"Don't tase me bro, don't tase me!"
That sentence still comes to mind years later after the video clip hit the Internet in September 2007. But with the Pentagon's latest long-range taser prototype, that situation won't be an issue, as the recipient won't see the charged projectile coming. The object here, according to the Pentagon, is to keep a safe distance between the recipient and the one carrying the weapon even though its to deliver an electric shock.
Unlike previous hand-held guns and shotguns, the latest taser uses a grenade launcher. That's right: relive the days of PC gaming by delivering an electrical grenade almost 200 feet away using a standard 40-millimeter grenade launcher. Taser International, who is under a $2.5 million contact with the US Department of Defense, will deliver the first projectile prototypes early next year.
But despite their non-explosive nature, the electrical grenades may still pose some harm. "There is a known risk of severe injury from impact projectiles, either from blunt force at short ranges or from hitting a sensitive part of the body," says security researcher Neil Davison. Wes Burgei, a project engineer at the US Department of Defense's Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate (JNLWD), insists that the devices are designed to deliver minimal force upon impact. Paint balls aren't explosive, but they sure do hurt.
New Scientist reports that there's also concern about the duration of the shock. Because the distance is so great, the projectile will need to provide a shock that will keep the recipient immobile until the marksmen reach their incapacitated targets. A JNLWD reference book released in 2008 suggest that incapacitation times could be up to three minutes.