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Encyclopedia > Electroshock gun

An electroshock gun, also referred to as a stun gun, is a weapon used for subduing a person by firing something which administers electric shock, disrupting superficial muscle functions. A Taser is a well-known device of this type. The bayonet is used as both knife and spear. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Muscular system. ...

A stun baton does the same by administering an electric shock by contact without firing anything. Sign warning of possible electric shock hazard An electric shock can occur upon contact of a human or animal body with any source of voltage high enough to cause sufficient current flow through the muscles or nerves. ...

Electric shock baton
Electric shock baton


electric shock baton This work is copyrighted, and used with permission. ... electric shock baton This work is copyrighted, and used with permission. ...

Commercially available varieties

Electric shock prods

This type is similar to basic design to an electric cattle prod. It has a metal end split into two parts electrically insulated from each other, or two thin projecting metal electrodes about an inch apart, at an end of a shaft which contains the batteries and mechanism. At the other end of the shaft is a handle and a switch. Both electrodes must touch the subject. In some types the sides of the baton can be electrified to stop the subject from grasping the baton above the electrodes. They are often carried in a sheath slung on a belt. Some such devices are available disguised as other objects, such as umbrellas or cell-phones or pens. Sometimes they have an option to make a noisy visible electric arc between the electrodes, to warn suspects. [1] A cattle prod, also called a stock prod, is a handheld device commonly used for stimulating movement in cattle or other livestock by striking or poking them or (in the case of a hotshot) through the use of a (relatively) low voltage electric shock. ... Alternative meanings: There is also an Electric-type Pokémon named Electrode. ...

Some models are built into long flashlights which are designed also to administer an electric shock with its lit end's metal surround (which is split into halves insulated from each other). [2] [3] Green flashlight Flashlight is the NATO designation for the Yakovlev Yak-25 Soviet military jet. ...

In the beginning police used electric cattle prods for this purpose.


The M-26 TASER, the United States military version of a commercial TASER.
The M-26 TASER, the United States military version of a commercial TASER.

A TASER is any member of a family of the most commercially recognized brand of electroshock guns, produced by TASER International. The name Taser is an acronym: "Thomas A. Swift's Electric Rifle". It was designed in 1969 by Arizona inventor Jack Cover; he named it for the science fiction teenage inventor and adventurer character Tom Swift. Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (2392x1794, 2494 KB) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Electroshock gun ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (2392x1794, 2494 KB) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Electroshock gun ... TASER International, Inc. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Backronym and Apronym (Discuss) Acronyms and initialisms are abbreviations, such as NATO, laser, and ABC, written as the initial letter or letters of words, and pronounced on the basis of this abbreviated written form. ... Official language(s) English Capital Phoenix Largest city Phoenix Area  Ranked 6th  - Total 113,998 sq mi (295,254 km²)  - Width 310 miles (500 km)  - Length 400 miles (645 km)  - % water 0. ... Science fiction is a form of speculative fiction principally dealing with the impact of imagined science and technology, or both, upon society and persons as individuals. ... The first Tom Swift book: Tom Swift and his Motor Cycle Tom Swift is the protagonist in several series of juvenile adventure novels starting in the early twentieth century and continuing to present. ...

Modern taser-type weapons fire small dart-like electrodes with attached metal wires that connect to the gun, propelled by small gas charges similar to some air rifle propellants. The maximum range is up to 10 meters (30 feet). Earlier models of Taser needed the dart-like electrodes to embed in the skin and superficial muscle tissues layers; newer versions of the projectiles use a shaped pulse / arc of electricity which disrupt nerve and muscle function without needing the metal prongs on the projectile to penetrate the skin. Early models had difficulty in penetrating thick clothing, but the `pulse' models are designed to bring down a subject wearing up to a Level III body armor vest. Air guns are weapons that propel a bullet using compressed air or another gas, possibly liquefied. ... Nerves (yellow) Nerves redirects here. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Muscular system. ... ...

