How Do Tasers Work? Here’s How To Use It For Self-Defense

Last updated: December 8, 2022


Authorities and non-governmental organizations have raised concerns about the weapon’s level of safety as well as the moral ramifications of employing something that some claim is inhumane. Amnesty International Canada and other civil liberties organizations have consequently argued that a ban on taser use should be imposed until research and safety training can establish a method for using them safely. 

In 2012, Amnesty International documented more than 500 deaths that happened due to the use of tasers. Without proper training and knowledge on the use of tasers, they become a less lethal self-defense weapon rather than a non-lethal tool for personal security. 

Read on to learn how tasers work and how to use them for self-defense. 

What Are Tasers?

When tasers, often mistaken for stun guns, were introduced to police agencies across the U.S. in the early 2000s, they were heralded as a breakthrough in law enforcement. A taser is a portable gadget designed to render a person unconscious by delivering a 50,000-volt electric shock. 

It can fire two tiny darts, attached to the device with thin wires, up to a distance of around 15 feet (4.5 meters). The darts can pierce clothing and, after making physical contact with the target, administer an electric shock that temporarily renders the victim incapacitated by disrupting their neurological system.

Since the taser employs pressurized nitrogen to discharge the darts, it is not considered a firearm. However, some states, such as Georgia, consider tasers as dangerous weapons. 

How Do They Work?

Taser weapons, which are often concealed in a person’s holster, have the ability to send assailants to their knees. These weapons typically transmit 1,200 volts to 50,000 volts of electricity to the attacker’s body for five seconds after being triggered. 

Inside The Taser

Below is an in-depth look at what’s typically inside a taser weapon. 

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Taser weapons operate similarly to other electroshock weapons, except that the two charge electrodes are not permanently attached to the housing. Instead, they are located at the tips of extensive conductive wires connected to the taser weapon’s electrical circuit. 

Pulling the trigger breaks open a compressed gas cartridge inside the gun. The electrodes are launched through the air with the attached wires trailing behind them due to the pressure created by the expanding nitrogen gas. 

The electrodes are built with small probes to attach to an attacker’s clothing easily. When the electrodes are affixed, the current travels down the wires and into the attacker, stunning him with the high-voltage electrical charge generated by the built-in generator. 

There is also a shooter identification system designed for some taser weapons. When a person fires the taser, the gun releases dozens of confetti-sized identification tags. A taser weapon tag provides detectives and police officers with critical information, including where and when the weapon was fired. The identification system also helps law enforcement officers identify exactly who discharged their taser weapon. 

When To Use It

Legally, a taser can only be used in self-defense—when you can clearly articulate that you had no other way to defend yourself against an attack. Of course, if at all possible, it’s best to avoid potentially dangerous situations where you are vulnerable to an attack. 

You must take precautions, however, if you are walking late at night after work to your car. If an assailant approaches you and believes you cannot defend yourself in physical and face-to-face combat, now is the time to employ a taser in self-defense.

How To Use It For Self-Defense

A non-lethal, legal weapon is always a highly preferred choice for self-defense. Thus, the best course of action is to carry a taser. However, you must be familiar with its proper use to carry and operate such a weapon without any legal troubles. 

Train With A Taser Before Carrying It

Often, weapons are used against the victim because they haven’t been trained adequately to use the device in the first place. Whether it’s a stun gun, taser, or pepper spray, be sure you know how to use a self-defense weapon before carrying it with you. 

Always Be Ready

It’s best to keep your taser ready in hand or in a holster that is easily accessible. Also, beware of your surroundings at all times and stay prepared to use your taser if needed.

Don’t Hesitate

The glaring weakness of tasers is that you only get one shot. So, you have to make it count. Although, the good thing is you can stun your attackers from a great distance (typically between 15 – 20 feet). 

Also, remember that tasers are only meant to be discharged for strictly not longer than 15 seconds to avoid any risk of severe injury or death. Using it against your attacker for 3 to 5 seconds is more than enough to immobilize them. 

Are you interested in purchasing a mini version of a stun gun? If so, check out this buying guide by Security Forward today and learn more. 

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