The Cell Phone Stun Gun – One More Reason for the Police to Shoot You

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One of our favourite industry offbeat news sites, Mike Elgan’s The Raw Feed, recently alerted us to this choice little gem: a stun gun that is made to look like a cell phone.

Now, on first blush, you may think that it’s very clever to carry a disarming weapon which is disguised to look like a common everyday device, a cell phone.


But perhaps you haven’t considered this:

Right now, if you go waving a cell phone at the police, they may think that you want them to call you and negotiate, or that you are surrendering, but unwilling to let go of your cell phone. Or maybe that you are crazy.

Reach for your cell phone and they may think that you want to call your lawyer.

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But they aren’t likely to think that you are threatening them with a weapon.

With the advent of stun guns which look like cell phones, however, all bets are off.

Approach an officer with your cell phone in hand, perhaps looking for directions, and you may risk getting shot.

 

Think it can’t happen?

By way of example, do you know how many people have been shot by the police for having a toy gun in hand?

It’s enough of a problem that in 2003 the state of New York sued Wal-Mart for selling toy guns that were not obviously enough toys. Because so many people were being shot by the police for carrying a toy weapon.

“In August 2002, a Brooklyn man holding a toy gun was shot and killed by police. In March 2000, two Brooklyn teenagers carrying toy guns were shot and killed by undercover detectives. In August 1998, a 16-year old Brooklyn boy waving a toy gun while riding a bicycle was shot by police and seriously wounded. In January 1997, a 26-year old Long Island woman was killed by a police officer who believed the toy gun she was carrying was real.”

So the state sued Wal-Mart for selling guns that didn’t clearly enough look like toy guns. Note that they didn’t sue the police who shot the people carrying the toy guns. The fault was the gun’s, not the police’s.

So, if these cell phone stun guns catch on, you’d better hope that your cell phone looks different enough from the stun gun that the police can tell the difference. Or else your estate may just have to sue your cell carrier for selling cell phones that don’t look clearly enough like they aren’t cell phone stun guns.

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4 thoughts on “The Cell Phone Stun Gun – One More Reason for the Police to Shoot You

  1. You’ve missed the point that the police ALWAYS tell you to drop whatever you are holding in your hand. They instruct you to put it down on the ground. Always. Whether you are holding a real phone or a stun-gun phone, you will be asked to put it down on the ground before they approach you. So, I’m afraid this is not a valid argument to stop people from carrying such stun guns for self defense.

  2. I believe the cops are generally smart enough not to shoot a person holding a cell phone. With more law enforcement carrying non lethal weapons, the odds of being shot by a law enforcement officer are very very low. I personally have a CWP although I carry my stun gun more often than my pistol.

  3. A few years back the Santa Ana, CA police shot and killed a man for waving a TV remote control at them.

  4. I carry a gun legally and when dealing with the police I understand where they’re coming from. They want to go home at the end of their shift, not to the E.R., so when dealing with a traffic stop, which is one of the most dangerous situations a cop has to enter keep your hands in plain sight, up on the steering wheel and have your license, registration and insurance card ready without reaching to fish it out of the glove box, (and your pistol permit too if that applies, if you don’t have a pistol permit where the law requires one don’t carry a gun.) keep your cool and be polite, and if you’re not doing anything other than the traffic violation you got stopped for you’ll be on your way in a few minutes and maybe you’ll even get away with a warning, not a citation. These “exotic weapons” bulletins make the rounds every so often but most cops know they’ll likely never see one in the field so they keep the paranoia at a reasonable level to deal with the real threats they do face.
    JWW

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