Pepper Spray vs. Tasers: Which Is Right For You?

Pepper Spray vs. Tasers: Which Is Right For You?

Whether you’re walking through a parking lot at night or you awaken to a strange sound near your patio door, you’ll want a powerful self-defense tool on hand. But which self-defense weapons are right for you? Two popular and portable options are pepper spray and Tasers. Let’s take a look at how you can decide whether a canister of pepper spray or if a Taser is the best choice for your personal safety. 

Distance from Attacker

One common concern for people seeking out new self-defense tools is how close they will have to get to their attacker to deploy an effective offense. The good news is that both pepper spray and a Taser gun can be used with a few feet of distance between you and another person. Pepper spray canisters can be effective from up to 18 feet away in some cases (most will reach at least 12 feet), and Tasers have prongs that shoot up to 15 feet. 

While both offer some distance, pepper spray can be wafted away by the wind to some extent, or back into your own face. In other words, you may want to get closer to be more effective. A Taser is as effective as your aim, so if you’re able to make contact with the torso, it doesn’t matter how close you are. If the distance is important to you, a Taser may be your best bet. 

Lethal Force Potential

Pepper spray is an eye, nose, and throat irritant. It will temporarily blind your attacker but even with the strongest pepper spray, there is no risk of fatality. Tasers, while generally considered non-lethal, do carry a small risk of causing cardiac arrest. If using a non-lethal method of self-defense is a top priority for you, pepper spray is the right weapon for you. 

Legality in Your State

Pepper spray is legal in all 50 states (though your state may regulate how large the canister can be and have age restrictions), while Tasers are not legal for use by civilians in Hawaii, New York, or Rhode Island. Some states allow Tasers but require a permit to own one. In addition, in some states where Tasers are allowed specific cities have outlawed them; for instance, you may own a Taser in Illinois but Chicago has banned them. You should research your state and city laws before making your choice because you don’t want to run afoul of local regulations and get in trouble for using a banned weapon. When in doubt, a small canister of pepper spray is the choice most likely to be perfectly legal. 

Speed of Efficacy 

How quickly will each weapon deliver the desired effect? Both pepper spray and Tasers yield near-immediate results. Tasers will shock your attacker as soon as the prongs make contact with their body and pepper spray immediately gets to work irritating eyes and skin as soon as it hits the face. That being said, if you spray pepper spray from a distance, there may be a small delay of a few seconds before it reaches your intended target. Pepper spray may also inadvertently impact other people in the area. For immediate, targeted use of force, a Taser may be the superior choice. 

When it comes to the pepper spray vs. Taser debate, there is no one correct answer! Use the weapon that you feel most comfortable deploying and that you can bring with you where you need it most. If you still have questions about finding a pepper spray gun or Taser for sale, contact The Home Security Superstore today!