Stun guns come in different strengths, with the low end running around eighty thousand volts. From there they can go up as high as one or even two million volts! At some point this starts to feel like overkill, however - 80,000 volts is generally quite adequate - and a ‘maximum volts stun gun’ is a little over the top for personal or home protection.
That said, a maximum volts stun gun is legal anywhere stun guns are legal - which means you can use one to protect your home or person in 43 states. (Illinois requires a firearms license, which is odd since stun guns are not technically ‘firearms’.) The law recognizes no difference between ‘high’ voltage and ‘low’ voltage stun guns at this time, and the effects are not that dissimilar except in extreme cases where the youth or health of the person being stunned may prove an issue..
The most common voltage for a stun gun is between 100,000 and 300,000 volts. These generally run off of nine volt batteries, with one battery required for every hundred thousand volts of jolt. Fancy models that look like cell phones, flashlights or batons run up to 750,000 to 900,00 volts and beyond. A maximum volts stun gun is generally a hand held model that runs off of more expensive lithium batteries to deliver more power without becoming bulky or heavy.
Some petite versions have come out that bill themselves as maximum volt stun guns in a mini model. They are designed to fit inside a cigarette pack or shirt pocket, and weigh less than a pager. How exactly you are supposed to fumble the tiny object out of the pack of cigs while being attacked is up for debate, and most states require the carrying of stunning devices by citizens to be confined to the home, anyway.
"The means of defense against foreign danger historically have become the instruments of tyranny at home."
- James Madison
The idea behind the stun gun is that the intense jolt of electricity causes a instantaneous workout of all the muscles in the body, causing a rapid build up of lactic acid and overall severe muscle fatigue. The neuromuscular activity is interrupted and the victim is temporarily incapacitated, falling to the ground as the muscles spasm involuntarily. This generally last no more than a minute or so, and no lasting harm is done.
Ideally, the lowest voltage possible should be used - unfortunately, there are situations when a stun gun has been known to fail in its intent. Most incidents where a stun gun has failed have been attributed to a failure on the part of the device or improper deployment by the user - but in some cases people high on certain drugs or with certain mental conditions have appeared immune to the effects of even maximum volt stun guns.
The worst risks associated with stun guns is naturally the harm that could be done to a child, whether purposefully or inadvertently, so families with small children are urged to consider a standard voltage weapon over a maximum volts stun gun for safety’s sake.