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Riot shields are lightweight protection devices deployed by police and some military organizations. Riot shields are almost exclusively long enough to cover an average-sized man from the top of the head to the knees, though smaller shields intended to be used along with a baton do exist. Some riot shields, sometimes referred to as ballistic shields, are designed to be bullet resistant against low-velocity handgun and shotgun ammunition. However, most designs are intended to be used in riot control, to protect the user from impacts from blunt instruments, thrown projectiles, and splash from various weapons such as a Molotov Cocktail. They can also be used as short-ranged melee weapons to push back rioters.

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