Taser guns were given the go-ahead by the Northern Ireland Policing Board today.
The PSNI had been using the weapon under a pilot scheme but the board's move will allow Chief Constable Sir Hugh Orde to roll the deployment out fully.
The pilot scheme was introduced in January and a Taser gun has been used on one occasion since then, in Derry in August.
The board's decision follows the recommendations of human rights experts who helped carry out an equality impact assessment on the use of Tasers.
Board members voted 12 to three in favour, with the three Sinn Féin representatives opposing the move.
Sinn Féin wanted the decision deferred until a forthcoming judicial review of the weapon's use was heard.