This is a partial transcript from "Your World with Neil Cavuto", March 19, 2004, that was edited for clarity.
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BRENDA BUTTNER, HOST: The last time we had somebody from Taser International on, the stock was at a little over $6. That was back in March of 2002.
Here’s how far the company has come since then. Wow. So what is this secret to their success?
Let’s ask Phil Smith, the chairman of Taser International; Tom Smith, president and co-founder of Taser International; and Rick Smith, the CEO and co-founder. All right.
Before we get to the stock, let’s talk about basically the story behind the stock, which is your company. You guys make stun guns. Can you talk a little bit about it?
TOM SMITH, PRESIDENT, CO-FOUNDER, TASER INTERNATIONAL (TASR): We make the Taser, which is a stand-off range weapon that allows officers from up to 21 feet away to fire out two probes on somebody that’s posing a threat to themselves or someone else, and basically override the central nervous system by sending a Taser wave through wires into the body of the attacker, overriding the central nervous system and causing all your muscles to contract and release so that you can’t fight through that. And that’s how it is reducing officer injuries by 80 percent, suspect injuries by 70 percent, and no fatal shootings in the cities of Seattle and Miami from this technology being induced to law enforcement.
BUTTNER: So basically it stuns someone. That’s the bottom line. It stuns them for a certain amount of time.
T. SMITH: Correct. For five seconds. When you pull the trigger, it runs automatically for five seconds. They give commands. And if somebody doesn’t comply, they can apply another five-second charge until they gain compliance and take that person into custody.
BUTTNER: And Rick, this was the result of a personal story. I mean, you developed the technology because of something that happened to you.
RICK SMITH, CEO, CO-FOUNDER, TASER INTERNATIONAL: Well, I was actually living out of the country and two friends of mine in Scottsdale, Arizona, were at a red light, and somebody cut somebody off. The next thing you know, a guns comes out, typical road rage incident, and two young kids are dead and the other gentleman is spending his life in jail.
And at the time, Tom and I were talking about it and it was just striking to me that in 1993 the state of the art in self-defense hadn’t changed since the revolutionary war. You fire small lead bullets in people and blow holes into them. It was crazy to me that we hadn’t come further technologically.
And the Taser had been introduced originally in the early 1970’s, but it wasn’t ready. The early generation technology wasn’t very reliable, had a lot of problems.
So we just basically looked up the original Taser inventor, went down to visit him in Tucson, Arizona. The next thing you know, we are so excited about it, we’re forming a business and working in his garage. And here we are, 11 years later, we finally got the technology right.
BUTTNER: And it is quite a family business. Phil, you are the head of it. Where do you go from here?
PHIL SMITH, CHAIRMAN, TASER INTERNATIONAL: Well, I probably go to retirement. It’s these two young guys’ business.
You’ve heard of OPM, “other people’s money.” Well, this was MOM, “my own money,” that got this going with one other guy. We couldn’t get outside money.
So from here, I think it is up to these two young gentlemen. I get the pleasure of working with them every day. It is really their company, and I’m just there to support them as a public company, doing investor relations, primarily.
BUTTNER: The liberals are out to get you guys. They think that this is a torture instrument. How do you respond?
T. SMITH: Their intent is good, which is obviously to reduce torture. But they’re looking at an intent, where this is a tool that we built in features that I don’t believe they have taken the time to understand, where we can track the intent of an individual.
For example, if you have this weapons system and you want to misuse it, every time you pull the trigger it records the date and time so that you could track that and make the person responsible for its use or accountable for its use. So they need to take time and understand this. And we are having meetings with them to further their education on how valuable the technology is in reducing injuries and in really enhancing human rights.
BUTTNER: OK. Well, thank you, all of you, for joining us. We appreciate very much hearing from you.
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