Electric Shock Weapons

Electric shock weapons are designed to deliver a high voltage electric shock for a short duration to a target individual. At a minimum, all electric shock weapons have an electrical signal generator, as well as a pair of electrodes that make the electrical connection between the signal generator and the target individual.

There are three main types of electric shock weapons: direct contact weapons (including stun guns, stun batons, stun shields, projectile electric shock weapons when they are used in direct contact with the skin), projectile electric shock weapons, and body-worn electric shock devices (such as stun belts or cuffs).



Direct contact electric shock weapons are not designed to cause incapacitation but are designed to cause compliance through pain.

Projectile electric shock weapons can be used from a distance to temporarily incapacitate an individual who is posing an immediate threat of serious injury or death to themselves or to others.

Body-worn electric shock devices are designed to force compliance through pain as well as to incapacitate. A small number of countries permit their use in court and during prisoner transfer.

The use of direct contract electric shock equipment and body worn electric shock devices should be prohibited.


Potential Injuries

Injuries from electric shock weapons, which in some cases can be life threatening, include:

  • puncture wounds leading to scars
  • severe pain
  • burns
  • cardiac arrest
  • loss of neuro-muscular control, which can also lead to secondary injuries from falls.


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