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December 27, 2010
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Is an ECD on the grip of your gun a viable retention solution?

GripTaze aims to put officers back in control by embedding a shocking device into the grip of your gun

In the ongoing battle to keep officers’ guns out of perps’ hands, what’s ultimately going to save your life? If products like the GripTaze are any indication, technology is going to play a major role.

Made by Georgia-based First Strike International, the GripTaze is essentially an Electronic Control Device built into the butt of your gun. Battery-powered electrical leads are attached to the grip and back strap of any handgun (or long gun, for that matter) which, when activated by a small key-fob-shaped remote control, shoots 60,000 volts of electricity into the hand of whoever is holding the weapon. The battery pack that powers the electrical leads can be attached to the end of the magazine, the tactical rail, or to the gun’s holster.

Though the device is still in development, First Strike President Donald Chance says it will help put an end to the tragedies that happen when cops lose their guns. “If you push the transmitter, nobody’s using the gun,” he says.

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That’s good to hear, because the inevitable first question anybody asks when they hear about the GripTaze is: Won’t the trigger get pulled if the hand holding the gun is shocked?

Not likely, Chance says. He and his partner Dennis Pitts, a patrol sergeant in Florida, say they have tested the GripTaze dozens of times and, once the electrodes are activated, it’s nearly impossible to pull the trigger.

“The muscle reflex was a concern of ours, but at this point we can’t seem to make it happen. Your first thought is ‘Get that thing away from me’.” Chance said.

Pitts likened the feeling of being shocked by the GripTaze to being shot in the hand by a TASER. “It’s a very effective tool,” he said. “My whole left side went numb after getting shocked by it.” In all of their tests, not once did the trigger finger reflexively pull the trigger.

Another concern some have voiced is whether or not the GripTaze will shock officers in their side while the gun is still in its holster, or if it might accidentally shock their hand when they grab the grip. Chance and Pitts are looking into shock-resistant shirts, patches and gloves to address these issues.

Wearing a shock-resistant glove may seem like a nuisance, but officers getting shot with their own weapons is real problem. Some estimate that as many as one in five cases of cops getting shot are with their own guns. Though training is ultimately what will ultimately keep officers’ guns out of perps’ hands, tools like the GripTaze can certainly play a role in solving the problem of gun-retention.



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