Taser-equipped weapons would incapacitate individuals for at least thirty seconds.
The U.S. Marines want a new small arms round that can bring down people with a powerful electric shock.
The new round would fire from pistols, shotguns, and grenade launchers and incapacitate them rather than kill them. Stunner rounds would be particularly useful to Marines guarding embassies in foreign countries, or dealing with crowds while evacuating Americans from hostile countries.
The National Interest writes that the Marine Corps is looking for a “wireless human electro-muscular incapacitation (HEMI) round”. The round should have a range of at least 328 feet and should penetrate clothing to make contact with the target’s skin. It must be able to incapacitate for a minimum of 30 seconds, and ideally three minutes.
The Marines do a lot more than beach assaults, and some of their missions involve dealing with hostile locals without shooting or killing anybody (ideally, anyway). Marines guard U.S. embassies abroad, including in countries hostile to the United States. Terrorists, protesters, or people who just don’t like Americans may try to penetrate the embassy grounds and cause mischief. It’s a good idea to have a non-lethal alternative to shooting someone who’s coming over the embassy wall, especially an alternative that can disable several people in a matter of seconds.
Another situation in which a non-lethal round might be used is in a noncombatant emergency evacuation, or NEO. NEOs involve Marines entering a country where Americans are in danger because of terrorist threats, instability, or civil war, and it becomes the Marines’ job to evacuate them through nearby ports or airfields. Taser rounds would give grunts the ability to take down individuals who present less than a lethal threat and avoid nasty diplomatic fallout from lethal shootings.
The Marines want taser rounds for 9-millimeter handguns (M9 and M17 handguns), 12-gauge shotguns (Mossberg 500 and M1014 shotguns), and 40-millimeter grenade launchers (M320 underbarrel grenade launcher, M32A1). Adapting taser weapons to firearms will allow Marines to make their weapons lethal again with a simple magazine or ammo switch if things quickly go sideways. Dual-purpose weapons also make it unnecessary to carry two different weapons.
Read more at The National Interest.