The global non-lethal weapons market was valued at USD 7.94 billion in 2021 and is estimated to reach an expected value of USD 15.35 billion by 2030, registering a CAGR of 7.6% during the forecast period (2022 – 2030).
The rise in violent incidents worldwide due to several contentious laws and regulations enacted by governments everywhere has increased the demand for weapons with little chance of a fatality. The adoption of weapons with lower risks of killing a suspect has been governed by laws passed by human rights legislators and governments across numerous security and defense organizations. Using non-lethal weapons for self-defense in a hostile environment, such as pepper spray, batons, and stun guns, is a practical, affordable, and legal option. Non-lethal weapons are also a vital component of the security personnel's protection. Non-lethal weapons also serve as the first line of defense against an assault. The global non-lethal weapon market is expected to grow during the forecast period due to the rise in innovations and the development of new non-lethal weapon technologies. For instance, Wrap Technologies, Inc. published a video of successful BolaWrap deployment in May 2021. The remote restraint BolaWrap device aids security personnel in neutralizing the suspect without resorting to force. Modern non-lethal weapons lessen the need for tools that cause pain to induce compliance or harm to an individual to control them.
The Rise in Territorial Conflicts Globally
Non-lethal technologies like tasers, flash-bang & smoke grenades, rubber bullets, and tear gas that only cause low to moderate injuries to people's bodies are quite helpful in controlling the enraged crowd and carrying out military operations. While using deadly weapons, such as opening fire on the unruly crowd, can seriously endanger the lives of rioters and law enforcement officers, it can also escalate the protests. Non-lethal weapons can be used to manage situations safely, and they are very helpful in controlling illegal incidents.
Throughout the year, conflicts arise in different parts of the world. Violent incidents have become more common in recent years, whether due to ongoing conflicts in the Middle East, Asia, or the United States. Law enforcement agencies can effectively control the mob without endangering rioters' lives by using non-lethal weapons. Law enforcement agencies are adopting non-lethal weapons designed to cause less damage and injury. For instance, San Jose police started using non-lethal weapons in place of guns in their crowd control operations in February 2021.
Additionally, the Dallas City Council approved spending $8 million over five years on police and less-than-lethal ammunition and supplies, such as rubber bullets and tear gas, in December 2020. Weapons that are non-lethal aid in crowd control and defense operations without resulting in any casualties. Consequently, it is anticipated that during the forecast period, demand for non-lethal weapons will rise.
Availability of Technologically Advanced Solutions
Non-lethal weapons have become more popular due to their cutting-edge features and capacity to suppress riots without causing casualties. As a result, defense organizations and essential players have added advanced technologies to their product portfolios. The most recent product technologies include laser interdiction systems, long-range acoustic devices, enhanced underwater loudhailers, flash-bang grenades, acoustic hailing devices, modular crowd control munitions, and TASERs. Advanced non-lethal products are available from businesses like TASER International, Inc., PepperBall Technologies, The Safariland Group, LRAD Corporation (Genasys, Inc.), and others. For instance, the TASER X26P uses trilogy logs, a common smart platform, and it has a charge metering feature that measures and regulates the electric charges used to immobilize targets. The LRAD Corporation creates acoustic hailing devices that use thermal and electromagnetic radiation to quell riots. The unique selection of projectiles, including LIVE X, are developed by PepperBall Technologies. LIVE X contains pelargonic acid vanillylamide (PAVA), which, when fired, causes the sensation of heat and pain. Throughout the forecast period, it is anticipated that ongoing innovation and the introduction of cost-effective products will further spur market growth.
Government Regulations and Environmental Concerns
The use of non-lethal weapons has been outlawed in some nations. For instance, in New Zealand and Hawaii, stun guns, pepper spray, and TASERs are not allowed to be used even for self-defense; in Illinois, however, their use is legal but subject to certain limitations as outlined in Illinois Stun Gun Laws. Carrying Tasers is permitted in other U.S. states like Massachusetts and Michigan, but a firearms license is required.
Further limiting the use of non-lethal weapons in the United States are gun laws varying from state to state, and some states classify such weapons as illegal. Additionally, the use of smoke bombs, flash grenades, signaling devices, and other weapons has a negative impact on the environment. These factors are anticipated to hinder the market's expansion throughout the forecast period. Human rights advocates are also opposed to the harmful harm that occurs to civilians during control operations (as observed during Black Lives Matter protests). Throughout the forecast period, these restraints are anticipated to prevent market growth.
Increase in Budgetary Expenses in Military
Military spending has significantly increased across the board in developed nations, and it is anticipated that this trend will continue in the years to come. The top 5 nations that spend a significant portion of their GDP on military expenditures are the United States, China, India, Russia, and the United Kingdom, according to Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) 2020. In 2020, $1,981 billion was spent on the world's military, compared to $1,917 billion in 2019. Additionally, according to U.S. Naval Institute (UNSI), the U.S. Department of Defense wants to use more non-lethal weapons to close capability gaps and deal with situations involving gray zone warfare with China and Russia. According to Forbes magazine, the U.S. DoD intends to outfit unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) with non-lethal lasers and microwave cannons. According to a U.S. Navy research solicitation, the department is investigating various non-lethal weapons for uses like incapacitating people or immobilizing vehicles. These occurrences demonstrate that military organizations' budgetary expenditures for creating new, less lethal weapons are consistently rising, and this trend is forecast to continue.
