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Not all new security gadgets are great ideas that you should embrace

May 28, 2024
Not all new security gadgets are great ideas that you should embrace
          This seems like a booby trap law breaker and lawsuit waiting to happen. What do you think?
This security camera fires paintballs and tear gas.
          As reported on Fox News:  “The PaintCam Eve can identify human faces and animals.
          A company from Slovenia, called PaintCam, is shaking things up in the security world. 
It has come up with this wild new gadget, the PaintCam Eve. It’s not just another security camera watching over your house. This thing packs a punch with paintball and tear gas projectiles to really give intruders a surprise they won’t soon forget.”
  Gary Dawkins
          I get calls now and then asking what I think about certain products from a legal standpoint.  Some seem like a great idea, others not so much.  Since I am not sure which of these ideas have made their way into production and use I’ll refrain from mentioning them, except for the paintball cameras questioned by Gary and one other one that was mentioned in a news article that sat on my desk for weeks waiting for the right time to do an article on it; I’ll get to that one in a moment.
          We can start with a common enough analogy that is easily recognized as prohibited, a shotgun set to go off when the door is opened.  Of course a few shotguns can be positioned around a premises to trigger at moment’s notice, and we no longer need to rely on a string attached to the door, we have electronic means to trigger the weapon.  While I personally may not see anything wrong with this intruder device, the law does; I suppose it’s a bit of overkill for someone breaking into a premises, home or commercial.  You may change your opinion if it’s your house, in the middle of the night and the intruder is armed with a gun or other weapon, but no need to go there,
          The law, at least in this country in almost all places, requires a measured response to a threat.  What’s measured depends on what city you’re in, but some measures are overkill in just about all of them.  Defending yourself usually means just that, and you need a defensive response limited to your defense at the moment.  Setting deadly traps is not going to be perceived as acceptable to law enforcement; So you can’t have pits with bamboo stakes around your yard waiting for someone to fall in, someone who may be an intruder or not.  We can agree there would be quite a problem, for you, if the “or not” fell into the pit, someone was permitted on your property, despite the Do Not Enter signs. 
          The problem with the paint ball and tear gas is that it could cause damage well beyond the required protective response; it could also potentially be trigger by a false or unnecessary alarm. 
          From a legal perspective I suppose the device would not be “illegal” in the sense of unlawful pursuant to a penal statute, or put you in a “negligence per se” situation where you would be considered presumptively negligent and at fault, but I think you would face an uphill argument that you did not do something wrong that should put you at risk for criminal or civil damages [meaning a District Attorney will prosecute you for a crime or the injured person will sue you for injuries caused by your excessive response]. 
          The other device that caught my attention was a fart device.  You press a button and it stinks; not sure about the sounds.  In the article the device is handheld and perhaps more a prank than a security device, but my 6 and 9 year old grandchildren would no doubt be obsessed with the device and if they had the electronic wherewithal would want to know if I thought it would make a great device to add to the intrusion system; sort of stink out the intruder. If you think it’s not a bad idea, consider a false alarm scenario or potential residue in the premises if it goes off.  Well, maybe I’m just not innovative enough or old fashioned.

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Ken Kirschenbaum,Esq
Kirschenbaum & Kirschenbaum PC
Attorneys at Law
200 Garden City Plaza
Garden City, NY 11530
516 747 6700 x 301