The Discriminating Irritant Projectile (DIP), a gun developed by the UK’s Home Office that fires tear gas or pepper spray, will finally debut after its last stages of testing. The gun is one of many devices created in an effort to better control crowds after rioting swept the country in 2011.
The gun has a greater firing range than a laser gun, with the ability to deploy up to 131 feet away.
Its purpose is to “dissuade or prevent a potentially violent person from their intended course of action,” according to Deputy Chief Constable Simon Chesterman, rather than seriously harm.
Chesterman also mentioned that tests were taking place on other preventative weapons, including a new taser gun called the X2, which has the capability to deal with multiple people at one time. However, the X2 is still in early stages of development and has not been assessed for its level of harm.
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Other weapons include sound-emitting devices, which are intended to scare off rioters before the DIP is deployed.
“Clearly we have been looking at means of controlling disorder,” said Chesterman. “You could achieve this if you make an area unpleasant in the first instance.”
The DIP is considered non-lethal but highly targeted.