Is it okay for civilians to use rubber bullets?

There are many different types of weapons and ammunition, but most of them are deadly. There are a variety of situations in which non-lethal weapons are necessary. Self-defence or riot control are examples of such justifications. Rubber bullet guns, which use rubber bullets instead of real bullets, are one type of weapon commonly used by the military or police to handle tense situations such as riots. However, bystanders may utilize self-defence weapons that only weaken the attacker rather than kill him.

Non-lethal weapons, such as rubber bullet guns, are legal in some nations and can be used by civilians for self-defence. For example, Russia, Ukraine, and EU countries such as Hungary and France permit citizens to own and carry non-lethal weapons, making it lawful to purchase rubber bullet guns.

Rubber bullet guns are another kind of non-lethal weapon, but the question is whether it is lawful to buy them and whether individuals have the right to keep and use them in self-defence.

In which countries is it legal to keep a rubber bullet gun?

Non-lethal weapons, such as rubber bullet guns, are legal in some nations and can be used by civilians for self-defence and other purposes. For example, Russia, Ukraine, and EU countries such as Hungary and France permit citizens to own and carry non-lethal weapons, making it lawful to purchase rubber bullet guns. However, anyone wanting to acquire rubber bullet guns in these nations should still check with the legal authorities to see what sorts of rubber bullet guns and rubber bullets are permissible to carry. You also need to check if there have been any recent changes in the rules governing people carrying non-lethal weapons!

What types of rubber bullet guns can you own?

Despite being classified as non-lethal projectiles, Rubber bullets can be dangerous at times. Because this page does not address the issue of rubber bullet safety, anyone interested in learning more about it should read the other article, Are Rubber Bullets Lethal or Not? We’re talking about the several varieties of rubber bullet weapons that can be purchased and owned in countries where they’re allowed to carry. Rubber bullet rifles available for purchase in these nations feature a specifically weakened structure and a barrel with internal lugs.

The use of full-power loads or the launching of hard projectiles. The rubber bullets contract as they travel through the lug, allowing them to use for firing. The most frequent calibres for these rubber bullet weapons are 9 mm and 10 mm, with a muzzle velocity close to a regular handgun and bullets as light as 0.7g. In addition, French residents can own 12/50 shotgun pistols with short barrels for rubber shot load.

Handguns that fire rubber bullets, such as those mentioned in the above paragraph, are intended for self-defence. Guns with rubber bullets powered merely by a primer are among the numerous sorts of rubber bullet firearms that citizens are permitted to acquire. You can use them for indoor target practice or training at short ranges. Only target shooting is allowed with these rubber bullet pistols.

Impact of rubber bullets

Rubber bullets are considered the non-lethal and safest form of ammunition by police and defence forces, out of all the materials used to make bullets such as lead, lead alloy, copper, aluminium, plastic, rubber, etc. However, this isn’t always the case, though. According to numerous studies, police firearms that fire rubber bullets during riot control can injure people severely. In addition, most of these bullets, while ostensibly made of rubber, are constructed of metal with a rubber coating. As a result, when we talk about rubber bullets, we’re talking about pellets made entirely of rubber. Which means rounds with rubber on the outside and metal on the inside.

Injuries caused by rubber bullets

Bullets made of rubber When used on a victim, guns create kinetic impact munitions. Hence, it indicates that they cause discomfort but no significant harm. The following are some of the injuries caused by rubber bullets:

  • Skin abrasions (a wound is causing superficial damage to the skin).
  • Abrasions (bruise).
  • Hematomas are blood clots (collection of blood outside the blood vessels)
  • Fractures of the bones.
  • Internal organ injuries

According to research conducted by the famous Rambam Medical Center in northern Israel, 152 individuals were victims of injuries by rubber-coated bullets out of 201 persons injured during the Israeli Arab riots in 2000. Most of the injuries were to the limbs, but a few were to the face, chest, neck, and head. According to a study, bullets that strike the legs produce the least harm, while shots that hit the face cause the most damage.

Are rubber bullets lethal?

