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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

U.K. stops import of Tasers after illegal use

September 29, 2010
QMI Agency

British police are in need of a new Taser supplier after an illegal shotgun version of the popular stun gun was used to try to subdue a gunman in July.

The British government revoked Pro-Tect's licence to import Tasers because the government alleges the company illegally supplied the X12 shotgun-style Taser to a local police force.

The X12 -- which fires a barbed battery that delivers a debilitating electric shock -- was only supposed to be supplied the U.K. Home Office for testing.

"Faced with these breaches, the Home secretary has decided to revoke Pro-Tect's licence to supply Tasers," a spokesperson for the U.K. Home Office said in a statement.

The controversy began after Raoul Moat shot and killed himself after a six-hour standoff with police, during which he had been shot twice with Taser stun guns.

"Enquiries following the Raoul Moat operation revealed Pro-Tect breached its licence by supplying X12 Tasers direct to police that were only available for supply to the Home Office Science and Development branch," the spokesperson said.

"The enquiries carried out by Northamptonshire Police also revealed the company breached rules governing the secure transport of the devices and ammunition."

The U.K. minister for crime prevention wrote a letter that says the government is working to find a new importer to "ensure that police forces continue to have adequate Taser stocks."

Arizona-based Taser International manufactures the stun guns.

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