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Quebec orders police to turn in Tasers

Province recalls 167 weapons after some stun guns malfunctioned in testing.

The Quebec government is gradually pulling all its Taser stun guns off the street for testing after new lab results revealed problems with some of the weapons.

Quebec was the first province to order testing of the stun guns after a CBC/Radio-Canada investigation showed some used by Canadian police did not meet the manufacturer's specifications.

The province sent 52 stun guns made before 2005 to an independent lab for testing. Five of them performed outside normal range.

With the results in hand, Quebec Public Security Minister Jacques Dupuis ordered all of the province's police departments to send their Taser stun guns to the lab for testing. The recall affects 167 weapons.

"I want the experts to check those guns. If they are malfunctioning, they should be taken out [of use]," Dupuis said Friday.

The Quebec government has not provided details on how the guns malfunctioned or how much current they delivered.

The problem weapons came from Longueuil, Eastmain and Akwesasne. Police say none of the weapons had been used against a person. The five stun guns will be destroyed, said the government.

The remaining 47 weapons have been returned to police.

Dupuis said the new recall affects all stun guns made after 2005.

He said police agencies are being instructed to send the weapons in batches so they are not left without Tasers completely.
Quebec tests echo CBC/Radio-Canada findings

Quebec first became concerned about stun guns after a CBC/Radio-Canada investigation last fall.

CBC tested 41 Taser stun guns and found that 10 per cent delivered higher jolts of electric current than specified by the manufacturer, Taser International. All the Tasers that malfunctioned were older models.

Pierre Savard, the biomedical engineer who conducted the CBC/Radio-Canada analysis, also worked with the province on developing the protocol for its study.

"It is difficult for me to say something definite about those results but it clearly shows that all Tasers are not perfect," said Pierre Savard.

There are thousands of Tasers in use by police across the country and most major police forces are in the process of having their the stun guns tested.
Critics, supporters applaud recall decision

Critics of stun gun use in Quebec were pleased by the minister's decision.

Marvin Rotrand, a Montreal city councillor, hopes the recall will lead to a full ban in Quebec.

"Is this a valid part of the police arsenal? The proof has not been made conclusively," said Rotrand.

"The minister now has an opportunity not only to test whether Tasers in the police arsenal across Quebec actually are safe, but whether we might be better off if Tasers were retired from the arsenal altogether."

Claude Dauphin, the executive committee member responsible for public security, said the Montreal police department will send its stun guns to the lab as requested.

He supports the government's decision to test the stun guns, and hopes the findings will reassure the public that they are important tools for police.

"When we use the Taser gun it is the last resort before the real gun," said Dauphin. "That is why on the island … we made sure with our police authorities that [the stun gun] has to be used in a very restricted operation."
Taser International reacts

Taser International's vice-president of communications, Steve Tuttle, released a brief statement Friday.

"Without the opportunity to review the results, Taser International is unable to validate test procedures and the claimed results," read the statement.

"Under no circumstance should any of these devices be destroyed so they may be further analyzed by Taser International, Inc."

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Added: Mar-28-2009 
By: Gr8virtue
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Tags: Quebec, orders, police, turn, in, Taser, Canada, investigation,
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  • 10% is indeed a rather high rate of out-of-spec Tasers.
    and 50% high would voltage can certainly mess you up for good.

    Posted Mar-28-2009 By 

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  • tasers are stupid, nothing beats a stick and muscle.

    Posted Mar-28-2009 By 

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  • Made in the good old USA! Now we know why some folks are being killed by these things. SUE...SUE...SUE! Those weapons in use should be checked daily before duty.

    Posted Mar-28-2009 By 

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  • Back to the trusty handgun!

    Posted Mar-28-2009 By 

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  • Comment of user 'RCinPAWA' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
  • Tasers save lives. All this means is people who go on these meth/pcp-crazed rampages will be put in much greater danger. As will the police. This means they'll have to physically fight with them, or hit them with their clubs, or shoot them with their guns.

    A situation that could have been quickly and easily and safely resolved, will now be a major physical confrontation. It's safer to get tased than it is to be punched in the face or hit with a baton.

    Posted Mar-28-2009 By 

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  • "From now on, you officers will not be allowed to use your Tasers. We will now require that you beat the perpetrator with your batons, and/or shoot them with your firearms. This decision was made with the safety of the suspect in mind. Thank you."

    Posted Mar-29-2009 By 

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  • The irony here is that officers do indeed maintain their firearms but somehow the taser (as an electrical device)doesn't get the same attention. Kinda like turning your computer on, it may start and the power comes on but could be potentially full of bugs.

    Posted Mar-29-2009 By 

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  • Leave tasers alone. Their the only thing made in the US anymore.

    Posted Mar-28-2009 By 

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  • Quebec is probably the most advanced and civilized part of Americas. Quebec chicks ARE the most advanced and civilized part of Americas.

    Posted Mar-28-2009 By 

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