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Did you know violent crimes occur more often at night when the streets aren’t safe and a few people are awake to help? It should come as no surprise. This can make walking at night a little unnerving, especially when you have to walk a few blocks.
This is when self-defense techniques and items come in handy. If you can’t avoid an assailant, your best course of action would be to incapacitate them so you can run off to safety. For this purpose, a stun gun works quite well.
However, you must learn how to use a stun gun first before you can use it as an effective deterrent. Learn how to below and see a few considerations you need to know first:
The responsibility of checking the legality of selling a stun gun to you falls in the seller. Still, it’s not a bad idea to check it yourself and see if owning one will get you in trouble with the law. Some cities and states may also have additional requirements if you wish to own and use a stun gun.
It’s legal in almost all states, except in some few that have restrictions. In Connecticut, it’s legal to carry a stun gun, but you must secure a permit for it first. The same rule applies to Indiana, Michigan, and Mississippi.
It’s also legal in Illinois, but you must apply for a Firearm Owner’s Identification (FOID) first. Note: that applies to anywhere outside of Chicago. It's illegal in Chicago even if you have an FOID. In North Dakota and Wisconsin, you must get a concealed weapon permit for a stun gun.
A stun gun is illegal to buy, sell, or use in Hawaii, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island. It’s also illegal the District of Columbia despite being legal within the state.
These are the stun gun laws at a glance, but there might be more considerations about the ownership of a stun gun. In Connecticut, for example, it’s still a Class D felony to carry a stun gun in a vehicle. Make sure to get yourself acquainted with the laws in your city or county before buying and using a stun gun.
To be able to use a stun gun the proper way, you must know how it works first. The goal of the stun gun is to incapacitate the assailant, and it does so by delivering a non-lethal high-voltage, low-amperage electrical shock.
This type of shock doesn’t have much intensity, but it has a lot of pressure behind it. It can disrupt the communication between the muscles and the brain as the charge combines with the body’s electrical signals. This can make a person confused and unable to move his/her muscles in a normal way.
It’s in no way designed to kill whoever it’s used on, yet there have been some instances of death. You don’t want this to happen, but you do want to get away from trouble so it’s important to know how it works.
If you hold it against the attacker for a second, it may only repel and startle them. If you hold it for about 1 to 2 seconds, it could cause muscle spasms. If you hold it for 3 seconds or more, it can cause confusion, loss of balance, and loss of muscle control.
There are many types of stun guns you can buy; you can choose one based on function or looks. For example, cell phone or lipstick stun guns look like the average item, allowing you to hide them in your purse without looking conspicuous. Stun batons have a longer reach, and keychain stun guns allow you to have it with you at all times.
Whichever is the best stun gun for you, get to know it first by reading the manual and locating the features. See where the buttons are and what they do. Locate the on/off switch, the safety switch, the trigger, and the disable pin wrist strap among other features.
Hold it in your hands and see the best way that will allow you to access the buttons with ease. Adjust your grip as necessary to see which is more comfortable for you. Don’t touch the metal contact probes, though, unless you want to stun yourself.
With this, we mean turning it on and off; we don’t mean to test it on an actual human, including yourself. First, grab your stun gun, keep it away from your body, then turn the device on and turn off the safety switch.
Press the trigger while keeping clear of the metal contact probes, and press it in 1 to 2-second intervals. Then, try holding the trigger; this should make the device keep firing, as well.
To stop, you only need to release the trigger. Before storing it away, remember to turn on the safety switch and turn off the device itself.
We recommend doing this on occasion to embed it in your muscle memory. In a panic, our brain tends to forget things, so relying on muscle memory could prove to be lifesaving. Make sure to memorize how to turn off the safety switch and turn the device on so you can do these in an instant without looking.
As we’ve detailed above, you must ensure to target the proper muscle groups for the stun gun to work. The easiest area to target is between the neck and the waist, but it’s better if you can aim for the base of the neck, the area above the breast and the armpits, and the area above the abs.
There are only 2 key areas in the arms you can target, such as inside the forearm and above the inside of your elbow. The inside of the thighs is also a prime stun area, as well as the groin area.
Practice using a stun gun so you can memorize the movements and aim for the prime stun areas in only a second. However, the situation and the panic may not enable us to aim for the right muscle groups. In such cases, use the stun gun on whichever part of the body you can hit.
Note that a stun gun can work through about ¼ inch of clothes, so you shouldn't have anything to worry about. In the winter, though, it can be hard to target the other prime areas due to thick jackets. The thighs should have no more than ¼ inch of clothing, though, making them the best area to target in such cases.
A stun gun gives out intimidating sparks when in use, making it a good tactic to ward off a potential attacker. Fire it like a warning shot when you spot a potential danger, firing it for 1 second at a time in the air. Refrain from holding the trigger for more than 1 second until it's in contact with the attacker.
If you’re caught unaware, though, or if the attacker continues to pursue you, hit the target areas and keep it in contact for at least 3 seconds. You may have to hold it longer depending on the size of the person and the voltage of your stun gun. If the person is still functioning as normal, don't stop firing the stun gun until he/she is on the ground.
It’s important to note that the current will not jump back to you even if the person is holding you. You won't feel the electrical shock unless the metal probes are in direct contact with your body. This should allow you to keep using the stun gun while he/she is grabbing you.
It will take around 5 minutes before he/she will be able to use his/her muscles again. Use this time to get away and seek help if you can.
You may also have to call 911 – this has the added benefit of you getting to call first. The assailant may think to call 911 first and claim you attacked him/her.
You may not have to use a stun gun in a long time; that’s great, but you must make sure it still works. It has a battery that will deplete even if you don’t use it, so make it a habit to check if it still has power. If it doesn’t have sufficient power, replace or recharge the batteries, taking care not to overcharge it.
Overcharging may damage the battery and shorten the device’s lifespan. It can also void the battery, so make sure not to charge it for over 8 hours at a time. See the manufacturer’s recommendations on how often to charge under normal use.
Now that you know how to use a stun gun, it’s important that you use it only for self-defense purposes. You might also consider other items you can use to protect yourself. For other self-defense items you can carry, check out our products and contact us for more information.
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