20 Jul 2010

NZ police express interest in taser shotgun

8:00 pm on 20 July 2010

The manufacturer of the taser says New Zealand police have expressed interest in a taser-style electric bullet that can be fired from a standard pump-action shotgun.

Taser International says the X-REP cartridge has a longer range and is not attached to wires, like the probes that fire from tasers.

Taser International says the X26 type currently used in New Zealand takes between one and two seconds to reload, whereas a shotgun can be loaded with several taser cartridges.

It says taser shotgun cartridges are currently used by police in Canada and the United States.

The police spokesperson on tasers, Superintendent John Rivers, says police have not requested a demonstration of the bullet in question but are not ruling it out in the future - and even if taken up, it would not be used without consultation with the community.

Supt Rivers says police are constantly evaluating all the less lethal weapons used in other countries.