Trend Alert: Why More People Are Choosing Pepper Guns for Personal Safety
The team here at Mace® recently noticed an interesting trend. We’re seeing more customers gravitating to purchasing pepper guns. And we wondered: What do our customers see as the advantage over pepper spray canisters or other personal safety options? And why now? What’s driving this uptick in interest? We explored a bit and found that this trend may have several motivators.
People are feeling less safe
Over the last few years, people have become increasingly concerned about personal safety and gun violence. Data from a 2022 SafeWise report says 51% of respondents are highly concerned about gun violence happening to them—that’s up from 47% in 2021 and 36% in 2020.
Those concerns aren’t unfounded according to the FBI's most recent crime data, which shows homicides increased by nearly 40% between 2022 and 2021—and 78% of homicides were committed with a firearm.
Firearm purchases on the decline
Next, we wondered if people are buying more firearms/guns in general to safeguard personal safety. The answer: Not so much recently.
Safehome.org reports sales across America increased toward the end of 2019 and throughout 2020—in fact, gun sales reached record numbers. Since then, gun sales have declined. In 2022, about 17.4 million guns were sold in the United States. Preliminary numbers show that gun sales in 2023 are predicted to remain about the same.
So, people are more concerned about safety, but buying fewer guns in the U.S. Why are some Americans saying “no” to firearms and “yes” to less lethal options?
Stay safe with fewer consequences
We landed on another possible explanation: People in the U.S. see guns as a way to enhance personal safety, but they don’t like gun policy. A Gallup poll from early 2023 indicates 63% of Americans are dissatisfied with U.S. gun laws.
With that in mind, pepper guns offer a serious advantage. They look similar to traditional firearms and offer powerful protection, but they aren’t intended to deliver the same lethal force. In other words, a pepper gun looks the part, but it doesn’t come with the consequences and hassles presented by firearm ownership. It’s a non-lethal option that is legal, reliable, and effective. Plus, there is no need for a background check, permits, or concerns about carrying pepper spray across state lines.
What you should know about pepper guns
A pepper gun is similar to other pepper spray devices, providing powerful protection against a threat. With a pepper gun, the spray canister is contained within a plastic enclosure device that looks like a gun. You just point and press the trigger (similar to a firearm) to release the pepper spray. But that’s about where the similarity with firearms ends.
Mace® Brand Pepper Guns deliver a powerful stream of pepper spray, providing long-range protection up to 20 ft. Unlike the deadly force delivered by firearms, pepper guns help subdue a threat so you can get to safety without doing irreversible harm.
Even if more people are concerned about personal safety, Americans are split on whether firearms increase or decrease safety. A Pew Research report indicates (49%) of Americans say it does more to increase safety, but an equal share say gun ownership does more to reduce safety by giving too many people access to firearms and increasing misuse.
Whether you don’t want to own a firearm, are concerned about doing irreversible harm, or just want an easier solution, Mace® Brand Pepper Guns offer a viable alternative.
As always, be prepared and stay safe out there!
2 SafeWise. The State of Safety in America 2023
3 FBI. Crime Data Explorer
4 SafeHome.org. Gun Sales in the U.S. 2023
5 Pew Research Center. Key facts about Americans and guns