KWESST Micro Systems (KWE.V) provided an update on their plan to acquire a proprietary non-lethal munitions technology known as Low Energy Cartridge (LEC) technology.
The LEC tech is a proprietary non-lethal cartridge-based ordnance system created by David Luxton, the Executive Chairman of KWESST. KWE.V received confirmation from intellectual property counsel that Luxton has filed the provisional patents for the LEC technology. Upon the closing of the acquisition, the patents will be transferred to KWESST.
KWE also received approval from the TSX Venture Exchange to proceed with the acquisition, which is expected to close shortly.
The deal involves sending over 1,000,000 shares of KWE.V and 500,000 share purchase warrants exercisable at $0.70 in exchange for the rights to the technology.
The LEC is a novel combination of cartridges that launch from a dedicated device on a firing platform. The technology launches a non-lethal polymer projectile with various payloads that depend on the technology’s intended use, which can be maintaining public order, training, personal defense, or high-action gaming.
“Competing products such as traditional air-powered systems for public order, personal protection and gaming have limitations which the LEC Technology does not,” stated Jeff MacLeod, President and CEO of KWESST. “Air powered systems require high maintenance due to synthetic seals and “O” rings that dry out or burst, leading to complete failure. They have variable performance due to the effect of ambient temperature on compressed gas, especially in cold weather. Systems utilizing compressed gas, cannot typically be stored with gas in the system as the afore mentioned seals and “O” rings will allow the gas to escape over time, potentially rendering the device unusable when needed the most. Other alternatives, such as Taser, carried by some 400,000 American patrol officers, can also be unreliable in certain situations with, as an example, an effectiveness rating of 57.1% being reported by LAPD.”
MacLeod is right that many non-lethal methods used by law enforcement are ineffective. For instance, in the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, WI last summer, officers used tasers on Blake twice, but both times they had minimal or no effect.
Last summer, police were often criticized for their use of rubber bullets when trying to control protests caused by the killing of George Floyd. ProPublica also ran an exposé on the potential dangers of crowd control gases, and some studies found cases where exposure to gas lead to deaths.
As civil protests become more common (some believe last summer’s Black Lives Matter protests were the largest protest movement in US history) and police departments face increasing scrutiny over their actions, the effectiveness of non-lethal crowd control is becoming increasingly important.
“The kind of fatalities that have led to widespread protests in the U.S. are just one example of the need for more advanced solutions that enable law enforcement to engage with more benign devices from a safer stand-off distance and ensure that everyone goes home alive,” added David Luxton.
The news has not had a significant effect on the stock price.
Full disclosure: KWESST Micro Systems is an Equity.Guru marketing client.