Tasers are currently in use by a number of police forces world-wide to try to reduce lethal firearms-related deaths. The Phoenix Police Department reported that officer shootings had dropped as a result from the use of TASER technology as an alternative to deadly force. Uses of a TASER device in this department increased from 71 in the year 2002 to 164 in the year 2003. Additionally, the number of officer-involved shootings decreased by 7 during this time period.[4] An assortment of modern handheld firearms using fixed ammunition, including military assault rifles, a sporting shotgun (fourth from bottom), and a tactical shotgun (third from bottom). ... Nickname: Valley of the Sun Location in Maricopa County and the state of Arizona Coordinates: Country United States State Arizona Counties Maricopa Incorporated February 25, 1881 Mayor Phil Gordon (D) Area    - City 1,230. ...

However, there is controversy about tasers. While they may not be considered technically "lethal", many question both the degree of safety presented by the weapon and the ethical implications of using a weapon that many judge to be inhumane. As a result, a number of civil liberties groups would like to see tasers banned. Amnesty International have documented over 150 deaths following the use of tasers. The US National Institute of Justice has begun a two year study into taser-related deaths in custody. Ethics (from the Ancient Greek ethikos, meaning arising from habit), a major branch of philosophy, is the study of value or quality. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Amnesty International (commonly known as Amnesty or AI) is an non-governmental membership organization with the stated purpose of campaigning for internationally recognized human rights. ... The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) is the research, development and evaluation agency of the United States Department of Justice. ...

See TASER International for another weapon which is being developed by TASER International. TASER International, Inc. ...

Wire-less long-range electric shock weapon

This weapon fires a projectile which administers an electric shock without needing a connecting wire. See TASER International. TASER International, Inc. ...

Stun belts

A stun belt is a belt that is fastened around the subject's waist or leg or arm which carries a battery and control pack and contains features to stop the subject from unfastening or removing it. A remote control signal is sent to tell the battery pack to give the subject an electric shock. Some models are activated by the subject's movement.

The United States uses these devices to control prisoners. One type is the REACT belt. Some stun belts can restrain the subject's hands and have a strap going under the subject's crotch to stop him from rotating the belt around his waist trying to deactivate it. Stun belts are not generally available to the public. The Remote Electronically Activated Control Technology belt is a restraining device that applies 50 kV to the muscles in the area of the kidneys, pulsed over 8 s. ...

Prototype designs

Due to increased interest in developing less-lethal weapons, mainly from the US military, a number of new types of stun gun are being researched. They are designed to provide a "ranged" non-lethal weapon.

Weapons that administer electric shock through a stream of fluid

Prototype stun guns exist which replace the solid wire with a stream of conductive liquid (essentially salty water) which offers the range of a Taser (or better) and the possibility of multiple shots. See Electrified water cannon. Difficulties associated with this experimental design include: Water is a tasteless, odourless substance that is essential to all known forms of life and is known as the universal solvent. ... The electrified water cannon is a non-lethal weapon under early research by Jaycor Tactical Systems, as part of a program to produce less lethal weapons for law enforcement officers. ...

  • “Non-continuous” discharge onto subject: liquid stream needs over 30 feet and over 5 second discharge.
  • “Pooling” of electrified liquid at base of subject, making apprehension of subject difficult by observing officers.
  • Need to carry a large tank of the liquid used, and a propellant canister, like a “water gun”, to administer consecutive bursts of liquid over distances.

Another design, announced by Rheinmetall W&M as a prototype in 2003, uses an aerosol as the conductive medium. The manufacturers called it a “Plasma Taser”; however this is only a marketing name, and the weapon does not use plasma. Problems associated with this design include: Rheinmetall is a German automotive and defence company with factories in Düsseldorf and Unterlüß. It has a long tradition of making guns and artillery pieces. ... Aerosol may refer to Aerosol spray, the spraying device Particulate, mixed-phase state of matter This is a disambiguation page: a list of articles associated with the same title. ... A Plasma lamp, illustrating some of the more complex phenomena of a plasma, including filamentation A solar coronal mass ejection blasts plasma throughout the solar system. ...

  • Poor electrical conductivity.
  • Range of concept design is nominal (a gas cannot be propelled greater than 10 feet effectively).
  • The “gassing effect”: all subjects in enclosed spaces are subjected to same effects (if any, as electrical conductivity can be poor).


