Mich. Officials Debate Civilian Use of Tasers

BAY CITY, Mich. --

A former convenience store clerk is facing charges for wearing a stun gun on his belt while he was on the job.

He said he carried it for protection, and now it's up to a judge to decide whether the charges will stick.

In the state of Michigan, it is illegal for non-law enforcement officials to carry a Taser or stun gun.

Stun guns and Tasers admit a strong, generally non-lethal electrical current that temporarily incapacitates the human body. Muscle motor functions are interrupted by the device’s impulse.

Some advocates say adults should be allowed to carry them while at work or play, similar to the use of concealed weapons by concealed pistol licensees. That’s the case Ken Malkin, a Bay City lawyer, is arguing on behalf if his client, Dean Yana.

Malkin represents Yana, who use to work at a Bay City party store.

While working, Yana said he carried a stun gun on his belt. He said he wanted it for protection, but police said he broke the law and arrested him. Now his lawyer is saying his client’s rights were violated.

The case is being considered by a Bay County judge. The defense lawyer has asked the judge to dismiss the charges against Yana, saying it violates his client's constitutional right to bear arms.

Malkin said he doesn't know how this case is going to turn out but predicts that whatever decision is reached, the losing side will appeal.

There's actually a bill working its way through the state Capitol in Lansing that would allow people to start carrying Tasers under certain conditions.

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