When it comes to home defense, you always want to ensure that you have two kinds of defensive tools on hand: lethal and non-lethal.
Firearms are highly effective tools for home defense, but they ultimately fall under the lethal category. There are specific scenarios where you may not even want to use a lethal weapon like a firearm in the first place.
For example, you may find yourself in a situation where an unarmed person you know personally with a mental illness has broken into your home. In this case, you don’t want or need to have to use lethal force on this individual, but you still need to make sure you have weapons on hand that can subdue them.
Here are the best non-lethal firearm alternatives for home defense, presented in alphabetical order…
A baton is one of the most overlooked self-defense weapons, but there’s a reason why they are so widely used by law enforcement.
A simple baton can be very devastating as a blunt force weapon or to block physical blows from an opponent. Besides being used as a self-defense weapon, a baton can break through a door or a vehicle window.
Different kinds of batons are available: collapsible, flexible, and fixed.
Look for a large metal flashlight like a Maglite that can double as a club or baton. A flashlight with a bright enough light can also temporarily stun an opponent by flashing the light into their eyes.
Furthermore, flashlights are very unassuming and can be carried anywhere without attractive attention.
Having multiple flashlights on hand in your home will be wise so you can see in the darkness during a power outage. Try to keep one by your nightstand, one in your kitchen, and one by your front door.
3. Pepper Spray
Pepper spray is one of the most ubiquitous and widely cited self-defense tools for a reason: it’s effective!
Pepper spray contains an inflammatory agent derived from chili peppers that causes intense burning, pain, and temporary blindness when sprayed into an attacker’s eyes. Its compact size and ease of use make it a convenient choice for personal protection because it can be carried around much like a handgun.
Pepper spray also provides a valuable means of deterring attackers and creating an opportunity to escape dangerous situations.
It’s important to note that while pepper spray is non-lethal, it can have serious consequences for individuals with respiratory issues or allergies, so its use should always be approached with caution. If you or anyone else in your family have respiratory issues, reconsider using pepper spray in favor of another weapon in this list.
4. Stun Guns
A stun gun is a compact, handheld weapon that delivers an opponent a painful electric shock when applied to an assailant. This shock disrupts the attacker’s neuromuscular system, shocking and even temporarily immobilizing them.
Stun guns come in various types and shapes, often in small sizes, making them easy to carry discreetly, similar to how you can carry pepper spray on your person.
They are highly effective for personal protection, as they can incapacitate an assailant without causing long-term harm.
5. Tactical Pens
Tactical pens serve as very inconspicuous yet potentially deadly self-defense tools. These compact pens are designed to be held firmly in hand, and they feature pointed ends that can be used to strike an attacker’s pressure points or sensitive areas effectively and possibly even puncture holes in their body.
Beyond their self-defense capabilities, tactical pens function as regular writing instruments, allowing you to carry them discreetly and without drawing attention (similar to how you can carry a flashlight around without attracting attention as well. Their versatility makes them a valuable addition to personal safety arsenals.
Tasers are electroshock weapons that use electrical currents to incapacitate an assailant temporarily. They work by delivering a high-voltage shock, causing neuromuscular disruption.
Unlike stun guns, which require direct contact, Tasers can be deployed from a distance, offering a safer option when dealing with aggressive threats. However, Tasers are more complex and expensive than other non-lethal self-defense options, and their use may be subject to legal restrictions in some areas.
Surprisingly enough, the unassuming and overlooked umbrella can also serve as a makeshift and yet highly effective self-defense tool.
When used effectively, an umbrella can be a formidable barrier against an attacker, providing both distance and protection. Its long handle can strike or block incoming threats, allowing you to create a safe buffer between yourself and your assailant.
While it may not be as specialized as other non-lethal weapons, an umbrella can be a practical and readily available means of self-defense in a pinch.
Try incorporating at least two non-lethal weapons as part of your home defense arsenal.
Have one of these weapons within easy access of your nightstand, and another one hidden by your front door so you can respond to an intruder there if you need to.
Just ensure the weapon stays hidden so an intruder won’t take possession of it if they break through the front door before you can reach it.
Nick Oetken is a writer and firearms enthusiast based out of Idaho. He specializes primarily in writing about the outdoors, firearms, and disaster preparation. Nick is a published author and has written for major firearms publications like Guns.com.