Dog The Bounty Hunter May Only Carry Non-Lethal Weapons, Shares His Stance On Guns In The Wake Of Recent Shootings

side-profile still of Dog the Bounty Hunter on his reality TV series.
(Image credit: A&E)

Following the recent shootings at a Texas Elementary school and a Buffalo NY supermarket, conversations around gun violence and what to do about it have moved to the forefront. As often happens, varying celebrities have entered the  conversation, including Dog The Bounty Hunter, who is himself not allowed to carry guns. When asked about his stance on guns in the U.S this summer, Duane Chapman shared his candid take on what should be done.

Dog the Bounty Hunter has been known for carrying a wide variety of weapons during his tenure on TV, including a stun gun, but he is unable to carry guns following a stint in jail in the seventies. In an interview with Newsmax, the longtime reality TV star shared his viewpoint on what he believes needs to be done about guns in the United States just a few weeks before a bipartisan bill was passed in the Senate to address gun control. So how does Chapman feel? 

Here’s my idea after 40 some years of experience. You need a mental health card from a doctor that says you qualify to be able to own a gun. You have to have a mental evaluation, believe this or not, to be a psychologist. You have to have a mental evaluation to be a police officer, a fireman. There are so many jobs in America where you have to have a mental evaluation.

Increasing mental health checks has been a key talking point for activists for awhile, and those conversations have only gotten louder over the past few years. The newest bill, which was recently signed into law by President Biden, includes money for states to help enforce red flag laws, handle crisis management and keep guns away from those convicted of domestic violence. It also ads more records to background check registries and closes some other loopholes.

For Duane Chapman, a secondary suggestion is harsher sentences for people if they're convicted of gun-related crimes. The actor also said in the interview that thing like “buy[ing] hot guns without serial numbers” should lead to longer stints in prison. 

OK, so they're going to buy hot guns without serial numbers? They are going to be punished for five years.

Why Duane Chapman Does Not Carry A Lethal Weapon

These days a well-known TV personality, Duane Chapman was involved in a past incident involving gun violence and cannot carry a gun himself. In the seventies he was convicted and served one and a half years of a five-year sentence after driving a car to a marijuana dealer’s home. That dealer was shot and killed, and Chapman was ultimately convicted of first degree murder, later telling The Guardian, "I should not have been there, that's that.”  In 2021, he spoke out about how he and his team only use non-lethal weapons, including the use of pepperball guns, despite the number of times they’ve been attacked by things like machetes and more. Fox News Primetime reported:

We've used all non-lethal weapons. We're going to get the lead out of the bullet and replace it with rubber and or wood. I've shown a thousand arrests on different networks in America in the last 15 years and I've been attacked (by) ... machetes, shopping carts, guns, knives. I've shot a lot, but I've never killed (anyone) because on my team you will not use a lethal weapon. It's not the gun that kills or the officer. It's the lead in the bullet.

Despite a lack of lethal weaponry on the team, the TV personality has had a successful run as a bounty hunter and has allegedly been responsible for the capture of over 10,000 criminals during his career. After infamously capturing the Max Factor heir Andrew Luster in 2003, Dog The Bounty Hunter premiered a year later, kicking off an additional TV career, though Dog's most recent new series was canceled. He was also in the news during the  2021 search for Gabby Petitio’s killer, Brian Laundrie and made an appearance on the popular series The Masked Singer

Jessica Rawden
Managing Editor

Jessica Rawden is Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. She’s been kicking out news stories since 2007 and joined the full-time staff in 2014. She oversees news content, hiring and training for the site, and her areas of expertise include theme parks, rom-coms, Hallmark (particularly Christmas movie season), reality TV, celebrity interviews and primetime. She loves a good animated movie. Jessica has a Masters in Library Science degree from Indiana University, and used to be found behind a reference desk most definitely not shushing people. She now uses those skills in researching and tracking down information in very different ways.