Taser International

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TASER International Inc.
Founded 1993
Headquarters Scottsdale, Arizona
Key people
Patrick W. Smith, co-founder, CEO. Thomas P. Smith, co-founder. Doug Klint, president and General Counsel.
Products Electroshock guns
Revenue Decrease $102 million USD (2009)
Website www.taser.com

TASER International, Inc. is an American developer, manufacturer, and distributor of the Taser electroshock gun in the United States. It is based at Scottsdale, Arizona, United States. Taser is the most common brand of electroshock gun.


The company was founded in 1991 (under the name Air Taser, Inc.) by brothers Rick and Tom Smith. The Smiths were distraught when two of Rick's former high school teammates were murdered in a road rage incident in Scottsdale. In 1993, they began working with Jack Cover on a non-lethal weapon. Cover had developed an early version of the Taser and in 1970 formed Taser Systems Inc. However this version used gunpowder to launch its darts, so it was classified as a firearm. This limited sales and the business collapsed.[1][2]

Taser takes its name after a fictional weapon: Thomas A. Swift's Electric Rifle.[3] (His name in the stories is Tom Swift; the second initial was added to make the acronym more pronounceable.)

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.


Main article: Taser safety issues

According to TASER International, the company has lost two product liability lawsuits:

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. One of these cases is that on Feb. 15, 2006, one officer Officer accidentally discharged TASER device on his daughter.[4] TASER International has lost two product liability lawsuits.[5]

However, on June 6, 2008, the company lost its first product-liability suit.[6] The damages were reduced in the Court of Appeals in 2011.[7] TASER lost its second product liability suit [8] In late January 2008, the public safety committee of the current Canadian House of Commons launched an investigation into their use, after the death of Robert Dziekanski.[9] The coroner concluded that the death of Robert Dziekanski was a homicide, confirming that the Taser was the cause of death, and has the capacity to kill.[10] The British Columbia government's Braidwood Inquiry is also currently underway.

In 2008, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation conducted a test, and found that TASER X26 Stun Guns manufactured before 2005 have a faulty fail-safe system.[11]



Main article: Taser

Taser's namesake product is a handheld electroshock weapon designed to incapacitate a single person from a distance.


XREP (EXtended Range Electro-Muscular Projectile) is a wireless Taser round that can be fired from a 12 gauge shotgun.[12]


Protector was a monthly service for parents to monitor cell-phone use of children and young adults. The Company recorded a $1.4 million asset impairment charge in the second quarter of 2011 following a decision to abandon operations of Protector.[13]

AXON Flex[edit]

The AXON Flex On-Officer Video System captures videos of critical situations from the officer's perspective. With a push of a button on the ComHub worn on the chest, the AXON Flex goes into "Live" mode and also retrieves the previous 30 seconds of buffered video. This ensures that not only are situations captured after the activation of the AXON Flex, but also the events leading up to the cause of the activation. With video recordings of exactly why necessary force was used, officers are able to justify their actions in the court of law and in the eyes of the public.


On July 20, 2004, Taser determined to restate its consolidated financial statements for the quarter ended March 31, 2004, due to an error in its calculation of the deferred tax benefit.[14] On April 19, 2005, Taser restated its financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2004, because there is an error resulted from calculation of the future tax benefit to be received from employees' sale of stock. On Nov 15, 2005, Taser restated its first and second quarter of 2005 financial results, due to an error resulted from the incorrect accrual of legal and other professional fees.[15] On May 12, 2006, Taser determined to restate results for the first quarter and "relevant prior periods", to correct an error in the way it calculated expenses.[16]


  1. ^ Woo, Elaine (February 13, 2009). "Jack Cover dies at 88; scientist invented the Taser stun gun". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 27, 2015. Jack Cover, an aerospace scientist who invented the Taser stun gun. a device used by thousands of law enforcement agencies to subdue unruly offenders with electrical shocks -- has died. He was 88. 
  2. ^ "Inventor of Taser gun dies of pneumonia". Associated Press. 2009. Retrieved January 27, 2015. John "Jack" H. Cover, the inventor of the Taser stun gun used by thousands of police agencies around the world, has died. He was 88. 
  3. ^ Purpura, Philip P. (1996). Criminal Justice: An Introduction. Boston: Butterworth-Heinemann. p. 187. ISBN 978-0-7506-9630-2. Retrieved 27 January 2015. 
  5. ^ TASER Granted Summary Judgment Dismissing Product Liability Lawsuit, TASER International, Inc. press release, October 9, 2007.
  6. ^ Taser Loses 1st Product-Liability Suit; Jury Awards $6 Million
  7. ^ Appeals Court Significantly Reduces Award in Heston Lawsuit Against TASER
  8. ^ http://investor.taser.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=129937&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1677761&highlight= Court Grants TASER's Motion to Reduce Turner Jury Verdict From $10M to $4.3M
  9. ^ CTV.ca | Commons committee probes Taser use by police
  10. ^ http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/04/08/robert-dziekanski-taser-death-homicide_n_3039372.html
  11. ^ Amnesty urges moratorium on Taser use after CBC/Radio-Canada probe
  12. ^ TASER International Successfully Demonstrates Wireless TASER(R) eXtended Range Electro-muscular Projectile to Military Officials, PR News. Retrieved December 23, 2007.
  13. ^ http://investor.taser.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=129937&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1590065&highlight=
  14. ^ "TASER Reports Record Quarter With 27% Sequential Growth in New Business". 
  15. ^ "TASR Restate First and Second Quarter of 2005". 
  16. ^ "Taser delays quarterly filings, discloses expense errors". 


  • 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]

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