DNA Gun Marks Suspects To Help Control Riots

DNA Gun Marks Suspects To Help Control Riots

The new SelectaDNA gun could allow authorities to apprehend criminals after the event has occurred by tracking the specific genetic material.

Ryan Gerhardt
  • 29 january 2013

Crowd control and riot situations pose some of the greatest challenges for police officers and the authorities. They’re outnumbered, they have to keep the peace and ensure civilian safety, and they’re also supposed to apprehend law-breakers using the proper force. A daunting task considering a mob can quickly get out of hand, and authorities may end up reacting with excessive force.

SelectaDNA’s gun aims to relieve some of this pressure on police officers. Instead of having to arrest all suspects on the scene while also maintaining the peace, SelectaDNA’s gun allows officers to ‘tag’ potential targets at the scene to be apprehended at a later, less chaotic time.

The SelectaDNA High Velocity System shoots pellets coded with synthetic DNA, rather than bullets. Upon striking the suspect, the pellets leave a residue that police can then use to identify those who were at the scene. Ultimately, this could lead to tracking down those involved, an arrest, and possible prosecution.



According to SelectaDNA, the DNA solution can remain on a person’s skin for ‘up to two weeks.’ If struck on an article of clothing, the solution will remain after a few washings, but the suspect could very easily throw their clothes away.

The attempt to replace injuring suspects, instead using the SelectaDNA gun to tag them with DNA microdot, seems like a step in the right direction. However, its effectiveness remains to be seen. As mentioned, suspects could easily dispose of their clothing. Additionally, the entire system is based on being able to find the suspects again after the fact. Riot control and follow-up is very important, but the practicality of finding tagged suspects is an issue.


The system comes in either pistol or rifle form, with a range up to 30-40 meters. The pellets come in packs of 14 – all sharing the same DNA code, allowing suspects to be linked to the same event. The company also offers DNA sprays, gels, and a grease.

Does this make you feel safer about crowd control?


Images via SelectaDNA and Ubergizmo


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