This interesting Taser shotgun is not technically considered a firearm.
In the long and storied history of firearms, people have tried many grand experiments with the technology while attempting to create a more efficient weapon. Many gun manufacturers have tinkered with the idea of less-than-lethal firearms for law enforcement agencies.
In 2008, Taser worked side by side with Mossberg to produce the X12 XREP. This shotgun may look like a standard Mossberg 500 with yellow furniture, but a closer look reveals many interesting design details. This shotgun was specifically designed to fire a non-lethal Taser cartridge at an extended range to help save more lives.
Ian of the YouTube channel Forgotten Weapons recently got a chance to check out this unique gun firsthand. He also explains some of the unique design features that prevent it from using regular shotgun shells and why the idea just sort of fizzled out.
The whole idea behind this shotgun was simply to give police a chance to use a Taser system at a greater range. Tasers are effective, but notorious for being highly inaccurate at ranges greater than 20 to 30 feet. Unfortunately, that limits many of the encounters where they can be used.
There are a lot of interesting and smart design ideas in this shotgun. The fact that they made it so it could not shoot lethal rounds eliminates all chances of a fatal mistake. It is interesting that this gun is technically not considered a firearm because of those features. It is a shame that the cost of production of the shells was too high. This gun could have potentially saved a lot of lives on both sides of the firearm. We are sure that getting hit with one of these rounds would not be pleasant, but at least it would eliminate all controversy around the police encounter.
While this idea was quickly shelved, it may be something worth looking into for gun manufacturers and police going forward. Who knows? As technology improves, perhaps the cost of producing a system like this eventually will too.