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Police: Tasers

Volume 715: debated on Thursday 10 December 2009

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government on what grounds they allow the import of electroshock guns (Tasers) by the police from the United States and other countries, in view of them and their components being banned for export from the United Kingdom and classified as instruments of torture. [HL450]

The import of tasers into the UK is very closely controlled by legislation. Such conducted energy devices are classified as “prohibited weapons” by virtue of Section 5 of the Firearms Act 1968. The police service are the only body in the UK with authority to import taser. When used according to the stringent and rigorous guidelines applied by the police, taser has proved to be a valuable less lethal option to conventional weapons.

Taser has been banned from being exported from the UK since July 1997. Not all countries have the same level of regulation as the UK. The UK Government are concerned that, in the wrong hands, taser may be misused.