As the name implies, rubber bullets consist of rubber, but whether they are harmful or not is still an open question. Rubber bullets puncture the flesh and cause excruciating pain. Apart from it, there is no other severe harm, according to popular belief. However, there have been situations where these have resulted in severe injury or even death.

Bullets made entirely of rubber can knock someone out and cause excruciating pain in their legs if shot there. However, if a close-range shot lands in one of your key areas, it can be lethal. Rubber bullets prove to be fatal in numerous situations. In the 1994 Vancouver Riot, a man was dead due to a rubber bullet. Then there’s the story of a woman washing dishes in Ireland killed by a rubber bullet. Her kitchen window was not enough to stop a rubber bullet, which struck her. Numerous other incidents demonstrate that these are fatal, despite being designed solely for pain.

Are rubber bullets the safest option for civilians?

Yes, owning rubber bullet guns is the safest option for civilians. Some rubber bullets are natural rubber, with no other materials or metals. These aren’t dangerous, but the one constructed of metal on the inside with a rubber coating on the exterior can result in significant injury. Although various materials such as alloy, aluminium, and plastic add up to make bullets, the ones made of rubber are the safest.

Uses of rubber bullets by civilians

There are various uses of rubber bullets for which civilians consider buying rubber bullets. Some of the standard services are listed below:

Self-defence: Daily, we witness newspapers soaked in deadly news of murders, theft, and violence. Rubber bullets make your self-defence easier for you. You can always carry a gun with you to protect yourself from all these vices at home, or you can move around.

Practising shooting at home: Rubber bullets makes it a more straightforward and safest option to practice target shooting. Now you can legally practise shooting by staying within the premises of your house without any danger.

Animal control: They are widely used to cater the livestock animals by their owners. If the animals become out of control or in any worst-case scenario, a rubber bullet can help you to scare the animals and will help you to regain control over animals.

What to do if a rubber bullet

 hits you?

If a rubber bullet has hit you, get medical help.

If you don’t have access to medical care or need assistance right now, look for a street medic. Volunteer street medics provide first assistance at public demonstrations. They usually wear apparel with a red cross or red tape strips.

Even if you believe you have a minor wound, you should get medical attention. A doctor can look for consequences and ensure that your injury isn’t severe.

Meanwhile, here are some steps you can use to heal your wound:

  • If you have a shallow cut, use soap and water to clean it.
  • To lessen the chance of infection, apply antibiotic ointment.
  • Cover the amount with a clean cloth and apply hard pressure for 5 to 10 minutes to stop the bleeding.
  • If the wound continues to bleed, replace the cloth. Remove the first cloth as soon as possible to avoid disrupting the clotting process.
  • Excessive exertion might exacerbate bleeding.
  • Scrubbing the wound is not recommended.
  • Use a clean bandage to cover the wound.

Some home remedies for such wounds are:

  • Apply a cold compress to your skin: An ice pack or cold compress can reduce swelling and soreness. Cold compress is particularly beneficial for bruising.
  • Rest: Overexertion can exacerbate discomfort and sabotage the healing process.
  • Elevate the injured body part: To transfer fluid away from the cut, keep the affected area above your heart if at all possible. Elevation will aid in the reduction of edema.
  • Apply a compression bandage to the affected area: Wrap an elastic compression bandage across the affected area to further reduce swelling. It’s best not to wrap it too tightly.
  • Pain remedies sold over-the-counter (OTC): Pain relievers such as ibuprofen and naproxen are available over-the-counter.

Alternatives to rubber bullet guns

So, what do individuals do in places where carrying even non-lethal weapons like rubber bullet pistols is illegal? First, they should seek out other means of self-defence. The following is a list of self-defence weapons legal to carry in almost all countries. However, it is still a good idea to double-check the legality of its use with your state’s laws.

  • Elektroshockers
  • Tasers
  • Pepper Sprays
  • Tear Gas Pistols


Everything has a good and a wrong side. It’s up to your use on how you are utilizing a specific thing for your purpose. Rubber bullets are the safest option that you can avail for your self-defense in the countries which have legalized for you to keep them. However, it remains illegal if you are using and owning a rubber bullet weapon while living in a country that does not approve of it.


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