Pinal County equips deputies with less-lethal pistols

- It's called a less than lethal pistol, and the Pinal County Sheriff's Office is the first in the country to use this type of weapon.

It sounds a lot like a gun, but when you look at it, and what it shoots, you can tell it's a whole new tool for law enforcement.

The Defenzia M-09 is a less-lethal handgun that fires rubber bullets. Think of it as a step up from a stun gun, and a step below a traditional handgun.

PCSO is the first agency in the United States to adopt the weapon and say it could be used in a variety of situations.

"That could be somebody with mental health issues, a returning soldier from Afghanistan with PTSD," said Sheriff Paul Babeu.

The gun is accurate at up to 70 feet and uses a laser sight. It won't kill a suspect, but the company that makes it says it will leave a heck of a mark.

"Not only pain compliance, but stopping power, it would be like a baseball bat impact," said Leo Gitirana with Defenzia.

The M-09 can also use flash bang rounds, pepper rounds, and flare rounds. Each gun costs about $1,100, and the PCSO plans to buy nearly 100 of them to keep on the streets with deputies, hoping they will stop crime but also save some lives.

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