Can a high power flash light be used for self defense?

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HucktheForde
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I ve been thinking about this since pre pandemic I always go out till late night on weekends that I should carry a lightweight self defense weapon the size of a keychain... Just in case. Since anything pokey and guns are strictly not allowed, I was wondering if a flash light so powerful it is blinding to stare at it would be a good idea.

It works when you point it at the attacker and he can't look at you directly.

Plus there is no way the police can argue a flash light is an offensive weapon in court. Whatcha think? Do such things even exist? A strong flash light the size of a keychain.
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KaptainCliff
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I can't imagine a high powered torch used to dazzle an assailant would be unlawful for self defence purposes. However, if in the course of dazzling someone you caused them lasting injury to their sight (which you might not be able to guarantee won't happen), then that could be considered excessive self defence and you may then have committed an offence.

It's a tricky situation, because if you do cause injury, then any criminality found against you would be confounded by the fact you "prepared" to commit an offence.

Having said this, I'm not sure a bright enough torch exists that is small enough to fit on a key chain. I think you'd need a larger torch which could be cumbersome. Perhaps a rape alarm is a better deterrent?
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HucktheForde
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wooot... a little googling and it turns out all great minds think alike

https://www.gettingtactical.com/how-...ring%20daytime.
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HucktheForde
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(Original post by KaptainCliff)

It's a tricky situation, because if you do cause injury, then any criminality found against you would be confounded by the fact you "prepared" to commit an offence.
i could argue that its a flash light which i carry around just in case the street light isnt working
dual use self defense tools are the best because you can always argue that you carry it for other intentions.
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HucktheForde
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(Original post by KaptainCliff)
Perhaps a rape alarm is a better deterrent?
Alarms only work if there are people nearby.
And apparently pepper spray is in the grey zone, some say its ok to carry pepper spray, some say its not.

I have been thinking about self defense gadgets and i ve thought of

1) mini flame thrower
2) extendable baton (definitely illegal)
3) smoke bomb
4) pepper spray (grey zone)

They all sound absurd and potentially illegal

A high power flash light seems the most reasonable.
Last edited by HucktheForde; 1 month ago
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KaptainCliff
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(Original post by HucktheForde)
i could argue that its a flash light which i carry around just in case the street light isnt working
dual use self defense tools are the best because you can always argue that you carry it for other intentions.
You could indeed, it sounds like a harmless self defence tool (maybe don't call it a "weapon" ) but it's always open to the interpretation of a judge/ jury if it did happen to cause injury. Though with some googling, it looks like it's extremely unlikely to cause injury, so maybe this is a good way.

Do you think it would actually be effective though? I'm just unsure about whether you'd have time to get it out and aim it into the eyes of an assailant before they could come within range of you.
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HucktheForde
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(Original post by KaptainCliff)

Do you think it would actually be effective though? I'm just unsure about whether you'd have time to get it out and aim it into the eyes of an assailant before they could come within range of you.
TBH the moment he gets too close to you its prob too late for anything especially if he got his knife out.
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Trinculo
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(Original post by HucktheForde)
Alarms only work if there are people nearby.
And apparently pepper spray is in the gray zone, some say its ok to carry pepper spray, some say its not.

I have been thinking about self defense gadgets and i ve thought of

1) mini flame thrower
2) extendable baton (definitely illegal)
3) smoke bomb
4) pepper spray (gray zone)

They all sound absurd and potentially illegal

A high power flash light seems the most reasonable.
Irritant sprays are not a grey area. They are absolutely illegal and classed as firearms.

Smoke bombs are also definitely illegal, whether they would be a firework or an explosive would depend on the circumstances, but definitely illegal.

Torches are definitely not illegal if you are talking about using a high-power light or strobe effect for self defence - although the issue is that some "self-defence" torches have what is called a crenelated bezel - essentially a cutting / hitting edge, which would certainly make them an offensive weapon under almost any circumstances.

The only difficulty will come if lasers become prohibited. Firearms must project a "thing" or "substance", whereas torches and lasers do not. If lasers are prohibited, that may open the door for torches to be classed as offensive.

Having said all of this, if you cause someone harm, it doesn't matter whether or not you use a weapon, that can be an offence, if you can't justify your actions as self-defence.
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KaptainCliff
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(Original post by HucktheForde)
Alarms only work if there are people nearby.
And apparently pepper spray is in the gray zone, some say its ok to carry pepper spray, some say its not.

