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  • Stun guns

    I know a lot of you all own your fair share of weaponry and are well-versed in the laws on them, so I had a couple questions for you.

    Every time a case of a missing young woman surfaces, like the recent one with Morgan Harrington, I wonder why I don't carry some sort of protection. I've been interested in getting a Taser or general stun gun, though I do like the distance you can achieve with a Taser, but am a little reluctant. A lot of places I venture (MD and DC) don't allow you to carry a stun gun yet they allow regular guns. I don't get the logic there. Anyone?

    I'm assuming too, that if I carried a stun gun of sorts in my purse that is then a concealed weapon, which I would then need a permit for, correct? I do keep meaning to take a firearms class through our local NRA chapter just because I think it's something everyone should be knowledgeable about. Do they cover stun guns in classes like this you think? I know that Taser asks that you aim below the chest, but if someone is coming at me I frankly don't care if I harm them. Now what if I come in contact with the person while "stunning" them? I would imagine the current would carry to me then, or does it not?

    I greatly appreciate any advice!

  • #2
    Re: Stun guns

    Firstly: I'm not versed in gun laws or stun gun/taser laws of MD or DC.

    That said I would recommend not getting a general stun gun, and by this I'm assuming you mean one of those dual pronged jobbers that you need to press against someone's skin. I took a charge from one of those at a self defense seminar a few years ago and I can tell you... I've had bee stings hurt worse. It did nothing. And if I were an assailant and bent on attacking someone that would do nothing to deter me. Not to mention that if you don't know how to immobilize someone and hold them the stun gun us worthless because no assailant is going to sit still for that. Just hitting them with it is only going to piss them off or make them laugh.

    A taser is a better option, but an assailant could still muscle their way through the charge - especially if they're doped up. One draw back to a taser is that it needs to make contact with skin, or have a thin enough layer of clothing that it can penetrate to the skin beneath. MD and DC have some cold winters. God forbid you are ever attacked and it happens in the winter you may find yourself with a very small target: the face. A winter coat can be thick enough to render a taser useless, and they are not the most accurate weapons. You could aim for the legs, but trying to hit a moving target like legs with a taser in a moment of panic is not easy. You're more likely to miss. Which is why most law enforcement officers aim for the center of mass (the torso) when using a taser.

    My recommendation: learn to defend yourself without the use of a weapon. Learning hand to hand and ground fighting skills can be far more effective than any taser or hadngun. This may sound scary as hell, especially since the last thing you want to do is get close to someone attempting to attack you, but honestly the best thing you can do is take the fight to them once it escalates to that point, and do it on your own terms. Once you take the fight to them it becomes your fight, not theirs, and that will screw up any plan they may have had... and in most cases the plan is pretty limited and short sighted - even when involving multiple assailants.

    And I'm not talking about learning karate, judo, or jujitsu... in a street fight they loose their effectiveness. I would strongly recommend getting in touch with AWSDA and seeing if they have any classes or instructors in the MD/DC area. Once you feel confident and gain some insight on how to defend yourself, then I would recommend looking into furthering your skills by getting trained in handgun use and safety. I know it sounds like a good idea to go out and get a handgun or a taser, and I know that having one can be an immediate boost to your confidence, but ask yourself this: what happens if you don't have either your taser or handgun with you? What if you can't get to them? What happens if you loose either of those in the course of an assault? What happens if the assailant(s) have their own handguns? What happens if the assailant(s) get inside your comfortable range and you can't get off a shot? Having an understanding of how to defend and protect yourself is more important than having a handgun.


    • #3
      Re: Stun guns

      In most states less lethal weapons will fall under their CCW laws. You would have to research the laws in your state AND the states you visit often.

      I agree with Mike that Tasers and Stun Guns are great in a prison yard but may be more dangerous to yourself in the street. Also, the advent of these weapons in the private sector has led to whole new forms of litigation.

      I also agree with Mike that the most effective weapon is YOU. My best advice would be to learn the art of basic self defense. You don't need to be a black belt or UFC cage fighter but the ability to, at the very least, create distance between you and your attacker will greatly increase the effectiveness of your defense. Space creates time and time allows you to draw your weapon, find your target and engage them. It also gives you the confidence you will need to not be a victim.

      I'm glad you are taking the initiative to keep yourself safe. We want you around for a very long time!


      • #4
        Re: Stun guns

        I say better be safe then sorry... learn some type of hand to hand defense but also get a nice small handgun to carry. If it is allowed, I would do it in a heartbeat. Sadly where I live, we don't have that right. We are not even allowed to carry a knife, taser, stun gun, mace or even pepper spray. The only thing by law that someone can carry is a whistle.......... So if i was you, I'd learn to carry a gun AND learn some hand to hand combat for defense in a worse case scenario. You have the right so you might as well take advantage of it.



        • #5
          Re: Stun guns

          The AWSDA sounds great, but they only hold classes in CA from the looks of the site. I'm sure I could Google for some similar things in this area. As far as the handgun thing, my ENTIRE family is very, very, very, did I say very? anti-gun so that would be a big issue. My parents are divorced and my dad has always had guns though so I've had informal training, but I do think an actual class is a good thing to have as they are something people should know how to use properly; add it to riding a horse, writing a good letter, and being able to cook a basic meal . I personally wouldn't want to carry a handgun though, not my thing. I've been to two military day type things where Taser had a demo booth and all the Marines were trying them out on each other and they were on the floor in no time. This was what they were using and what I was looking at: TASER C2 The big jacket issue I had thought about though and figured that was one of the downsides to them, which apparently it is. Legality-wise, I live in VA which is fairly lax as far as weapon restrictions go, but I've started to go to veterinary conferences in Baltimore and other areas where there are some very, very creepy people and also far more weaponry laws. Certainly self-defense knowledge is a given that we all should have so I will look into the classes. I do feel though that you are far more foreboding when actually armed with something than just effectively defensive.

