While stun guns and Taser devices are non-lethal self-defense weapons, they should still be treated with caution and respect. Discover eight major effects stun guns and Taser devices have on the body.

MAR 30, 2024


“Stun guns must make direct contact with your attacker's skin in order to be effective."

Understanding the Effects of Stun Guns and Taser Devices on the Body

Electric shock weapons, like stun guns and Taser devices, are extremely effective tools for self-defense. While these devices are designed to provide safety and protection, it's important for responsible owners to understand their impact on the human body. Read on to discover the various ways stun guns and Taser devices can affect the body physically and psychologically.

1. Severe and Painful Muscular Contractions

Stun guns and Taser devices deliver a high-voltage electric shock to the body upon activation. This shock disrupts the normal functioning of muscles, leading to involuntary and often excruciatingly painful contractions. These contractions are so extreme that they will immobilize individuals in an instant.


It is worth noting that stun gun owners be aware that the intensity of these contractions can vary depending on factors such as the voltage of the device, the duration of length of time the electric shock is activated, and even the part of the body where the stun gun in making contact. Clothing layers between the skin and stun gun contact will also affect the intensity of your self-defense weapon.

Target large muscles, such as the thigh or abdominals, on your attacker’s body for maximum effect. The electric shock will have increasing effects the longer that it is actively applied to your attacker. Individuals will experience prolonged muscle spasms, magnifying the pain and incapacitation caused by the initial shock.


2. Physical Burns, Wounds, and Bruises

The electrical discharge emitted by stun guns and Taser devices can result in physical injuries such as burns, wounds, and bruises at the point of contact between the device and the skin. The severity of these injuries can range from minor superficial burns to deep tissue damage, depending on the power and duration of the shock.

Furthermore, the electrode barbs attached to TASER devices puncture the skin, increasing the risk of puncture wound sensitivity and tissue trauma. These injuries may require medical attention and can leave lasting scars.


3. Temporary Memory Loss and Cognitive Disorientation

Following exposure to a stun gun or Taser shock, individuals may experience temporary memory loss and cognitive disorientation. This can manifest as confusion and difficulty recalling events that occurred immediately before or during the incident.

The cognitive impairment induced by these devices is temporary and full memory function will return in a short period of time.


4. Extreme Muscle Soreness for Several Days

Stun guns are designed to unload all of their energy into the muscles at a high frequency, triggering the nervous system to tighten the muscles it is affecting. Overloading the muscles, the intense muscular contractions triggered by stun guns and Taser devices can leave individuals feeling profoundly sore and fatigued for days following the incident. This prolonged soreness can significantly impair mobility and comfort, making it challenging to perform everyday tasks and activities.

5. Psychological and Emotional Distress

Beyond the immediate physical effects, the experience of being subjected to electric shock devices can have profound psychological and emotional repercussions. Feelings of fear, anxiety, and trauma may persist long after the incident, leading to mental health challenges such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression.

While this may be of no concern to you in a self-defense emergency, it is another important reason to keep stun guns safely out of the reach of children and treat it with the caution you would use in handling any weapon.


6. Testicular Torsion

When stun guns or Taser devices are applied in the groin area, there is a heightened risk of testicular torsion, a painful condition characterized by the twisting of the spermatic cord. This can result in severe testicular pain, swelling, and potential complications such as infertility if not promptly treated.

“Taser is actually a brand name and Taser devices are very different from stun guns in how they operate.

7. Ventricular Fibrillation

Applying a stun gun or Taser device directly to the chest area increases the risk of inducing ventricular fibrillation irregular heartbeat. Ventricular fibrillation disrupts the heart's normal rhythm, potentially leading to cardiac arrest and sudden cardiac death if not promptly addressed with appropriate medical intervention.

While the chances of this are rare, the electrical discharge from a stun gun is similar to the electrical shock used by EMT to restart a person’s heart who is in cardiac arrest. If your attacker has a pre-existing heart condition, they may experience additional trauma beyond simply being shocked.


8. Increased Stimulation of Kidney Function

While relatively rare, a stun gun that is applied to the kidney area may trigger a condition known as Rhabdomyolysis. The electrical shock delivered by stun guns and Taser devices may stimulate increased metabolic changes in the muscle tissue, leading to a condition known as rhabdomyolysis.

Rhabdomyolysis involves the breakdown of muscle tissue, releasing toxic byproducts into the bloodstream that can overwhelm the kidneys and potentially lead to kidney failure if not promptly treated.


Common signs of rhabdomyolysis include nausea, vomiting, fever and rapid heart rate as the kidneys struggle to process these toxins our of the body but are unable to do so because they are overwhelmed by the levels of these toxins in the bloodstream.

In conclusion, while stun guns and Taser devices are extremely effective, non-lethal self-defense tools it is important to be aware that their effects can extend beyond simple muscle contractions in certain scenarios. Because many energy weapons come in cute colors and styles, it’s common for owners to underestimate their true power. Use caution when practicing with your self-defense weapon and always keep them safely away from children.

Defense Divas® wants you to be equipped to defend yourself not only with a self-defense weapon, but also with the practical knowledge of safety awareness and prevention.

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