stun gun

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stun gun,

hand-held electronic device that produces a high-voltage pulse that can immobilize a person for several minutes with no permanent damage in most cases. It is powered by ordinary batteries, which supply power to a circuit containing transformers, oscillators, capacitors, and electrodes. In some versions the electrodes are connected to the gun by wires and may be shot at a person. The transformers increase the voltage in the circuit to between 20,000 and 150,000 V and reduce the current proportionally. The oscillators fluctuate the current to produce a specific pulse frequency, and the current charges the capacitors. Connecting the electrodes to a person's body releases high-voltage electrical energy at a frequency pattern designed to interfere with the neurological impulses that travel through the human body to control voluntary muscle movement. The use of stun guns has been associated with death in some cases, typically when the person on whom the gun was used on has taken drugs or has a pre-existing heart condition; the use of device multiple times also appears to be a factor. The degree to which the stun gun may have contributed to the deaths is unclear, but studies with pigs have shown that repeated shocks can cause heart stress and a test of some of the devices showed that a few delivered more current than expected.
References in periodicals archive ?
The self-employed trucker said the weapons were commonly used by lorry drivers and that he would rather carry a non-lethal stun-gun than a knife.
The thug shouted demands for cash and threatened to use the high-voltage stun-gun unless the till was emptied.
Northumbria armed response officers used the stun-gun on Sunday night following an earlier domestic disturbance in the city's West End.
During one of the raids, one accidentally left behind a stun-gun, a knife and a holdall.
THIS is the moment when a shopworker was threatened by a stun-gun gang behind a series of armed hold-ups across Birmingham.
NORTH-EAST police have used stun-guns dozens of times to subdue potentially dangerous criminals, it was revealed yesterday.