What You Need to Know About Tasers



Tasers are in the news now more than ever. More police are using the device as a non-lethal aid to control rowdy out-of-control suspects. Consumers are also buying Taser as a non-lethal self defense weapon. Some media incorrectly use “Taser” and “stun gun” interchangeably. A Taser is a kind of stun gun with shooting tethered electrodes that attach onto the assailant. A stun gun contains two attached electrodes that require clothing or skin contact and is NOT a Taser.

Although a prototype electrical device similar to the Taser was invented in 1969, it wasn’t until the 1990s that the company Air Taser was born. Early customers were citizens concerned about personal safety. When Taser changed its name in 1998 to Taser International they began to market their devices to law enforcement. The timing was right. Law enforcement had been seeking an effective different to lethal force.

How They Work

The Taser (or Air Taser) is a specialized stun gun. Once the gun is fired, compressed nitrogen sends out two darts each attached to 15 feet of fine wire. These probes attach to the subject’s clothing. 50,000 volts travel down the wires. The subject goes down in pain. Because the amperage is low, no long-lasting damage is done and the effects are permanent. A threatening or out-of-control individual is subdued without lethal force. Taser International claims near 100% effectiveness.

Tasers, like all stun guns, use a high voltage, low amperage electrical signal that when administered causes the complete loss of neuro-muscular control. Taser’s EMD (Electro Muscular Disruption) weapons use a more powerful 18 to 26 watt electrical signal to completely override the central nervous system and directly control the skeletal muscles.

The Taser uses a timing mechanism to deliver the jolt. The Air Taser releases an electric current in a pre-set time ordern (an initial seven seconds followed by several 1.8 second breaks for a total time of about 30 seconds in each cycle). This cycle ensures that the nervous system of the target does not retrieve immediately to allow him to remove the probes.


This EMD effect causes an uncontrollable contraction of the muscle tissue, allowing the gun to physically debilitate a target in spite of of pain tolerance or mental focus. instead of simply interfering with communication between the brain and muscles, the progressive Taser EMD systems directly tell the muscles what to do: contract until the target is in a docile position on the ground.

A person hit with an progressive Taser will feel dazed for several minutes. The pulsating electrical output causes involuntary muscle contractions and a resulting sense of vertigo. It can momentarily stun or render an attacker unconscious. in addition, the Taser’s low electrical amperage and short duration of pulsating current ensures a non-lethal charge. additionally, it does not cause long-lasting damage or long-term aftereffects to muscles, nerves or other body roles. A January 1987 Annals of Emergency Medicine study reported TASER technology leaves no long term injuries compared with 50% long term injuries for gun shot injuries.

Are Tasers Safe?

There is a plethora of information concerning Taser safety both scientific and anecdotal. In summary, most studies conclude that the Taser’s effects are permanent with no ill after effects. Deaths have occurred after the administration of the Taser. Independent reviews showed most fatalities were due to pre-existing conditions, drugs or in some case, over-administration.

Police are generally enthusiastic about the results of Taser. Florida Orange County Sheriffs Department reported a 80% reduction of injuries to sheriffs in 2002, the first year of Taser use. The Phoenix police department reported a 67% reduction in speculate injuries in 2004 and credited the results to Taser use. In South Bend Indiana, officer injuries were down by 67% in the last half of 2003 compared to no Taser use in the first half.


It’s a fact–Tasers work, clear and simple. They are nearly 100% effective in the field. The Air Taser is non-destructive to nerves, muscles and other body elements. Unlike regular stun guns that require actual contact with an assailant, Tasers can be fired up to 15 feet away. As with all self-defense products, the user must exercise sound judgment in their use and application. The latest form C2 Taser brings the price down to the consumer level. It comes in four fact colors and is lightweight and easy to manager.

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