Taser International

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TASER International Inc.
Public
Traded as NASDAQTASR
Founded 1991
Headquarters Scottsdale, Arizona
Key people
Patrick W. Smith, co-founder, CEO. Thomas P. Smith, co-founder. Doug Klint, president and General Counsel.
Products Electrical weapons, body worn cameras, digital evidence management solutions
Revenue Increase $164.5 million USD (2014)
Website www.taser.com

TASER International, Inc. is an American developer, manufacturer, and distributor of conducted electrical weapons, body worn cameras, and digital evidence management solutions based in Scottsdale, Arizona. The majority of TASER products are aimed at the law enforcement and military field, however the company also manufacturers a consumer line-up. TASER is the most common brand of electrical weapons.

Referring to an electrical weapon as a "taser" is common, but a misnomer.

History[edit]

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. Stemming from the incident, they began working with Jack Cover to develop a TASER device. (Cover had developed an early version of an electrical weapon and in 1970 formed Taser Systems Inc. Cover's version, however, used gunpowder to launch its darts, classifying it as a firearm. This limited sales and the business collapsed.)[1][2]

In November 1993, a non-firearm version of the device called the AIR 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 weapon to disperse confetti with serial numbers when it is fired and links the specific weapon to the scene where it was used.

In 1998, the company adopted its current name to signal 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 private buyers who had bought TASER weapons for personal self-protection in prior years.

In May 2001, they filed for an initial public offering and began trading NASDAQ under the stock symbol TASR.

Since 2008, Axon (a division of TASER International) began developing and manufacturing wearable video technology designed to record audio and video evidence from an officer’s perspective. Also in that time, TASER launched EVIDENCE.com, a cloud-based, digital evidence management solution that allows police agencies to store, manage, and share audio/video data.

In April 2013, the Rialto Police Department released the results of a 12-month study on the impact of on-officer video using Axon Flex cameras. The study found an 88% drop in complaints filed against officers and nearly a 60% reduction in officer use-of-force incidents.[3]

TASER opened their international office in Amsterdam, Netherlands in May 2014.

Products[edit]

Weapons[edit]

X26P[edit]

An all-digital, single-shot electrical weapon for law enforcement personnel.

X2[edit]

An all-digital electrical weapon for law enforcement personnel with a two-shot capacity.

Consumer Weapons[edit]

The company creates a line of TASER devices available to the civilian market. The products consist of: C2, M26C, X26C, X2, and the Strikelight.

Body Worn Cameras[edit]

Axon Body[edit]

A wireless body camera that attaches to the shirt pocket, zipper, lapel, or utility belt of an officer’s uniform.

Axon Flex[edit]

A point-of-view body camera attached to eyewear, headband, helmet, ball cap, collar, epaulet, or other preferred location on a uniform.

Digital Evidence Management[edit]

EVIDENCE.com is a cloud-based digital evidence management system used to store and manage accumulated audio/video/photo data from body cameras, dash cameras, cell phones, or any other recording device. It is subscription based.

Issues[edit]

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]

Restatements[edit]

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.[12] 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.[13] 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.[14]

Notes[edit]

  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. ^ Stross, Randall. "Wearing a Badge, and a Video Camera". New York Times. Retrieved 2015-04-21. 
  4. ^ "ELECTRONIC CONTROL DEVICE LEGAL OUTLINE" (PDF). 
  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". Retrieved 11 May 2015. 
  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. ^ "Commons committee probes Taser use by police". CTVNews. Retrieved 11 May 2015. 
  10. ^ "Robert Dziekanski Taser Death A Homicide: Coroner (VIDEO)". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 11 May 2015. 
  11. ^ "Amnesty urges moratorium on Taser use after CBC/Radio-Canada probe". 5 December 2008. Retrieved 11 May 2015. 
  12. ^ "TASER Reports Record Quarter With 27% Sequential Growth in New Business". 
  13. ^ "TASR Restate First and Second Quarter of 2005". 
  14. ^ "Taser delays quarterly filings, discloses expense errors". 

References[edit]

  • 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]
  • Stross, Randall. "Wearing a Badge, and a Video Camera." New York Times. April 6, 2013. [3]
  • "Taser research marred by conflicts." Vermont Huardian. May 23, 2005. [4]

External links[edit]