Faced with the marketing of stun guns to the general public, the Miami suburb of Sweetwater, Fla., has passed a local law requiring residents to get a city license before buying a Taser, reports the Miami Herald. Starting Thursday, any resident interested in owning the stun gun must fill out an application and undergo a background check, including fingerprinting. Mayor Manny Maroño and Police Chief Roberto Fulgueira urged state legislators last month to regulate the weapon at a Florida League of Cities meeting in Orlando.
The commission fears that serious crimes can be committed with the device, which was marketed to the Miami general public in July by Arizona-based Taser International. The Florida League of Cities will take up the matter at their next scheduled meeting Oct. 28 in Tampa. The state legislature had refused to consider licensing of Tasers earlier this year. A separate Herald editorial noted that seven states and several cities, including Chicago and Washington, D.C., have outlawed the sale of stun guns to private citizens. Last month, home invasion robbers in Fort Lauderdale used an electric stun gun to immobilize two men and a dog before stealing cash and credit cards.