Safety

WHEREAS, the TASER gun is a non-lethal electronic stun gun used by law enforcement officers to, among other things, temporarily disable suspects and unarmed citizens, with reduced incidence of injury and death; and

WHEREAS, according to the TASER gun's manufacturer, TASER International, more than seven thousand (7,000) police departments in the United States have purchased TASER guns; and

WHEREAS, the number of law enforcement officers and correctional facilities using TASER guns is rapidly growing; and

WHEREAS, since the TASER gun has enjoyed such widespread use, it has been used on school children, mentally disabled and elderly people, pregnant women, inmates, and restrained individuals; and

WHEREAS, no independent scientific study has been done to determine the side effects associated with the use of TASER guns; and

WHEREAS, this raises concern because research shows that the TASER gun has already been linked to over one hundred (100) deaths in the United States and Canada; and

WHEREAS, because of this, there is considerable debate regarding its safety, and it is unclear at this time what effect pre-existing medical conditions, officer misuse or other factors have on the rising death toll; and

WHEREAS, as a result, police departments in several states, including Florida, Ohio, Colorado and Oregon have either suspended or restricted the use of TASER guns by law enforcement officers; and

WHEREAS, other departments have suspended the purchase of additional TASER guns, and postponed plans for the widespread distribution of the guns to law enforcement officers.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the NAACP urges the use of TASER guns be banned.