Is Taser Gun Legal in Nigeria?

Nigeria has experienced an unprecedented wave of different but overlapping security crises. With almost every corner of the country faced with varying degrees of violence and crime, Nigerians now understand the need to remain safe while out in public. The security situation has led people to purchase, own, and carry self-defense weapons while they are out. But before you proceed to purchase and own such self-defense tools, you should know if it’s legal. The crux of this article is to discuss if owning, carrying, and using a taser gun in Nigeria is legal. 

Is Taser Gun Legal in Nigeria

  • Is Taser Gun Legal in Nigeria? 

Yes, the use of a taser gun in Nigeria is legal, only if it is used in self-defense situations. Apart from protecting yourself from an assailant, using a taser gun for criminal activities, or possessing one with a criminal mind, is a punishable crime liable to 3 years imprisonment. 

  • What is the Position of the Law on Taser Guns in Nigeria? 

Unlike some countries like Hong Kong, France, and Kenya where taser guns are categorized as firearms, in Nigeria, such weapons as stun guns, pepper sprays, and taser guns are regarded as offensive weapons. In Nigeria, offensive weapons are regarded as articles that are not adapted to cause injury to any person. Firearms, cutlasses, matches, daggers, and spears are made to inflict injury when used on a person. 

As an offensive weapon, since it is unable to cause injury to a person, a Police clearance license is not required to own, carry, buy, use, import, or sell a Taser gun in Nigeria. However, the only way that Taser guns can be used without breaking the law is when they are used in self-defense situations.  

That means if this self-defense weapon that cannot cause injury is used to commit criminal activity or is held to commit a crime, an offense punishable by law is said to have been committed. And a penalty of up to 3 years imprisonment is prescribed for this offense, per the provisions of several written federal enactments. 

The authorities we stand on to make this summation above are enacted federal laws as follows:

  • Sections 1, 403B, 408, 223, 224 and 225 of the Criminal Code Act 1916
  • Sections 1 and 2 of the Firearm Act 1959 
  • Sections 11 and 12 of the Robbery and Firearms (Special Provision) Act 1984
  • Sections 8(3) and 13 of the Public Order Act 1979
  • How Does a Taser Gun Work? 

Before you make up your mind about getting a Taser gun for your self-defense needs, you must understand how it works first. You should be informed beforehand about what happens when the device is engaged and it is fired by the user.  

When the taser gun is exchanged and fired at a target, in this case, your assailant, two electrically charged darts connected by copper wires are immediately released in the direction that the device is facing. This pair of electrically charged darts, when it comes into contact with an assailant, creates an electric arc, allowing the transfer of electricity. 

Taser gun darts can send 50,000 volts of electricity when it comes in contact with the target, which causes the assailant (the target) to become disoriented and experience intense pain. Depending on the model of the taser gun used, the darts can transfer electricity to the target anywhere from 5 to 30 seconds, and up to 15 feet away.  

Immediately the assailant has become temporarily immobilized from the effect of the taser gun, you should use that time to escape to safety. 

  • Important Precautions to Keep in Mind When Handling a Taser Gun 

 To get the best out of a taser gun as a self-defense device, you would need to adhere to some guidelines that will keep you safe while using one. These guidelines will also inform how to use a Taser gun to avoid causing unnecessary harm to anyone else and contravening the law. The following points are to be kept in mind while handling a Taser gun:

  • Use a Taser Gun For Self Defence Alone 

You should not engage your taser gun when you don’t plan to use it against an assailant for self-defense. It’s important to ensure that you are the only person who has access to the weapon. This is particularly important if you have children in your home.  

  • Familiarise Yourself With the Taser Gun

You wouldn’t want the first time you use your taser gun to be when you encounter a threat of attack or confrontation. So, do well to familiarise yourself with the weapon by learning how to load it, engage, and fire the weapon. This will help you understand the various elements contained in the taser gun model that you own.  

  • Understand the Provisions of the Law on Taser Guns in Nigeria 

You need to ensure to abide by the laws regarding the use and possession of taser guns in Nigeria. As we earlier stated in this article, a Taser gun is only to be used in self-defense situations. That is to say, using a Taser gun outside of self-defense is a crime that has a penalty of up to 3 years of imprisonment. 

  • Keep Your Taser Gun Where it’s Easy to Access 

If you are to use a Taser gun to protect yourself from attackers, you must ensure it is readily accessible in the event of an emergency. To remain prepared at all times, always ensure you charge the device, and carry it along with you when you step out, especially if where you’re going has records of violence and crimes. Therefore, keep it on your person if you can, in your vehicle, or in a bag.  

  • Do Your Research Before Settling on the Taser Gun to Buy 

You should do some research on different models of taser guns available in the market. Read third-party reviews from trusted platforms like Trustpilot. Go for the taser gun that fits your budget and safety needs.

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