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Taser in Talks With Sharper Image to Sell Stun Gun

June 26, 2004|From Bloomberg News

Taser International Inc., the stun gun maker whose shares have more than tripled this year, said Friday that it was in talks with Sharper Image Corp. about distributing a new consumer version of the weapon. Taser's shares rose 19% on the news.

Taser is talking to several retailers, not just San Francisco-based Sharper Image, about distributing the guns, and it will sell them on Taser's website, President Thomas Smith said.

About 40 million U.S. households have guns, and a significant number of those may be interested in buying a less lethal weapon like the Taser, an analyst said. The price of the Taser, which could be higher than $700, and state legal barriers may limit how many consumer Tasers the company is able to sell.

In California, owning a stun gun is legal. But some people, including those under age 16 and those convicted of a felony, cannot possess them.

"Certainly, the consumer market represents a significant opportunity for Taser," said Dick Ryan, an analyst with Feltl & Co. in Minneapolis.

"But it's hard to get a sense of what kind of penetration into the consumer market they could get."

Shares of Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Taser rose $6.67 to $42.09 on Nasdaq.

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