          Thanks for the help guys!


          • #6
            Re: Stun guns

            Carrying a handgun is a very personal choice and a decision not to be made lightly. I applaud you for that. I just hope that nobody is making this decision for you. IMO, nobody has a right to tell you how to defend yourself and what makes you feel safe. Family is important but unless they plan on being with you in every dark parking lot or side street then they need to respect your basic human rights no matter their political persuasion. I apologize if that seems like a rant...

            The link you gave states that the C2 can penetrate up to two inches of clothing AND can be used as a Stun Gun in case of a miss. Hmmm. I wonder if the training vid has anything on multiple attackers? If this is the route you decide to go I would try and get some training with it. LOTS of training in as many scenarios as possible. Basically, treat it like a handgun. LOL! I think that along with some self defense training will give you a decided advantage in most situations.

            I would rather you carry a small .40SW of some type but like I said that is your decision and none of my business.


            • #7
              Re: Stun guns

              Found this for you.

              Stun Guns Laws / Restrictions (Legal Area)
              Stun Guns are not considered firearms - they're legal to carry in AL, AK, AZ, AR, CA, CO, CT*, DE, FL, GA, ID, IN**, IA, KS, KY, LA, ME, MD, MN, MS, MO, MT, NE, NV, NH, NM, NC, ND, OH, OK, OR, PA, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VT, VA, WA, WV, WY (including Puerto Rico and most of the Virgin Islands) without permits.

              *Legal for home use, carrying prohibited.
              **TASER subject to requirement of handgun license (35-47-8-4)

              States where all stun devices including TASER are illegal: (Click on the state name for more details) Hawaii
              New Jersey
              New York
              Rhode Island

              Cities where all stun devices including TASER are illegal: (Click on the city name for more details) Annapolis, MD
              Baltimore, MD
              Baltimore County, MD
              Denison / Crawford County, IA (*According to Sheriff Tom Hogan*)
              District Of Columbia
              Philadelphia, PA


              • #8
                Re: Stun guns

                Originally posted by jhsulliv View Post
                The AWSDA sounds great, but they only hold classes in CA from the looks of the site. I'm sure I could Google for some similar things in this area.
                Call them: 1-888-STOP RAPE or 201-794-2153
                Or e-mail them: [email protected]

                I know for a fact that there is training and instructors located outside of CA. I've been involved in AWSDA for nearly 10 years, and I've been an assisting in training for about 8, so I can tell you that it's not isolated to any one region. I've met instructors from all over the country. They are also based in NJ, so I think east coast distribution may be a little greater than on the west coast.

                As for being more foreboding with a taser or weapon in hand than not... IMO a person who goes into a combat stance when threatened, is more formidable than a person with a taser. With a taser you have one shot, and then you have to reset it. If you miss... And if you are in a multiple assailant situation who do you tase? And will it deter the rest of the group? Using your body you have the ability to strike multiple targets at once, or can redirect one assailant to block or trip up another. And breaking a bone or a jab to the eyes will get the attention of a group of assailants. You can also grade you tactics to fit the situation. A generally creepy person does not need the same application of force that some one who you feel is threatening your life would. A creepy person who wont leave you alone will usually leave you alone after a bit of light "pest control." This is not the person who would probably need to be tased, but a light application of force is usually all it would take to make them turn and walk away. Tasers are designed for a situation that requires moderate force: a point where you feel threatened, but not in deadly force situation. Handguns are a deadly force weapon, and have no part in pest control, or moderate force. Hand held weapons are designed with rather specific uses and situations in mind and . Your body can be used in a variety of ways, and with varying degrees of force. Hell, in some situations just using your voice can be enough. You also don't need a permit to use you body to defend yourself. Your defense skills can be your own concealed weapon, and can be modified to fit the situation and environment on the fly. No handheld weapon can offer you that.

                ...Another thought about tasers and handguns: if you learn how to defend yourself on a personal level you can learn how to retain your weapon in a close-in assault. ...Otherwise you'll have to defend yourself against a person who now has your weapon.

                Ultimately it's your choice - whichever route you go. I don't mean to come on too strong about self-defense. Whatever path you choose it should be one you are comfortable with and understand. Personal defense is not something to be done on a whim, or taken lightly, and the mere fact that you are asking for input means that you are on your way to making an educated decision. You need to do what you feel is right for you and what you feel is most effective.


                • #9
                  Re: Stun guns

                  Do they have a concealed carry license there? If they do, forget the stun gun and get a concealed carry license. I love the fact that my state has a concealed carry law, and I never have to worry about being harmed while I'm out and about because my trusty .45 goes with me.



                  • #10
                    Re: Stun guns

                    Originally posted by b3napoleon View Post
                    Do they have a concealed carry license there? If they do, forget the stun gun and get a concealed carry license. I love the fact that my state has a concealed carry law, and I never have to worry about being harmed while I'm out and about because my trusty .45 goes with me.
                    Mod 1911?


                    • #11
                      Re: Stun guns

                      It's a Kimber



                      • #12
                        Re: Stun guns

                        .45 stops them dead in their tracks.