There is no doubt that stun guns are the most popular form of non-lethal self-defense, but it’s important to know the pros and cons for any form of self-protection you are going to purchase. Each one has its’ advantages and disadvantages in different personal defense scenarios. Weighing these out in relation to how they fit into your lifestyle provides you with the opportunity to develop your individualized self-defense plan. Here’s a list of the pros and cons of choosing a stun gun as a self-defense option.
Pros of Stun Guns
👍 Works in all weather conditions.
Stun guns can be used in all weather conditions. One of the biggest disadvantages to pepper spray is that it can’t be used in rainy or windy weather conditions. Pepper spray can blow back into your own face on a windy day and cause you to have the same violent reaction as the attacker you are trying to spray. Pepper spray also loses its’ accuracy, distance and effectiveness in rainy conditions.
👍 Can be preventative as well as defensive.
Often times the simple act of discharging your stun gun in the air as a “warning shot” can be enough to dissuade an attacker. This also applies to scaring off neighborhood dogs and wildlife if you have an active outdoor life. Preventing an attack before it happens is ultimately desirable. Anything that may prevent the attack from happening at all is a huge benefit.
👍 Additional self-defense features are usually included.
In a very competitive market, most stun gun do more than just provide electrical shock self-defense. Having a flashlight feature is a great advantage for getting into your car or house quickly. Panic alarms provide an additional mode of alerting those in the area that something bad is going down. Some stun gun models even have “shark teeth” electrical prongs that are designed to collect your attacker’s DNA on contact. That’s a valuable piece of evidence to have for the police and prosecution.
👍 Works through clothing.
Pepper spray must make direct contact with an attacker’s eyes, nose or throat but stun guns work through clothing. Ideally stun guns are most effective on the large muscles of the body, but that is not something you will be thinking about when you are being attacked. As long as you make contact with any part of your attacker’s body, they will feel the jolting effects of the high voltage.
👍 Great safety features.
Most of the handheld stun gun models have disable pin wrist straps. Disable pin wrist straps prevent the stun gun from being used against you, if an attacker were to pull it out of your hands and try to apply the electrical charge against you. Removing the disable pin wrist strap is also a child safety feature. Simply remove the disable pin wrist strap when you have children in the home and want to be certain that they are not injured if they happen to get curious with your stun gun. Pepper sprays have safety features such as twist lock caps, but they do not have a safety disable feature.
Electrical current does not transfer between you and the attacker. In other words, if you are applying a stun gun to an attacker, who is grabbing on to you at the same time- the electrical voltage will not transfer from their body to yours.
👍 Technology has made stun guns small and portable without sacrificing voltage.
Today’s stun guns can be as small as a USB flash drive or garage door opener and still pack over 20 million volts of defense power. Stun guns are extremely effective and operate by bombarding the neurological and muscular systems with electrical voltage. The crippling result creates muscle atrophy and spasms, but the low amperage is what prevents the stun gun from being deadly force. Amperage kills. Voltage does not. One second of contact will generally be enough to get someone to let go of you and provide an opportunity to escape. An attacker who has been subjected to 3-5 seconds of constant voltage will be dazed and down in excruciating muscular pain.
Cons of Stun Guns
👎 Require close proximity for contact.
The biggest disadvantage to stun guns as a self-defense weapon of choice is that you must come in contact with the attacker in order for them to work. Pepper sprays often shoot 6-12 feet and allow you to begin your defense before the attacker has an opportunity to grab you.
👎 Need to be charged monthly.
Stun guns operate on batteries and in order to be at maximum power for effectiveness, they need to be charged monthly. All of our stun guns come with a pre-installed battery pack and either (depending on the model) a built-in charger that can be plugged directly into the wall, a charging cord that plugs into the wall, or a USB port adaptor to make your monthly recharge routine easy to add to your calendar.
👎 Not legal in all 50 states.
Stun guns are legal in some states, illegal in others and require a concealed carry permit in still other states. To further complicate the matter, these laws are changing regularly and even from city to city within one state. It’s extremely important that you know these stun gun laws for all the areas that you live and travel for work or vacation. It is illegal to carry any self-defense weapon on an airplane in your purse or carry-on luggage.
If you’ve read our article on the pros and cons of pepper spray, you know that pepper spray has a list of equally important advantages and disadvantages. Different situations call for different defenses. For this reason, it is important to include both in your personal safety and self-defense plan. If you are looking for one self-defense weapon that includes both pepper spray and a stun gun, we recommend the Olympian. The Olympian is currently the only personal defense product on the market with a stun gun, pepper spray and flashlight all in one handheld unit.
Having two options available and knowing when to use them is going to level up your personal defense game. Defense Divas® offer an extensive educational resource on personal self-defense training and safety awareness.
Looking to up your self-defense game? Defense Divas® carries a diva-worthy selection of self-defense products for women including Bulletproof Clothing & Accessories, Stun Guns, Tasers, Pepper Sprays, Concealed Carry Purses, and Campus Safety products.
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