ATaseris a brand ofelectroshock weaponsold byAxon. It fires two small dart-likeelectrodes, which stay connected to the main unit by conductors, to deliverelectric currentto disrupt voluntary control of muscles, causing "neuromuscularincapacitation".Someone struck by a Taser may experience pain and over-stimulation ofsensory nervesandmotor nerves, resulting in strong involuntary long muscle contractions. The force applied is therefore proportional to the strength of the person receiving the shock rather than the strength of the person applying it. Taser darts can incapacitate, not just causepain compliance, and are thus preferred by some law enforcement over non-Taserstun gunsand other electronic control weapons, which, like a Taser when used solely in "Drive Stun" mode, can do only the latter
Tasers were introduced asnon-lethal weaponsfor police to use to subdue fleeing, belligerent, or potentially dangerous people, who would have otherwise been subjected to more lethal weapons such as firearms
Anelectroshock weaponis an incapacitatingweapon. It delivers anelectric shockaimed at temporarily disruptingmusclefunctions and/or inflictingpainwithout causing significantinjury.
Many types of these devices exist. Stun guns, batons (or prods), and belts administer an electric shock by direct contact, whereasTasers(conducted electrical weapons) fire projectiles that administer the shock through thin flexible wires. Long-range electroshock projectiles, which can be fired from ordinary shotguns and do not need the wires, have also been developed.
Though the two terms are often used interchangeably, stun guns are actually direct contact weapons that work mainly through pain compliance by affecting the sensory nervous system. It can also cause some muscular disruption, but that generally requires 3-5 seconds of direct contact. In comparison, theTaseris a long range weapon that incapacitates the target by disrupting voluntary muscular control through the motor nervous system.