New non-lethal weapon fires pepper-filled pellets
WESTMINSTER – The public got its first look at a new self-defense weapon on Tuesday. It puts the power of a police pepper gun into the hands of civilians.
Avurt International, a company in Westminster will soon begin selling the IM-5, a novel-looking handgun that shoots plastic pellets filled with capsaicin powder. The handgun also has a red laser that ensures the gun is aimed directly at its target.
It can fire the pellets at a target up to 40 feet away. Company officials say it is non-lethal and safer than other self-defense weapons.
Company officials demonstrated the plastic weapon in a room in the lower level of Invesco Field at Mile High stadium. In a staged scenario where a young woman was about to be assaulted, a company employee aimed the gun and shot the ‘suspect.’
“I consider myself physically strong,” said Avurt employee Tony Mangus. He posed as an attacker, and was shot multiple times by his co-worker. “It stopped me in a heartbeat and I had to fall to my knees.”
In the company’s demonstration, the capsaicin powder was not actually used. In a real event, the plastic pellet would explode releasing a cloud of noxious powder into the attacker’s face. That would allow an intended victim up to two or three minutes to escape.
Avurt is selling the IM-5 over its Web site and plans to subsequently sell it through sporting goods stores.
Denver Police spokesman Sonny Jackson says the police department would not endorse such a weapon.
“We’re all for people taking self-defense seriously, but you have to know how to use it. You have to be trained to use it properly so you don’t hurt someone you didn’t intend to hit,” said Jackson.
The IM-5 will sell for about $300. Use of the gun is not controlled by conceal/carry laws, but the user could be liable for accidents.
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