Taser International, Inc. is the designer and manufacturer of the highly renowned Taser brand of electronic, less than lethal, self-defense weapons. Most of their products are designed for law enforcement agencies and the military but they are available for purchase and use by civilians as well. Performing a search on popular video based social media sites such as YouTube will result in hundreds videos showing how the Taser is effectively used by law enforcement personnel.
A Taser stylistically resembles a hand gun but it should not be confused with a stun gun which does not fire a projectile. A Taser fires two darts that are connected to wires which deliver a high voltage/low amperage electric charge to the target causing complete immobilization which lasts for about 30 seconds to several minutes. A Taser has an effective range of 15 feet which offers a significant safety advantage over pepper spray and stun guns. The ability of a Taser to stop an attacker from such a great distance greatly reduces the possibility of harm being caused to the defender.
The Taser consists of two main components. The first component resembles a pistol. The second is a cartridge consisting of barbed darts attached to folded wires that can stretch to 15 feet when the Taser is fired. The Taser darts are capable of penetrating common clothing. The cartridge snaps into the pistol component similar to the way a magazine is inserted into a firearm. There are electrodes on the cartridge that can produce an electrical arc with distinct buzzing sound that serves as a visual deterrent which can deescalate a confrontation without firing the Taser. The device is typically carried in a holster worn on the waist or thigh.
Tasesr may be equipped various features to aid in their effectiveness such as a flash light, laser site, and computerized diagnostics that monitor and report on the status of the device.