Byrna CO2 less lethal gun
Courtesy Byrna Technologies
Previous Post
Next Post

By Lee Williams 

The Trace – former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg’s anti-gun propaganda factory – has proven once again it is completely devoid of ethics and reliable only as a source of fake news. 

The Trace wants the public to believe it’s an actual newsroom comprised of actual journalists. It calls itself “The only newsroom dedicated to covering gun violence.” Staffers refer to themselves as journalists, rather than anti-gun activists who are paid by Bloomberg to gin up agitprop. The Trace and Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety even share the same president, John Feinblatt.

A Trace story published Thursday titled “Shoot, Don’t Kill,” extolls the benefits of less-than-lethal technology by examining several weapons made by Byrna Technologies, Inc., which use a 12-gram CO2 cartridge to launch .68 caliber projectiles at approximately 330 feet-per-second. 

“Users can also opt for ammo loaded with tear gas or oleoresin capsicum, an extract of hot peppers, which can induce nausea, difficulty breathing, and a terrible burning in the throat, lungs, and eyes,” the story states. 

The Trace’s story quotes Byrna’s founder, president, and chief executive officer, Bryan Ganz. However, on Friday Ganz told the Second Amendment Foundation’s Investigative Journalism Project that he had never even heard of The Trace until the story appeared Thursday morning. The freelance writer who wrote the story claimed it would appear in a different publication.

“Originally, he said it was supposed to be published in Wired magazine,” Ganz said Friday. “But once we gave him the quotes, we had no control over where the article was published.” 

The story was written by Ted Alcorn, who describes himself in the story as an “independent journalist whose reporting has appeared in numerous publications including the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.” Alcorn’s bio also shows he was “the founding research director of Everytown for Gun Safety and a policy analyst in the New York City mayor’s office.”

Until he saw it Thursday morning, Ganz had no idea his story would appear on one of the leading websites of the gun-ban industry. 

“Our attitude is that the more people who discuss it, the better, I guess,” Ganz said. 

Alcorn used a bit too much editorial license and took things a bit too far, Ganz said, especially when he implied that gun owners would somehow realize that their firearms were allegedly “problematic,” and switch to his weapons for their reduced lethality. 

It’s easy to see why gun owners might perceive a less lethal offering as an admission that traditional guns are problematic. But over the last century, the primary use of firearms has changed. Lethality was essential when they were mainly tools for hunting animals or national defense, but now nearly three-quarters of people who own guns say they do so for self-protection against other humans.

“I never said anything like that,” Ganz said. “I support the Second Amendment, and I’ve carried concealed for years. I’ve been a gun owner my entire life.” 

But remember, The Trace is just an intrepid band of plucky, objective “journalists” out there digging for facts and doing the work that no one else seems to do.


The Second Amendment Foundation’s Investigative Journalism Project wouldn’t be possible without you. Click here to make a tax deductible donation to support pro-gun stories like this.

This story is part of the Second Amendment Foundation’s Investigative Journalism Project and is published here with their permission.


Previous Post
Next Post


  1. I looked into getting one of these LTL guns a couple of years ago, before Sheriff Villanueva opened up LASD to accepting CCW applications. Problem is that Byrna won’t sell the OC (pepper ball) ammo to non-LE plebes, only the standard rubber balls. So…what’s the point?

    • We sell them at the outdoor store I work at. It is telling that even though they tried to spin it that firearms owners would go for LTL instead of a real handgun we sell one brand and model of pepperball gun versus the numerous brands and models of real handguns.

  2. Hmmm, I don’t know…does telling massive lies based on your personal (and paid) bias constitute “Journalism”?

    I guess we should survey Miner et al for their un-biased opinions…

  3. Would this be considered lethal force?

    Legally speaking, shooting someone with less-lethal pepperball or rubber rounds from a shotgun is treated just the same as buckshot.

    So I fail to see the advantage here, except maybe if they allow prohibited persons to defend themselves legally. And even then I’m not 100% sure about that.

    • Publius,

      I am not sure if the use case for this manufacturer’s “less than lethal” contraption is to skirt lethal force laws or to provide a self-defense option for people who believe that they cannot seriously injure/kill another human–even if that human is viciously attacking them.

      For reference I have no idea whether any, all, or no jurisdictions consider using that contraption to constitute lethal force.

