NEW YORK (CNN/Money) -
Taser is planning to market its stun gun for home use -- an idea garnering criticism from human rights groups and others concerned about the product's safety, according to a report Monday in the Chicago Tribune.
The Tribune quoted Taser (Research) president and co-founder Thomas Smith at a recent gun show in Las Vegas speaking enthusiastically about the idea of widespread access to stun guns for American citizens.
"It's a huge potential market," Smith told the paper. "I just can't get my arms around how big this can get."
While the company maintains its product is safe, the article said 80 deaths have been reported among people shot with police Tasers since 1999, 12 of them proven to be either directly or indirectly linked to the gun. The report also said access to Tasers has led to an increase in use of either lethal or nonlethal force in some police departments.
"It's a ghastly idea," William Schulz, executive director of Amnesty International USA, told the Tribune. "We have documented a case of a parent using a Taser against a child. That, of course, raises the question if a Taser is going to replace the bootstrap or belt as the preferred form of discipline by parents for children. And if that's so, we're facing a very, very dangerous situation."
In related news, Taser stock rose Monday after the company said it received three follow-on orders for its X26 stun gun and an initial order from the Singapore national police force.
The orders, worth more than $675,000, is expected to ship in the first quarter.