The Florence County Sheriff’s Office (FCSO) has deployed an energy weapon hailed as the most sophisticated and technologically advanced within the United States. It’s part of a newfound defense contract made possible by taxpayer funding appropriated by the South Carolina General Assembly.
The banana-colored weapon is furnished with tactical lighting, visible lasers, open sights and reloadable magazines emblematic of a traditional handgun. If drawn from its holster, nearby body cameras provided by the same manufacturer are activated — whether the futuristic device is fired or not.
We’re talking about the novel TASER 10 (T10) unveiled in January by Axon Enterprise, Inc. — a technology and weapons provider for military, law enforcement and qualifying civilians. Former government advisors within our rolodex say Axon is the “Cadillac of taser manufacturing,” and its latest product has captivated the global market.
Here in the Palmetto State, FSCO says it is the first agency in the state to supply deputies with the T10 — a device reportedly equipped with less-lethal and de-escalating features. This month, FITSNews was invited to a portion of the eight-hour training class FCSO deputies are required to take for their T10 certification.
Unlike FCSOs former TASER 7 with a two-cartridge capacity and effective range of 25 feet, T10 packs a 10-probe magazine with a maximum reach two times greater than its predecessor. Despite the increased proportions, deputies are restricted from firing more than two probes into a suspect unless the initial charges are ineffective.
A single T10 magazine — packed only with 1,000 volts — is good for subduing up to three suspects before reloading, according to FCSO users. The targeted fishhook probes resemble long metallic bullets which fire at 205 feet per second. We’re told the probes will detach and keep on traveling if the subject isn’t hit within wire’s reach.
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“The weapon uses electrical impulses to control an individual, as opposed to the use of a firearm,” said major Michael Nunn, general counsel for FCSO. “The electrical current incapacitates the individual by neuromuscular interruption… Hopefully, within such a period of time, the deputies can get control of the individual and take them safely into custody.”
As FITSNews can personally attest, the T10 is impressively lightweight and silent unless the charge-up alarm is manually activated by the safety catch. We fired eight probes from the weapon during Wednesday’s visit to the FCSO training facility.
Take a look …
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We’re told the office entered a 10-year contract with Axon — for T10s and body-worn cameras — valued upwards of $3 million. Exactly 125 of the T10s are in circulation with another 35 en route, according to FCSO personnel. The tasers are priced at approximately $1,200 each.
According to emails from Axon, six additional agencies are following FSCOs lead in South Carolina: The Greenville County Sheriff’s Office, Charleston County Sheriff’s Office (GCSO), Colleton County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO), Greenville Police Department (GPD), Wellford PD (WPD) and Woodruff PD (WPD).
Axon, which simultaneously serves as a national database for gun-related deaths within law enforcement, reported 47 suspect-related fatalities within South Carolina since 2021. Over thirty percent of these killings emerged from traffic stops and domestic disturbance calls, according to their dashboard.
As more law enforcement officers integrate the T10 within their tactical belts, Axon maintains its self-defined ‘moonshot’ optimism to slash police violence through potentially nonlethal alternatives.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR …
Andrew Fancher is a Lone Star Emmy award-winning journalist from Dallas, Texas. Cut from a bloodline of outlaws and lawmen alike, he was the first of his family to graduate college which was accomplished with honors. Got a story idea or news tip for Andy? Email him directly and connect with him socially across Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
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