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View Full Version : less than lethal rounds


The Govanator
07-16-2009, 4:40 PM
Are there any less than lethal options for your guns in california ? if not, why would california make them illegal.

the_natterjack
07-16-2009, 4:48 PM
:rofl2:

DJ Skillz
07-16-2009, 4:48 PM
Yes, there are. You can get rubber ball, rubber buck etc..

Personally, I would never use them. If I have to pull a gun on somebody, I would have a damn good reason, and it's not going to be to shoot them with a rubber ball.

As far as asking why any of the California gun laws are the way they are... your guess is as good as mine. They don't make any damn sense.

7x57
07-16-2009, 5:00 PM
Are there any less than lethal options for your guns in california ? if not, why would california make them illegal.

Practically and legally, sublethal munitions expose you to greater risk for no benefit that I know of. The first problem with sublethal rounds is that California law treats them the same as lethal rounds. After all, the kinds I know about can kill; the odds are just lower. They are deadly force, and if deadly force is justified at all ordinary ammunition is justified. If you'd go to jail for using normal ammo, you'd go to jail for using sublethal ammo.

Worse, the converse isn't clearly true. A jury might very easily decide that using sublethal ammo was evidence that you were not *truly* in fear for your life, so it's possible you could go to jail for sublethal ammo when you would not for normal ammo.

Then there is the practical side. A jury might interpret sublethal ammo as evidence that force wasn't justified because even non-gunnies know it is less effective in stopping an attacker. And because they are right about this, using it definitely increases your risk of being injured or killed because you did not stop your opponent.

And finally, there is a reason I think some are hesitant to talk about: our legal system is often biased in favor of crime in the specific way that you can be sued in civil court for a defensive shooting that was ruled justifiable homicide or in which no charges were filed because it was clearly a good shoot. Now which do you think can get away with suing you for more damages: the weeping family of the beloved crack-addict that broke into your house, or the crack-addict who suffers from an array of lifelong injuries because he got shot? Yup.

The disgusting thing about that is that the law will penalize you for consciously choosing to take additional risk on yourself in order to lower your risk of killing a perp. While I don't particularly advocate doing that, I believe everyone should be free to make that moral choice just as they are free to choose not to defend themselves at all. Our system discriminates against that particular moral choice.

7x57

Maestro Pistolero
07-16-2009, 5:25 PM
I've never heard the term sub-lethal before (just because I never heard of it doesn't mean it isn't in use). But I have heard 'low-lethality', and 'low-lethal' rounds.
I don't think the term 'less than lethal' is used at all, because any round out of a firearm, even a blank, is potentially lethal. The same inaccuracy would apply IMO to the term sub-lethal, because it implies that it can't kill a subject, and it can.

Ditto the advice of 7X57 above. Don't use 'em except maybe to humanely thump a recalcitrant bear on the behind.

Mikeb
07-16-2009, 5:26 PM
If you don't shoot people for fun why would you want non lethal ammo?
take care
Mike

calixt0
07-16-2009, 5:28 PM
7X57.... goood write up...

PEBKAC
07-16-2009, 5:42 PM
+1 on 7x57's write-up. Excellent info.

As far as asking why any of the California gun laws are the way they are... your guess is as good as mine. They don't make any damn sense.
There may actually be a halfway decent justification for not allowing less lethal rounds. Not that I support it, but I can see where it could be coming from.

<devilsadvocate>
Okay, so because the rounds are not intended to be strictly speaking lethal, they are marked as "less lethal" (or something to that extent) because that is about the only classification that makes sense: they aren't intended to kill someone, but they ~can~ kill much more easily than, say, pepper spray. For this reason they are not "non-lethal".

This is where the problem lies, people are not as likely to understand the distinction between "less" and "non" lethal means of defense as they probably should, and might end up using less lethal rounds in situations where it is not warranted or even careless to do so (perhaps situations that are not even defense related, or start using them like airsoft guns, god forbid...something like that) because they aren't worried about killing someone.

