Dallas Police To Use ‘Sponge Guns’
The Dallas Police Department is joining 20 other agencies in giving some of their officers “sponge guns,” weapons aimed at reducing the chances of a deadly officer-involved shooting.
The Dallas News reports that Dallas PD will be providing 100 weapons to their officers at a cost of $800 each. Police booster group Safer Dallas Better Dallas plans to raise $250,000 to help pay for the launchers. The “less lethal” weapons are meant to disarm and incapacitate someone from up to 100 feet away, police officials said.
Being hit with one of the sponge-tipped bullets is much like being pinged with a baseball or hockey puck. The guns are designed to cause enough pain on impact to force a person to drop a weapon or to the ground without breaking the skin, making it safer for police officers to approach.
The launchers, which will be bright yellow, would be dispersed among patrol officers throughout the city to help respond to incidents involving volatile or mentally ill people. The yellow coloring shows other officers and people in the community that police are trying to use less-lethal force.
The goal is to put as much space as possible between responding officers and a suspect who might be holding a weapon, such as a knife or screwdriver. Other less-lethal weapons, like Tasers, require that officers be within 21 feet of a person, making it more likely that an officer might have to use a gun.