It seems that the Ferguson PD is looking for ways to avoid a repeat of the Michael Brown shooting of 2014. According to Controversial Times, they are testing a less-lethal device called Alternative Ballistics which is a projectile that is placed over the muzzle which captures the bullet as the gun is fired and propel the less lethal projectile at the bad gun, hopefully knocking him over and out of the fight. After the first shot the device is separated from the gun, leaving the rest of the cartridges to be fired as usual.
Many people have concerns about the device, and aside from the fact that it has never been tested and we don’t know how effective it actually would be. But my biggest concern is actually using the device would lead to mistakes and issues. First, in order to deploy the device you have to encounter a threat worthy of drawing your firearm, then actually draw your firearm, pull out the device (not exactly sure how it will be carried), place the device over the muzzle, fire one shot, assess the situation before you determine if the threat has been stopped.
All this needs to take place in seconds as an officer faces a lethal threat, which will increase adrenaline and reduce your fine motor skills, so I could picture many officers fumbling around with the device trying to get it in place. Even if they are able to get it in place and get a shot off in that time, then I’d be concerned that they only take one shot. By taking extra time to put the less-lethal device on the gun you are increasing the time the threat has to attack, making the situation even more intense and time-sensitive, increasing the adrenaline even more and most likely increasing the number of shots the officer feels is necessary to shoot, effectively eliminating any benefit gained.
Watch the demonstration video below and let us know what you think of this new less-lethal method.