A woman began fighting with the trooper. When the trooper tried to use his Taser, it didn't fire, so he discarded it. The woman picked it up and used it to zap the trooper. [LINK]
With all the taser failures being found in Canada (consistently ~10%), Taser International has been recommending that all police should 'spark test' their taser before trying to use it.
The defect (strictly my opinion) reportedly has something to do with a poorly-designed internal spark gap that doesn't work properly unless you provide it with some sort of loving electrical foreplay first.
This implies that the police, in an emergency, would possibly have to first remove the dart cartridge from the front of the taser, then 'spark test' the taser, then reinsert the cartridge, and then it would finally be ready for use.
If you forget to remove the cartridge, then when you pull the trigger to conduct the so-called 'spark test', then it will obviously fire off the darts in whatever direction the taser happens to be pointing.
Oh! You think that won't happen?
Students began asking (Lexington County, SC) School Resource Officer Michelle McLaurin about her taser. The officer pulled out the taser to do a “spark test” when it fired and stuck a student’s metal zipper on a jacket. [LINK]
Tasers in schools. Crazy. Absolutely crazy.
In the US market, Taser International should beware of possible competition from the various 'Dollar Stores'. It seems like the 'Dollar Stores' might be able to beat them not just on price, but also on design and build quality.
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