Would You Carry This Less-Lethal Weapon?

CNN Money recently highlighted less-lethal weapons given that the current demand for them is high following several widely publicized stories where police officers used deadly force against unarmed civilians, e.g. Ferguson, Missouri.

One such weapon was the ‘Police Force Triple Defender,’ a pepper spray dispenser, a stun gun and a strobe light all wrapped into one platform.

Several questions, would you carry such a weapon? Would you carry it in lieu of a handgun? Under what circumstances, if any, would you carry it?

Or how about affixing ‘The Alternative’ to the end of your gun, would you consider doing that?

The Alternative is a plastic device that affixes to the end of the barrel and slide, once the firearm is discharged the projectile hits the plastic device and embeds itself into a metallic ball that then hurtles toward the suspect. The metallic ball slows down the velocity of the projectile so that when it hits the suspect it causes injury, not death.

Of course, the non-lethal impact is not guaranteed. The same can be said for stun guns, which according to Amnesty International have killed more than 500 people in the U.S.

“We recognize that there is a need for less lethal tools to minimize the risk of death and injury, which is inherent in police use of firearms,” Amnesty researcher Justin Mazzola told CNN Money. “But what we’re always calling for is that Tasers be used as a last resort. Right now there are no national guidelines.”

That death toll is disputed, however. Taser, one of the leading manufacturers of electroshock weapons, told CNN Mone that stun guns are directly attributed to approximately 60 deaths.

Regardless of the number of those killed, it explains why these devices are known as “less-lethal” weapons. While they’re designed to be less-lethal, that may not always be the case.

Another interesting weapon featured was the Active Denial System, which according to maker Raytheon, “emits a focused beam of millimeter wave energy that penetrates the skin to 1/64th of an inch, producing an intolerable heating sensation that causes targeted individuals to flee.”

ADS was developed for the U.S. Military. And it was deployed to Afghanistan in 2010 by the Air Force, though it was never used in combat.

Raytheon worker Kelley Hughes described the sensation when she volunteered to get zapped while standing 3,000 feet from the source of the beam.

“I felt an intolerable heating sensation,” she told CNN Money. “I felt its heat ramping up quickly and lasting a few brief seconds on my entire body. My immediate reflex was to move quickly away from the beam.”

According to the Air Force, the beam is not radioactive, it doesn’t cause cancer or infertility and it’s only lethal when the beam is “sustained and prolonged many times.”

Due to the size of ADS, there is no civilian version of it — at least not yet.

About the author: S.H. Blannelberry is the News Editor of GunsAmerica.

{ 35 comments… add one }
  • t monk January 24, 2018, 7:28 am


  • gary January 30, 2017, 7:04 pm

    I carry a knife as a third weapon backup to my 45acp, and 380.

  • ejharb March 21, 2015, 2:49 am

    The Interesting ltlw in my opinion is the piexon jpx4.it uses powder driven oc holds 4 shots and has a range of 24′ & is what id carry if I couldnt have my45.its also the thing id hand a non pistol safe relative.

  • Jim Wiker March 1, 2015, 6:05 pm

    Growing up, I was bit by a pack of dogs on the steps of my elementary school. Fast forward to today, I walk due to health reasons and carry because of animals. Why on earth would I carry an over sized heat gun when I can eliminate the threat one for all?

  • NealS February 27, 2015, 9:06 pm

    Oh yes, I definitely would carry one of those, but only if it was an add on to a .45ACP. That way you might be able to slow someone down if you missed.

  • Will Drider February 26, 2015, 8:20 am

    LE Agencies all have a use of force continuum, some are rigid but most allow for immediate progression to the level required to overcome the threat. Vid #2 with an attacker advancing with a knife and the “defender” delaying action to put on the less then lethal device is asinine. Good Departments will allow officers the choice of a taser or baton. On the Civ side I see no need for a LTL option. I will avoid, retreat until deadly force is justified. Surprise and violence of action. Dead bad guys tell no lies. Be aware in most states, if you draw your weapon (including LTL): YOU have just communicated a threat. Be justified when you take this action or you could face severe criminal charges.

  • steve hammill February 23, 2015, 11:56 am

    Just Fedex’d my daughter a stun gun to keep with her on her first road trip. She’s not practiced enough with her handgun for me to give it to her, so the stun gun is an alternative that gives her a chance to run and call for help.

    I’ll carry less lethal when all of the criminals do.
    I do carry bean bag rounds in my shotgun to run off the bear in the early summer. I like to hunt them, but don’t want to kill them when they’re just being a nuisance.

    • Shah Muhammad II of Khwarazmia (1200-1220AD) May 6, 2016, 9:48 am

      Have you ever used bean bag rounds against an adult bear, successfully?

      Around here, a 400-800lb. black or grizzly would, at best, just get annoyed and more aggressive by something that would stop a human. If you came between a sow and her cubs, forget it. Bear spray works better and it is pretty hard to miss even a charging bear.

