The US has had a long and controversial history surrounding the use of firearms by police officers. The publics common knowledge that police officers are armed with a deadly weapon acts as a deterent, stopping many otherwise violent criminals from attacking officers during a confrontation. Firearms also act as a means of pacifying dangerous criminals in situations where no viable alternative exists. However there is growing concern that firearms are not being used appropriately by law enforcement, especially in an age where tasers provide a far less lethal means of stopping criminals. To me it appears to be common sense that unless a criminal is holding a weapon which may be unintentionally discharged as a result of being tasered, tasers should always be used before firearms. There is no need for an officer to fire live ammunition at an individual posing little threat, or even charging towards an officer, when a non-lethal means of suppressing the risk exists. Thus I propose that all armed police officers must carry a taser and that the use of firearms, where not entirely nesscesary, be classed as a criminal offence.