I have been thinking about self defense gadgets and i ve thought of

1) mini flame thrower
2) extendable baton (definitely illegal)
3) smoke bomb
4) pepper spray (gray zone)

They all sound absurd and potentially illegal

A high power flash light seems the most reasonable.
I do some volunteering in criminal justice, and I'm fairly sure pepper spray is unlawful in the UK. See the sentencing council guideline for ABH on what is defined as a "highly dangerous weapon" - pepper spray carried with the intention of causing assault is likely to be considered a "highly dangerous weapon equivalent".

https://www.sentencingcouncil.org.uk...ggravated-abh/
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HucktheForde
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(Original post by KaptainCliff)
I do some volunteering in criminal justice, and I'm fairly sure pepper spray is unlawful in the UK. See the sentencing council guideline for ABH on what is defined as a "highly dangerous weapon" - pepper spray carried with the intention of causing assault is likely to be considered a "highly dangerous weapon equivalent".

https://www.sentencingcouncil.org.uk...ggravated-abh/
self defense is hard :dontknow: so many things are banned
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KaptainCliff
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(Original post by HucktheForde)
self defense is hard :dontknow: so many things are banned
I don't think you're supposed to go prepared for self defence unfortunately. I tend to agree though that the law should provide for a person to carry some form of non-harmful tool that can effectively be used for the purpose of self defence
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Trinculo
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(Original post by KaptainCliff)
I don't think you're supposed to go prepared for self defence unfortunately. I tend to agree though that the law should provide for a person to carry some form of non-harmful tool that can effectively be used for the purpose of self defence
If it is non-harmful, how can you use it for self-defence?
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HucktheForde
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(Original post by KaptainCliff)
I don't think you're supposed to go prepared for self defence unfortunately. I tend to agree though that the law should provide for a person to carry some form of non-harmful tool that can effectively be used for the purpose of self defence
i still cant get over why pepper spray is not allowed. :bawling:
that would have addressed my concern right there
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KaptainCliff
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(Original post by Trinculo)
If it is non-harmful, how can you use it for self-defence?
Hmm, bad phrasing on my part. I meant a "tool" which wouldn't cause significant harm, when properly used if a person reasonably believes their physical safety is at risk. I've not properly thought about what "tool" would be appropriate, but perhaps some degree of short term harm, caused by something like an approved pepper spray, could be justified when inflicted as self defence.
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Trinculo
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(Original post by KaptainCliff)
I do some volunteering in criminal justice, and I'm fairly sure pepper spray is unlawful in the UK. See the sentencing council guideline for ABH on what is defined as a "highly dangerous weapon" - pepper spray carried with the intention of causing assault is likely to be considered a "highly dangerous weapon equivalent".

https://www.sentencingcouncil.org.uk...ggravated-abh/
It wouldn't work like this. It's very difficult to prove ABH with an irritant spray like CS or pepper spray - because ABH is measured by the harm inflicted - and you'd be looking at a transient or passing harm that is likely to last no more than half an hour - that would really and truthfully make it a common battery.

With assault offences, it doesn't really matter what implement you've used - it's the effect that matters. So you could poke someone with a baseball bat and call it common battery, or you could punch someone in the throat and call it attempted murder.

The thing with offensive weapons is obvously that you can be prosecuted for carrying them without actually doing anything - hence no harm is caused, but you are still guilty of the offence of carriage. Unlike a knife, irritant spray has no other purpose other than to cause what is in effect an assault - so possession is pretty much a cut and dried offence - and it would be possession of a firearm no less.
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HucktheForde
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(Original post by KaptainCliff)
Hmm, bad phrasing on my part. I meant a "tool" which wouldn't cause significant harm, when properly used if a person reasonably believes their physical safety is at risk. I've not properly thought about what "tool" would be appropriate, but perhaps some degree of short term harm, caused by something like an approved pepper spray, could be justified when inflicted as self defence.
you have any better ideas on gadgets i can carry around legally for self defense?

I think i am heading out to the hardware store this weekend to see if i can build 1 for myself. Prob need a few batteries , a buck converter to step up the voltage and a 100 lumen mini car headlight.
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Trinculo
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(Original post by KaptainCliff)
Hmm, bad phrasing on my part. I meant a "tool" which wouldn't cause significant harm, when properly used if a person reasonably believes their physical safety is at risk. I've not properly thought about what "tool" would be appropriate, but perhaps some degree of short term harm, caused by something like an approved pepper spray, could be justified when inflicted as self defence.
That's just about the only thing that might fall into that category - but they're prohibited, so that's that.
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Wiggly
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Just carry something that is multi-purpose. If you own a bicycle for example, it's fine to carry a multi-purpose tool with screwdriver attachments, etc, at the bottom of your backpack that you 'might' need for repairs when out and about.
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Trinculo
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(Original post by HucktheForde)
you have any better ideas on gadgets i can carry around legally for self defense?

I think i am heading out to the hardware store this weekend to see if i can build 1 for myself. Prob need a few batteries , a buck converter to step up the voltage and a 100 lumen mini car headlight.
You can just buy them. An LED torch with a strobe or self-defence mode. A company called Fenix definitely used to make them.
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HucktheForde
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(Original post by Trinculo)
You can just buy them. An LED torch with a strobe or self-defence mode. A company called Fenix definitely used to make them.
found it! thx
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