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Wall Street Journal Online ~ Friday, 7 January 2005

SEC Probes Safety Claims
Made by Maker of Stun Guns

Associated Press
January 7, 2005 9:53 a.m.

The Securities and Exchange Commission has launched an inquiry into claims TASER International Inc. has made about safety studies for its stun guns.

The SEC also is looking into a $1.5 million, end-of-year sale of stun guns by Taser to Davidson's Inc., a Prescott, Ariz., firearms distributor.

"We're confident that this is going to come out in our favor," Taser's president Tom Smith said late Thursday in announcing that it was cooperating with the SEC informal inquiry. An informal inquiry is a step below a formal investigation, where regulators have subpoena power.

Mr. Smith added that the Scottsdale, Ariz., company stands by its safety statements and the recent sale.

Shares of Taser were down $3.99, or 14% to $23.63 in morning trading Friday on the Nasdaq Stock Market.

Recent investigations by several newspapers have raised serious questions about the stun gun's safety record and about Taser's reports to shareholders.

Although Taser has repeatedly said its stun guns have never caused a death or serious injury, reports in the Arizona Republic have linked the stun gun to 11 deaths and to several injuries involving police officers.

"We feel very confident that the statements that we've made surrounding the safety of our products are supported with the safety studies," Mr. Smith said.

However, questions about safety have already caused some police departments around the country to back off purchases of Tasers. Some medical experts believe Taser shocks may exacerbate a risk of heart failure in cases where people are agitated, under the influence of drugs or have underlying health problems. Human-rights advocates want law enforcement to stop using Tasers until scientific evidence can show they don't kill.

Last week, an investment analyst raised questions about the sale of 1,000 new consumer stun guns and other products to the distributor Davidson's that Taser announced on Dec. 20. "It's a deal that could maybe make a quarter," said Rob Miceli, analyst with the Scottsdale firm Gradient Analytics Inc. "Any time we see something like that it bears further investigation."

Davidson's has done business with Taser since 1999 and company CEO Bryan Tucker said there was no pressure from Taser executives to complete the deal before Taser's quarter and year end.

Copyright © 2005 Associated Press

TASER International Inc.
 

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Here's the deal, Taser wanted a good year, Davidson's wanted a good deal...simple.

As to death or injury...most of the people that have been seriously injured or died while being hit with a taser have done so because they either 1. Fell or 2. Had preexisting medical conditions or were under the influence of a controlled substance or alcohol.

If I taser you and you fall to the ground and crack your head...is that the fault of the taser or yours for being a dumb ass?

If you are hopped up on speed or meth or whatever, weigh 350 pounds, have high blood pressure, and an undiagnosed heart problem, get tasered and die as a result...which was the leading factor in the death.

People have to remember that you take away the taser, a lot more people are going to end up getting shot and then there is a much higher potential of death...by a magnitude or so...Not withstanding the injuries to the police who can use these things without the need of getting into physical combat with a perp.
 
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