Less-lethal weapon

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Non-lethal weapons, also called less-lethal weapons, less-than-lethal weapons, non-deadly weapons, pain-inducing weapons or, more recently, compliance weapons are weapons intended to be less likely to kill a living target than are conventional weapons. These various terms are meant to describe the intended result of applying these technologies, techniques and procedures; accidental, incidental, and correlative casualties are possible and are an understood and accepted risk wherever force is applied. Non-lethal weapons are used in combat situations to limit the escalation of conflict or where employment of lethal force is prohibited or undesirable or where rules of engagement require minimum casualties or policy restricts the use of conventional force. Non-lethal weapons may be used by conventional military in a range of missions across the force continuum. Non-lethal weapons may also be utilized by military police, by United Nations forces, and by occupation forces for peacekeeping and stability operations. Non-lethal weapons may be used to channelize a battlefield or control the movement of civilian populations or limit civilian access to restricted areas (as they were utilized by the U.S.M.C.'s 1st Marine Expeditionary Force in Somalia in 1995). When used by police forces domestically, similar weapons, tactics, techniques and procedures are often called "less lethal" or "less than lethal" and are employed in riot control, prisoner control, crowd control, refugee control, and self-defense.

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