JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Taking its first official position on the use of stun guns, the Florida PTA is calling for the devices to be used only as an alternative to shooting a student with a gun and urging lawmakers to further study the device's effect on people.
Delegates at the PTA's annual convention in Jacksonville voted for the resolution Saturday.
The PTA had initially called for banning the use of stun guns on children under 18, but some opposed that. In a compromise, the organization instead called for them to be used only as an alternative to using deadly force.
Stun guns — such as the controversial Taser used by police — shoot electrified barbs, temporarily incapacitating a person with 50,000 volts.
Duval County PTA delegate Doug Stovall said the age requirement was a problem because it would be difficult for police to quickly determine the age of a student in a heated situation.
"I'd rather have a child Tasered than shot," Stovall said.
The Legislature is already considering several measures dealing with the weapons.
One bill that lawmakers will consider next year would restrict police to using them only when confrontations escalate to physical fights, or when fleeing suspects are considered a danger. The measure also would require more training in electronic weaponry for all police officers.
Another proposal by Florida legislators would ban stun guns from school grounds.
More than 8,000 police, prison and military agencies worldwide use the devices. The recipient of a shock normally loses muscle control long enough to be subdued and handcuffed.