Vernon CT Cops Dump Beanbag Rounds for “Less Than Lethal” Glock 36


“Vernon police want to phase out their arsenal of bean bag-propelling shotguns on favor of a more efficient ‘less than lethal’ weapons system,” reports. “Police are asking permission from the Town Council to trade 20 Mossberg Model 590A1 shotguns to a ‘licensed federal firearms dealer’ in exchange for 14 new Glock Model 36 handguns [above].” Huh? What’s “less than lethal” about a Glock 36? Still, ever since drug thugs wielding ATF-enabled modern home sporting defense rifles gunned down U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, equipped with a beanbag-firing shotgun, I’ve gone off the whole idea of LEO’s with diminished lethality firearms. Anyway, let’s try and straighten this out . . .

The 12-gauge shotguns were deployed in departmental vehicles and were loaded with a shell that fired a bean bag. It would “cause pain without the severe injury associated with using lethal force,” police officials said in a memo to the council.

The shotguns were originally acquired in 2001 for $652.06 each and are being eliminated in favor of a more cost-effective and efficient system. Annual training costs “far exceeded” the cost of the shotguns, police officials said in the memo.

Lt. William Meier on Friday said the newer system is a 40mm launcher that fires rubber-coated projectiles. SWAT officers currently use that system, he said.

The shotguns were “effective, but not cost-effective” compared to the new system, police official said in the memo.

Nope. Still not getting it. A Glock 36 is a single stack .45. That’s a long way from 40mm. And what’s wrong with a TASER or, for that matter, the way cool TASER XREP shotgun, other than the fact that they don’t seem to sell it anymore?


  1. avatar jwm says:

    been a lot of controversy about tasers. which would you rather get shot with? a taser or a 45 jhp. seems a no brainer to me, but every time the cops deploy a taser they get raked over the coals in the court of public opinion. same with pepper spray. seems like some folks want to leave them with just lethal options.

    1. Yup, and whenever a cop shoots the wrong person they get a week of paid vacation while the public gets a lot of smoke blown up their ass.

    2. avatar BeninMA says:

      It’s possible to criticize the misuse of tasers without taking them away.

    3. avatar DaveL says:


      The problem is that, while tasers were sold to the public as an alternative to the use of lethal force, in practice they’re often used to force compliance with orders. They were supposed to be used in the place of guns, but instead we see them used in the place of unarmed restraint & control techniques, if not verbal persuasion.

      1. avatar Charles5 says:

        +1 What he said.

      2. avatar Rabbi says:

        That’s a good thing. A lot less police are injured by avoiding hands on contact. Injuries sustained by the perps are lowered too.

        1. avatar DaveL says:

          The articles I find to support that contention all refer to contact methods such as fists or batons, or other methods “used to cause a suspect to fall to the ground.”

          I find it… implausible that using tasers in the place of verbal persuasion reduces injuries to anybody.

        2. Does that include the almost 300 fatalities amongst those Tasered?

          Cattle prods are for cattle, whereas the Taser has been lauded as a less lethal alternative to using a firearm.
          Unfortunately, the Taser – a known to be lethal device – is being used inappropriately as a compliance tool & means of punishment.
          Unless & until that misuse & abuse is stopped, more citizens will continue to die unnecessarily.

      3. avatar Hal says:

        Negative Dave. The taser is an intermediate force device and has never been intended as a replacement for deadly force. Just because it looks like a gun doesn’t mean they were EVER “supposed to be used in place of guns.” A totally different tool for totally different scenarios.

        1. avatar DaveL says:

          That’s funny, Hal, if so it seems to be a very widespread misconception that the manufacturers are making no attempt to dispel. Quite the opposite, in fact.

      4. avatar Hal says:

        Also, when verbal persuasion fails and a person needs to be arrested or detained, additional verbal persuasion is seldom effective.

        1. avatar DaveL says:

          It seems some cops, when equipped with tasers, don’t feel the need to try very hard.

      5. avatar jwm says:

        i tried to reply earlier and it left the building. yes i remember unarmed restraints and techniques from the old days.lrad filled saps, lead knuckled gloves, choke holds and old hickory. which would you rather have? also the cops had size and height requirements that have been done away with by pc. last time i got a ticket it was an asian female officer that a popcorn fart couldn’ve nocked over. a lot of these pc inspired officers really have no choice but to reach for the taser or the gun.

        1. avatar Jay says:

          Very true.

          Some police officers shouldn’t be. Not saying that there isn’t women that can beat a man silly.

          A physically fit cop with some logic and martial arts techniques is better than a cop with a gun, electrocuting device, metal rod and attitude.

  2. avatar Mr. Lion says:

    Sounds to me like they want to trade mostly useless shotguns for mostly useful backup guns, as well as get some 40mm launchers for LTL.

    Can’t see a G36 being especially useful for anything other than backup in that context.

  3. avatar Ralph says:

    If the police want less-than-lethal options, they should go back to their roots and start carrying rubber hoses and hot lights. They don’t kill anybody, and they’re really great for extracting confessions.

  4. avatar Alex says:

    Yeah, I’m going to guess that while purchasing new 40mm less lethal launchers is discretionary spending regulated by the department, trading or selling police surplus to a public FFL requires community oversight. I don’t think they’re connected any more than that’s what the department wanted to acquire, and they happened to have a defunct weapons system to trade for it.

  5. avatar Buzzy243 says:

    It sounds like they already have the 40mm launchers. Now they have these shotguns sitting around so they’re trying to get permission to trade them in for something more useful. They aren’t planning to use the Glock 36 as a LTL weapon.

  6. avatar Nathan says:

    Some journalist needs to go back to grammar school. I think what they’re sayin is that they are going to trade the Mossies for the Glocks, and then acquire the 40mm launchers in a seperate transaction.