Other known or rumored variants include the electrolaser, which uses blooming of a laser beam to create a conductive channel of ionised air (plasma) to carry the electric shock. A laser (see Directed-energy_weapon#Lasers) begins to cause plasma breakdown in air at densities around a megajoule per square centimeter. ... A directed-energy weapon is a type of energy weapon that directs energy in a particular direction by a means other than a projectile. ... A Plasma lamp, illustrating some of the more complex phenomena of a plasma, including filamentation A solar coronal mass ejection blasts plasma throughout the solar system. ...

Principles of operation

Stun gun technology uses a temporary high-voltage low-current electrical discharge to override the body's superficial muscle-triggering mechanisms. The recipient is immobilized via two metal probes (darts) connected via metal wires from the stun gun usually penetrating the human skin, and superficial muscle. The recipient that is 'connected' to a stun gun feels great pain and can be momentarily paralyzed (only so long as there is an electrical current being applied) because his muscles are receiving electrical 'shock'. The (relatively) low electric current must be pushed by (relatively) high voltage to overcome the electrical resistance of the human body. The resultant 'shock' is caused by muscles twitching uncontrollably, appearing as muscle spasms. However, because the amount of current is relatively low, there is considered to be a 'margin' of safety by a number of medical experts upon usage on humans.

In current stun-gun models, the amperage is relatively low (2.1 mA to 3.6 mA) which is based in part on the electrical supply, (for example M-26 Taser models use eight AA batteries). Electrical current above 100 mA is considered to be potentially lethal to humans. A multimeter can be used to measure current The ampere (symbol: A) is the SI base unit of electric current. ...

The internal circuits of most stun-guns are fairly simple, either based on an oscillator, resonant circuit and step-up transformer or diode-capacitor voltage multipliers to achieve the continuous, direct or alternating high-voltage discharge may be powered by one or more 9 V battery depending on manufacturer, and model. The output voltages without external "load" (which would be the target's body) are claimed to be in the range of 50 kV up to 900 kV, with the most common being in the 200 to 300 kV range. However since air has a dielectric breakdown (Emax) of 3000000 V/m, it is clear that the spacing of the electrodes will not permit the upper range of claimed voltages (900kV representing a minimum electrode spacing of about 30cm). The output current upon contact with the target will depend on various factors such as target's resistance, skin type, moisture, bodily salinity, clothing, the stun-gun's internal circuitry and battery conditions. Oscillation is the periodic variation, typically in time, of some measure as seen, for example, in a swinging pendulum. ... The Tacoma Narrows Bridge (shown twisting) in Washington collapsed spectacularly, under moderate wind, in part because of resonance. ... Three-phase pole-mounted step-down transformer. ... Types of diodes closeup, showing silicon crystal In electronics, a diode is a component that restricts the direction of movement of charge carriers. ... Capacitors: SMD ceramic at top left; SMD tantalum at bottom left; through-hole tantalum at top right; through-hole electrolytic at bottom right. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with charge pump. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...

According to the many sources, a shock of half a second duration will cause intense pain and muscle contractions startling most people greatly. Two to three seconds will often cause the subject to become dazed and drop to the ground, and over three seconds will usually completely disorient and drop an attacker for at least several minutes and possibly for up to fifteen minutes.


Deaths & Injury associated with stun-gun use

Supporters say that stun guns are a safer alternative to devices such as firearms. Taser brand of stun guns were originally marketed as "non-lethal" devices. However, based on the judgements of the SEC, this has had to be amended as "less-lethal" devices.[5]

Between September 1999 and October 2004, there were 73 cases of deaths of subjects soon after having been shocked using Tasers. Of these cases:

  • In 8 cases, medical examiners said Tasers were a cause or a contributing factor or could not be ruled out as a cause of death.
  • In 18 cases coroners and other officials stated that Tasers were not a factor.
  • In most of the 73 cases, drugs including cocaine, methamphetamine, and PCP were concluded to be the major factor leading to death.
  • In many cases pre-existing cardiovascular conditions or other medical conditions were stated to be a factor.
  • Several deaths occurred as a result of injuries sustained in struggles. In a few of these cases head injury due to falling after being shocked contributed to later death.