  4. What happens when a perp with asthma has an induced asthma attack and dies after being shot with one of these? California courts will trail them for murder, they do not want people to defend themselves, guns or otherwise.

    • Same defense as if/when an attacker suffers cardiac arrest or dermal burns (ignited clothing) when a defender deploys a Taser. If the defender genuinely fears for his life in the moment of attack, then the method of defense is immaterial.

  5. 1) Always record an interview. Video if possible.

    2) I saw, I think one of these Bryna LTLs, in a home-grown demo video a couple years ago. The capsule balls bounced of a puffy jacket w/o bursting, and without hurting the target “bad guy” at all.

    3) I hope these work, but if you shoot someone who “deserves” it, and you don’t stop them…it will likely be extra double-bad for you.

  6. oh boy a so called gun insane punks can drive around with and shoot people like it’s some video game. And that game invites punks to get riddled with bullets when someone shoots back which of course is guaranteed to happen thanks to another attempt at backdoor Gun Control. Sneaky Gun Control nazis not only want to determine the number of rounds a mag can hold Gun Control nazis want to determine how lethal your ammo can be…all in due time.

  7. People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

    This blog keeps perpetuating the lie that 40 babies were decapitated in southern Israel.

    That is a lie.

    • Especially now that journalists are officially activists with an agenda rather than even attempting to get facts or attempt even to appear like fair reporting.

  8. We are to defend against armed assailants with a pepper ball? With a seventh district judge deciding owning a particular firearm is not a protected right, guess pistols and shotguns are also not protected (soon).

    • A Byrna loaded with OC is not intended to stop an attacker, but to – as you put it – “defend against” an assailant. Basically, LTL is intended to provide a person with additional time to safely leave the scene. Firing off a couple of OC pepper balls (that would hopefully actually burst upon striking the attacker, not merely bouncing off) would disorient and partially incapacitate him long enough to permit the defender to run away to safety.

      At least, that’s the intention. But as I stated further above, in CA we only have access to the standard rubber ammo, so basically a Byrna’s only good for shooting someone in the face to get the desired effect.

      I prefer carrying my actual gun, of course, but I imagine someone who can’t CCW (I’m looking at you, LASD, because you take for-ev-ah to process applications) would rather have something, than nothing.

      • It’s interesting that some jurisdictions view ‘non-lethal’ as verboten, way, way too dangerous for the average schmuck (like myself) to possess. I need to look into what is actually allowed in Maryland.

  9. A journalist at The Trace: “I wrote an article once about how my dad was a murderer and how my childhood trauma emotionally damaged me and how I take drugs now to help sometimes stabilize my mental health. Then I wrote articles advocating for removal of guns, and they appeared in various places by calling it ‘gun violence’ then I got fired from The New York Times for not meeting ethics standards. Then I got hired by Bloomberg to write anti-gun articles. In my decade on this beat, I covered community gun violence, domestic violence and guns, and the growing role of firearms in public life, and always arrive at that all gun owners are bad people and they should die rather then have a gun for defense and told so many outright lies and slants and misrepresentations in my articles at The Trace. That makes me not an anti-gun activist but rather a journalist.”

    Me: “I held pressure against a very severe gash once. That makes me a doctor.”

  10. Whenever a “journalist” requests an interview with any entity involved in the firearm or related industries, that entity should research the “journalist” and their legal options (if any) to control what the journalist publishes before granting the interview.

    • Record the entire interview and release it in its entirety along with all communication and correspondence.

  11. Journalism is fake until proven otherwise. Too many shenanigans for too long. Same goes for everything from elections to medicine. Can’t trust any of it.

    • Cynical, but I cannot disagree. Lying invites cynicism, and they are proven liars.

  12. People need to watch the Active Self Protection videos. If you want to see just how effective pepper spray is. Or how it’s not that effective. Depending on the Brand and how concentrated the formula is.

    Unfortunately in the USA the formula has been diluted for law enforcement. I think because of the ACLU.
    I’ve experienced full strength tear gas.

    A gas cloud passed through the base I was at in South Korea. The local police had to deal with a protest that got out of control. That happened alot. You can’t breathe. Trying to inhale air and all you get is the gas. My eyes burned. They really burned.

    I ran back into the barracks. Took my clothes off and showered. I ran water over my face for 20 minutes.