Thus, one could posit that deadly accidents or intentional use resulting in unintentional death would rise significantly due to this hypothetical. From the perspective of a lawmaker, such a potential outcome would probably warrant passing a law against or restricting civilian ownership.
</devilsadvocate>

That's the way I'd go about justifying it anyway... :rolleyes:

The Govanator
07-16-2009, 5:52 PM
Thanks for all the info guys

Flopper
07-16-2009, 7:00 PM
using them like airsoft guns, god forbid...something like that) because they aren't worried about killing someone.


Since I know people that have used bb and pellet guns in this way, I could definitely see people doing this also.

Not saying it's right to have these banned, but considering the nanny state we live in, I can understand how it happened.

Mulay El Raisuli
07-17-2009, 7:29 AM
I agree completely with 7X57 on this. Until "phasers on stun" is an actual option, anything other than full-bore lethal is just a waste of time.

The Raisuli

Lancear15
07-17-2009, 7:43 AM
You could always load one of these in the chamber for a HD shotgun. That way if someone accidentally discharges it, it would be less lethal. Also if you need to defend yourself you can always rack it to get that amazing sound.

In the middle of the night many years ago there where 3 guys in my unfenced backyard, when I yelled out through my window telling them it was private property and the cops where on the way, they actually started walking tword the house. I sling shotted my AR and they were gone in a flash.

motorhead
07-17-2009, 11:00 AM
a 12ga taser round is under development.
fin stabilized plastic bullets give you range advantage over beanbag or stingball.
and for those of you with water softeners, that old country favorite, rock salt. nasty stuff.

Decoligny
07-17-2009, 11:18 AM
I've never heard the term sub-lethal before (just because I never heard of it doesn't mean it isn't in use). But I have heard 'low-lethality', and 'low-lethal' rounds.
I don't think the term 'less than lethal' is used at all, because any round out of a firearm, even a blank, is potentially lethal. The same inaccuracy would apply IMO to the term sub-lethal, because it implies that it can't kill a subject, and it can.

Ditto the advice of 7X57 above. Don't use 'em except maybe to humanely thump a recalcitrant bear on the behind.

I believe the term that is used is "less lethal".

This indicates that it is less likely to cause death. Lets say that out of 100 instances where someone get shot in the chest with regular ammo, 70 people die (made up numbers), with the "less lethal" rounds out of 100 people shot in the chest, 15 people die (again made up numbers).

motorhead
07-17-2009, 11:59 AM
diet-lethal. or lethal-light.

SteveH
07-17-2009, 7:43 PM
Less lethal not Less than lethal.

The cops still investigate a shooting with beanbag rounds and such as a shooting, even when its their own firing the rounds. Thats right, Homocide and the DA shooting team still roll out. They still draw the cops blood. because its still a shooting.

bohoki
07-17-2009, 8:03 PM
so if you you are arrested for firing them at someone woudl that be assault with a less deadly weapon?

HondaMasterTech
07-17-2009, 9:01 PM
The only non-lethal ammo you should use against a person is in a friendly game of paintball.

7x57
07-17-2009, 9:48 PM
I believe the term that is used is "less lethal".


Half a dozen or so different terms have been used. I don't believe there is any difference in meaning, they all mean precisely what you think they mean.

7x57

7x57
07-17-2009, 9:50 PM
Ditto the advice of 7X57 above. Don't use 'em except maybe to humanely thump a recalcitrant bear on the behind.

Um, just to add one thing--don't shoot anything at a bear you don't think will kill him before he can figure out that, on the whole, he's really quite upset about what you just did and maybe ought to do something about it!

7x57

CHS
07-17-2009, 10:44 PM
FYI, there seems to be some confusion in this thread over the legality of "less lethal" ammunition.

It's legal. Period.

Just don't use it. There are practical reasons for law enforcement and military to be trained on and use less-lethal ammo. There really aren't any practical reasons for any civilian to use it. If you are in a situation where force is needed, shoot to kill. Otherwise, force probably isn't needed.

But it's legal.

