Last fall I came across a story (and video) about the SALT Gun, a non-lethal home defense weapon. Think of a paint-ball gun except the balls are filled with some combination of chemicals that incapacitates. This video is what persuaded me to order one of these. And I like the idea of a weapon that won’t kill my drunken next door neighbor if he stumbles into the wrong house at 3 a.m.

After reading the operations manual and handling the gun for a bit, I decided to return it. (The company has a 30 day return policy.) Here are a few of the reasons I decided not to keep the gun. First, from the ops manual:

Pressurize the SALT Gun only when it will be immediately used.
At 2:00 a.m., in the dark, with a stranger in the house… will my wife remember this extra step?

Firing the SALT Gun – Eye protection must be worn by the user.
I’m guessing this something they have to put in the operations manual but it raises the question: Is this device save for my wife to use? Must she keep safety glasses with the gun?

I found the Trigger Safety Button hard to operate. Had to push very hard and fiddle with it to move it to either position.

And finally, I found the gun bulky, a bit heavy for a woman and generally unwieldy. This might be the perfect solution for some… but not for us.