When Dallas Police are in the unfortunate position of having to fire their weapons, some will be shooting ammunition meant to incapacitate, not kill. Today, Safer Dallas Better Dallas, a citizens group that supports the police, announced a new campaign to raise $225,000 to purchase more than 100 Standard 40mm Single Launcher guns known as “sponge guns,” which fire “less-lethal ammunition.”

Larger than rubber bullets, the guns fire what are sometimes called blunt impact projectiles. The bullets could still be lethal if shot at the head at close range, but are designed to stop someone in their tracks without breaking the skin. Instead, the ammo expands on impact, causing more pain and thus incapacitating someone.

“The projectile is about the size and weight of a golf ball, and it’s traveling at about the speed of a golf ball off the tee,” Salvatore Emma Jr., president and CEO of Micron Products Inc., maker of the ammunition told RT News. “It’s got enough mass behind it – about 50 grams – to deliver a wallop when it hits you, like almost being hit with a rubber hammer.”

Less-lethal ammunition is used by police departments all over the country. 

So far, this year has seen an uptick in violent crime, however the police say they are responding aggressively, including the formation of the Violent Crime Task Force we profiled this week in the Lakewood Advocate. 

Safer Dallas Better Dallas has raised more $19 million for equipment and programs with the Dallas Police Department. Donations for the “sponge gun” campaign can be made here.