Homemade stun guns surface in Saskatchewan
3 rudimentary but illegal electrical devices were seized by police in the last month
There's a new street weapon surfacing in Saskatchewan which law enforcement members are hoping is not the start of a trend.
In the past month, three homemade stun guns have been seized in separate incidents in the province.
On New Year's Day on Muskoday First Nation, an 18-year-old man was found to be in possession of drugs, a machete and a homemade electrical weapon.
In December in Prince Albert, two separate routine traffic stops led to two men charged and two stun guns seized.
- Prince Albert police seize homemade Taser during arrest
- Homemade taser seized in Prince Albert, Sask. traffic stop
"In my 15 years of service, these are the first two times I've seen these types of devices seized off the street." said Sgt. Travis Willie of the Prince Albert Police Service.
"I sure hope it's not a trend, I hope it's two isolated instances but we're paying very close attention."
Prohibited in Canada
In Canada, stun guns or Tasers, which deliver a jolt of electricity, are a prohibited weapon. Only law enforcement officers are permitted to carry them.
They are designed to deliver an electric current to disrupt voluntary control of muscles causing "neuromuscular incapacitation."
But what has police and the RCMP concerned is the relative ease to make a stun gun at home.
The household materials used to make the devices are inexpensive and instructions for building them can be found online.
Voltage could vary
The two stun gun weapons seized by Prince Albert police in December were rudimentary but potentially very dangerous.
"The two Tasers are functioning. They do show there's an electrical current being discharged, but without really examining them there's no way of telling how powerful they are or if the voltage can compare to what police officers are issued," said Willie.
"Our frontline officers are always on guard with the increase in the number of firearms we've been seizing off the streets and have to be aware of.
"But this is definitely new, we haven't come across this before."