Stun Guns & TASERs
Frequently Asked Questions - Stun Guns & TASERs
Are TASERs and Stun Guns the same thing?
Although often considered to be stun guns, TASERs are actually much different. The big difference between the two is that the stun gun is a direct-contact weapon that must be applied to the body of an assailant to be effective, while the TASER, on the other hand, shoots small barbed probes that hit a person’s central nervous system on contact.
Are they safe?
Though there have been cases of people dying from TASERs, it is rare, they mainly consisted of people who had heart conditions or who were under the influence. When misused, stun guns and TASERs can be very harmful or deadly. When following proper procedure, they make excellent less-lethal weapons for self-defense.
Are there advantages and disadvantages to each?
As with all things, there are pros and cons between using a TASER and a stun gun. The advantage of using a TASER is that it has range; you can fire from up to 15 feet away and penetrate up to two inches of clothing (the X3 HD Taser shoots up to 25 ft). Another nice feature is that it also opens up and works as a stun gun. One disadvantage of the TASER is that once you turn off the power, the person who has been hit quickly recovers; that is why you shoot, drop and run (leaving the TASER to work its magic on your assailant). A stun gun is great when you are taken by surprise from behind (just pull it out and stick it to the attacker’s body).
How is the effectiveness of a Stun Gun measured?
There are a variety of stun guns that range from 100,000 volts on up to 6.5 million volts. Voltage is not necessarily the best indicator of a stun gun’s effectiveness, however. Amperage is one of the biggest factors. Amperage determines how fast electricity travels through the body while voltage shows how much electricity there is. One amp will kill a person (cause their heart to stop). Stun guns run on low amperage (typically 2-3 milliamps), just enough to incapacitate someone, but not so much as to kill them. So, you may have one stun gun that runs 4.5 million volts with low amperage, but have a more effective stun gun at 500,000 volts with higher amperage.
What is more effective, Pepper Spray or a Stun Gun?
At Stun & Run Self Defense, we personally recommend pepper spray over the stun gun. Unlike a stun gun, pepper spray does not rely on pain compliance to be effective. It works on anyone regardless of their condition (e.g. intoxicated, psychotic, and/or drugged), does not require direct contact, and only takes one spray to bring down an assailant. It certainly never hurts to combine the two, in addition to self-defense combat techniques, however. Unleashing a flurry of pepper spray, immobilizing the attacker with a stun gun, and then following up with a proper kick, punch or grapple to keep them down allows for the greatest efficiency. We always recommend using at least a combination of self-defense tactics and a stun gun or pepper spray to get the best results (do not always rely on just the product itself to protect you, as this can backfire).
Are stun guns or TASERs illegal in my state?
Some states allow stun guns (with or without restrictions) while others do not. If you live in New York, Rhode Island or Hawaii, you are not allowed to purchase or own a stun device (including TASERs). There are certain cities in which stun guns are illegal as well. Check our Laws & Restrictions page for more details.
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