Gulfport store sells Tasers to citizens

GULFPORT (WLOX) -- Average citizens now have another choice when it comes to protecting themselves.

"This is a very good non-lethal self-defense type of item to have," said Mike Gray, a sales associate at Academy Sports and Outdoors.

"No ammunition involved, or anything like that. So it does make it a lot easier for people that may be leery of buying a firearm," he said.

The Gulfport store started selling Tasers about a year and a half ago. Gray has sold ten Tasers so far.

"We've had ladies, we've had younger people that have come in and bought these, and actually we've had one police officer that bought one for his girlfriend," said Gray.

In order to buy a Taser, you have to undergo a criminal background check through the company -- Taser International. The Tasers must be activated before they can be fired.

The Taser shoots two barbed darts that can stretch 15 feet and deliver a shock of 50,000 volts. The jolt can last up to 30 seconds.

"It gives you no muscle control. That's what causes you to collapse to the ground," said Gray.

If there are two attackers, the device can double as a stun gun.

"Take the cartridge out, and you can dry stun somebody," said Gray. "Take it up and hold it up to their body and push the button and it has the same effect."

Like handguns, Tasers come in a variety of models, ranging in price from $300 to $350. And yes, they do come in pink.

Every Taser also comes with an instructional video and serial number so they can be logged and tracked. And if they are ever lost or stolen, they can be instantly de-activated.

According to Academy, once the Taser is fired, the cartridge has to be replaced. However, the stun gun can be used up to 50 times.