Are HERO® Devices Firearms? A Comprehensive Guide for Self-Defense Enthusiasts

Are HERO® Devices Firearms? A Comprehensive Guide for Self-Defense Enthusiasts

HERO 2020 Firing a Projectile Exploding into a Cloud of Chemical Irritant

When it comes to self-defense, the right tools make a world of difference. Recently, HERO® has garnered attention with an innovative approach to personal safety. But are HERO® devices firearms? In this post, we will explore what HERO® products are, the legal definitions of firearms across different states, and why HERO® might be the non-lethal alternative you’ve been looking for.

Understanding Firearms and Non-Lethal Devices

The Legal Definition

While the definition can vary from state to state, generally, a firearm is any weapon that expels a projectile through explosive force. This includes handguns, rifles, and shotguns.

Key elements typically include:

  • Projectile Expulsion: The device discharges a projectile of some kind.
  • Explosive Force: The method of propelling the projectile relies on combustion.

HERO® products don’t fit this traditional mold. Unlike firearms, they use compressed nitrogen to discharge their projectiles rather than combustion. Firearms are tightly regulated at multiple levels of government, and vary widely. HERO® devices are regulated by laws regarding pepper spray (or similar), which are legal in all 50 states, and provide greater legal safeguards when properly using the product for self-defense.

HERO® Device Specifics

HERO 2020 and AIIRO
HERO® 2020 and AIIRO®

HERO® devices, including the HERO® 2020 and AIIRO®, use compressed nitrogen instead of CO2 to propel their projectiles. The choice of nitrogen offers several advantages:

    • Stability: Nitrogen is less affected by temperature changes, providing consistent pressure and performance.

    • Safety: Nitrogen is an inert gas, reducing the risk of accidental ignition or explosion.

    Product Offerings

    HERO® combines the top features in the industry to build patented, award winning products which are not considered firearms. These devices offer a range of payloads including:

      • PavaGel: Aerosol powered gel irritant that sticks to the target, disabling them for up to an hour.

      • PavaBall: Irritant filled projectiles that burst on impact, releasing a debilitating cloud around the target.

      • BluntForce: A hard polymer projectile that packs a punch of kinetic energy. These rounds are legal to use in California.

      The Case for HERO®

      Benefits of HERO® Devices Over Firearms

      HERO Personal Alarm and Light
      HERO Personal Alarm and Light

      One primary advantage of HERO® devices is their non-lethal nature. They offer a way to defend yourself without the fatal consequences associated with firearms. Let’s explore some specific benefits:


      HERO® devices significantly reduce the risk of accidental fatalities. Unlike firearms, which can result in unintended harm, HERO® products are designed to incapacitate threats without causing permanent injury to the target or innocent bystanders.

      Ease of Use

      HERO® devices are generally easier to operate and don’t require extensive training. Their intuitive design means you can effectively use them in high-stress situations without needing to go through rigorous training sessions.

      Legal Simplicity

      Owning and using HERO® devices comes with fewer legal hurdles compared to firearms. Non-lethal weapons typically face less stringent regulations, making them more accessible for personal defense, while offering greater legal protections after the fact.

      Addressing Common Misconceptions

      Some might argue non-lethal devices are less effective in real-world scenarios. However, this is a misconception. For example, the high-intensity pepper gel used in AIIRO® and the irritant filled projectiles in HERO® 2020 can incapacitate an assailant just as effectively as more traditional defensive measures. PavaGel and PavaBall deliver a powerful dose of lab quality chemical irritant called PAVA. Regardless of intoxication by drugs or alcohol, PAVA creates rapid inflammation in the capillaries, causing targets to experience intense burning on the skin (as if exposed to scalding heat), temporary blindness, difficulty breathing, and extreme discomfort for up to an hour.

      Military and police have trusted PAVA for decades to stop bad guys in their tracks.

      HERO® Devices Features and Effectiveness

      HERO® devices are designed to deliver optimal performance in self-defense situations. Here are the key features that set them apart:

        • Range: HERO® devices can reach distances up to 20 feet, providing a safe buffer between you and any potential threat.

        • Accuracy: Built-in laser sight ensures pinpoint accuracy, making it easier for users to hit their target even under stress.

        • Ease of Use: Simple trigger mechanisms make these devices accessible to all skill levels, offering intuitive operation during high-pressure situations.

        • Free Training: Every HERO® product includes free online training and practice cartridges, so when the unthinkable happens, you’re ready to face it.

        Legal Considerations and Responsible Use of HERO® Devices

        Legal Status and Regulations

        United State regulations map for HERO® devices

        The legal status of HERO® devices varies by state but generally faces fewer restrictions compared to firearms. Many states classify these devices under “non-lethal weapons,” which allows for broader possession and use. Check your state restrictions and local regulations to ensure you understand specific laws that may apply to your area. 

        Responsible Use and Storage

        While HERO® devices are designed to be user-friendly, responsible use and storage are essential to ensure safety and functionality. Always store your device securely and out of reach of children. Familiarize yourself with its operation and maintenance to guarantee it functions correctly when needed. Read your User Guide carefully for storage and maintenance advice.

        Key Takeaways

          • Legal Advantage: At the state level, HERO® products offer more legal protections, are allowed in more places than traditional firearms.

          • Training:  Practice with your device so you’re ready to face any situation.

          • Secure Storage: Store your device safely and out of children’s reach.

          • Nitrogen Advantage: HERO® devices use nitrogen for better power and performance.

          • Product Offerings: HERO® devices with PAVA and Kinetic payloads avoid the limitations of traditional lethal weapons.

          HERO® non-lethal devices provide reliable powerful tools for personal safety and empowerment, without the ethical and legal complications presented by firearms. Protect yourself and your loved ones with confidence and choose your HERO® today!


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