Stun Guns are designed to cause pain through the use of high-voltage electricity. When a stun gun owner activates a stun gun (either by pulling a trigger or pressing a button), electricity pulses between two metal prongs located at the end of the device. Touching the target with the electrified prongs sends electronic current at the point of contact, causing the target to jerk away. Because stun guns require the owner to physically touch someone with the device, they are considered close-proximity weapons.
TASERs use electricity to disrupt muscle control, but instead of delivering electricity through metal prongs, TASERs shoot two (or more) metal probe darts at the aggressor. The darts, which are connected to the TASER device by wires, attach themselves to the target and send electronic current throughout the target's body. This causes the person's muscles to seize up, completely immobilizing him. When fired, TASERs also disperse “confetti”, which contain the TASER’s serial number. TASERs have a range of up to 15 feet, and most models can also be used in close-proximity, as can a typical stun gun. TASER is an acronym for Thomas A. Swift’s Electric Rifle. One of the inventors of the TASER, Jack Cover, named the weapon after his favorite character Tom Swift from a series of young adult novels.
Conducted Electrical Weapons (CEW) is the overall descriptive name for Stun Guns and TASERs.