BRIGHTON, Colo. -- A company in Brighton has developed a new kind of bullet that's designed not to kill.
They're called "Smartrounds." And the technology built in to these new bullets actually explodes the round before it hits the target.
Law enforcement agencies are always looking for non-lethal ways to take suspects down. This invention by a Brighton man may fit what's needed.
"There's been less lethal weapons which were impact-type weapons for a number of years. Rubber bullets and that kind of thing," Nick Verini of Smartrounds said.
But even non-lethal slugs can kill.
"Because they hit you, they make contact, they impact you," he said.
Verini is a mechanical engineer. He has worked on the rounds over the years and he was determined to come up with non-lethal ways to help the military, police and public stay safe.
In his basement workshop, Verini puts tiny cameras, explosive shock charges and pepper spray inside 12 gauge shotgun shells. They're prototypes the could change the way arrests are made.
"It uses two sensors. The first sensor is an accelerometer that turns on when it's fired. The second is a CMOS image sensor that senses as its approaching a target and it activates before it hits a target."
It activates nitrogen gas in an explosive way before reaching the target, either deploying a shock big enough to take someone down or pepper spray to also render a subject defenseless.
There is research and development for police and the military going on with the non-lethal bullets. There are also some applications going on for personal use as well.
Verini says with testing a success, the hope is to change the landscape for the use of non-lethal weapons, giving the public and police better peace of mind about the use of force with non-fatal consequences.
"They're saying, 'If that's really what it does and it can do what you're saying it can do we're very interested.'"
Verini figures each round would cost about $50 but when compared with $150 for each Taser shot fired and recharged, his technology will be much cheaper in the long run.