Sweeping Stun Guns To Target Crowds
Groups of scientists are working on several new weapons that could give military and law enforcement personnel the ability to control crowds using streams of electricity similar to those produced by the Taser.
Four thousand police departments in the United States use electronic-shock guns, but the Taser has a limited range and is a single-shot weapon. Engineers and scientists in the United States and Europe are developing similar technology that will have the power to incapacitate crowds of people and vehicles.
In Germany, Rheinmetall is working on creating a weapon that uses a small explosive charge to emit a stream of electrical conduct. In Anderson, Ind., scientists at Xtreme Alternative Defense Systems (XADS) are developing the $9,000 Close Quarters Shock Rifle, which projects plasma towards a target to produce a conducting channel, and has the ability to stop vehicles or interfere with vehicles’ electronic ignition systems.
The weapon, which could potentially have a range of three meters, is being developed for the U.S. Marine Corps and is due to be finished by 2005.
XADS is also working on developing a similar weapon that uses laser technology to give it a potential range of 100 meters or more.
In California, HSV Technologies is also working on developing long-range stun weapons, and the company is slated to provide the U.S. Department of Defense with a prototype of such a weapon by the end of this year.
Abstracted by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center(NLECTC) from the New Scientist (06/16/04); Hambling, David .