Many people that are relatively unfamiliar with less than lethal self-defense tools think of stun guns and tasers and virtually the same thing. But there are major differences between these two kinds of defensive tools that anyone interested in using them for personal defense needs to be aware of. Here is a basic overview of stun guns and tasers highlighting their differences.
- The biggest difference is that stun guns are “pain compliance devices”, while tasers are “incapacitation devices”. These basically means that stun guns are meant to protect you by hurting the person you use it on, and tasers offer you protection by rendering the target unable to move and therefore attack.
- Stun guns are only effective as either an “intimidation tool” or a direct contact weapon. This means that you can activate the device which does make a menacing noise, but if you want it to have an effect on your target you will need to press against their exposed flesh. Tasers can be used as a direct contact weapon, but they can also be used to fire prongs that stick in the skin of your target at up to 25 feet away.
- Under normal circumstances neither product works as seen in movies or on TV. When the device is not active, meaning when electricity is not flowing into your target, they will be unaffected. It will rarely, if ever, result in the target losing consciousness.
- Stun guns are inexpensive and usually cost between $50 to $100, tasers on the other hand cost $400 or more (which as much or more than the cost of a mid-level handgun such as Glock, S&W, or Ruger).
- Neither device will work if it does not have contact with skin due to thick clothing.
- Believe it or not, there are states, cities, and counties that restrict the possession or concealment of both stun guns and tasers. Chances are if you live in a state or city that restricts your right of gun ownership they also restrict or even outlaw the use of stun guns or tasers. Laws are always changing though.
If you are considering purchasing either of these devices for self-defense, make sure that you spend some time on youtube watching videos of these devices being used. Know their function, and their limitations.
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