Identification Technology in Personal-Use Tasers

Taser -- yep, that's the company's name as well as the product's name -- is now selling a personal-use version of their product. It's called the Taser C2, and it has an interesting embedded identification technology. Whenever the weapon is fired, it also sprays some serial-number bar-coded confetti, so a firing can be traced to a weapon and -- presumably -- the owner.

Anti-Felon Identification (AFID)

A system to deter misuse through enhanced accountability, AFID includes bar-coded serialization of each cartridge and disperses confetti-like ID tags upon activation.

Posted on August 22, 2007 at 6:57 AM • 50 Comments

Comments

Daniel HaranAugust 22, 2007 7:40 AM

I wonder if they could spray an auto-incremented unique id - or if the spray pattern will be enough to identify those cops who taser repeatedly.

Ed T.August 22, 2007 7:56 AM

So, if I have one of these, and someone takes it from me and uses it - can this confetti be used to convict *me* of the crime?!?

Sounds like a major authentication failure (false positive) problem, to me.

~EdT.

NotReallyFredAugust 22, 2007 7:57 AM

Daniel -
what makes you think the police would ever use (or have to use) something which would positively identify them later? This is for personal use.

As an aside, I thought this was old - as in nearly 10 years - news. I recall hearing about this while going through a local firearm safety course...

GiggleStickAugust 22, 2007 8:10 AM

What if you put a plastic bag around the whole thing except the tasing part?

Hawkins DaleAugust 22, 2007 8:14 AM

So why don't we make bullet manufacturers do this?

Yes, you'd have to be a registered bullet-purchaser. And criminals will have un-registered ammunition, and you can steal somebody else's bullet. Bla, bla, bla.

But it would be a reasonably un-intrusive way of providing a little more information at a crime scene.

DBHAugust 22, 2007 8:21 AM

RFID in bullets, I like it. Seriously, the plastic bag idea or others seem like a low tech solution to those who want to misuse the device. Maybe some glue over the spray port. A handy vac. Doesn't seem like this does anything but offer the *appearance* of better accountability rather than any *actual* accountability.

dmcAugust 22, 2007 8:24 AM

I'm not sure who would *want* to buy this sort of product. Why would a user want to identify themselves as the person who tasered someone?

I can see governments mandating use of this technology (especially in conjunction with fingerprint recognition technology to prevent non-owner firing), but no serious voluntary market.

Am I missing something?

Mike BakulaAugust 22, 2007 8:34 AM

Hawkins Dale, I think you underestimate the scalability issues. With the Taser, there aren't very many out there, and there's only one source for darts. Conversely, ammunition is a commodity. There are many ammunition manufacturers and home manufacture equipment is easily available.

There are even more dealers of commercial ammunition, ranging from hobbyists at gun shows to national department stores. Unless purchasers are required to keep a record of where they buy from, I don't see matching lot tags back to the purchaser as practical.

I'd also hate to see the outcome at target ranges, where thousands of rounds could be fired each day ... you'd be ankle deep in the stuff!

RodAugust 22, 2007 8:38 AM

I saw the confetti feature of Taser at a trade show several years ago. The confetti identifies the unit - presumably, the link to the user's identity is maintained by Taser.

I believe the confetti shoots out the same port as the barbs (it's all in one cartridge), so it would be difficult to circumvent. And it's zillions of very tiny discs of multiple colors - It would be impossible to find and remove all the confetti to cover your tracks if misusing the product.

RodAugust 22, 2007 8:41 AM

I believe the confetti *is* also in the version used by police - it's an accountability feature.

And why wouldn't a civilian report a mugging and say, "Yeah, I tasered him"? I don't see the objection to having this tracking for legitimate use of the product.

jmrAugust 22, 2007 8:46 AM

Regarding home manufacture of ammunition, not only is it feasible, it's widespread. Just ask anyone who shoots trap, for example: it's about 1/2 the price to reload your own ammunition vs to purchase new in the store. Ditto for handgun shooting.

AnonymousAugust 22, 2007 8:50 AM

I like the advanced (marketing) features:

Pick a pleasing color.

Available in four designer colors. OK ladies, pick a color, lets go sap bums.

