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Top 5 Non-Lethal Personal Protection Devices

Top 5 Non-Lethal Personal Protection Devices

NRA’s Refuse To Be A Victim® program teaches the tips and techniques you need to avoid dangerous situations. During a Refuse To Be A Victim seminar there is usually an extensive display table of popular safety equipment from door and window locks, house lighting, and non-lethal personal protection devices which attendees can touch and learn more about. Here are the top 5 non-lethal personal protection devices according to our top Refuse To Be A Victim instructors:

Personal Alarm

What is it? A battery operated pocket size alarm.

What does it do? These powerfully loud devices will emit a shrieking sound and will continue to sound for as long as the buttons are activated.

The disadvantage? Personal alarms can only alert people that there is some sort of dangerous situation going on, similar to a car alarm. They can not physically stop a threat.

Kubotan/ Baton

What is it? These rods are usually made of wood, plastic or metal and come in a variety of sizes.

What does it do? This type of device is used to inflict pain upon an attacker by pressing the rod against certain points of the attacker’s body that have especially sensitive nerve endings.

The disadvantage? A baton requires close contact with an attacker. To use them, you must be at least within arm’s reach of the assailant.

Mace/Pepper Spray

What is it? Also known as CN tear gas and Chemical Mace; these sprays contain Oleoresin Capsicum and various chemical solvents.

What does it do? These types of tear gases will cause an attacker’s eyes to burn and produce a large amount of tears for around 20-30 minutes. This will inflict pain on the attacker providing you with the opportunity to escape.

The disadvantage? Tear gas does not work on animals and doesn’t work consistently on all people, especially those who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. It usually takes a few second to take effect as well.

Stun Gun

What is it? A battery-powered, hand-held device that emits a powerful elective charge.

What does it do? Available in voltages that usually range from 50,000 to a million volts, these items temporarily disable attackers for two or three minutes, giving you time to escape.

The disadvantage? Similar to the baton, stun guns require extreme close contact with an attacker for an extended period of time.


What is it? A battery powered, hand held device that shoots two metal probe darts a distance of 15 feet to disable an attacker before they reach you.

What does it do? Two metal barbs shock and disable the sensory nervous system as well as the motor nerves of the attacker for up to 30 seconds.

The disadvantage? To be effective both metal barbs must hit their target, however, they might not penetrate thick clothing. You need to replace firing cartridges over time and tasers, overall, can be costly.

With such a variety of products available, you should carefully consider each option in regards to your own requirements and in the context of the laws of your jurisdiction. Recognize that many hours of training are required to effectively use a personal protection device. Training alone is not enough. Practice the skills you have learned consistently and take care of your device. If you are not confident with your personal protection device, it may be taken from you by a criminal and used against you. These tips are brought to you by NRA’s Refuse To Be A Victim program. For more information and to find a seminar near you please visit or email

Please note that some of the devices discussed in this article may be illegal to possess or use in your state or county. Please be aware of this fact and consult with your local law enforcement agency or lawyer before purchasing or using any of these devices.
RTBAV Safety Personal Protection

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