The Conducted Electrical Weapon: Historical Overview of the Technology

  • Paul C. Nystrom


Over the years, there have been many types of conducted electrical weapons (CEWs) in society. Historically, they were initially designed for direct, personal contact as a means of self-defense. Over time, they have changed with technology advances that allow several of them to be applied from some distance. Continued progression of the technology indicates that newer generation CEWs are now filled with advanced features such as multiple deployment capability or event data recording.

This chapter will cover the progression of CEW technology with an eye toward its historical perspective through currently available weapons. It will also discuss unique CEW products such as area denial systems. This chapter will provide the reader with an understanding of the scope of this technology, its progression, and the possible types of CEWs that they may encounter in both clinical and forensic applications.


Effective Range Audible Alarm Thumb Trigger Electronic Projectile Significant Upgrade 
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Thank you to Mr. Steve Tuttle, Mr. Andrew Hinz, Mr. Matt Carver, and Mr. Connor Williamson of TASER International, Inc. for their assistance and collective knowledge in helping to assemble information and images for this chapter.


  1. 1.
    University of Florida Student Tasered at Kerry Forum. Accessed on 5 Jan 2011 at:
  2. 2.
    Anonymous. Department of defense directive 3000.3 policy for nonlethal weapons. US Department of Defense. November 2003. Accessed 5 Jan 2011 at:
  3. 3.
    Goshin Company Website. Accessed on 19 May 2011 at:
  4. 4.
    L3 Communications Applied Technologies-Jaycor Website. Accessed on 19 May 2011 at:
  5. 5.
    Security Devices International, Inc. Wireless Electric Projectile website. Accessed on 19 May 2011 at:

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Emergency MedicineHennepin County Medical CenterMinneapolisUSA

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