Victim: Damn, she has one of those new C2 things and it is purple, man'o man.

Thomas_BAugust 22, 2007 8:50 AM

What about knifes? Whenever I stab someone, there´s ... mmh ... confetti ... err ...


Forget it.

JosephAugust 22, 2007 8:59 AM

"Seriously, the plastic bag idea or others seem like a low tech solution to those who want to misuse the device. Maybe some glue over the spray port. "

Um, I don't think you understand how a taser works. They actually fire barbs from the device into a person. The confetti is fired with the barbs. You can't circumvent it with a plastic bag (the firing would rip right through the bag) or glue (which would disable the unit at best)

mr cAugust 22, 2007 9:04 AM

kind of reminds me of "judge dredd" the movie, http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0113492/
The genetic code of the guns user was attached to each bullet when fired, but he was falsely imprisoned because his 'evil twin' fired the gun.. Gotta watch out for them evil twins :)

stacyAugust 22, 2007 9:07 AM

I recall a number of years ago, the NRA was up in arms (pun intended) over plans to put similar tracking tags in explosives.

I wonder at what point it becomes worthwhile to make compatible Taser cartridges without the tracking tags?

You should spend a bit of time at the Taser website; it is quite enlightening and even entertaining. I really like this quote:


Signs of Sudden In-Custody Death Syndrome include: extreme agitation, bizarre behavior, inappropriate nudity, imperviousness to pain, paranoia, exhaustive exertion, “superhuman��? strength, hallucinations, sweating profusely, etc.

I would have thought the first sign is, well, they're dead!

PaeniteoAugust 22, 2007 9:47 AM

@Rod: "And why wouldn't a civilian report a mugging and say, "Yeah, I tasered him"? I don't see the objection to having this tracking for legitimate use of the product."

This is dangerously close to the "If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear." argument.

As for a legitimate need to 'prove' that you tasered someone, there is no need for the confetti: There will be a wire between you and your target.

Anyway, dmc's point was, why would someone *want* the confetti? Not that having it might be harmful or that it might not be usefull for government/police.
At the very least, it will increase the manufacturing cost (slightly).

John DaviesAugust 22, 2007 9:49 AM

The iRobot video is a little worrying - "Taser and iRobot have formed a strategic alliance"

Fortunately no mention of Cyberdyne Systems yet.

Matt from CTAugust 22, 2007 9:57 AM

Tagging of large batches of ammunition wouldn't be difficult, but all it tells you is a wide group of purchasers.

Individually tagging a single box of retail ammunition seems to me would muck up mass production lines pretty effectively.

Never mind you now have the issue of assuring that ammunition has not be tampered with -- something current ammo packaging doesn't.

Even putting in tamper resistant seals is problematic -- a criminal would have a very strong incentive to circumvent the system that associates Box A with Purchaser B. "It wasn't me! See, the records clearly show it was ammo from Purchaser B that was used!"

Not to mention I believe it would be an engineering challenge to develop tags that always match the physical properties of the gunpowder. I would think that a simple "windmill" machine (like were developed in the 19th century to seperate seed and chaff...) could process gunpowder to remove tags.

Perhaps even a weak static charge? (small amounts of gunpowder in a relatively sturdy box...unconfined to a cartridge, it's not particulary dangerous even if it pops...)

So you buy a box of ammunition. You use simple machines to remove the bullet, pour out the powder for seperation, remove the tags, replace the powder. I just believe it would be highly difficult to develop a highly reliable tagging system when the basic technology is so blitheringly simple -- we're talking 19th century technology folks.

Tasers, because of the more specialized and limited knowledge base of how to make a cartridge, and that they probably take more sophisticated tools, are a much better candidate for such tools. You're also not talking about an item nearly so much as a commodity -- you don't have people buying a few hundred taser rounds to practice and shoot tin cans with.

bluebyteAugust 22, 2007 10:02 AM

"Pretty color. Hope the ladies don't try to shave with this thing." Only once.

