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Punching Bags

NCJ Number
Police: The Law Enforcement Magazine Volume: 26 Issue: 3 Dated: March 2002 Pages: 18,20,22,24
Larkin Fourkiller
Date Published
March 2002
4 pages
This article describes law enforcement’s use and training of a less-lethal impact projectile known as the 12-gauge beanbag round.
To assist police officers in better managing life-threatening situations, controlling violent offenders, and reducing the use of lethal force by police, less-lethal munitions are helping officers better manage situations that could lead to accusations of misuse of force. This article presents information on the use of the 12-gauge beanbag round, as well as the shotgun, as the weapon of choice in launching the less-lethal impact projectile. The deployment of a beanbag requires only one officer on the scene. However, concerns are presented on the use of the same shotgun for lethal and less-lethal ammunition and the potential for discharging unintended munitions. It is noted that when implementing a beanbag weapons program it is important to develop an operational philosophy, define training and record keeping requirements, and establish pre-deployment and post-deployment policies. Basic concepts are presented on the equipment, weapon protocol, policy and procedures, and training requirements. Shotgun beanbag rounds have become a valuable police intervention tool with the ability to de-escalate dangerous situations.