New Jersey is the only state that bans Tasers, reports NorthJersey.com. Restrictions by the state Attorney General’s Office on the use of other less-lethal methods – such as firing bean bags or rubber pellets – are so stringent that law enforcement agencies across New Jersey have opted not to use them. Politically conservative states such as North Dakota and Wyoming have been using alternatives to deadly force the past few years. A few cities in California, New York, and Florida outfit every police officer on the street with them.
Officers in New Jersey who face sticky situations have few alternatives to their handguns besides a baton or, sometimes, a canister of pepper spray. “We’d like to use the technology, but the laws that govern them are so restrictive that they fall into the same level as using lethal force,” said Lt. Brian Higgins, commander of the Bergen County Police SWAT team. “At that point, when the officers life is in grave danger, it’s not worth it.” Saddle Brook Chief Robert Kugler, president of the Bergen County Police Chiefs Association, said he believes state authorities “someday may give us the opportunity to use Tasers.” Massachusetts, the only state besides New Jersey that had banned Tasers, passed a law last year allowing them after Boston police shot and killed a mentally ill man who family members said could have been subdued with a stun gun.