The biggest problem I see with these devices is that people who have one with them feel too safe and don't rely on their survival tool no.1, their feet. It has a short range of action (about 15 feet), so you have to let the attacker get very near to get a good shot. And if an attacker is that near and armed, it gets very serious, especially if you are not trained on using the deivce (which police forces are, most people who buy this thing won't be). Oh, and what do you do if there's more than one attacker?
Plus, "professional" muggers will get some kind of protective clothing if these things are sold in bigger numbers.

anonymousAugust 22, 2007 10:12 AM

The biggest problem I seel with these devices is their use against those who can't defend themselves: infants and children, the elderly, animals. These sadists usually just beat, scald and suffocate their victims, now they can electrocute them, too. I can't tell you how much I hate this product which has no legitimate reason for existing.

AndrewAugust 22, 2007 10:43 AM

Here we go with the Tasers again.

I'll try to keep this short and sweet, because I've been shot with one and been in situations where I desperately needed one and did not have it.

"Stun guns" have been out for a long time. They are cheap and legal (*) and readily available. They have two or more prongs and shock the target with anywhere from 40K to 300K volts at a tiny amperage. The result is usually convulsions, but not reliably. However, you have to make close contact with your target, which is obviously dangerous for a variety of reasons.

* Legal in most states. Your mileage may vary.

The primary mode of the Taser is a pair of darts on wires that are fired by a compressed gas cartridge, with the AFID tags mixed in with the darts. You cannot fire the Taser (max range 22-30 feet) without releasing AFID tags. Sole source ammo is about $20 per shot.

The backup mode of the Taser is "drive stun" or using the contacts on the front of the weapon as a conventional stun gun, as above, but a bit more effective.

>> Signs of Sudden In-Custody Death Syndrome include: extreme agitation, bizarre behavior, inappropriate nudity, imperviousness to pain, paranoia, exhaustive exertion, “superhuman��? strength, hallucinations, sweating profusely, etc.

> I would have thought the first sign is, well, they're dead!

This is describing "excited delirium." People with ED die, rather a lot, whether they are shot (repeatedly), clubbed (think Rodney King and add force to the strikes), wrestled down (bring at least a dozen cops and firefighters) or Tasered. We're not entirely sure why, except that it may have something to do with temperature in the brain. It definitely has something to do with a lot of hard drug use over a long period of time.

>> I can't tell you how much I hate this product which has no legitimate reason for existing.

Tasers are a less lethal weapon that saves lives every day and is a reasonable alternative in some cases to deadly force. A man was shot by Riverside police yesterday for brandishing a knife. If those officers had the chance to deploy Tasers, that man would be alive today. In jail, but alive.

Over-use of Tasers is a problem now that we have a weapon where you really can shoot first and ask question later. I'd rather that then go back to the old school where cops had to kill when faced with a potential deadly threat.

JosephAugust 22, 2007 11:01 AM

"I can't tell you how much I hate this product which has no legitimate reason for existing"

You can argue the pros and cons of taser use (and there are lots of arguments either way), but blanket statements like this one just show your ignorance.

Yes, tasers are often misused. But they also save lives every day. And they are used extensively in the prison system, where there is a danger of the inmates taking a weapon from a warden. For that reason, most prison wardens never carry handguns. So they always carry billy clubs, but tasers are much better in many ways (less permanent damage, greater range, etc.)

AnonymousAugust 22, 2007 11:36 AM

Perhaps I should clarify - we're talking about personal stun guns here, not those used by law enforcement. I might grudgingly accept that in some law enforcement circumstances, they may have a place. However, the fact that that they have been used on elementary school students in schools by law enforcement personnel shows me that their legitimate law enforcement use is being streched beyone credibility.

As for those who think I am ignorant, so be it. We have guns, mace, stun guns and (as soon as they hit the market) personal sound cannons and who knows what next. All of which hasn't made a difference in who is a crime victim and who is not. And, as is pointed out above, the chance of your attacker having a stun gun is probably greater than the chance of the victim having one. And as for saying it "saves thousands of lives everyday," if thousands of people are being stunned everyday (a million people a year?) then something is very wrong indeed. If you mean that having this weapon as a deterrent thousands of lives are being saved, that is unsupported.

Adding id tags, or RFD, or automatic police notification or a cell phone that calls you mother to any of these gadets is just icing on the turd. It doesn't make you safer, and it doesn't ensure that a weapon will be used for legitimate purposes.

