• Category Archives Gun Safety
  • The Most Important Training Skill?

    This Saturday, like many Saturdays in the Spring and Summer I am teaching a defensive pistol class. At these classes there’s something I try and emphasize over, and over, and over, which is what I believe is one of the most important aspects of gun training.

     I’m not talking about safety, which is the most important aspect and gets covered before every class I do no matter if it’s a beginner class or an advanced class. And I’m not talking about trigger control or follow through.

    In short, I’m talking about making my students think during the class.

    Let me explain… Although competition shooting is a fun sport, it is not defensive firearms training. After all, many competitors have tricked out race guns, they know exactly what’s going to happen on each stage and as soon as they hear the buzzer they start shooting without having to do a great deal of thinking.

    Obviously, that’s not close to reality at all, because in a gunfight you’re going to have no idea what your attacker is going to do. Also, in a gunfight you’ve got to be thinking so you don’t shoot into a crowd of people and hit an innocent bystander, or have any number of problems occur.

    So how exactly do you get people to think?

    Well, one of the best ways is sending people into a shoot house. Inside the shoot house you’ll have targets that are clearly marked as bystanders and you’ll have targets that are the bad guys.

    If you’ve never done a shoot house scenario before you’ll be amazed at how much thinking is required and you’ll likely end up shooting an innocent civilian or two your first time out.

    Another way to make people think is to use a target with several numbers on it such as the SEB target. The instructor can call out numbers telling the student to shoot at each one. You should also call out numbers that aren’t even on the target to see if people are paying attention.

    I realize that going into a shoot house, or shooting different numbers isn’t totally reality based either. But it accomplishes the goal of making you think and not just having you run through a pistol course as a “drone” knowing exactly what is going to happen each time.

    After all, your brain (that thing in your head which controls your thinking) is the most important thing you have in a gunfight.



    Jason R. Hanson is a former CIA officer. He’s also an NRA Certified Instructor and the author of The Covert Guide to Concealed Carry: Confessions of a Former CIA Officer. Jason believes there are few things in life as important as being able to protect yourself and your loved ones. That’s why he’s giving away a free report titled, “Insider Secrets of Buying Your First Concealed Carry Firearm” at www.ConcealedCarryAcademy.com.

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  • Dealing With Traffic Stops Properly With a Concealed Weapon

    Dealing With Traffic Stops Properly

    If you regularly carried a concealed weapon, you must know and fully understand the proper actions you must take when stopped by an officer of the law. One of the most sought out questions we receive is how you should deal with a traffic stop, when carrying a concealed weapon. This is a great question, as you could potentially turn a run-of-the-mill situation into something deadly in a matter of a few seconds. That being said, we at CCW By State felt that we should write an article that covers the dangers & rules surrounding CCW during traffic stops.

    Whether your state is a Must Inform state or not, CCW By State strongly suggests that you always inform the officer of your concealed carry permit and weapon. We suggest this because if the traffic stop escalates into something else and the officer finds your weapon, the situation has the potential to turn horrible.

    As menial as this may sound, the first thing that you should do when getting pulled over for a traffic stop, is to make sure that you give sufficient room for the police officer on the side of the road. Pull enough to ensure that both you and the police officer will be safe. If you were a police officer, you would want somebody doing the same, and by doing this you will start your LEO encounter off on a good foot.

    Next, make sure that you roll down all of your windows so the officer has clear vision of the inside of your vehicle. Some of you may argue that you don’t have to do this because of the 4th Amendment and the Unreasonable Search and Seizure… You are technically right, but if you want to argue the 4th Amendment, go somewhere else. Were worried about your safety here, there’s no reason to do some constitutional grandstanding for a simple traffic stop.

    Next, make sure that if it is late at night, that you turn on the interior lights, so that the officer has full view of the vehicle, and won’t suspect you of hiding anything. Follow this, turn off your vehicle, place your hands in the 10-2 position and calmly wait for the officer to approach.

