By AMANDA LEE MYERS
Associated Press Writer
Updated: July 27, 2009, 1:18 PM
Taser International unveiled its first new stun gun since 2003 Monday, a device that can shock three people without reloading.
Older Taser models, in use by 14,200 law enforcement agencies throughout the country, have to be reloaded after one shot, which can be a problem for an officer who has missed a target or has more than one suspect to subdue.
Scottsdale-based Taser unveiled the new device to hundreds of law enforcement officers and distributors at its annual conference. It costs $1,799, compared with $799 for the older model, though Taser spokesman Steve Tuttle said there will be "very generous" trade-in programs for law enforcement agencies.
The new stun gun is not yet available. Tuttle said the company would announce the release date in the next month.
Like the older models, the new stun gun shoots two barbed wires that deliver electrical current for several seconds, temporarily immobilizing people from a distance.
Human rights groups contend Tasers cause heart attacks. Tuttle said the company has won 96 of 97 wrongful-death lawsuits filed against it and is appealing after being found 15 percent responsible in the one suit it lost.