Non Lethal CWP Options!

Non Lethal Options!

By Will Farrugia - Director of Training - Florida Firearms Training.

Pepper Spray IS the answer…For the Concealed Weapon Permit (CWP) holder, not every threat demands or justifies a “Lethal Force” response. A simple assault does not legally warrant the use of “Deadly Force”.

If you think of the MOST likely scenarios that you or your loved ones may encounter, MOST will not require the use of a firearm. Having a GOOD non-lethal weapon that you can deploy at distance (keeping you as far away from the threat as possible) is a GREAT idea.

Secondly for the CWP holder and non CWP holders here in our home State of Florida, we can carry Pepper Spray into many locations where firearms are simply NOT permitted. So the gun stays in the car!

Additionally, in Florida, because chemical sprays of under 2oz are NOT considered a weapon under state statue 790. 06, it can be carried by individuals (such as teenage kids) that are aren’t legally permitted to carry or own weapons due to age or other restrictions.

Let me say that again…Pepper Spray with UNDER 2 ounces of chemical are NOT considered WEAPONS by the State of Florida. Therefore almost ANYONE of ANY age can carry it in public.

Like any fighting tool, Pepper Spray (or Chemical Spray) can be VERY effective if deployed correctly against people and animals without doing any lasting harm. So even if you do carry a pistol, having some Pepper Spray with you is a GREAT way to round out your personal defense plan.

The FFT 2-Hour Pepper Spray Training Class guides you through the do and don’ts of Pepper Spray Brands, Selection, Deployment and Decontamination. This class also gives you the opportunity to train against REAL live opponents in a welcoming, fun and educational way. It is the perfect family self-defense class, or gift regardless to age, sex, and ability. In short, a perfect legal, no lethal, personal defensive system for everyone with or without a Concealed Weapons Permit.


To many drawbacks to pepper spray to trust it as my only source of self defense. It’s a part of my toolset. But I have way to many LEO friends tell me, they don’t go for pepper spray take downs without backup.

He also isn’t mentioning the care with which pepper sprays have to be stored to retain their efficacy, the real chance of splashback from pepper spray. Then the big one, bystanders. I imagine just like I am liable for every round I put down range, I imagine I am going to be liable for the other people who are affected by the pepper spray such as asthmatics or other airway compromising diseases for people inadvertently affected by the spray.


I’ve been looking into the Kimber Pepperblaster for my wife.


Good points Zavier_D. Let me address them:

  1. Yes pepper spray is AN option. I never said it replaces a firearm, open hand skills or knife skills. But it does fit into a niche for non lethal force that pretty much no other tool does.

  2. This article was written for the CWP holder not LEO’s, however, you should ask your LEO friends about “The Use-of-Force Continuum” . I have trained thousands of law enforcement officers over my 30 years as an instructor and I have personally been sprayed over a dozen times. It really sucks. I have yet to meet anyone that it did not have a pronounced effect on.

  3. Yes, pepper-spray has a shelf life, and should not be stored at temperatures over 100 degrees, but its also very cheap so buy lots of them and disposed of them as needed. Yes if you use it the maybe splash back, you may need to decontaminate…these are all issues covered in any good pepper spray class. In truth non are a big deal, they are easy problems to deal with AFTER you have survived an attack.

  4. Liability. Yes there is always liability, we live in the great Sue nation. But for someone that carries a gun, teaches the use of deadly force with a firearm…are you truly that worried about using a less than lethal chemical spray? Again speak to an attorney.

Lastly, its a tool in the toolbox just like you said, one that is far more relevant in most peoples everyday confrontations that producing a 9mm. Again, its NOT deadly force.


Don’t do it, Get some Sabre Red spray. easy inexpensive and very effective. Also easier to use and carry.


I advocate for the expandable baton.

It is my go-to whenever I cannot carry my firearm. Like everything it requires solid training. Certainly it has its pros/cons, but absolutely love having it in my tool kit.



I get the ideas behind it. I just don’t trust pepper spray. I’ve seen it used and the person not go down. I’ve personally been there when an officer was in it with 2 roided out guys and if I had not been there he would have had to use his gun. I prefer more precise applications of non lethal force.

I like your new avatar/profile pic. Can’t go wrong with a bear brother.


I do not disagree with you and keep my ASP between my car seat and console and, if necessary can stick it in my back pocket when I get out.

BUT, in Kentucky, a baton, expandable or not, is a deadly weapon (clubs are classified as deadly weapons). And, if you are going to carry a baton, you need to learn how to use it as you said. And if you crack someone in the head or neck with it, be ready to explain why you didn’t just shoot him.


Non-lethal (I prefer “less lethal”) options are important. I don’t think anyone here wants to kill anyone else.

I wonder… if I use lethal force but I had a less lethal option that I didn’t try, is there a chance that a prosecutor would use that against me? It seems like something I would have to very clearly articulate, with help from an attorney, why I went straight for my pistol.


Sorry for the double post. I was thinking about the various alternatives to firearms that have been discussed lately. It would be very interesting to put together a map of what’s permitted by state (understanding that it often varies by local ordinance).

