Sunday, June 14, 2015

Open Carry: Could vs Should

Recently Texas signed into law an open carry bill Joining many states that allow open carry of a firearm. The issue of open carry illustrates the key training concept of  Could vs Should. Or simply just because you can do something doesn't mean you should always do it. Responsible gun owners should seek to be critical thinkers in all phases and situations of carry. First as a firearms trainer and a Second Amendment supporter do I think the right to open carry should be abrogated? Absolutely not! The right to carry a firearm whether openly or concealed should not be infringed on by the government. Rights are not bestowed on us by government but are ours by virtue of our existence. The right to self defense is not up to any government entity. That being said what is the advantage to open carry?

Many open carry supporters claim they are exercising their rights and a right not executed is lost. I see the point however most of the open carry displays I have seen in the news and locally are done merely for shock value. Do you think this gentleman garnered any sympathy for the second amendment?

I see no advantage to open carry other than to give a potential attacker a target upon which to fixate. Those individuals that claim the presence of a firearm will deter attackers are deluding themselves. Many criminals will target you specifically to take your firearm and potentially use it against you. How many of the open carry activists practice their weapons retention skills? I would venture to say not many.

Additionally news coverage of open carry is generally negative. Lets face it a scary black rifle slung acrossed someones back at Taco Bell makes people nervous. As someone that carries concealed a person openly carrying would then become an object of interest to me as well as a potential threat. Open carry is not helping the cause of the Second Amendment anymore than graphic pictures of fetuses helps the anti-abortion movement.

Open carry is a right that should be exercised under appropriate circumstances and in an appropriate context. Just because you could doesn't mean you should.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Home storage options

Those that choose to keep a firearm in their home for self defense also need to properly secure the firearm from unauthorized access. Most states require this and may even have laws mandating secured storage for those with underage members of the household. I will briefly give some recommendations for firearm storage specifically handgun storage.

Storage options need to satisfy three conditions:

1. The firearm should be secured from unauthorized access.
2. The firearm needs to be accessible.
3. The firearm  needs to be in the proper condition when needed.

Depending on members of the household individuals may store firearms in a variety of ways and conditions. Storage options include:

Unsecured- If you live alone and you do not have underage visitors you may choose to store your firearm in an unsecured location. Example of this would be a counter or nightstand. This allows quick access but has the obvious drawbacks of allowing easy unauthorized access.

Hidden/Unsecured- Examples of this method include hiding the firearm in a drawer or book. This method can also be used when the risk of unauthorized access is low. However ease of access is affected.

Secured- This is the preferred method and the most efficient. It is recommended that the firearm be stored in a quick access safe. These safes allow easy access via biometric or keypad access.

Image result for quick access gun safe
Storage conditions include :

Unloaded- This condition is defined when the magazine or ammunition is outside the firearm. This condition affords the highest level of safety during storage but the possibility of leaving the magazine or ammunition behind during a dynamic critical incident or home invasion is high.

Chambered- This condition is defined as the firearm having a magazine or ammunition in place and a round is in the chamber. The conditions allows the fastest degree of access and employment but the chance for a negligent discharge is high, should the homeowner touch the trigger inadvertently as they remove the firearm from storage.

Loaded- This condition is defined as having a magazine in the firearm but no round in the chamber. The risk for a negligent discharge is lower in this configuration but the need to chamber a round slows the speed of firearm employment somewhat. This is the preferred storage condition in the home.

Other things to be considered is the placing of a flashlight in the quick access safe in conjunction with the firearm. As well as a device to cover the trigger guard to mitigate negligent discharges due to inadvertent trigger manipulation during access attempts.

So the preferred home storage method for your home defense firearm is: Stored in a quick access safe in a loaded condition. It is also recommended to have a quality flashlight available and something covering the trigger guard.