    • loupgarous May 6, 2016, 4:08 pm

      “I’ll carry less lethal when all of the criminals do.”

      I hear you. The problem is that the National Twit, Senator Bernie Sanders, may have an epiphany and outlaw anything that throws a slug should he at some point assemble enough moonbats and welfare clients to become President of the United States at some future date. Our Congress would be too limp-wristed to stop him, just as they are with Barack Obama now.

  • NavyVet1959 February 23, 2015, 11:15 am

    A stun gun is “less lethal”, just like a .380 is “less lethal” than a 12-gauge. It can still kill you as has been shown in numerous encounters with police. Sure, the departments *claim* that the person had an underlying medical condition, but the end result is that the person did in fact die and it was caused by the stun gun.

    • loupgarous May 6, 2016, 4:12 pm

      “Underlying medical condition” isn’t a good defense against being sued for killing someone with a stun gun in my opinion.
      We live in a nation which has more diabetics than it ever has, and heart disease is common in disabetic without necessarily causing pain or other symptoms. Stun someone with triple-vessel coronary artery disease and you have a very high chance of killing that person.

  • Cea February 23, 2015, 10:53 am

    If I have to be somewhere where I cannot legally carry my pistol, I carry OC spray and a “tactical” pen or a kubaton.
    It is better than nothing at all.

  • Nate February 23, 2015, 10:52 am
    • loupgarous May 6, 2016, 4:13 pm

      With FULL cans of beverage.

  • Dan February 23, 2015, 10:49 am

    As long as I feel that my assailant would or could use lethal force I will too. There is no way I will do anything else. If I pull my CCW I will first point it at the ground and then if feeling further threat will use it. Pointing it at the ground is the only non lethal use that will be shown.

  • Alan February 23, 2015, 10:45 am

    There are situations where ‘less than lethal’ is called for, and where lethal force would NOT be justified.
    But ANY situation could quickly escalate to a lethal force initiative, and where does that put you with less that lethal?
    I would also point out that just because you ‘pull’ a gun, does NOT mean you HAVE to or should ‘pull’ the trigger.
    BTW folks, please don’t tell me about your opinion on this, I’ve heard them all and don’t care.
    I have twice pulled a gun and ended the confrontation, without a shot being fired.
    Back to the subject, I would also point out that many LTL products are one shot and done, what if there are more bad guys?
    I don’t see the LTL argument for civilians, cops yes.

    • loupgarous May 6, 2016, 4:19 pm

      Less-lethal (not “less-than-lethal,” that is a misleading term, ANY disabling traumatic force, even harsh language, can be lethal to some individuals) weapons require MORE training than firearms, not less. The possibility of killing someone imposes a duty on the person using less-lethal force to ONLY use it when the target’s noncooperation is a danger to others. I’ve seen several dash cam clips where an officer tased a citizen to end an argument – that’s not even remotely acceptable use of force, and every instance of it ought to be prosecuted as assault (or manslaughter if it ends in a death).

  • Nate February 23, 2015, 10:36 am

    Would I carry this? F-K no! Why would I want to carry around a brief case sized “weapon”? I typically cover my Sig under a shirt. How would you conceal this P.O.S? Carrying a weapon should be got defense of self, not so much advertising that you have it.
    I would expect a bad guy to swipe this first, use it on the carrier, then continue the original crime plan.

  • Steve February 23, 2015, 9:27 am

    Not for sympathy of acriminal attacker, but the user. My daughter in law was attached outside her home recently. Beat up, cell phone stolen, perps. slamming her door trying to get in, death threats ect. I’m sure in my mind she uttered a racial slur or instigated this somehow. Anyway, 911 was called, but guess what didn’t happen? That’s right-NO POLICE! FK’N NICE. Anyway, she needs protection and has my grandson to take care of. I’m nervous about guns around kids and the handling of guns by the newly trained, ditsy & whacky. Yes, this describes my daughter in law I’m sorry to say. I contemplate, but not for long, firearm training by a professional for her. But I’ve got to consider non lethal for her to keep my worry machine in check. I know a blast of hornet spray in the eyes works well, Tasers are illegal in Ma or I’d be comfortable with her having one. The heat wave gun sounds right for her needs. I wouldn’t have to get a call that she got disarmed when hesitating, or the young ones pulled the trigger. Please develop this for civilian hands and make it available without an act of God and blue tape to posses one,.

    • loupgarous May 6, 2016, 4:24 pm

      The heat wave gun’s a vehicle-mounted thing that weighs a few hundred pounds and costs a fortune.

      Considered bear spray for your daughter? It’s not lethal enough to give her an overweening sense of power over others, but might give her and your grandkids time to move away from a would-be attacker. Please check your local laws, but I don’t think that Massachusetts has outlawed pepper spray yet, and bear spray is usually very strong pepper spray, in the crowd-pleaser size.

