Chicago-based startup Salt has launched a crowdfunding campaign for a less-than-lethal weapon designed as an alternative to firearms for home and personal protection. The pneumatic pistol is designed to stop intruders using an incapacitating powder that temporarily blinds them while drastically lessening the possibility of family members being killed in an accident.
The founders of the company were inspired by a 2014 shooting near their homes in Chicago. Concerned about the large number of accidental deaths and suicides caused by handguns purchased for home defense, they came up with a less lethal alternative.
The Salt is a CO₂-powered air-gun that fires hollow plastic spheres similar to paintballs, except that instead of paint, they are filled with a proprietary powder made of oleoresin capsicum and other ingredients. On impact, the spheres burst and a fine spray of the powder spreads around the target. This powder is extremely irritating – causing an intense burning sensations that temporarily blinds anyone who encounters it while making it difficult to breathe.