My point is that I'm not impressed by the latest "improvement" in this thing. Great Britain has banned them, and that is a move I fully support and work toward in this country.

dragonfrogAugust 22, 2007 11:41 AM

"This is describing "excited delirium." People with ED die, rather a lot, whether they are shot (repeatedly), clubbed (think Rodney King and add force to the strikes), wrestled down (bring at least a dozen cops and firefighters) or Tasered. We're not entirely sure why, except that it may have something to do with temperature in the brain. It definitely has something to do with a lot of hard drug use over a long period of time."

You're joking, right? I mean, I would have though the proximate cause of death in the above circumstances would be the being shot repeatedly / severely beaten parts...

In general though - "Sudden In-Custody Death Syndrome" - Nice one. People in custody keep dying for completely unexplained reasons that have nothing at all to do with police brutality. Must be a syndrome.

"Perhaps officer McThugworth here has some rare pheromone that is allergenic only to homeless black people, and that he exudes when he is left alone in a room with someone. Because he's shy, you know."

bobAugust 22, 2007 11:48 AM

I like the fact that it is (advertised as) not shaped like a gun; that makes it not evil because anything shaped like a gun would be bad, but this shape makes me think of baby seals and ducklings and bunnies so no harm could come from it.

anonymous ignorant scumbagAugust 22, 2007 11:51 AM

Perhaps I should clarify - we're talking about personal stun guns here, not those used by law enforcement. I might grudgingly accept that in some law enforcement circumstances, they may have a place. However, the fact that that they have been used on elementary school students in schools by law enforcement personnel shows me that their legitimate law enforcement use is being streched beyone credibility.

As for those who think I am ignorant, so be it. We have guns, mace, stun guns and (as soon as they hit the market) personal sound cannons and who knows what next. All of which hasn't made a difference in who is a crime victim and who is not. And, as is pointed out above, the chance of your attacker having a stun gun is probably greater than the chance of the victim having one.

And as for the opinion "Yes, tasers are often misused. But they also save lives every day," that isn't exactly a vote of confidence. If thousands of people are being stunned everyday (a million people a year?) then something is very wrong indeed. If you mean that by having this weapon as a deterrent thousands of lives are being saved, that is unsupported.

Adding id tags, or flashing lights and sirens or a cell phone that calls you mother to any of these gadets is just icing on the turd. It doesn't make you safer, and it doesn't ensure that a weapon will be used for legitimate purposes.

My MAIN point is that I'm not impressed by the latest "improvement" in this thing. Their ability to be misused and greatly inflict harm outweighs the small improvement in individual safety that MAY (doubtfully) be gained by having one. Great Britain has banned them, and that is a move I fully support and work toward in this country.

Incidentally, the only time I've every seen one in action was a few years ago. A woman I knew had one in her backpack, sat down on a chair, leaned back and shot hersef in the spine. She was off her feet for a few days.

skateAugust 22, 2007 12:57 PM

"Anyway, dmc's point was, why would someone *want* the confetti? "

People seem to only think of this from a perspective of self defense. The reason for this feature is to discourage illegal use.

Tasers are dangerous and have been associated with deaths and don't always incapacitate assailants; however, they are perfect for muggers, crackers, home invasion robbers, warehouse robbers, etc. as a way of incapacitating victims, victims who's lives are not important to their assailants and who are all likely to be incapacitated by the Taser.

Because the Taser is a better criminal assault weapon than it is a defense weapon, I, for one, support the ID confetti. If I'm attacked by someone with a Taser, I'd like to think the assailant can be traced, But, I don't hold out much hope that the trace route is perfect nor that the Tasers are physically hack proof.

ZwackAugust 22, 2007 1:14 PM

Some of these arguments remind me of a quote from Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson...

"Since then the Deliverator has kept the gun in the glove compartment and relied, instead, on a matched set of samurai swords, which have always been his weapon of choice anyhow. The punks in Gila Highlands weren't afraid of the gun, so the Deliverator was forced to use it. But swords need no demonstrations."

Any defensive weapon that requires you to use or demonstrate it to stop people from attacking needs some revision.

