There are a lot of reasons why you might want to buy a stun gun or pepper spray. For people who can’t own firearms for whatever reason, these are sensible personal protection options that can be used to protect yourself out in public and your home in the event of a home invasion. We recently publish a guide to understanding pepper spray. Pepper spray and stun guns are good choices for non-lethal weapons. Read our article, “Ready to Buy Pepper Spray? Read This.”
For people who want a defensive weapon they can carry in their purse, car or briefcase that they don’t have to have a license and training for, there really is nothing better, other than perhaps a knife. But you can’t take a knife just anywhere and they are likely to attract attention. Stun guns are illegal in some places and can not be taken on planes or into federal buildings like courthouses and things like that.
Stun guns intended to be used against humans (as opposed to animals such as bears) are illegal in New York and Massachusetts. So before you buy a stun gun and start carrying it around on a daily basis, inform yourself of your particular state’s rules about these defensive items. Some cities and even some counties might have their own rules.
A stun gun can go from home to car to the beach or to the office and no one will likely know you have it as long as it is tucked away but still accessible. There are a lot of options for stun guns so let’s look at the possibilities.
What Are Stun Guns?
A stun gun is considered an electrical weapon that debilitates an attacker with an electrical charge. The electrical charge interferes with the body’s normal brain/muscle communication and causes loss of muscle control and muscle spasms. The effects are temporary. So if you use one, be prepared to get yourself away from the attacker as quickly as possible. They are designed to be used at close range unless you get a tactical stun gun, like a Taser. So the attacker must be close enough to you to reach out and touch with the stun gun device.
The price of stun guns varies greatly depending on their amperage. Read on for more about that. The user of the stun gun does not feel anything. It is also ok to use a stun gun when it is raining or while standing in water. The low amperage of the stun gun simply disables the attacker temporarily. It does not electrocute him or her.
The stun gun will be most effective when used in the large muscles like the hip, torso and neck. It’s also best if you can maintain contact with the attackers body for 3 to 5 seconds. The application of the current does cause pain, and a sensitive body part will feel even more pain. I’ve never been stun-gunned so I can’t speak first-hand to what this feels like, but when you watch videos of people being stunned, it’s obvious that it is not a pleasant feeling.
A half-second shock will cause pain and will be enough to startle someone. Two to three seconds of application will usually cause the attacker to drop to the ground. Over three seconds of application will incapacitate the person for several seconds. This time frame is what will give you a chance to get away or pull out another weapon if you have access to one. The longer you apply the shock the more time you have to get away.
Most stun guns use a battery that must be recharged as the power source. A good quality stun gun uses a nickel-metal hydride battery which is longer lasting and better at being recharged.
Tasers versus Stun Guns
A Taser is simply a brand of stun gun. Tasers are widely used by law enforcement personal because they are usable at a range of around 7 to 10 feet. With Tasers, you don’t need to be right up against an attacker.
How Powerful Are Stun Guns?
Stuns guns use high-voltage, low-current electrical discharge to disrupt the body’s muscle control. The amperage must be sufficient to stun. Higher voltage means faster immobilization. Higher voltage also means the current can go through more layers of clothing. Let’s give a quick explanation of the difference between the electrical terms here: current, amperage and voltage.
Voltage is measured in volts. Current is measured in amps. Stun guns come in a wide range of voltages, from 20,000 to millions of volts. The higher the volts, the more effective the stun guns is considered to be. Anything more than 1 million volts should have an immediate effect on a victim.
Amperage is what gives the stun gun its “knock down” power. Too much amperage is dangerous to the body, while too little won’t have an effect. Amps in a stun gun are typically measured in miliamps. Five miliamps is considered safe for the body. Many cheaper stun guns deliver only 1 to 2 miliamps, which makes them less effective.
We’re planning a series of posts about stun guns and pepper spray effectiveness with a giveaway from PS Products in the coming weeks, so stay tuned! Keep in mind that pepper spray in the size we’re going to be giving away can go anywhere but Washington DC or New York. Stun guns cannot be shipped to New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Wisconsin or Michigan. Next up in the series is a post explaining the effectiveness of pepper sprays, their potency and range. After that, keep reading for a post explaining the different types of pepper sprays and stun guns that are available and what situations they would be most useful in.
Image from psproducts.com