The Baltimore Sun


Inventor of the Taser stun gun

Jack Cover, who invented the Taser stun gun now used by thousands of police agencies as a better way to subdue suspects, died of pneumonia Feb. 7 at a retirement home in Mission Viejo, Calif., according to a statement from Taser International, the Scottsdale, Ariz.-based company that now makes the stun gun.

Rick Smith, Taser International's chief executive, called Mr. Cover "one of the most influential inventors of modern times."

Mr. Cover, a one-time NASA scientist, began developing the Taser as a nonlethal weapon to combat the hijackings and riots that were happening in the 1960s, Mr. Smith said.

He derived its name from a fictional weapon in a favorite childhood book, Tom Swift and His Electric Rifle.

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