Snarky
07-17-2009, 11:53 PM
A friend at work heard me talking about some ravens that were ripping my patio furniture open and dragging the stuffing all over the property.

The next day when I came into the office there was a big ziploc bag of 12 ga. shotgun shells, 25 loaded with corn (unpopped popcorn) and 25 loaded with rice on my desk. I haven't shot any of them and could never think of a purpose for them. I'm glad to read that they are legal. :)

motorhead
07-18-2009, 8:57 AM
i had a crow problem. i chose the more than lethal solution. drop a couple they avoid your area. almost a "no fly zone". very intelligent birds.

Swatter911
07-18-2009, 10:21 AM
FYI, there seems to be some confusion in this thread over the legality of "less lethal" ammunition.

It's legal. Period.

Just don't use it. There are practical reasons for law enforcement and military to be trained on and use less-lethal ammo. There really aren't any practical reasons for any civilian to use it. If you are in a situation where force is needed, shoot to kill. Otherwise, force probably isn't needed.

But it's legal.

I was searching for a section that made them illegal as well and could not find anything. If there is a PC section that someone is interpreting to mean LL rounds are illegal could you please post it? I learn something new every day.

As someone who has deployed LL rounds under LE situations, I can tell you that they are not 100% effective. Depending on the round, they may frisbee off like a bad golf slice or open up and cause significant injury to the target. Regardless, they cause intense pain but do not usually incapacitate the suspect. We are trained to deploy them with another LEO covering you with a lethal force option. Deploying them at a distance less than the manufacturers recommended minimum safe distance puts these rounds squarely in the lethal force options category.

SJgunguy24
07-18-2009, 10:42 AM
i had a crow problem. i chose the more than lethal solution. drop a couple they avoid your area. almost a "no fly zone". very intelligent birds.

Too bad that doesn't work with our southern border.

Mulay El Raisuli
07-19-2009, 5:52 AM
Too bad that doesn't work with our southern border.



Hard to say, since its never been tried.

The Raisuli

Roadrunner
07-19-2009, 9:03 AM
Practically and legally, sublethal munitions expose you to greater risk for no benefit that I know of. The first problem with sublethal rounds is that California law treats them the same as lethal rounds. After all, the kinds I know about can kill; the odds are just lower. They are deadly force, and if deadly force is justified at all ordinary ammunition is justified. If you'd go to jail for using normal ammo, you'd go to jail for using sublethal ammo.

Worse, the converse isn't clearly true. A jury might very easily decide that using sublethal ammo was evidence that you were not *truly* in fear for your life, so it's possible you could go to jail for sublethal ammo when you would not for normal ammo.

Then there is the practical side. A jury might interpret sublethal ammo as evidence that force wasn't justified because even non-gunnies know it is less effective in stopping an attacker. And because they are right about this, using it definitely increases your risk of being injured or killed because you did not stop your opponent.

And finally, there is a reason I think some are hesitant to talk about: our legal system is often biased in favor of crime in the specific way that you can be sued in civil court for a defensive shooting that was ruled justifiable homicide or in which no charges were filed because it was clearly a good shoot. Now which do you think can get away with suing you for more damages: the weeping family of the beloved crack-addict that broke into your house, or the crack-addict who suffers from an array of lifelong injuries because he got shot? Yup.

The disgusting thing about that is that the law will penalize you for consciously choosing to take additional risk on yourself in order to lower your risk of killing a perp. While I don't particularly advocate doing that, I believe everyone should be free to make that moral choice just as they are free to choose not to defend themselves at all. Our system discriminates against that particular moral choice.

7x57

7x57 wrote a good post, but I would like to add one more thing. While no sane person wants to kill anyone, some people by their violent criminal nature just ask to be killed. So, you have to ask yourself whether or not you can defend yourself and your family with lethal force if a violent criminal confronts you. If your answer is no, then please sell ALL of your weapons so that if a violent criminal attacks and kills you and your family, he will not have access to your weapons to use them to kill or maim another innocent person.