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TASER International Inc.

<tr class="note"> <th style="text-align:right; padding-right:0.75em;">Type</th> <td>Public (NASDAQTASR)</td> </tr> <tr class="note"> <th style="text-align:right; padding-right:0.75em;">Founded</th> <td>1993</td> </tr> <tr> <th style="text-align:right; padding-right:0.75em;">Headquarters</th> <td class="adr">Scottsdale, Arizona</td> </tr> <tr class="note">

 <th style="text-align:right; padding-right:0.75em;">Key people</th>
 <td>Patrick W. Smith, co-founder, CEO.  Thomas P. Smith, co-founder, President.</td>
 </tr><tr class="note">
 <th style="text-align:right; padding-right:0.75em;">Products</th>
 <td>Electroshock guns</td>
 </tr><tr class="note">
 <th style="text-align:right; padding-right:0.75em;">Revenue</th>
 <td> $47.694 million USD (2005)</td>
 </tr><tr>
 <th style="text-align:right; padding-right:0.75em;">Website</th>
 <td class="url">www.taser.com</td>
 </tr>
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TASER International, Inc. (NASDAQTASR) is a developer, manufacturer, and distributor of less-lethal[1] electroshock guns in the United States. It is based at Scottsdale, Arizona, USA. It makes Tasers, the most common brand of electroshock gun.

HistoryEdit

The company was founded in 1991 (under the name Air Taser) by brothers Rick and Tom Smith. The Smiths were upset when two of Rick's former teammates in high school were murdered in a road rage incident in a resort parking lot in Scottsdale. In 1993, they began working with Jack Cover on a non-lethal weapon; eventually Cover first developed an early version of the Taser.

In June 1994, a non-firearm version of the Taser was developed, allowing it to bypass federal and state laws that only apply to firearms, and a tracking system (the "anti-felon identification" or "AFID" system) was created. This enables the Taser to disperse confetti with serial numbers when it is fired and links the specific Taser to the scene where it is used.

In 1998, the company adopted its current name, intending to emphasize the company's international expansion. In the same year, the company began marketing the weapon to law enforcement agencies and police departments, in addition to the private buyers who had bought Tasers for personal self-protection in prior years.

In 2001, Taser International developed its "Advanced Taser Electro-Muscular Disruption" system. In May 2001, they filed for an initial public offering and began trading NASDAQ under the stock symbol TASR. In May 2003, the company released its new Taser X26 model.

Rick Smith is the current chief executive officer; Tom Smith is the president.

ProductsEdit

Template:Electroshock

TaserEdit

See Taser for a description of the TASER weapon and the reason for its name.

Wireless long-range electric shock weaponEdit

See Electroshock weapon#Wireless long-range electric shock weapon for a description of it.

CriticismEdit

See also: Taser controversy
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Taser International Inc. has been criticized for their aggressive marketing tactics; some say that the company misrepresents the dangers of their product and subtly encourages their use in improper situations. An article in the Arizona Republic newspaper revealed that company officials had claimed that a Department of Defense study was "independent" proof of the Taser's safety even though the company provided most of the research material used in the study and participated in three panels to determine the scope of the study, analyze data, and review findings.

The company also has met controversy about the relationship between it and the Taser Foundation, which gave monetary grants to police officers killed in the line of duty, after a USA Today report in April 2005.

Scrutiny regarding the safety of the devices sold by Taser International Inc. has prompted over 30 wrongful death lawsuits against the company since its inception. Taser International maintains that its devices are safe, citing numerous proprietary and independently confirmed studies as well as medical opinion. Currently Taser International is proceeding with a libel suit (January 1, 2005) against USA Today publisher Gannett Inc. concerning misinformation regarding the mortality risk of Taser devices.

According to Taser International, the company has not lost any product liability lawsuit:

This lawsuit represents the fifty-ninth (59th) wrongful death or injury lawsuit that has been dismissed or judgment entered in favor of TASER International. This number includes a small number of police officer training injury lawsuits that were settled and dismissed in cases where the settlement economics to TASER International were significantly less than the cost of litigation. TASER International has not lost any product liability lawsuit.[2]

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In late January 2008, the current Canadian government Public Safety committee launched an investigation into their use, after the death of Robert Dziekanski[3].

NotesEdit

  1. http://www.amnestyusa.org/us/document.do?id=ENGUSA20060328001
  2. TASER Granted Summary Judgment Dismissing Product Liability Lawsuit, TASER International, Inc. press release, October 9, 2007.
  3. CTV.ca | Commons committee probes Taser use by police

ReferencesEdit

  • Anglen, Robert. "Taser tied to 'independent' study that backs stun gun." The Arizona Republic. May 21, 2005. [1]
  • Johnson, Kevin. "Taser contributes to police families." USA Today. April 24, 2005. [2]
  • "Taser research marred by conflicts." Vermont Huardian. May 23, 2005. [3]

External linksEdit


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