We’ve discussed knives, for example. Stun guns are regulated in some states, as is OC spray. Asps and batons were mentioned in this thread.

Perhaps that would be beyond the scope of USCCA, but it would still be interesting, especially for those interested in 2A issues.


I carry a sap along with a knife as options


@Ouade5 what you are asking would require a statute by statute and case b case review of what each state considers a deadly weapon and/or a dangerous instrument. For instance, Kentucky defines Deadly Weapons in KRS 500.080 as

(4) “Deadly weapon” means any of the following:
(a) A weapon of mass destruction;
(b) Any weapon from which a shot, readily capable of producing death or
other serious physical injury, may be discharged;
© Any knife other than an ordinary pocket knife or hunting knife;
(d) Billy, nightstick, or club;
(e) Blackjack or slapjack;
(f) Nunchaku karate sticks;
(g) Shuriken or death star; or
(h) Artificial knuckles made from metal, plastic, or other similar hard material;

But with these definitions, you have to go beyond the definition to case law narrow down how the courts have further defined each. For instance, a 3 cell Maglight is just a flashlight but a 5 cell is considered a club and is a deadly weapon because of its length and weight. Frankly, you could kills someone pretty easily with either the 3 or 5 cell.

Here’s Indiana’s definition which I am familiar with only because I am a 10 minute drive to the state line.

C 35-31.5-2-86 “Deadly weapon”
Sec. 86. (a) Except as provided in subsection (b), “deadly weapon” means the following:

(1) A loaded or unloaded firearm.

(2) A destructive device, weapon, device, taser (as defined in IC 35-47-8-3) or electronic stun weapon
(as defined in IC 35-47-8-1), equipment, chemical substance, or other material that in the manner it:
(A) is used;
(B) could ordinarily be used; or
© is intended to be used;
is readily capable of causing serious bodily injury.

(3) An animal (as defined in IC 35-46-3-3) that is:
(A) readily capable of causing serious bodily injury; and
(B) used in the commission or attempted commission of a crime.

(4) A biological disease, virus, or organism that is capable of causing serious bodily injury.

(b) The term does not include:

(1) a taser (as defined in IC 35-47-8-3);
(2) an electronic stun weapon (as defined in IC 35-47-8-1);
(3) a chemical designed to temporarily incapacitate a person; or
(4) another device designed to temporarily incapacitate a person;
if the device described in subdivisions (1) through (4) is used by a law enforcement officer who has been trained in the use of the device and who uses the device in accordance with the law enforcement officer’s training and while lawfully engaged in the execution of official duties.

You will notice that tasers and pepper are deadly weapons unless used by police in Indiana


Will… GREAT article.

I have my CC permit and practice 2-3 times a month, but my gun will always be my last option. I’m a 54-year old guy in good shape, however at my age the odds will be against me if I’m within bad breath range of the Bad Guy. To me pepper spray is an ideal go-to, as I can deploy it 10-15 feet out. Canisters are cheap, I’ll unload mine in practice every few months, and grab a fresh one.

In my garage, my toolbox has more than just a hammer, because every problem isn’t a nail. The same holds true for personal protection. Carrying pepper spray doesn’t make me any less of a man or any less prepared to take care of business.


Thanks Paul1. You summed up the whole article in just two paragraphs lol. I totally agree.


Thank you, @MikeBKY. You’re always a great source of information.

This is the frustrating part, from a 2A perspective. Depending on where I live, I could theoretically be perfectly fine to carry a .45 pistol, but get in trouble for having a taser. That means I don’t really have the right to bear arms, I merely have permission to bear specific, approved devices.

I can’t help but think there’s some opportunity to shore up 2A law in some of these non-firearm situations. But that’s just me thinking out loud, I didn’t mean to come across as if I could teach you something.

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Since the virus out break and the releasing of crimnals and the Leo having to short shift,and my daughter works days and night at the emergency,I gave her a tactical pen and now it is on her all the time now,she realizes now walking to her car which a ways away she has to walk and the is at risk at those times,first time she has readily taken a defensive tool and it is on her when she goes any where


I love tac pens.
The TSA has never given me a problem with them, either.

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Thank you Wadee5 for the reply.
She had resisted my efforts previously but as the situation advanced and she was reduced to 3 days at work because before the emergency room at the Hospital worked had dropped from the above amount of patients to just to maybe a 100 or less and the they have plenty of rooms at the Hospital on the floors,they do not treat any one that comes in if they test positive for the virus,they send them to another Hospital,and fortunately she does see that she does need some form of protection when she cannot stand under my umbrella of protection that I give her and my Gran daughter

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I purchased 4 Sabre Red dispensers in January as non lethal alternatives.

First one I tested, was a low pressure dud. The next two were as expected. I have a fourth one that I now have very low confidence with…

Might be better than nothing, if it worked when expected at the time needed. But I also may have just wished that I didn’t waste my time, and went for the gun instead. IDK. Or maybe just carry a larger Frontier Bear spray, as these little personal sized ones are not in the same league at all.