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Manteca risk management firm sells & trains on how to use Byrna Launcher

Ron Cedillo is a local independent broker and owner of Home Buyer Realty.

His real estate agents will often host open-house events throughout the area, including Stockton, Modesto, Tracy, Manteca, and Lathrop. Some areas are remote while others are in places deemed otherwise sketchy.

Needless to say, occupational safety in a top priority for Cedillo and his HBR team.

On Thursday, his group took part in the first-ever “Less Lethal Self-Defense Training Center” session held at Kingdom Group Protection Services at 17981 Ideal Parkway Suite A in Manteca.

KGPS, a global risk management firm that offers executive protection, security risk management, business investigation, and security consulting, to name a few, is owned by Jim Vierra.

He, too, had concerns about his security officers being at risk – there’s a burden of responsibility upon drawing and using a deadly weapon.

Vierra, who has been in the private security business for about 30 years including the past dozen as CEO of KGPS, came across an alternative device for protection in the hand-held Byrna Launcher.

Although it may look every bit like it, Byrna – the launcher uses the same basic technology as a paintball gun but only more powerful – is not considered a firearm. Vierra caught eye of this highly effective less-lethal weapon (legal to carry in all 50 states with purchasers required to be age 21 and older) on FOX News about three years ago.

Unlike a taser, knife, or even pepper spray – all must be used in close proximity to one’s safe space in order to be effective – Vierra noted that the Byrna Launcher allows the user to create space by firing the kinetic projectile or .68 caliber ammo, which is made of a hard, solid plastic, in self-defense.

“Incapacitate (the attacker) and flee – that’s what it’s all about,” he added.

Vierra has been the official Northern California dealer for Byrna for the past six months. But his team-building session was about educating the real estate group on this self-defense option.

Cedillo brought in a  handful of the real estate agents to the training center held at the KGPS facility. They watched a Byrna video and took part in a question-and-answer session before going to the indoor shooting range located next door to the conference room.

The same rules of actual gun range applied during Byrna training – use of protective eyewear, proper use of the handheld Glock-like launcher equipped with a safety switch and other features, loading the magazine with the projectiles, and installing the CO-2 cartridge.

Cedillo and a few members of his team had some experience in using a firearm. Many of those skills translated in the firing of the Byrna Launcher ammo to the various targets. Unlike some handguns, the group found that the launchers have no recoil or produce loud banging noises of any kind.

As mentioned, this was the first Less Lethal Training Center session held at KGPS, which is hoping to bring in more groups and community members to the facility.

For more information on the Byrna, log on to

To learn more about Kingdom Group Protective Services, call 209.923.4101 or click on to