  • Ram 6 February 23, 2015, 9:09 am

    Are they kidding? Who would carry one of these bulky, non-lethal, non-effective (against anyone of size) thingy? It’s a nice thought. Kind of like the new NYPD training that says when confronted and you think your are getting wound up “close your eyes” and take a deep breath. Right, that’s the last breath you’ll take.

    I guess this would be good in a riot situation but in normal every day carry for personal protection, I don’t think so. By the way this would not have been effective against the “gentle giant” in Ferguson. He kept coming in spite of being hit several times by “lethal” rounds and only stopped when one hit his head.

    • loupgarous May 6, 2016, 4:29 pm

      Less-lethal weapons combine relative ineffectiveness against the Federally-protected Great Big Mugger with the chance of killing someone who’s teetering on the brink of a silent heart attack. I don’t really think they solve the issue of politicians pandering to parents who unleash alpha-predators on the rest of us, then show up on television crying about their “poor, sweet littie boy.”

  • Tmonk February 23, 2015, 9:04 am

    I can only hope this never happens but if I am ever in the situation to need to defend my self or me family I can only hope I can draw and shoot faster and better than my aggressor, who does not care what is right or wrong. I know I can depend on the 100 plus year old technology that went into my 1911,and it will not hurt anything on less I need it to . you keep all your new toys I will keep my old one

    • Rob August 31, 2015, 8:05 pm

      I would find it easier to shoot an intruder if I knew it would not kill. The rounds after that would sit more easily on my mind knowing a less lethal alternative was tried…

      • loupgarous May 6, 2016, 4:31 pm

        If my gun comes out of its leather at all, it’s because I’ve already decided I or someone else is in real danger of being hurt or killed by an assailant. A detective I knew told me in that case, the gun had better “come out smoking.”

  • Tmonk February 23, 2015, 9:04 am

    I can only hope this never happens but if I am ever in the situation to need to defend my self or me family I can only hope I can draw and shoot faster and better than my aggressor, who does not care what is right or wrong. I know I can depend on the 100 plus year old technology that went into my 1911,and it will not hurt anything on less I need it to . you keep all your new toys I will keep my old one

    • loupgarous May 6, 2016, 4:33 pm

      Same-same for me, but in .40 S&W, which I can shoot 100 times on the range before my groups start to widen because of fatigue. It’s the thinking man’s 9mm.

  • Tmonk February 23, 2015, 9:03 am

    I can only hope this never happens but if I am ever in the situation to need to defend my self or me family I can only hope I can draw and shoot faster and better than my aggressor, who does not care what is right or wrong. I know I can depend on the 100 plus year old technology that went into my 1911,and it will not hurt anything on less I need it to . you keep all your new toys I will keep my old one

  • Martin Bury February 23, 2015, 7:48 am

    If a 300lb PCP addict is charging at you, will you have time (and desire) to take your non-dominant hand off of the pistol and snap on a “less lethal” option?

    • George Williams February 23, 2015, 9:31 am

      We don’t basically disagree Martin…
      But I don’t believe that all threats to my family/self, are a “300 lb charging maniac”…
      I carry a “pit bull” tactical flashlight upon occasions where the application of my Browning .40 is neither appropriate, needed or legal.

      I feel that it is a totally proper weapon under certain circumstances.

  • Jerry Jones February 23, 2015, 6:59 am

    Will all of the Criminals agree to use these too?

    • Rick February 23, 2015, 4:40 pm

      My thought exactly!

      • loupgarous May 6, 2016, 4:41 pm

        In Great Britain, which the gun-grabbers no longer tout as a utopia because the violent crime rate in England and Wales is now four times that of the US, “When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns” came true in the wildest sense possible when IRA terrorists got away with shelling the runways at London Heathrow Airport with a MORTAR,

        For those who don’t know, mortars are great big tubes on great big tripods that fire great big bombs. Quoting an account of the attack from the British “the Independent” newspaper,
        “The attack was launched from the open hatchback of a red Nissan Micra car in the Excelsior car park close to the A4 Bath Road on the outskirts of west London. The force of the launch, from five 6 foot-long tubes, caused about 10 vehicles parked near by to catch fire.”

        Yeah, gun control works, and criminals will disarm when law-abiding folks do. When pigs fly.

  • Michael E. Hensley February 23, 2015, 4:05 am

    I may sprinkle some pepper on the tip of that 230 GR Ball .45 ACP ammo and use the flash as a strobe but that is the extent of my ” less that Lethal “

    • Gny. Sgt. Robert "Jake" Taylot ret. February 23, 2015, 3:00 pm

      I quite agree. The only good mugger is a DEAD mugger, and there is no substitute for my trusty Springfield 1911. Down here in the sunshine state we have the “stand your ground” law for just that reason.

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