The global non-lethal weapons market is segmented into technology, product type, end-user, and region.
By Technology, the global market is divided into chemical, electroshock, mechanical and kinetic, acoustic or light, and others. The chemical segment was the highest contributor to the market and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 7.4% during the forecast period. Chemical non-lethal weapons are quite suitable in situations where a large crowd has to be controlled (tear gas & smoke grenades) or during personal defense (pepper sprays). These are widely used by law enforcement agencies, military, and personnel to control a violent protest, manage military operations, and defend against any personal attacks. The rise in usage of non-lethal chemical weapons for holding protests across several parts of the world, for instance, the use of pepper ball launchers in Myanmar, the use of tear gas by police to disperse crowds during the George Floyd protests, and others, is anticipated to propel the growth of the global nonlethal market during the forecast timeframe.
By Product Type, the global market is fragmented into gases & sprays, grenades, taser guns, bullets, and others. The gases & sprays segment was the highest contributor to the market and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 7.3% during the forecast period. Gases & sprays are one of the most commonly used non-lethal weapon product categories worldwide to scatter the crowd and restore the security conditions of any troubled area. They encompass tear gas, pepper sprays, and smoke grenades. When a container of tear gas is fired, it releases a cloud that envelops anybody in close proximity. Chemicals in the gas cause irritation in the eyes, skin, and airways, resulting in unbearable pain all over the body. Another commonly used non-lethal weapon that falls under this category is pepper spray. It is not as harmful as tear gas but causes the same incapacitating response that can be quite detrimental to people. Pepper spray is one of the most preferred non-lethal weapons used by law enforcement agencies and citizens for personal use. The introduction of advanced product enhancements such as munitions, aerosols, pepper sprays, and tear & signaling gases can serve the diversified needs of consumers, which is projected to propel the market's growth during the forecast period.
By End User, the global market is classified into law enforcement agencies, military, and citizens. The law enforcement agencies segment was the highest contributor to the market and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 8.3% during the forecast period. The agencies or organizations authorized for the protection of legal systems in a country are known as law enforcement agencies. It includes police departments, investigating bureaus, correction departments, and others. This personnel widely uses non-lethal weapons to maintain law and order while inflicting minimal injuries to the individuals. Law enforcement agencies are the most significant end users of non-lethal weapons worldwide. The agencies must use different non-lethal weapons (chemical, electroshock, acoustic or light, and mechanical & kinetic) to control various situations under different settings. Such factors drive segment growth.
By Region, the global non-lethal weapons market is analyzed across North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and LAMEA.
North America was the highest revenue contributor and is estimated to grow a CAGR of 7.1%. North America includes powerful and large economies, namely the U.S. and Canada. The rise in defense spending across the U.S. is a key driver for the growth of the non-lethal weapons market during the forecast period. North America's non-lethal weapons market is analyzed across U.S., Canada, and Mexico. Factors such as increased funding to equip law enforcement agencies with non-lethal weapons, a large number of key manufacturers, significant funding for research & development activities, supportive government regulations, and the availability of technologically advanced products are some of the key contributors to the rapid growth of non-lethal weapons market in this region.
Europe is the second largest region. It is estimated to reach an expected value of USD 3935 million by 2030, registering a CAGR of 7.3%. The non-lethal weapons market of Europe is analyzed across Russia, the UK, Germany, France, and the rest of Europe. The rise in the number of riots and protests across various European countries, for instance, Italy, France, and Spain, is anticipated to propel the growth of the non-lethal weapons market in the region during the forecast timeframe. Increased reported violence and civil unrest due to illegal immigration have supported the legalization of non-lethal weapons in this region. The European Parliament has issued guidelines for the usage of non-lethal weapons by giving special consideration to people who are particularly vulnerable to the harmful consequences of the use of non-lethal weapons, such as pregnant women, elderly people, children, and people who have a mental illness or people under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and patients with disabilities. This initiative is expected to result in the advent of less dangerous weapons by companies that offer non-lethal weapons and is projected to increase the growth of the non-lethal weapons market in the region during the forecast period.
Asia-Pacific is the third largest region. The non-lethal weapons market of Asia-Pacific is analyzed across China, Japan, India, South Korea, and the rest of Asia-Pacific. The rise in clashes within the countries such as China, India, Myanmar, Thailand, Indonesia, Nepal, and others, is expected to fuel the demand for non-lethal weapons in the region during the forecast period. Currently, the adoption of non-lethal weapons is limited in Asia-Pacific, owing to low awareness among civilians and law enforcement agencies. However, governments across several countries are keen to implement technologically advanced products to manage the incidences of violent protests and riot situations. For instance, in March 2020, Gujarat became the first state in India to introduce taser guns as a part of its modernization drive to ensure public safety and security. Moreover, in July 2018, the Union home minister said that the security forces were developing non-lethal weapons. The rise in the adoption of non-lethal weapons is anticipated to boost the growth of the non-lethal weapons market during the forecast timeline.
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