Carrying in the Midst of a Disaster

Dear Fellow Survivalist;

Texas has a very unusual law, allowing anyone involved in an emergency evacuation to carry a firearm for seven days, even if they don’t have a license to carry concealed. This stands in sharp contrast to what happened in Louisiana during Hurricane Katrina, where law-enforcement officers, many of whom weren’t even from the area, were confiscating the firearms of law-abiding citizens.

The law in Texas was penned with the understanding that things can become very dangerous during a disaster and in the immediate aftermath. In response to this, Texas lawmakers wanted to ensure that law-abiding citizens had the ability to protect themselves from criminals, who have a tendency to prey upon the innocent during these times.

Sadly, law isn’t common to other states. If you don’t live in Texas and don’t have a concealed carry permit, you can’t legally go around strapped, even in times of heightened danger. That is, you can’t do it unless you are fortunate enough to live in a state which has adopted some form of constitutional carry.

But even having such laws doesn’t guarantee you can carry. The American Red Cross has a policy that people can’t carry in their refugee shelters. That includes their workers, so if a bad guy brings a gun into that shelter, there’s nobody equipped to oppose them.

The same can be said for any shelter established by FEMA. They showed their colors during Hurricane Katrina, by not allowing even licensed gun carriers into their shelters. It didn’t matter who you were, if you were carrying a gun, you were considered to be a danger. That gave criminals free reign to prey upon the innocent, which they did with impunity.

So what do you do in these situations, where the law says you can’t carry, but logic says you should?

This is a very personal question; one which we all have to answer for ourselves. I’m not going to tell you to break the law… but then, I’m not going to tell you not to either. I’ll just say that if you do break the law, there’s always a possibility of consequences.

The current trend in state firearms laws is that most states are “shall issue” states, meaning that they will issue a concealed carry permit to applicants, as long as they take the necessary steps to qualify and the state doesn’t have any reason to deny the permit, such as the individual having a criminal record. But that’s not how it has always been. For most of my life it was difficult to get such a permit, even if one had good cause for needing it, such as making night cash deposits at the bank.

There was a time during those years when I found myself in a dangerous situation. It appeared that there was a contract out on me. While I couldn’t prove it, I couldn’t afford to ignore it either. So what did I do? I started carrying, even though I didn’t have a license to do so. It was illegal, but I’d rather do hard time in the slam, than hard time in the grave.

During that time, there were several times when I was in the presence of police officers, usually in stores. Even though I was carrying a pistol, none of them questioned me about it. It’s not like I was carrying a highly concealable pistol either. I was carrying a mid-sized .38 special revolver, much like what the police themselves were carrying.

Here’s the thing, unless you’re doing something else that’s illegal, police don’t have a reason to be checking to see if you’re carrying concealed. Even if your gun makes a slight bulge, they’re not going to assume it’s a gun. So many people carry their phones on their belts these days, it might just be a phone.

In other words, the chances of you getting arrested are slim. I was stopped once for carrying mace in a state which didn’t allow it at the time. All the police did was make me put it in my car. While they probably wouldn’t have been so accommodating if I had been carrying a pistol, the reality is that the police have more important things to do than try and catch people who want nothing more than the right to defend themselves; especially during a time of crisis. Most of them are on our side.

If you decide to carry, I’d do whatever I could to make sure that your pistol is adequately concealed. There’s no sense attracting attention. My goal would be to protect my family, and if I had to bend the rules a bit to do so, I’m ready to do just that. At the same time, I’d rather that nobody know.

Decide for yourself, but that gun is a part of your personal defense. It’s important. Just as important as keeping your powder dry and your survival gear close at hand.

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