Is This Gun the Future of Self-Defense?

Meet the Salt Gun, the non-lethal defense alternative

February 1, 2016 9:00 am

No matter where your allegiance lies in the gun debate, we can agree on one thing: family safety is imperative.

Preferably with zero bloodletting.

That, in a loaded nutshell, is why Chicagoans Adam Kennedy and Andy McIntosh created the Salt Gun, a non-lethal handgun for home protection use.

Backstory first: Humboldt Park, 2014. A young man is shot to death on the block of the homes of Kennedy and McIntosh. The two neighbors, turned off by the idea of owning a traditional firearm, band together and begin discussing a cache worth of safer alternatives. “In the most unlikely event, how can we protect our families?” they ask, and the Salt Gun is born.

So, what is it? Is it legal? And will it really protect my family from a would-be attacker?

“There’s a gap that exists between the gun and a can of pepper spray,” McIntosh tell us, “and that’s where we fit in.” In short: this thing is a CO2-powered air pistol that fires circular rounds of a proprietary chemical compound powder that bursts on impact, releasing a debilitating cloud of pain on the intended target.

In many ways, the Salt Gun looks and acts like a typical Glock. Load the seven-round magazine. Re-insert the magazine into the hand grip with a click. Disengage the safety. Fire.

But no loud gunshot. No recoil. No shooting with intent to kill. And perhaps most important, no accidental discharge with fatal consequences. It stops at everything short of death.

So, a jacked-up paintball gun, basically — but with ammo designed to disable and incapacitate an assailant, not to mention more potent than anything used by the Department of Homeland Security.

And yes, it is 100% legal.

However, questions remain about its unintended effects, especially against a backdrop of the polarizing national gun debate. McIntosh considers a venn diagram of people for gun control and people for gun rights, and at the intersection: the Salt Gun.

It’s common ground. “A third voice [in the gun debate],” McIntosh says.

He goes on, waxing theoretical implications of the non-lethal weapon: “Think of the most ideal outcome. You want to subdue. But you don’t want to kill. 99% of the time, you can’t achieve the most ideal outcome with a gun.”

In other words: he’s saying Salt Gun is the alternative to doing nothing or killing someone.

“We want to change the debate” he adds, “and we believe this is our best hope in minimalizing fatalities.”

The Salt Gun is currently available online and legal in all states except California. 

Fire away at will.

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