Police Departments Testing a New Anti-Riot Weapon

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(Newswire.net — August 26, 2015) — For decades, police forces in North America have searched for the most effective non-lethal weapon. Pepper spray is showed to be too weak, and rubber bullets can seriously injure or even kill if they hit the wrong body part. Taser guns are effective; however, they work only in near proximity to the target and, in rare cases, can provoke a cardiac arrest.

“Something in between,” was recently offered to police for testing. “Blunt impact projectiles” (BIPs) are large silicon bullets that deliver huge amounts of kinetics energy to incapacitate, but not enough to injure or kill a human.

So far, twenty-two police departments in the US and Canada are testing a new BIP gun. Sixteen law enforcement agencies in the US and six in Canada, including SWAT units of the Los Angeles County and Sacramento County Sheriff’s Departments in California, and police departments in East Hartford, Connecticut; Sioux Falls, South Dakota; and Los Alamos, New Mexico, have purchased a new nonlethal BIP bullets and guns, according to AP.

“The projectile is about the size and weight of a golf ball, and it’s traveling at about the speed of a golf ball off the tee,” said Salvatore Emma Jr., president and CEO of Micron Products Inc., maker of the weapon.

“It’s got enough mass behind it — about 50 grams — to deliver a wallop when it hits you, like almost being hit with a rubber hammer,” Emma said.

Although BIP bullet is less harmful than a rubber bullet, it is not advisable to shoot towards someone’s head, according to Gregory Sullivan Security Devices International (SDI) chief executive officer. BIP bullet can cause the same damage as a rubber bullet, which is enough to seriously injure or even kill.

According to SDI, the difference is in the effective range, since BIP can be effective from 2 to 90 yards. In comparison, the a rubber bullet is effective up to a 60 yards.

The other difference is that a rubber bullet is durable while the BIP bullet is designed to break apart upon impact. It will not even damage the skin, the manufacturer told AP.

Security Devices International (SID) hired Micron to produce BIPs, which originated with a ballistics engineering company in Israel. According to SID, BIP belongs to a family of ammunition that includes various payload options such as tear gas powder, pepper spray, a pungent stench, and can be highly effective against riots. That is why US police departments expressed special interest for the weapon.

“The BIP head and body disfigure after impact, making it difficult for rioters to throw the round back at the firing officer,” SID officials said.