HONOLULU (KHON2) — With electric guns becoming legal in Hawaii in 2022, Honolulu police want to stiffen up laws when it comes to committing crimes with these devices.

“We realized there are some laws that need to be revisited to prepare for potential use of electric guns in commission of crimes,” said Rade Vanic, Interim Chief of the Honolulu Police Department (HPD).

Download the free KHON2 app for iOS or Android to stay informed on the latest news

HPD wants to increase the penalty for using an electric gun while committing a robbery.

“While electric guns may be used to completely incapacitate a victim during crime, it may not result in major injury as to properly classify as a robbery under the 1st degree under the current section,” explained Vanic.

Stealing an electric gun may also come with tougher consequences.

“So, having a significant penalty for the theft of an electric gun will serve as a deterrent to stealing these powerful weapons,” Vanic continued.

Under the new law, safeguards are in place to make sure the devices do not fall into the wrong hands. Those who want to own an electric gun must be 21-years-old or older, pass a background check and have no prior felony convictions.

“The whole thing comes down to education,” said Raymond Craig, an instructor at Smart Training Hawaii.

“The people need to understand that they want this for self-defense, but at the same time it comes with a huge responsibility.”

Raymond Craig, an instructor at Smart Training Hawaii

Smart Training Hawaii hosts training classes on how to properly use electric guns. By law, they can only be used for self-defense, defense of another person or protection of property.

“It’s designed to incapacitate someone. You can lock somebody up and they won’t be able to do anything for the duration of the cycle,” Craig said.

HPD said the department is still processing applications from businesses that want to sell the devices.

Smart Training Hawaii hopes with the right education, stricter laws and safeguards in place, electric guns will be used to protect and not perpetrate crime.

Get more coronavirus news: COVID vaccines, boosters and Safe Travels information

“There’s a lot of demand out there and a lot of interest. The questions we’re getting are some very good questions because they want the device for the right reasons,” said Craig.