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Come January, Hawaii residents will be allowed to carry Tasers in public

Starting January 1, 2022, Hawaii residents will be allowed to own electric guns and carry them...
Starting January 1, 2022, Hawaii residents will be allowed to own electric guns and carry them anywhere, not just within a home.(Hawaii News Now)
Published: Nov. 16, 2021 at 10:30 PM HST|Updated: Nov. 17, 2021 at 12:16 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - With Hawaii residents soon allowed to carry Tasers in public, some say it’s a good tool for self-defense but others worry they could fall into the wrong hands.

The new law, which will go into effect in January, allows Tasers to be carried in public to defend yourself, others and your property.

“This law is very much about making it so that people that want to follow the law have the opportunity to do so. Right now, the only people that can carry tasers are criminals,” said Andrew Namiki Roberts, of the Hawaii Firearms Coalition.

Hawaii residents will be allowed to own electric guns and carry them anywhere, not just within a home.

Buyers must be 21 or older. They won’t need a permit, but sellers will need to conduct background checks and have safety training.

Anthony Loui, assistant store manager of Security Equipment Corporation, said they are looking into applying for a license.

“Looking into the different things that we might be able to carry and thinking of all the different possibilities of what we could do to make a good product for the public to use,” said Loui.

Felons or people with violent criminal histories will not be able to purchase electric guns.

UH student Alyssa Madriaga said she’s worried about the tool falling into the wrong hands.

“Although there’s a background check, people could steal it, or I don’t know, use their friend’s (Taser) for fun, and it could get out of hand,” said Madriaga.

Others said it’s a good option for self-defense since gun permits are nearly impossible to get in Hawaii.

“Especially like in areas like Honolulu, I think it’s kind of important that people feel like they need to protect themselves,” said UH student Connor Narowitz.

“And I think a Taser like it’s not like a gun, it’s not quite as deadly.”

Meanwhile, experts said the law does raise a certain level of concern among police.

“I doubt that the law itself will stop criminals from using a taser in the commission of various crimes, regular deaths and robberies as well as sexual assault,” said law enforcement analyst Tommy Aiu.

“So, I think it is a major concern for law enforcement. There’s always a good and bad, and pro and con to these types of situations.”

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