Z.

dmcAugust 22, 2007 1:28 PM

@skate:

You say, "Because Taser is a better criminal assault weapon than it is a defense weapon, I, for one, support the confetti."

But what criminal is going to purchase the model with the cool confetti? Unless the government mandates that all Tasers must have this feature *and* the Taser is inactivated when it runs out of the confetti, it would seem to have limited appeal.


AnonymousAugust 22, 2007 1:44 PM

Let me clarify...unfortunately I cannot look at the link provided by Bruce...my work net nanny forbids it...so I am not sure who this technology is being marketed to.

If the target audience is governments looking to purchase these tools for their law enforcement staff then I kind of understand the value. Governments want to keep track of how their employees are using their assets. Assuming we can control who actually fires off the thing, then we have accountability. But then in effect, Government has mandated the use of the technology. Got it.

If the target audience is the personal-stun-gun consumer, then I just don't see anyone being actively interested in taking responsibility for tasering someone, whether their motive is criminal or self defense. If I were the sort of person to purchase a dangerous self-defense product, I don't know that I'd want anyone to find out that I had actually used it, even in self defense. If something went horribly wrong, would I want to be tracked down and sued? :-)
So unless you force me to take the confetti model (i.e. Government mandates it), I would buy the confetti-free version. What's the incentive *to the purchaser* to use the confetti model? (Other than "'Cause that's the law")

I repeat...am I missing something?

RoyAugust 22, 2007 1:48 PM

Making ammunition traceable is pointless.

Most criminals use 9mm, and so untraceable ammunition would be in demand, the supply for which would be inexhaustible as it would come from abroad.

Think of how many tons of 'safe' 9mm ammunition would fit in a single forty-foot container that breezes through customs because it is never inspected.

SamAugust 22, 2007 2:44 PM

Some of the comments on tracing firearms ammunition are basically discussing whats called "Microstamping".

This is currently a big issue in California (AB 1471).

At a most basic level, it can be defeated by criminals going to a shooting range and collecting used brass off the ground and scattering it at a crime scene.

It's also interesting to note that some of the opposition to this California bill is that it mandates the use of sole-source patented technology.

More information is at:
http://www.nssf.org/news/PR_idx.cfm?AoI=generic&PRloc=common/PR/&PR=081507.cfm

Harry JohnstonAugust 22, 2007 3:01 PM

dmc, et.al.,: I believe the point is that there *isn't* a confetti-free model. At least, not for sale to the general public.

It's not a selling point, it's PR.

BrianAugust 22, 2007 5:25 PM

Odd -- when I first read the subject I assumed the identification went the other way -- that the taser would id its user so it couldn't be used against its owner. That could be very useful.

TechnologyAugust 22, 2007 8:21 PM

what a nice technology! that could be very helpful especially to the cops to trace the criminals. but how about if the criminal uses knife??? (according to the other blogger)

GráinneAugust 23, 2007 6:36 AM

I don't know much about tasers (coming from a country where they are banned), but would the confetti not just run out at some stage? Could the owner just use it a number of times to waste the confetti?

nbk2000August 23, 2007 7:32 AM

God damn...can't people bother reading about the product before commenting on it?

The TASER cartridge is a ONE USE only item. The cartridge is NOT reuseable.

The AFID tags are integrated into the cartridge, and EVERY cartridge sold to civilians (this includes police, as much as they like to think they're not civilians) has the tags.

Only some military units have 'sterile' (tag-free) cartridges. Every one else gets the tagged versions, even the cops.

EVERY cartridge has a uniquely identifying serial, matching the integrated tags.

There are NO after-market, third-party TASER cartridges available, with or without AFID tags.

Only TASER International makes and sells the cartridges and, as previously stated, they all have the tags (with the aforementioned exceptions).

BkAugust 23, 2007 9:01 AM

um...why not use such a technology to make it so that if the taser falls into the hands of anyone other than the rightful owner, it can't be used? seems like a more useful feature to have. often as not, tasers and other things like mace get used against the person who's carrying them.

AndrewAugust 23, 2007 10:10 AM

>> "This is describing "excited delirium." People with ED die, rather a lot, whether they are shot (repeatedly), clubbed (think Rodney King and add force to the strikes), wrestled down (bring at least a dozen cops and firefighters) or Tasered. We're not entirely sure why, except that it may have something to do with temperature in the brain. It definitely has something to do with a lot of hard drug use over a long period of time."

