Taser quick to distance itself from Jackson stun-gun flap

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Scottsdale-based Taser International wants everyone to know that despite references to “Taser” in reports of a stun gun in the home of Michael Jackson’s kids, it was not their product that was found in the Los Angeles-area home.

According to The Associated Press, Jafar Jackson, the 13-year-old son of Michael’s brother Jermaine, ordered a stun gun for himself. Child services workers have investigated its presence in the home shared with the King of Pop’s young children, but the family says they were never exposed to the weapon.

Taser says the device he ordered was a nonprojectile “Stun Master 300C” (pictured) as opposed to a projectile weapon like the kind they market. TASER is a registered trademark and the company is no doubt eager to keep it from becoming a generic descriptive word like “Kleenex” and “Coke.”

You can read company spokesman Steve Tuttle’s full statement on the jump.

By, now, you may have seen reports on morning TV news, in local papers, or on the internet indicating that Jermaine Jackson’s 13-year-old son, Jafar, ordered a “TASER” or stun gun over the internet and may or may not have pointed the device at Michael Jackson’s children.  Please know – any article or news report referring the stun gun as a TASER® brand electronic control device (ECD) is wrong!

The stun gun found in the possession of Jafar Jackson WAS NOT a TASER brand stun device. It was a non-projectile “Stun Master 300Cstun gun.

To our knowledge, TASER devices are the only projectile stun guns currently sold to the general public; however, there are possibly dozens of generic or non-projectile stun guns which are manufactured overseas and sold into the United States via the internet and other means.  It should be remembered that all TASER brand devices are stun guns, but not all stun guns are TASER brand devices.

TASER is the name of a company and TASER is the owner of the TASER registered Trademark.  It can only be used to describe products manufactured by TASER International of Scottsdale, Arizona.  It is also an acronym which stands for Thomas A Swift’s Electric Rifle, taken from the inventor’s favorite childhood stories.

Since the founding of TASER International in the early 1990s, the company has voluntarily provided measures to ensure proper use and accountability for misuse of its products.   These measures include:

  • providing unique serial numbers on all TASER ECDs and TASER cartridges (the ammunition);
  • requiring the registration of the devices and the cartridges with the company;
  • the conducting of criminal background checks on the original purchaser;
  • the limiting of sales to individuals 18 years old or older; and,
  • including the Anti-Felon Identification (AFID) system in each cartridge – a system which spreads small hole-punch sized confetti tags with the cartridge’s serial number when the device’s projectiles (darts) are fired.

Most recently, TASER International introduced CheckLok™ with its newest personal safety device the TASER® C2™.   With CheckLok, the TASER C2 is sold in a locked state – it does not work.  A person must subject themselves to and pass a criminal background check and age verification and at the same time register the device with the company in order to receive an activation code for the device.  (See http://www.iTASER.com for more details.)

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Jayson Peters

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