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Can a stun gun kill a human? 

The short answer is that it is extremely rare for a person to die from a stun gun, because stun guns have very high voltage but very low amps. While voltage causes pain and fatigue for the attacker, it does not cause permanent physical damage. Amps are what can severely hurt someone. Most stun guns have around 5-10 milliamps and it typically takes about 100 milliamps to kill a person.

Still, here is a fact that might surprise you: between 2010 and 2021, around 500 people in the United States died after being hit by police with a Taser.

Military with a taser

In this article, we're going to explore everything about stun guns - how they work, what makes them dangerous, and some real-life cases where they've led to fatalities. Whether you're worried about safety or just plain curious, we've got the info you need.

Ready to learn more? Keep reading!

Table of Contents

Key Takeaways

  • Between 2010 and 2021, about 500 people died in the US after police used Tasers on them.
  • Stun guns use high voltage but low amperage to stop people without killing. However, they can still be deadly in rare instances.
  • The shock from a stun gun can cause heart attacks or mess up someone's nervous system.
  • People with health problems like heart issues are at higher risk when tased.
  • Recovering from being hit by a stun gun involves rest, checking for injuries, and sometimes talking to a doctor.

Understanding Stun Guns and Their Functionality

Stun guns/Tasers are those non-lethal gadgets police sometimes use when they need to stop someone without really hurting them. These little zappers can pack a punch with their high voltage but (here's the kicker) it's the low amps that keep it from being deadly.

High voltage Stunning Device

Picture giving someone a super strong static shock – annoying and surprising but not meant to kill.

Voltage and Amperage of Stun Guns

Stun guns look scary, right? With all that zapping sound and bright arcs of electricity. But here's the scoop - it's not just about how much shock they can give. Sure, stun guns pack a lot of voltage, sometimes millions of volts! Sounds like a lot? Well, voltage isn't the real hero in this story.

The true measure of a stun gun's strength lies in something called microcoulombs. This might sound fancy, but think of it as the "oomph" behind each zap.

Now, onto amperage – that’s where things get interesting. Despite what you might think with all those volts flying around, stun guns actually use very low amperage. We're talking less than what it takes to light up a small LED bulb! This low amperage is crucial because high amps can be deadly while these devices are meant to incapacitate, not harm permanently.

This brings us to an odd fact: more volts don’t automatically mean more power in the world of stun guns. Yes, you heard that right. A device with higher voltage won't necessarily drop someone faster than one with fewer volts if their microcoulombs aren't up to par.

Also tossing Ohm’s law - which talks about electrical currents moving through stuff - into this mix doesn’t exactly work straightforwardly when we’re dealing with human bodies and stun guns together.

Reported Deaths Related to Stun Gun Use

Have you heard? Yes, stun guns can indeed lead to someone passing away. From 2010 to 2021, there were moments when using a stun gun ended very sadly. This info makes us stop and think! Want to learn the whole story? Keep on reading....

Nation-wide Statistics from 2010-2021

Alright, let's talk numbers, and trust me, they're pretty eye-opening. From 2010 to 2021, stun guns, also known by their brand name as Tasers, have been at the center of a lot of debates. Why? Well, because they've been linked to a bunch of fatalities. And not just a small number, either. We're talking about a serious issue that spans the entire country.

Since 2001, there have been 1081 deaths in the US, with later reports as of 2021 placing it at an average of 45 deaths a year in the US per Amnesty International. Still, deaths are very rare.

Moving on, what does this all mean and what comes next? Let's dive a bit deeper into the potential dangers of stun guns next, shall we?

The Potential Dangers of Stun Guns

Stun guns might seem safe at first glance. But, think again – these devices can pack a serious punch.

Can Stun Guns Cause Heart Attacks?

Yes, stun guns can cause heart attacks. This happens because they send electric pulses into the body. These shocks can mess with the heart's normal beats. Think of it like throwing a rock into a calm pond — the ripples change everything.

An Indiana University cardiologist found that these shocks might lead to sudden cardiac arrest and death. So, yes, it can be a potentially serious effect.

People with heart problems need to be extra careful around stun guns. Even though some studies say Tasers are safe for them, there have been times when things went wrong. Shocks from stun guns have made some hearts beat in a very bad way, leading to sudden stops.

Evidence shows that getting shocked by a stun gun can really upset your heart rhythm, says one expert on heart health.

Safety is always key when handling any device that gives off electricity, especially ones meant to stop people in their tracks like Tasers do.

Possible Long-Term Effects on Nervous System

high voltage stun gun

Stun guns pack a punch with their high voltage. This jolt can mess up the way brains work over time. Think about it—getting hit by electricity changes brain function. Our heads run on electrical signals, so when extra electricity jumps in, things can get weird.

Memory might not work right, and learning new stuff could become hard.

But that's not all; our nerves might also feel this zap for a long while. Nerves tell our body how to move and what we feel. After getting shocked, some people find their arms or legs don't listen as well as they used to.

Others say pain sticks around like an unwanted guest at a party.

