- NEW YORK (CNN/Money)
- Taser is planning to market its stun gun for home use -- an idea garnering
criticism from human rights groups and others concerned about the product's
safety, according to a report Monday in the Chicago Tribune.
- The Tribune quoted Taser president and co-founder Thomas
Smith at a recent gun show in Las Vegas speaking enthusiastically about
the idea of widespread access to stun guns for American citizens.
- "It's a huge potential market," Smith told
the paper. "I just can't get my arms around how big this can get."
- While the company maintains its product is safe, the
article said 80 deaths have been reported among people shot with police
Tasers since 1999, 12 of them proven to be either directly or indirectly
linked to the gun. The report also said access to Tasers has led to an
increase in use of either lethal or nonlethal force in some police departments.
- "It's a ghastly idea," William Schulz, executive
director of Amnesty International USA, told the Tribune. "We have
documented a case of a parent using a Taser against a child. That, of course,
raises the question if a Taser is going to replace the bootstrap or belt
as the preferred form of discipline by parents for children. And if that's
so, we're facing a very, very dangerous situation."
- In related news, Taser stock rose Monday after the company
said it received three follow-on orders for its X26 stun gun and an initial
order from the Singapore national police force.
- The orders, worth more than $675,000, is expected to
ship in the first quarter.
- © 2005 Cable News Network LP, LLLP. A Time Warner
Company ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.