These incidents form a very small percentage of many tens of thousands of operational uses of tasers.[6] A coroner is either the presiding officer of a special court, a medical officer or an officer of law responsible for investigating deaths, particularly those happening under unusual circumstances. ... Oral medication Caffeine is the most widely used psychoactive substance in the world. ... Cocaine is a crystalline tropane alkaloid that is obtained from the leaves of the coca plant. ... Methamphetamine (sometimes referred to as methylamphetamine or desoxyephedrine) is a psychostimulant drug used primarily for recreational purposes, but is sometimes prescribed for ADHD and narcolepsy under the brand name Desoxyn. ... Phencyclidine (a contraction of the chemical name phenylcyclohexylpiperidine), abbreviated PCP, is a dissociative drug formerly used as an anesthetic agent, exhibiting hallucinogenic and neurotoxic effects. ... The circulatory system or cardiovascular system is the organ system which circulates blood around the body of most animals. ...

Various lawsuits against the manufacturers and users of stun guns are pending, but many court judgements have dismissed lawsuits by finding evidence of preexisting conditions, ranging from excited delirium (caused by a subject's interaction with high levels of drug-use) which may be a factor before cardiac arrest, and preexisting osteoarthritis which may make bone fracture more likely when the device is used on the subject. Delirium is a medical term used to describe an acute decline in attention and cognition. ... Osteoarthritis (OA, also known as degenerative arthritis or degenerative joint disease, and sometimes referred to as arthrosis or osteoarthrosis or in more colloquial terms wear and tear), is a condition in which low-grade inflammation results in pain in the joints, caused by wearing of the cartilage that covers and...

Police officers in at least five states have filed lawsuits against Taser International claiming they suffered serious injuries after being shocked with the device during training classes. [7] TASER International, Inc. ...

Critics argue that although the medical conditions or illegal drug-taking of some of these casualties, may have been the proximate cause, the use of the taser may have significantly heightened the risk of death for those suspects in an at-risk category. Therefore, they argue, this suggests that tasers and other electroshock weapons may be too dangerous to use on people with certain medical conditions. Furthermore, since police officers will typically not know about a person's medical conditions or the contents of his/her bloodstream, this entails a risk of death with virtually any suspect. In the law, a proximate cause is an event sufficiently related to a legally recognizable injury to be held the cause of that injury. ...

Supporters say that stun guns and tasers are more effective than any other means including pepper-spray (an eye irritant/breathing irritant), batons (and other conventional ways of inflicting pain), hand-to-hand combat (i.e. wrestling a subject to the ground), or even hand guns, at bringing a subject down to the ground with a minimum physical exertion, and with a minimum of potential for injury. Stun-guns have a direct link to reduced injury from use of physical force, and are attributed to saving human lives by use as an alternative to the use of firearms to subdue violent or out-of-control subjects. However, critics charge that police officers who are risk-averse will also resort to tasers in situations where previously they would have used more conventional, less "extreme" techniques, such as trying to reason with a cornered suspect.

Legal restrictions

Electroshock guns are generally used for self-defense, or by law enforcement to subdue, for example, an out-of-control prisoner. They are illegal or subject to legal restrictions on their availability and use in many jurisdictions. Reports of the devices being used for torture or as interrogation tools have led the United States to place restrictions on export of the devices. Critics point out that any country could easily duplicate these devices, which are relatively simple.


Tasers come with express instructions not to utilize them in areas where flammable liquids or fumes may be present, such as filling stations or meth labs. Tasers, like other electric devices, have been found to ignite flammable materials. Flammable or Flammability refers to the ease at which a substance will ignite, causing fire or combustion. ... Modern filling station, Preem in Karlskrona, Sweden An Ampol station in Australia in the late 1940s. ... Methamphetamine (sometimes referred to as methylamphetamine or desoxyephedrine) is a psychostimulant drug used primarily for recreational purposes, but is sometimes prescribed for ADHD and narcolepsy under the brand name Desoxyn. ...