So yeah, stun guns are no joke for the nervous system—the part of us that keeps everything running smoothly from thinking to moving.

Cases of Fatal and Non-fatal Incidents Involving Stun Guns

Stun guns/Tasers are tools cops use to stop folks without causing lasting harm. Or at least, that's the plan. Sometimes though, things go sideways. We've seen stories pop up here and there - someone gets zapped and then...well, it's not just a bad day for them.

Like this one time, a guy with heart issues got hit by a stun gun. Sadly, his ticker couldn't take the jolt. It's scary stuff when you think about it because who really knows if their heart is 100% okay? And then there are folks who get tased and bounce back like nothing happened.

It makes you wonder what the deal is with our bodies and electricity, doesn't it?

Role of Pre-existing Conditions in Stun Gun Related Deaths

Some people have health issues before they ever face a stun gun. These can make it riskier. Think heart problems or breathing troubles. If someone already has these, getting shocked can make things worse.

It's like adding fuel to a fire. Cops often don't know about these conditions when they use a stun gun.

The unseen dangers lie within—a storm ready to strike.

Now, let's talk about how the body tries to heal after being hit by all those volts.

Recovery Process After Being Tased

Getting zapped by a stun gun can really shake you up. Imagine your muscles locking tight and your memory going foggy for a bit. Here’s the low-down on getting back to normal:

  1. Take a breather – Right after the shock, you’ll probably need to sit or lie down. Your body just went through an electric battle, so give it some rest.
  2. Check for injuries – When people get hit with stun guns, they often fall down. You might have cuts or bruises from the fall. It's time to play detective on your own body.
  3. Sip some water – Your body was just doing the electric slide against its will. Drinking water helps calm everything back down inside.
  4. Talk to a doctor – Even if you feel okay, a quick chat with a healthcare pro is wise. They can make sure your heart and nerves are still playing nice.
  5. Keep an eye out for weird feelings – If you start feeling off or like something inside isn’t right, don't just shrug it off. It could be your body saying, "Hey, I’m not okay."
  6. Rest up good – Give yourself permission to chill and get plenty of sleep that night. Think of it as hitting the reset button on your body.
  7. Steer clear of stress – Try not to jump back into things that crank up your stress levels too high too soon after being tased.
  8. Eat healthy food – Treat your body like it’s healing from a flu bug or something; feed it good stuff that helps mend.
  9. Avoid alcohol and drugs – This sounds like a no - brainer but seriously, adding more chemicals to your system right now? Not the best idea.

By sticking close to this list, most folks find they bounce back pretty quickly after getting tased - which is good news because nobody plans their day around an unexpected jolt from a stun gun!


In rare cases, stun guns can be deadly, but generally, the amps of a stun gun may pack a lot of power, but it is not enough to kill. These devices are called less-lethal, not harmless.

Their shocks can mess with your heart and nerves big time. Some folks might even get a heart attack from one. So, handling these tools needs care and knowing the risks helps. Stay safe out there!


1. Can a stun gun really kill someone?

It is extremely rare that a stun gun can kill someone because most stun guns have around 5-10 milliamps and it typically takes about 100 milliamps to kill a person, but in cases of pre-existing conditions, it may cause ventricular arrhythmias or cardiac arrest which can be addressed with defibrillation.

skinny lipstick stun gun

2. How many volts are we talking about with these stun guns?

Stun guns can vary big time in voltage – from tens of thousands up to millions of volts. While it sounds scary, remember what was mentioned about amps - that’s where the real question lies. High-voltage sounds impressive (and let's be honest – kind of cool), but without enough amperage behind it, it’s more bark than bite.

3. What happens to your heart if you’re hit by a stun gun?

Imagine your heart muscle doing its thing, beating nicely. Then a stun gun hit acts like that friend who messes up the beat when clapping along to a song - causing all sorts of chaos in there. The electrical stimulation might just give your heart rhythm disturbance (like ventricular tachycardia or fibrillation) which is doctor-speak for "not good." In rare cases? It could lead straight to sudden cardiac death; talk about overkill!

4. Do doctors ever use electricity on purpose for hearts?

Yes, cardiologists aren't shy around electric shocks – they use tools like defibrillators and pacemakers which actually help keep hearts ticking correctly by zapping them back into a rhythm or keeping the pace steady. So while electricity can be trouble with misuse, under control and in small doses, it’actually has practical uses.

5. Could someone with a pacemaker have problems if zapped by a Taser?

If someone has a pacemaker or implanted cardiac defibrillator chilling in their chest and gets hit by an electric shock from something like Taser X26, let’s just say their device might throw its hands up in confusion before getting back on track—usually devices are smart enough to deal after throwing an error message or two.

6.What should I do if I see someone get stunned and they look unwell?

First off—don’t panic! Call emergency services because even though movies make being shocked look easy, it can be serious business. Sure, you won’t need cattle prods or lightning strikes, but quick thinking, CPR knowledge, and calmness, until professionals arrive, could make all the difference.