> You're joking, right? I mean, I would have though the proximate cause of death in the above circumstances would be the being shot repeatedly / severely beaten parts...

Not joking. Serious as a heart attack. Hitting someone in the legs with a baton doesn't kill them. Unless you hit someone in the head, it's actually rather difficult to kill someone with a baton. Tasers don't kill either, despite the bad press they seem to get (largely because they work.) Certainly wrestling someone down doesn't kill them unless you force them into a position where they cannot breathe. Positional asphyxia and head strikes do show up on autopsies you know.

Excited delirium is a case where someone high on hard drugs, with a heavy drug use history, exhibits severely confused, disoriented and bizarre behavior that started abruptly. This includes hallucinations, tearing off their own clothes, incoherent yelling and screaming, and violence directed at objects such as shiny items and glass.

One reliable medical finding is hyperthermia, where the body's core temperature may be as high as 105 to 113 degrees. In early stages the subject is sweating profusely but later stops sweating (one of the keys of heat stroke).

Naturally 911 is called. When officers try to subdue a person with this set of characteristics, they run into trouble. The person demonstrates enormous strength and is relatively insensitive to pain. The person continues fighting even after being restrained. Often the person dies while being restrained, or during transport.

Progressive police departments are recognizing that ED is a life-threatening medical emergency, sending paramedics and supervisors immediately on first report, and trying to use innovative techniques such as "cuffing under power" to take the subject into custody and then transport to advanced medical care immediately. (That's putting the cuffs on while the subject is being Tased, at some risk of being Tased oneself.)

Field EMS treatment involves transport on the person's side strapped to a backboard, ice packs for cooling, high flow oxygen and airway management. ALS interventions include tranquilizers and IV fluids. More treatments are available at the ER, mostly more drugs to throw off the drugs on board and treat metabolic imbalances.

>> In general though - "Sudden In-Custody Death Syndrome" - Nice one. People in custody keep dying for completely unexplained reasons that have nothing at all to do with police brutality. Must be a syndrome.

Tell it to the Medical Examiners when they do autopsies. Or read some articles and get educated. Yes, it's a controversial subject. But once you've seen someone with ED, and seen what the police had to go through to get the person under control only to have them up and die on you . . .

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=7608386

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15001627/

http://www.policeone.com/writers/columnists/ForceScience/articles/119828/

http://www.zarc.com/english/other_sprays/reports/excited_delirium.html

http://www.policeone.com/writers/columnists/CharlesRemsberg/articles/1195879/

markmAugust 23, 2007 1:16 PM

"There are NO after-market, third-party TASER cartridges available, with or without AFID tags."

Not for long. If the legal market has only the tagged cartridges, there will be a black market in untagged ones and/or instructions all over the internet on how to remove the confetti or to adapt something else to replace the TASER cartridges. They aren't high tech. Even AK-47 machine guns can be and are manufactured in home workshops.

JPAugust 23, 2007 11:17 PM

I've seen that kind of thing in a number of Sci-Fi books. One of the more interesting is from Barnes' _The Mother of all Storms_ and is called a "self-defender." It's a 20 round, non reloadable handgun you can buy in any convenience store. If fired, it "tags" the shooter and shoot-ee (I forget how, dye, nano particles or something) and begins to "scream" on a radio frequency monitored by police for triangulation. Almost as soon as you use it, cops show up to check it out. In the book, it is noted that they are often used for suicides, since if you botch the job help will show up right away.

The two basic Sci-Fi solutions I've seen are some form of tagging of the shooter and/or shoot-ee and/or ammo, weapons "keyed" to the owner such that either they can't be fired or do something nasty like explode if used by anyone else, or non-lethal weapons of all kinds (e.g. tasers).

