COLUMBIA — Proposition 2 would make the use of Tasers in Columbia a Class A misdemeanor.
The ordinance, if passed, would ban the Columbia Police Department and the Boone County Sheriff's Department from using, or threatening to use, Tasers within the city limits. This applies to sheriff's deputies and to staff at the Boone County Jail, which lies within the city.
Shall the proposed initiative ordinance pertaining to tasers and other conducted electrical devices be passed?
The proposed ordinance would make it a Class A misdemeanor for individuals, including police officers, to use or threaten to use Tasers, stun guns or any other conducted electrical device against any person within the city.
Ordinary residents also would be prohibited from using, or threatening to use, Tasers in the city. Possession of Tasers would not be outlawed, and retail outlets that sell Tasers would still be allowed to do so.
City Attorney Fred Boeckmann has said that if someone were to use a Taser in self-defense, he or she may not be prosecuted, depending on the prosecutor's decision regarding the specific circumstances.
Supporters of the measure include People for a Taser-Free Columbia, which organized a petition drive to place the initiative on the ballot. Opponents include members of Keep Columbia Safe.