    “The Glocks are the departmental-issued sidearm.” Again, journalist who needs some schooling. Is he saying that Glocks are the sidearm? Or that specifically a G36 is the standard sidearm? If the latter, why aren’t they carrying G21’s or something that will handle more than one bad guy?

    1. avatar Not Too Eloquent says:

      LMAO Nathan, scolding grammar while misspelling “separate”.

  7. avatar jkp says:

    The Colonel’s Ghost gets disturbed when the phrase “less than lethal” is used in the same sentence as “.45ACP.”

    1. avatar Mark says:

      You’re right! Cooper would take offense.

  8. avatar Roll says:

    Unless that glock has been modified to shoot gummi bears… I cannot understand the logic of the “less than lethal” claim

  9. avatar Pascal says:

    Obviously the reporter got the qoute wrong. Are we surprised?

    That said, they do have several types of .45 cal less than lethal ammo, including rubber bullets and even wax bullets in different load factors. They are still expensive.

  10. avatar Anon in CT says:

    Most likely the original story made more sense, but an editor who new even less about guns than the reporter had to do some trimming and cut the words or sentences necessary for this all to make sense.

  11. avatar Sam Wright says:

    Glock 36 now in 40mm!!!! Why settle for a tiny .9mm?

    1. avatar BlinkyPete says:

      What? the G36 is a .45 ACP.

  12. avatar James says:

    Oh I get it now. Shotgun, less than lethal, is not cost-effective. There is no less-than-lethal alternative. Winning.

  13. avatar JOE MATAFOME says:

    I know why they consider the Glock 36 less than lethal, it’s because you can’t kill something you can’t hit. Maybe the think that just shooting in the general direction of the perp will get them to give up. My brand new Glock 36 arrvied at my dealer today, and I’m pretty sure it’s not less then lethal.

  14. avatar John says:

    I’m waiting on a GSSF certificate to pick up a G36. I hope I get one with some extra lethality that they removed from these guns.

  15. avatar matt says:

    Why did they pay $652 for a Mossberg pump? I see 590A1s on gun broker in the low $400s right now.

    And how is training cops to use a 40mm more cost effective than a shotgun? A lot of people know how to use shotguns, who the hell has used a 40mm standalone launcher before?

    It seems like the welfare queens are looking for any excuse to piss away tax payer dollars now a days. Aren’t most cops “republicans” who are supposedly in favor of small government, and responsible spending? Just as long as it doesnt effect them? Did they get penis envy, because the SWAT boys have them, the rank and file must too?

    1. avatar BlinkyPete says:

      When it’s not your money getting spend negotiation isn’t as important.

  16. avatar matt says:

    Why did they pay $652 for a Mossberg pump? I see 590A1s on gun broker in the low $400s right now.

    And how is training cops to use a 40mm more cost effective than a shotgun? A lot of people know how to use shotguns, who the hell has used a 40mm standalone launcher before?

    It seems like the welfare queens are looking for any excuse to piss away tax payer dollars now a days. Aren’t most cops “republicans” who are supposedly in favor of small government, and responsible spending? Just as long as it doesnt effect them? Did they get peni s envy, because the SWAT boys have them, the rank and file must too?

  17. avatar joe says:

    When I was in the Border Patrol they issued Remington 870’s 12 gauges.If someone had mentioned “beanbags”as a weapon they would have been sent to see a headshrinker.Or more likely fired.

  18. avatar GS650G says:

    Why not trade it all in on a tank and be done with it

  19. avatar Accur81 says:

    Sounds like BS to me. I’ve seen Tasers and beanbags used to excellent effect. It’s my understanding that a single 40mm rubber buck shot round costs as much as a box of 5 – 1 oz bean bags rounds.

    I should be stating the obvious here, but a small percentage of the population is completely unaffected by verbal persuasion. (Hopefully your wife isn’t in that population!) For them, it’s a matter of choosing the appropriate force option, which can be more easily said than done. Tasers and bean bag shotguns are very useful at administering control over a relatively safe distance. Personally, I don’t want to touch the disease infested criminal unless I have to.

  20. avatar jd says:

    “shotguns were “effective, but not cost-effective” compared to the new system”

    12ga. beanbags more expensive than specialty ultra-rare 40mm rubber coated?

  21. avatar Johnylompoc says:

    The problem is: As a trainer myself with LEO/ Security background.
    “They are looking for a nice way to hurt people” Most street cops are not proficient, or as proficient as they should be with the equipment they carry on a daily basis, including guns, ASP/ Batons, OC spray and the like. I have been sprayed many more times by other officers than I ever was by a suspect- I have been struck with flailing batons, and had to uncuff another Sgts thumb from handcuffs they applied to a person… Now you are taking something they know how to use 1/2 as good as their best day on the range and works well- and giving them a 40MM grenade launcher like the prisons or military uses, it’s big, unwieldy and cost 3 times what a Mossberg 590A1 shotgun cost, as well as the 3-7 dollars a round for the bean bag shotgun round. “If cost was the issue” why are you going with a new system that cost three times as much for each launcher, and 4 times the cost for the ammunition? The ALS 40mm bean bag rounds or projectiles cost almost 40.00 dollars each. This department is just trying to get a toe hold on more money and Military like equipment vs. staying with what they have. I’m not for it. They are not buck rogers.

  22. avatar Dave S says:

    it seems to me that the Tasers cloud the concept of the “continuum of force”
    used to be :
    verbal commands/persuasion, hands on/unarmed combat, OC, baton, firearms.

    now I have seen verbal command(whisper) taser use, hands on.

    Not sure its been a help.

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