An evaluative study carried out by the British Home Office investigated the potential for tasers to ignite CS gas.[8] Seven trials were conducted, in which CS gas canisters containing methyl isobutyl ketone (a solvent used in all CS sprays utilized by the United Kingdom police) were sprayed over mannequins wearing street clothing. The tasers were then fired at the mannequins. In two of the seven trials, "the flames produced were severe and engulfed the top half of the mannequin, including the head". This poses a particular problem for law enforcement, as normal police doctrine needs use of CS before the use of a taser.[9] The modern concept of Small Office and Home Office or SoHo , or Small or Home Office deals with the category of business which can be from 1 to 10 workers. ... CS or 2-chlorobenzalmalononitrile (chemical formula: C10H5ClN2) is a substance that is used as a riot control agent and is usually claimed to be non-lethal by the forces who use it. ... A pollutant that the government wants added to ethanol alcohol to prevent it from being used as a beverage, but only as a vehicle fuel instead. ...

In another case, a man's shirt caught on fire after one of the taser spikes hit a cigarette lighter in his pocket. He suffered minor burns, but was also treated for two self-inflicted knife wounds, the original reason for which the Taser had been deployed. A metal naphtha lighter A lighter is a device used to create fire with the intent to ignite another substance such as a cigarette, smoking pipe, or charcoal in a grill. ...

Use in schools and on minors

Police officers that patrol schools, including grade schools, in several US states (including Kansas, Minnesota and Florida), currently carry tasers. In 2004, the parents of a 6-year old boy in Miami sued the police department for tasering their child. The police said the boy was threatening to injure his leg with a shard of glass, and claimed that using the taser was the only option to stop the boy injuring himself.[10] Primary or elementary education is the first years of formal, structured education that occurs during childhood. ...

Supporters of taser use in schools argue that merely switching on the device, and threatening to use it, can be effective in frightening violent or uncooperative students into desisting from inappropriate behavior, in cases where verbal reprimands have not succeeded. Critics counter that tasers may interact with preexisting medical complications such as medications, and may even contribute to someone's death as a result. Thus, critics say, they should either be prohibited altogether in schools, or classified as possibly-lethal weapons and as a consequence, should be regulated extremely tightly. Critics also argue that using a taser on a minor, and especially a young child, effectively acts as cruel and abusive punishment, and therefore it should be banned on the same grounds that other, older forms of physical punishment such as canings have been banned from use in many schools.

There has been at least one case of students using improvised electroshock guns in a school. In March 2005, several high school students in Maine faced charges when another student reported that they had been playing with improvised stun guns and testing them on themselves and fellow students. The devices were made from disposable cameras with a 330-volt electric charge, which, while not strong enough to cause severe injury, could be fatal to a person with a condition such as arrhythmia.[citation needed] Official language(s) None (English de facto) Capital Augusta Largest city Portland Area  Ranked 39th  - Total 33,414 sq mi (86,542 km²)  - Width 210 miles (338 km)  - Length 320 miles (515 km)  - % water 13. ... A cardiac arrhythmia, also called cardiac dysrhythmia, is a disturbance in the regular rhythm of the heartbeat. ...

In November of 2006, considerable controversy arose after UCLA student Mostafa Tabatabainejad was repeatedly Tasered by campus police, several of the times while already handcuffed, after refusing repeatedly to produce university identification. The University of California, Los Angeles, popularly known as UCLA, is a public, coeducational university situated in the neighborhood of Westwood within the city of Los Angeles. ... This article is being considered for deletion in accordance with Wikipedias deletion policy. ...

Political suppression

Stun guns have been used at political protests such as those by the anti-globalization movement. Members of this movement have argued that the technology, and other "non-lethal" weapons, are likely to become tools for suppressing legitimate protest. Anti-WEF grafiti in Lausanne. ...