Curveball JonesJanuary 25, 2009 12:40 AM

The AFID TAGS EMBED INTO THE SKIN OF THE PERSON THAT WAS TASED,IF THAT PERSON IS NOT TAKEN TO THE HOSPITAL OR A REPORT WAS NOT MADE....THE EMBEDDED TAGS WILL BE IN THE SKIN....... SO FOR EXAMPLE IF THERE WERE ROGUE OFFICERS OR POSSIBLE CRIMINALS TASERING PEOPLE AND NOT MAKING REPORTS...A PERSON SUFFERING FROM SOME BUMPS UNDER THERE SKIN MIGHT FIND OUT WHO ACTUALLY SHOT HIM WITH THE TASER...AFTER A DOCTOR PERFORMS SURGERY TO REMOVE THE MICRODOTS...AFTER REMOVAL FROM THE SKIN... UNDER A MICROSCOPE... THE NUMBERS CAN BE SENT TO TASER FOR IDENTIFICATION OF THE SHOOTER..... .THE TAGS ARE THE SIZE OF A GRAIN OF SAND.......ALMOST INVISIBLE........

thematicMay 9, 2011 9:26 PM

how does the afid work? I've read that the serial number is traced back to the owner, but how?

You do have to give all your personal info when buying the taser, but not when buying cartridges from all these spammy self defense websites.

The taser does not transmit any info to the cartridge. The background check and product activation is completely independent of afid.

Other than cross referencing the serial with purchasing info(think prepaid visa) or delivery address there is no other way to match the number to a name.

I would like to buy one. I am not a criminal, but there may come a situation in which I would like to use the taser to defend myself without worrying about getting sued down the road.

Some people might think that being innocent is enough. Good for you, you probably are a happy person and value the well being of others. Statistically, nothing is likely to happen that would challenge your view. But some people know otherwise.

Afid is not compulory by law, it is a measure implemented by Taser (in my more cynical estimation) to add a layer of legitimacy to their product line. If they appear reckless they risk losing customers(due to laws, perception of cruelty)Perhaps their motives are nobler. Nonetheless it is not compulsory.

No identifying info is required when purchasing cartridges. (cc and address is all, that's not hard to bypass without breaking any laws) So have I missed something, or is afid not quite airtight?

Joseph v.May 24, 2013 3:57 AM

I am a taser owner, I actually own two with multipal cartridges on hand. I know to and when to use it. To clear up somethings: u do have to reg the product to you including state Id for it to be shipped, then the case with gun and cartridges are serialized and shipped to you from taser, the afid that is sprayed out is tied to those serial numbers on the cartridges and thus connected to you. In many state u are required to not only take a class but get shot with one as training in order to carry. The tags are small and spray out all over when shot this so many that your really can't shoot in the open and collect, to fire it is to spray the tags the cartridges are pacts with them In a manner that you can not disable the tags without disabling the taser, exception being using the taser in drive mode. Drive mode is where you use the front of the cartridges metal prongs that feed power to the live wires, a plus is that you can taser someone then use dive mode on another person while the fist is still hooked, and it's hurts like a mother either way.

The tags are ment for the situation like this: person A buys a taser, as such it's reg to you as above, t you try to use it to taser then mug. Well you would leave behind an I'd and cops can find you. Now of course there the possibility of stealing one but if reported then they can trace several attacks to one person. Now for those thinking well lie on the reg well it's kinda hard even all prepaid cards require real info per federal law, and the card is not the onlynid method there is info on the reg and plus your ip on the website.

On the issue of tagging bullets you all have missed a great idea, DON'T TAG THE BRASS! Tag the bullet it's self. We all know that we can laser micro print a diamond with a serial number it's could be just as ez to do it on the jacket of the bully at multipal areas with impacting the bullet and can be done on the manufacture level, then serialized the box and on check out when the id is give for age the I'd number can be tied to the person buying the box thus allowing a ez trace to get a start on the issue. And guns are ez to ship the bullets not so much as k9 units can smell the gunpowder more then the metal and you can not ez cover up the smell as you can us grease on the gun but not bullets. Also the tag method mentioned also the bullet it's self is mostly one time as it changes shapes when fired meaning can go to the local range and police the bullets, you can police the brass but u can do that at crime scene harder to collect the bullet.

Please note that while I expressed methods of tagging firearms beyond serializing the gun or brass, it does not mean I am suggesting it should or should not be done, just a smarter ez method of it being done. Enjoy.

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