Despite being a controversial weapon, with just over half the world declaring it illegal, stun guns are still a favorite in the world of self-defense. But how does it work and how are you meant to use it?
What Is a Stun Gun?
A stun gun is a non-lethal weapon that sends an electrical current via prongs through the body of whoever it’s in contact with. It immobilizes the attacker long enough for the victim to run away. These are not to be confused with Tasers which launch two darts into the assailant from anywhere up to fifteen feet away.
Where in the World Can You Use a Stun Gun?
In some countries, like Canada, anyone who isn’t a licensed federal or provincial police officer cannot use a stun gun or Taser and can be prosecuted for possession. Similarly, in the United Kingdom, only police and military personnel can use Tasers, and even then, only two types, the M26 and the X26. In regards to the USA, stun guns are only illegal in Hawaii, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island. Each state where stun guns are legal in America has its own individual laws. Some areas do not allow you to conceal your stun gun, for example, or others require you to carry a permit. It’s recommended that you always check with the local police before purchasing.
How Do You Use a Stun Gun Effectively?
If you’re being attacked, you want to aim for the neck, the underarm, the upper shoulders, groin and below the attacker’s rib cage. These areas have the most nerves so the electric current will affect the entire body instead of just a single body part. Hold the button for three to five seconds – this should give you enough time to get away. If the attacker is particularly large, however, you may need to hold on for a little longer. Remember that these are for self-defense only but may, if you hold on too long, severely injure or, in certain circumstances, kill the attacker. Keep your fingers away from the prongs so you don’t accidentally shock yourself.
Can You Travel with a Stun Gun?
If you’re traveling with a stun gun, it needs to be checked-in and cannot be in carry-on luggage. Although it is legal in most of the US, it may not be legal in the country you are traveling to, so make sure to check with your destination country. Remember that different airlines also have different rules so it would be wise to contact the airport and/or airline before you get to the airport.
By Jess Walters