The use of stun belts has been condemned by Amnesty International as torture, not only for the physical pain the devices cause, but also for their heightened abuse potential, due to their perceived "harmlessness" in terms of causing inital injuries like f.e. ordinary police batons do. Amnesty International has reported several cases of excessive electroshock gun use, that amounts to torture, among others the death of an individual after being struck 12 times with a Taser in Miramar, Florida.[11] They have also raised extensive concerns about the use of other electro-shock devices by American police and in American prisons, as they can be (and according to Amnesty International, sometimes are) used to inflict cruel pain on individuals without leaving the telltale markings that a conventional beating might. The American Civil Liberties Union has also raised concerns about their use. There have been several well-publicized instances in which stun belts were accidentally activated by careless court personnel and criminal defendants were shocked for no justifiable reason. Amnesty International (commonly known as Amnesty or AI) is an non-governmental membership organization with the stated purpose of campaigning for internationally recognized human rights. ... For other uses, see Torture (disambiguation). ... Amnesty International (commonly known as Amnesty or AI) is an non-governmental membership organization with the stated purpose of campaigning for internationally recognized human rights. ... Amnesty International (commonly known as Amnesty or AI) is an non-governmental membership organization with the stated purpose of campaigning for internationally recognized human rights. ... The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is a major American non-profit organization with headquarters in New York City, whose stated mission is to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States.[1] It...

Electric shocks have been used as an instrument of torture in many countries around the world, because they can be applied over a prolonged period of time without severely injuring or killing.

Doubts over their effectiveness as self-defense weapons

Although these devices are usually advertised as very effective "personal defense" weapons, many security operators and martial arts experts genuinely doubt their effectiveness against determined and physically strong aggressors in a real melee combat situation and their value as a defense weapon in general.

They claim that "stun-guns" need much more continuous and uninterrupted contact time with one's intended target than usually advertised, well above 5 seconds, to stop a determined assailant effectively, and that much time can be impossible to achieve against a physically superior or better-trained opponent in close unarmed combat. They claim that in such an event, the likely outcome would probably be merely irritating the assailant and have the "stun-gun" being broken, taken away, or used against oneself for retaliation, after giving its intended user a false sense of security and power.[12][13]

It is argued that this declassifies all but the most powerful of Electroshock/Stun guns into self-assurance, last-resort pseudo-weapons or even mere torture instruments only effective in delivering pain to subjects who would not be able to escape or effectively defend themselves anyway. For other uses, see Torture (disambiguation). ...


  • U.S. Patent 8843 - Electric whaling apparatus - Albert Sonnenburg and Philipp Rechten
  • U.S. Patent 2805067 - Electric weapon - Thomas D. Ryan


  1. ^ Image of electric shock baton
  2. ^ http://www.rubberimpex.com/images/RubberParts/TJJG01/BatonElectroshockLight150KVJD60.gif
  3. ^ http://www.rubberimpex.com/images/RubberParts/TJJG01/BatonElectroshockLight120KVJD39_gif.jpg
  4. ^ http://www.taser.com/facts/stats.htm
  5. ^ http://www.guardian.co.uk/crime/article/0,2763,1583867,00.html
  6. ^ http://www.azcentral.com/specials/special43/articles/0915taserlist16-ON.html
  7. ^ http://orlando.injuryboard.com/defective-products/an-alternative-to-the-defective-and-deadly-taser.php
  8. ^ http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/docs/lesslethal.pdf
  9. ^ http://www.guardian.co.uk/Archive/Article/0,4273,4316213,00.html
  10. ^ http://www.cnn.com/2004/US/11/14/children.tasers/index.html
  11. ^ http://web.amnesty.org/report2003/usa-summary-eng
  12. ^ http://www.ou.edu/oupd/zappers.htm
  13. ^ http://www.paxtonquigley.com/useless_weapons.html

External Links

  Results from FactBites:
Wikipedia: Gun (188 words)
A gun is an aimable weapon that launches projectiles at high velocity, or a device that resembles such a weapon used for other purposes (e.g., glue gun).
Technically speaking, the projectile is the weapon and the gun is the weapon platform, although with the use of bayonets and rifle butts as clubs, the double usage of the word could be forgiven.
Artillery (A larger gun typically for battlefield use, firing larger projectiles, and often mounted on wheels or on a vehicle such as a tank, boat, or aircraft).
  More results at FactBites »



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