As science and technology advance, we develop new and innovative ways of safeguarding ourselves and our loved ones. Of course, there are the obvious things, like new medicines and medical technologies (think: vaccines and bio-implants). Then there are the defensive technologies, like super-small security camerasnew sensing technologies, and exoskeletons. And then there are the offensive arms.

While defensive weapons allow us to ward off offensive blows—to protect ourselves from attacks—offensive technologies actually harm (and sometimes kill) the enemy. Historically, getting better at building weapons has meant getting better at killing. Case in point: We have remote controlled vehicles that can launch rockets. We have machine gun wielding robots. We even have self-guided bullets that can turn midflight.

But one company is making a new kind of offensive tech, one that can render attackers defenseless without causing serious harm. It's known as Salt, and it's a gun that anyone can use for protection—no permit required.

A New Kind of Salt

Salt was co-founded by Adam Kennedy in 2015, and in a recent interview, he noted that one of the main points driving the company was a desire to develop a product that offered viable protection and which everyone would feel comfortable using.

The problem, Kennedy asserts, is that traditional guns require a lot of training in order to use them safely and effectively. Moreover, a number of individuals are "gun-shy;" they are scared of using firearms. He clarifies the issues, "the bad thing about a gun is that it takes a lot of practice to really get used to it, and even then, there are a lot of accidents that can happen, and it's permanent...there are things like suicide and domestic violence...also, they are rather loud and seem 'violent' when you shoot them. It's not a very good user experience, and this means that, from a product point of view, the people who need it the most are the least likely to use it. Then, even if you get used to the weapon and know how to you use it, people have a hard time responding when asked, 'are you willing to kill somebody?'"

Really, the list of issues goes on and on.

Of course, there are alternatives; however, other offensive technologies don't offer the same kind of security as traditional guns. For example, Kennedy notes that things like pepper spray, tasers, bats...none of them are effective at a distance. "Pepper spray is very good at debilitating people," he asserts, "but the problem is that it’s really all about defense and no offense. You have to wait for the person to get really close to you before you can do anything."

Kennedy and his team overcame these various issue by creating a weapon that combines the non-lethal protection of pepper spray with the long-range accuracy and efficiency of traditional firearms.

To that end, Salt is a pepper spray gun. All of the rounds are filled with a non-lethal powdered that consists of pepper spray and tear gas. These rounds break on contact, "immediately causing temporary blindness, difficulty breathing, and severe impact distress."

Kennedy can actually verify the effectiveness of the device, as he's tried all iterations on himself. "It basically took us two and a half years to get the product ready for market. Those were a very interesting few years, as I have tested every single variation of every round we have ever done on myself." And such tests weren't exactly fun.

"The gun has the same force as a 50 mile an hour fastball hitting you [unlike a traditional liquid pepper spray, a Salt Round travels at 320 feet per second], so it has a ton of kinetic force. While there’s no threat of lethal action, there’s just not enough joule-load to do that, it leaves quite a bit a damage on your skin."

The Salt gun. Via Salt

It's All About Choice

Kennedy went to lengths to emphasize that their intent isn't to replace traditional firearms—or pepper spray, for that matter. Rather, their goal was to create alternative options for individuals. "The number one goal of our company is just to keep you and the people that you love safe," Kennedy notes. And because of the nature of the tech, buyers don't need to have a background check in order to purchase one.

Moreover, the weapon comes in a variety of styles. There is the standard black gun, which looks just like a traditional gun. And now, the company is unveiling a yellow version of the product, which clearly sets it off from other firearms. If you want to give the product a try, you can purchase one here.

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