Arizona County Equips Deputies With Less-Lethal Pistols

PINAL COUNTY, Ariz. (KSAZ) - It's called a less than lethal pistol, and the Pinal County Sheriff's Office is the first in the country to use this type of weapon.

It sounds a lot like a gun, but when you look at it, and what it shoots, you can tell it's a whole new tool for law enforcement.

The Defenzia M-09 is a less-lethal handgun that fires rubber bullets. Think of it as a step up from a stun gun, and a step below a traditional handgun.

PCSO is the first agency in the United States to adopt the weapon and say it could be used in a variety of situations.

"That could be somebody with mental health issues, a returning soldier from Afghanistan with PTSD," said Sheriff Paul Babeu.

The gun is accurate at up to 70 feet and uses a laser sight. It won't kill a suspect, but the company that makes it says it will leave a heck of a mark.

"Not only pain compliance, but stopping power, it would be like a baseball bat impact," said Leo Gitirana with Defenzia.

The M-09 can also use flash bang rounds, pepper rounds, and flare rounds. Each gun costs about $1,100, and the PCSO plans to buy nearly 100 of them to keep on the streets with deputies, hoping they will stop crime but also save some lives.

More from FOX 10 Phoenix.

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