The lethal stun gun


The lethal MILLION volt stun guns being sold online to criminals for just £90 (and they come with a free can of pepper spray)

Status symbol? Stun guns up to 20 times more powerful are being illegally imported into BritainStatus symbol? Stun guns up to 20 times more powerful are being illegally imported into Britain

Stun guns up to 20 times more powerful than police Tasers are being illegally imported into Britain.

The weapons, which can discharge up to one million volts, are highly prized by members of the criminal underworld.

An investigation found they can be easily imported into the country via overseas mail order websites.

For as little as £60 one German security specialist sold a potentially deadly stun gun without asking any questions about the age or status of the customer.

Several days later, the illegal weapon arrived by post. It came with a free can of pepper spray, which is also illegal. Another more powerful weapon, which packs a million-volt punch, cost just £90.

Police suspect the stun guns were among hundreds which slip through Customs checks undetected every year. Up to 10,000 such weapons are believed to be in the hands of criminals who use them as a ‘status symbol’, for protection and to enforce debt payments.

Electric stun guns are prohibited under the Firearms Act and the maximum penalty for possessing one is ten years’ imprisonment. One police source said: ‘Stun guns are often found during raids on drug dealers. The evidence is that criminals want to own them but they rarely use them.

‘The attraction is they fit in a pocket and can immobilise someone without leaving a permanent injury. Also, even though they are classified as a firearm, the courts sometimes treat people caught with them more leniently than if they had a gun or knife.’

The trade was highlighted in an investigation by the BBC’s Inside Out programme which purchased two devices by mail order.

Both weapons, made legally abroad, sailed through specialist Customs checks at Britain’s parcel hubs. At one million volts, one of the guns was 20 times more powerful than the 50,000-volt weapons carried by police.

Taser
A file picture taken on December 5, 2007 in Gravesend, Kent

Police issue Taser guns (pictured) fire 50,000 volts, 20 times less powerful than the ones available online and shipped to criminals in Britain for as little as £60

Metropolitan Police figures  reveal more than 200 crimes involving the weapons over the past three years in London alone. They include 139 robberies and more than 50 offences where people were assaulted or harassed with the weapons. During that period police in the capital seized 498 stun guns.

Eran Bauer, safety adviser with Civil Defence Supply, which trains police in the use of Tasers,, described the million-volt stun gun as ‘one heck of a brute’.

He said: ‘That’s lightning – horrendous tool. I don’t believe you managed to get one of these. That is seriously dangerous.

‘You are going to end up with skin burns for a start, and subcutaneous [under the skin] damage.

‘If it goes into the neck across the nerves you can just imagine the damage. Hit across the chest then anything could happen – [it could] end up killing someone.’

The investigation comes less than 18 months after the Serious Organised Crime Agency shut down the overseas operation of a US company selling stun guns and pepper sprays. It was found to be behind almost three-quarters of all stun guns sent by post to Britain.

Former Detective Chief Inspector Pete Kirkham said stun guns  have become the weapon of choice for many criminals.

Keith Vaz MP, chairman of the home affairs select committee, said: ‘How is it possible to go online and get a gun into this country through what we are told is one of the most sophisticated borders in the world?

‘I intend to raise the matter with the head of the Border Agency and the Home Secretary.’

 

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