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Can Civilians Buy Bean Bag Rounds?

There are many reasons why people are interested in getting beanbag rounds for their shotguns. That said, the topic of bean bag rounds raises quite a few questions, such as whether civilians can buy them and whether they are suitable for self-defense.

In most states, civilians are permitted to buy bean bag rounds. However, they are extremely difficult to purchase because they are in low supply. As a result, bean bag rounds are primarily supplied to police agencies and security. Bean bag rounds are no good for self-defense.

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Should Civilians Be Allowed To Buy Bean Bag Rounds?

This question is tricky because not every civilian is in the same situation, and not everyone wants to use a bean bag round for the same thing. So perhaps the best solution is for civilians to require a license to buy bean bag rounds.

If someone is considering getting bean bag rounds, here are a few questions they should ask themselves:

  • What will they use the rounds for?
  • Are those reasons practical?
  • Are they looking only to have some fun?
  • What are the dangers of having fun with bean bag rounds?

The main question that should be asked is about practicality. If there is no reason other than messing around, then a civilian should not own a bean bag round.

Are Bean Bag Rounds Legal?

Discussing the legality of bean bag rounds is very tricky. If someone is concerned, they should speak to a lawyer, specifically one who specializes in criminal law.

In most states, bean bag rounds are legal, even for civilians. However, if someone were to shoot another person with one, they could be taken to court. The seriousness of the injuries will determine the punishment.

If someone tries to use a bean bag round in self-defense, say against an intruder, the law gets even trickier. For example, if someone fears for their life and uses a bean bag round, which is classed as non-lethal, the judge could ask whether the person fears for their life or not.

Using a non-lethal method as self-defense typically indicates that someone was not in fear for their life. Therefore, if significant damage is caused to an intruder, there is a slight chance they could take the person who shot the bean bag round to court.

Are Bean Bag Rounds Good For Self Defense?

Beanbag rounds will certainly hurt whoever it is used against. However, in most cases, that is all that will happen. There is a high chance that the intruder will not be deterred by the bean bag round.

So no, bean bag rounds are not suitable for self-defense at all. They can sometimes have the opposite effect. The two most significant things that will happen if an intruder is shot with a bean bag round are:

  • They will know that the gun does not contain a real bullet.
  • The intruder will also be extremely angry and in pain; thus, they might become more dangerous.

If the intruder is close enough, there is a chance that the bean bag round can cause significant damage or even lead to death. However, that will raise legal questions.

Are Bean Bag Rounds Lethal?

Bean bag rounds are less lethal than real bullets, especially shotgun shells. This is because they are typically used to subdue and scare someone. However, they can still be fatal depending on where someone is hit and from how close.

Bean bag rounds are not toys. A person should never test them on another person to see how well they work. Many people believe that the rounds should still be classed as a weapon.

In a 2004 paper* by the office of justice programs, bean bag rounds have been responsible for a few deaths. It seems that if a bean bag round hits the chest, there is a chance that it can fracture ribs which in turn can cause severe injury or even death.

Even if someone is hit with a bean bag round that is not lethal, there is a high chance they could end up in the hospital and have severe injuries that need attending.

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Is It Dangerous For Civilians To Own Bean Bag Rounds?

Overall, bean bag rounds are dangerous not only for civilians, but even the police get it wrong sometimes. Thanks to bean bag rounds, there have been a few fatalities over the years. Here are a few things that can happen if someone is struck with a bean bag round:

  • Bruising
  • Hemorrhagic bruising (Excessive bleeding from the bruising)
  • Blindness
  • Bone fractures
  • Cuts
  • The bag can penetrate the skin.
  • Concussion
  • Brain trauma
  • Death

Of course, some areas of the body are more sensitive than others. For example, as mentioned earlier, the chest seems to be an extremely dangerous place to be hit with a bean bag round. Finally, the face and head should never be struck with the round. After all, the rounds are supposed to be non-lethal.

Are Bean Bag Rounds Expensive?

Beanbag rounds are significantly more costly than standard shotgun shells. Making a price comparison between the two is relatively easy to do:

  • 12 Gauge shotgun shells are typically bought in boxes and can range from $0.35 for one to over a dollar. So, for a pack of 100 shotgun shells, someone can pay around $35.
  • One bean bag round costs between $25 and $40, just for one round.

At that rate, bean bag rounds are around 100 times more costly than 12 gauge shotgun shells. So why are there more expensive?

The reason bean bag rounds are so expensive is due to a supply and demand issue. They are typically supplied to security agencies and police. As a result, bean bag rounds are not readily available from most ammunition shops.

Can Bean Bag Rounds Be Used For Hunting?

While there is no information about this online, it is easy to see a few practical uses for bean bag rounds when it comes to hunting, provided the hunter doesn’t mind the cost.

If someone was to hunt smaller animals such as squirrels, rabbits, and birds, the bean bag rounds could cause enough damage to incapacitate the animal.

However, it is almost impossible to see bean bag rounds as being practical when it comes to larger animals. Furthermore, most animals will not die from the shots, so the hunter would be causing unnecessary pain.

In the worst-case scenario, the animal might get scared and angry, thus turning on the hunter.

What Are Bean Bag Rounds Used For?

Bean bag rounds are mainly supplied to police and security. Riot police primarily use them as a non-lethal method to deal with large crowds of people. However, the use of bean bag rounds raises many questions.

Bean bag rounds can cause massive debates even within organizations that use them. Being shot with a bean bag round hurts, and it can cause significant damage to a person. In the worst case, it can be lethal.

If an officer shoots a protester, and it turns out to be a lethal shot, that officer would need to prove their life was at stake. If the officer felt like their life was at stake, why would he use a bean bag round in the first place?

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