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July 29, 2021

Are Tasers the Right Tool for Your Security Guard Team?

Versions of the TASER, otherwise known as the stun gun, have been on the market since the late 1970s, advertised as a less-lethal alternative to traditional firearms.


Versions of the TASER, otherwise known as the stun gun, have been on the market since the late 1970s, advertised as a less-lethal alternative to traditional firearms. Despite this, when used incorrectly, stun guns have the potential to cause serious injury or even death. With this in mind, it’s important to consider all the variables before arming yourself or your team with one of these devices. Proper training and knowledge of your state’s laws are necessary to ensure safety in all situations. This article will break down everything you need to know about TASER devices, their history and usage, and how they can be implemented by modern security teams.

A Brief Overview

A stun gun is a type of electroshock weapon that is generally compact and can either fire stunning probes at long range or administer a shock through direct contact with someone’s body. The most famous commercial stun gun is arguably the TASER device, created by TASER International. The company, founded by a NASA researcher, is credited with the invention of the stun gun and its continued advancement to this day. Its usage varies by device, with nearly all having the ability to disrupt control of muscles, causing the victim to fall incapacitated, and others also having the ability to simply cause pain without full incapacitation. This second usage has been criticized by some law enforcement agencies due to the possibility of it being abused for interrogation purposes. With this in mind, stun guns and TASER devices should only be used when absolutely necessary and by trained personnel.

Complicated Legality

The majority of U.S. states have no legal restrictions on the use of TASER devices by security personnel, however, a few have basic restrictions.

  • New Mexico, North Dakota, West Virginia, and Alaska require a permit for any concealed carry.
  • Wisconsin, Michigan, Iowa, and Mississippi require permits for general usage.
  • Minnesota and Maryland require background checks.
  • Lastly, Illinois and Massachusetts require Firearm Owner Identification cards (FOID) even for security officers.

It should also be noted that one state, Connecticut, does not allow TASER devices to be used by anyone other than homeowners in self-defense.

Understanding the laws for your state may impact your decision to arm your team with stun guns, and will certainly affect the way any safety mishaps are dealt with by law enforcement if necessary.

Are TASERs the right choice for security officers?

Stun guns are a great tool for security guards due to their compact size, general non-lethality, and their ability to subdue a single person without the risk of hurting bystanders. TASER International itself does create packages specifically meant for security personnel that includes smaller, less expensive devices than those created for law enforcement. They are relatively easy to use with proper training and are less likely to be misfired than a firearm.

With this all being said, it is still important to note that stun guns still carry the risk of serious injury or death. Some people even have adverse reactions to the electric shocks that cause hallucinations, elevated body temperature, delirium, and speech disorders, among other things. TASERs and other stun guns should only be used when absolutely necessary and by those trained to do so. However, if the proper criteria is met, they can make an excellent tool for security guards when it comes to protecting yourself and others with minimal adverse effects.

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