Whether or not you carry a stun gun depends on your personal situation. But you should be aware of what it can do, how to use it, and where to find it.
Stun guns produce electrical energy that can cause pain and immobilize attackers. They are often used by police departments and security companies as a strong non-lethal defensive tool.
1. Can it kill?
Tasers, also called stun guns, have been adopted by most police agencies since the early 2000s as a non-lethal weapon to help police control combative suspects. However, tasers can cause serious harm when misused.
A new study published in the journal Circulation adds to a growing body of evidence that tasers, when aimed at the chest, can induce cardiac arrest. The findings raise questions about their safety and effectiveness, said lead researcher Peter Eisler.
Typically, a taser is designed to have two darts connected by thin wires to the gun that deliver a shock when pressed against the target. The current triggers a paralyzing neuromuscular response that gives officers several seconds to restrain the subject.
2. Is it legal?
Stun guns are small devices that use electricity to emit a high-voltage shock. They’re usually no larger than a cell phone and can be held in a belt or purse.
They’re used by law enforcement to subdue fleeing or combative suspects, but they’re also increasingly popular with people who want to protect themselves from crime. They’re considered less-lethal weapons than firearms, but they still can cause severe pain and injury.
Depending on state law, they’re classified as dangerous weapons. Some states and localities also regulate them directly with laws and ordinances that call them by name or include them in the definition of a weapon for gun regulations.
Some states and localities, including New York, have banned the possession of stun guns and Tasers altogether. Others have reversed those bans in recent years, such as Illinois and Massachusetts.
3. Is it dangerous?
Stun guns use electricity to temporarily immobilize an attacker. The current sends jolts of electricity through the body, disrupting the brain’s signals that relay information to the muscles and causing them to contract.
However, stun guns also interfere with the electrical signals sent to the heart and lungs, potentially triggering life-threatening arrhythmias. This is particularly true when used against the head, where the pulse superimposes the attacker’s vital body signals.
A half-second shock will repel and startle an attacker; one to two seconds cause muscle spasms and a dazed mental state; three seconds or more may cause loss of balance and muscle control, mental confusion and disorientation. The stun gun is considered less lethal than a firearm, and police officials say they can be used effectively by trained professionals.
4. How do I use it?
There are a few things to keep in mind when using the stun gun. First, you want to be sure that you understand how the device works and what it can do for you.
Stun guns work by creating an electrical charge that is conducted between the metal contact probes on the end of the device. This charge is capable of causing a lot of pain and may even knock an attacker off their feet.
A good way to test your stun gun is to use it in short 1-2 second bursts. This will allow you to see what it can do and make sure that the batteries are still working properly.
Practicing the best way to use your device is essential, as it will help you feel more confident when it comes time to actually deploy it in an emergency. You should also practice grabbing it quickly and accurately so that you are ready to use it when the time comes.