Feeds

New double-barrelled Taser unveiled

Two skeletons flashing on and off with one gun

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Taser International, the firm behind the famous, controversial electric stun weapons, has announced a new model. The double-barrelled Taser X2 can be discharged twice without reloading.

The Taser X2. Credit: Taser International

Snap and crackle means less popping of caps, hopefully.

The company had previously brought out a triple-barrelled X3 model – also available in a special model intended for use on wildlife rather than humans – but this is apparently overly large and bulky for most Taser customers, who are typically US law-enforcement types required to carry ordinary lethal-force pistols and much other belt gear as well as their electric zapguns.

Taser describes the new X2 as "the most voice-of-consumer designed taser device" and "designed by law enforcement for law enforcement". It is said to be of similar size to a normal single-shot Taser X26.

Like all Tasers, the X2 works by launching a pair of darts angled slightly up and down which trail thin wires back to the weapon. Provided that the darts make contact with the victim's body at suitable separation, the user can then pass a crippling pulsed electric current through the target. This will normally leave the hapless individual thrashing helplessly on the ground.

Taser advocates say that this treatment, while unpleasant, is far less damaging both to victim and user than other means at cops' disposal for subduing people who refuse to obey lawful orders: this would normally mean the use of clubs, beanbag or baton projectiles, gas or mace, "come-along" grips or holds etc. Critics don't normally dispute this, but suggest that possession of Tasers encourages cops to use force more than they otherwise would, or even that Tasers are used as a means of illegal punishment or torture.

That said, a Taser generates an internal log of every discharge and sprays forensically-verifiable unique confetti around the area on being fired, making it a poor choice for the nefariously inclined copper. Certainly, while London Metropolitan police units who have been issued with Tasers have come under the spotlight for allegedly making questionable use of force, this has centered on their use of other more traditional techniques.

The controversy doesn't seem to be injuring Taser International's sales, with the company announcing several large orders in recent weeks from various US federal and local agencies as well as some (unnamed) overseas customers.

The firm also produces several models for sale to civilians and a range of products targeted at the military – for instance the Shockwave, a kind of Taser landmine system. These latter don't appear to have achieved any great success. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
That glass of water you just drank? It was OLDER than the SUN
One MEELLION years older. Some of it anyway
GRAV WAVE DRAMA: 'Big Bang echo' may have been grit on the scanner – boffins
Exit Planet Dust on faster-than-light expansion of universe
SpaceX Dragon cargo truck flies 3D printer to ISS: Clawdown in 3, 2...
Craft berths at space station with supplies, experiments, toys
Big dinosaur wowed females with its ENORMOUS HOOTER
That's right, Doris, I've got biggest snout in the prehistoric world
Japanese volcano eruption reportedly leaves 31 people presumed dead
Hopes fade of finding survivors on Mount Ontake
Relive the death of Earth over and over again in Extinction Game
Apocalypse now, and tomorrow, and the next day, and the day after that ...
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.