    This is the important part. When the officer walks up to the vehicle, don’t ask him about why you got pulled over, how fast you were going, etc. Immediately inform him that you do have a valid CCW permit for the state (or that your CCW permit reciprocates to the current state), and tell him exactly where the gun is located. DO NOT reach for your CCW permit at any time unless directed by the officer. The officer will feel at rest knowing that you are alerting him of a gun’s presence on your person or within the vehicle. When the officer asks for your driver’s license, insurance, registration, and concealed weapon’s permit, make sure that you are able to reach the documents in one central location.

    After that is all said and done, the officer might like to inspect your weapon. Again, do not reach for the weapon. This is important. Ask the officer how he would like to proceed. They might like to take it themselves, or have you do it. However, you do have to be aware of the fact that they have ever right to look at your firearm and inspect it. Do not make any quick and sudden movements, as this will alert the police officer.

    By doing all of the above and maintaining a calm, positive, and respectful manner, your traffic stop will be on it’s way in no time. Remember, that a loaded weapon is a safety issue, and you have to take great care when having your weapon with you. We at CCW By State want to make sure that you are doing everything in your power to keep yourself safe while exercising your rights under the 2nd Amendment. The more people who practice proper gun safety and engage Law Enforcement properly, the more protected our 2nd Amendment rights and Liberty become.

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  • Task Fixation & Responsible Carry

    Hardly a new subject but when we consider the ramifications of poor spacial awareness it’s perhaps worth giving this some extra thought.  It should be plain to all who carry responsibly that a major part of their mission is to avoid trouble and not find it, or let it find them.  This means being aware of all surroundings and within this any and all “warning signs” as one might say.

    The list of possible task fixation mistakes is long but some stand out more than others.  Perhaps one of the most prevalent in this modern age is listening to music on an iPod.  Despite earphones often being only a partial ‘fit’ and so permitting the acceptance of ambient sounds, to a great extent this still produces a degree at least of auditory isolation.  Now, sound is perhaps lower on the list of sensory requirements than vision but nevertheless, any loss of spacial sensory awareness is potentially prejudicial.  In essence we need all our senses sharp and alert.

    Some other examples come to mind that are also very prevalent, perhaps the most obvious being talking on a cell phone.  Many might agree that use of a phone while driving is not to be recommended, texting in particular, and even use while walking around is more “insulating” from the environment than many would realize.  The tendency is to suffer a degree of “tunnel vision” during concentration, such that we exist in our own little bubble, with scant regard for surroundings.  In fact even something as apparently mundane as stooping to tie a shoe lace is also potentially productive of temporary insulation from our immediate environment.

    As many know and accept, the bad guy is a species predicated towards spotting the potential easy victim and so if surveying possible ‘marks’ there will be an immediate attraction to the person involved in some task or activity which makes them blissfully unaware, not to mention the potential victim who simply radiates an aura of isolation within their own little space.

    In fact, task fixation could well be as simple as being involved with shopping, either in a store or even simply window shopping.  Again, concentration can be excessive to the exclusion of environment.  The way to deal with task fixation is to keep a portion of ones’ sensory apparatus tuned to surroundings even while busy with something, however minor – a discipline that should be developed.

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  • VIDEO: Drawing CCW from In-the-Waist-Band Holster

    If you’re like me, you’ve thought about the situation where you might have to draw your concealed weapon and, essentially, make the decision to take someone’s life. As we’ve said before, you must be willing to pull that trigger if you are willing to draw your weapon. You must be mentally prepared for this reality before you begin carrying concealed, which is why we suggest taking a CCW training course in your area. This youtube video, created by SafeArmsReview, goes through the basic steps of drawing your weapon and we highly recommend it.

    Questions (Comment below)
    - What did you think about his drawing techniques?
    - Would you change or add anything to his suggestions?

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  • GUN SAFETY: 4 Basic Rules of Gun Safety (Video)

    I highly suggest this video by a very knowledgeable youtube user, hickok45, who explains the 4 Rules of Gun Safety.

    1. All guns are always loaded.
    2. Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy.
    3. Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on the target.
    4. Be sure of your target.

    Watch this video yourself and please have your children watch it as well.

    For more information on Children’s Gun Safety, check out our Gun Safety Quiz.

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