How a Taser Works

I’m putting this post right after “How a Stun Gun Works” because these two products are very similar.

A Taser is basically just a Stun Gun that shoots electrodes with small barbs attached to the end. These barbs are attached to long conductive wires which are connected to the guns electrical current.

Pulling the trigger breaks open a compressed nitrogen gas cartridge which launches the electrodes with barbs attached into the air. The barbs may then grab onto an attackers clothing or even go into his skin.

Taser C2

Even if they just attach to clothing, the attacker will still be shocked, just as with a Stun Gun, because the current is traveling down the wires.

The advantage of using a Taser over a Stun Gun is that you can stun an attacker that is 15 to 20 feet away. However, you only have one shot. You have to gather up and repack the electrode wires and load a new gas cartridge to use the gun again. Most Taser models also have regular Stun Gun electrodes.

Different models of Tasers have different systems of identifying (using tags) the suspect being shot, and computer systems that record which gun was fired, the time, and location.

If you aren’t in law enforcement and plan to use a Taser, you should get proper training.

To buy a Taser you must be 18 Years or older, and you have to register and pass a felony background check.

A lot of problems can happen with Taser use. You need to have the skill to accurately aim and shoot the device. Other people or objects can get in the way of the wires.

Once you shoot an attacker you may have to continue to stun them until police help arrives.

If you have to run from the scene before police or other help can get there, you may have to leave your gun behind, which will still be attached to the wires.

Taser states on their website they will replace a gun left behind if you send them a police report of the incident, proof of purchase, etc.

If the barbs are imbedded in an attackers skin, they probably should be removed by medical personnel.

Just as with firearms and even pepper spray, I think you should get live training (not just videos and books), and practice using a Taser before you need to use it in an actual incident.

There are occasional reports of people dying after being stunned by police with a Stun Gun or a Taser.

Usually in these cases the suspect was on drugs or may have had a pre-existing medical condition, such as a heart problem. Perhaps repeatedly zapping a person in the chest area may have contributed to death in some cases.

It’s unclear if Stun Guns or Tasers can be directly linked to deaths. Despite these incidents being reported, I would rather use a Stun Gun or Taser than a lethal firearm, in a true self-defense situation.

Remember to check your local laws before buying or using Stun Guns or Tasers. Their sale and/or use is restricted in several US states and in several countries.


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