    In an interview, I watched a Mexican expert on terrorism in that country. Said in the United States, they dilute the tear gas. It’s nothing compared to what they have use in Mexico, or in the rest of the world.

    Firearms instructor Chuck Haggard has a pepper spray class that is very popular.

    • Didn’t you go through the gas chamber in boot camp? You dress out with facemask and NBC gear, march into the room, sit down, and they turn on the tear gas. If you’re properly dressed, it merely stinks a little. If you failed to follow directions, you get to enjoy about 5 minutes choking your guts out. Of course, EVERYONE has to remove their mask before the doors are opened. Everyone except the Chief Petty Officer who is there to make sure none of his boots manages to choke to death.

      I suppose the Navy version might have been watered down, but I know that no one exposed to it is going to actively attack another human being for half an hour or more. The stuff is incapacitating.

      • Yes! I remember very well going through the gas chamber in basic training. But I knew it was coming. And you are in an enclosed room.
        Being gassed outdoors was really unexpected.

        And the civilian agencies don’t use military grade tear gas. But they should.

  13. It is somewhat feasible that I might opt for “non-lethal” – if it were thoroughly demonstrated that the dammed things WORK! Tear gas, huh? I’ve watched the riots in Portland. Tear gas stopped some people, even people who were supposedly dressed out in gear to resist tear gas. But, it didn’t stop everyone. Some stubborn SOBs continued rioting, despite tearing eyes and choking. Perhaps pepper spray is more effective? Lemme see it in action. If we’re going that route, I want to be able to load up tear gas, AND pepper spray, AND I want a taser incorporated into the weapon. If you hit a guy with tear gas, hit him with pepper, then hit him with the taser, and he still don’t go down, I want to flip a switch so that I can fall back on .45 inches of peacemaking goodness.

    Of course, I’ve already wasted a lot of time trying non-lethal, so that first round of hollow point bluntness had better be a good shot!

  14. Will it shoot down an F16?
    The company also needs to make an anti nuclear radiation ball too, you know just in case.

    • Will it take down a meth-head that’s been tweaking all night and is hell-bent on you having a bad day? Beat cops wil tell you case after case of them absorbing ten or more rounds and hardly slowing their charge.

  15. I’m not concerned about making an attacker feel bad or uncomfortable or giving them a boo-boo with less than lethal force. I’m concerned with stopping them, cold and hard and fast and as lethally as they were going to do, trying to do, to me or another.

    Maybe the left-wing can start making ‘less than lethal’ criminals instead of the lethal ones they are making.

    • “Ganz said. ‘I support the Second Amendment, and I’ve carried concealed for years. I’ve been a gun owner my entire life.’ ”

      This guy is the ‘creator’ of this ‘less than lethal force’ thing. Yet even he knows the reality, that the means of available deadly force to counter deadly force threat is the only solution to stopping a deadly force threat. And of course this is something The Trace would never include in their deceptive missive.

    • I’m not worried about saving the life of a bad guy who made the choice to inflict harm upon me or someone else.

  16. Since my state classifies air guns as “firearms,” I’m 90% certain that these are illegal in New Jersey without a Firearms Purchaser Identification Card, Permit to Purchase a Handgun, background check, and CCW license, buy the thing at an FFL dealer, and pay the NICS fee. I’m only 90% certain because I believe there’s an exception for paintball guns (paintball “markers”), and this might fall under that exception if it’s .68 caliber like paintball guns, er, “markers.”

    But I’m also 100% certain that if you try to use one of these in New Jersey for self defense, you will be presumed guilty of unlawful possession and use of a weapon, arrested, presumed guilty until proven innocent, forced to prove that the device does not fall under New Jersey’s BS definitions of “firearms” or “weapons” and that you have all the required permits for such a “firearm,” and you’ll never get it back again after police confiscate it.

  17. Several years ago, when my Mrs. was looking into getting a shotgun for home defense. She asked me about getting LTL ammo for it. I asked her why are you that concerned about the life of some scumbag breaking into our house and attacking her. After thinking about it she decided double 00 buck would be better choice. LTL ammo is for LE, because they have to play by rules. The rest of us don’t.

  18. WTF diff does it make which rag publishes a rant from an independent writer?
    Would the answers be different ?

Comments are closed.