Dear Fellow Survivalist;
Several months ago, I heard about a concealed carry license holder who lost his gun to a criminal. He was in a store, standing in the checkout line, when the criminal came up behind him, drawing the CCL holder’s gun from his holster and then proceeding to hold him up with it. Talk about a moment of infamy!
While it is clear that the criminal is to blame for stealing the man’s gun; it’s also clear that the CCL holder is guilty of allowing that crime to happen. There’s no way that anyone should have been able to get their hands on his gun, even if they tried. He obviously fell short of his obligations somewhere.
But how do we keep this from happening? There are a number of steps we should consider.
Holster selection is an important part of keeping control of any handgun. A good holster will have strong gun retention, meaning that the gun can’t be easily pulled out of it. I’d recommend avoiding “universal” holsters for this very reason; it’s hard to design a holster which is both universal and has good retention.
I tend to trick out my guns, adding laser sights and tactical lights to them. These modifications tend towards requiring the use of a universal holster. I avoid that problem by using custom-made Kydex holsters. These provide excellent retention, in a holster that fits my gun perfectly.
Police officers, especially uniformed officers, who carry their guns in the open, generally use holsters which require multiple actions to draw the gun. Those holsters are designed in such a way that the various actions all become part of gripping the gun, so that they don’t slow down the draw. But at the same time, they prevent someone who is not familiar with the holster from taking it.
Location and concealment play an important part in keeping someone from getting their hands on your gun. Many states require that your gun not “print” on the clothing you are wearing and that the gun and holster be totally covered by the clothing. This helps, in that it keeps potential criminals from knowing that you are carrying.
Even so, you may want to think about changing how you carry. Most of us carry at the 3 o’clock belt position, regardless of whether we carry inside the belt or outside it. Criminals know that and know to look for the bulge formed by the gun. But they’ll likely overlook the bulge of a gun that’s carried elsewhere on the body.
Carrying your gun at the 3 o’clock position affords you the opportunity to keep a hand or at least an arm on your gun, keeping others from getting their hands on it. When I find myself in a crowd, such as in an elevator or in line in the store, I put my right arm down at my side, so that it is in contact with my holster. It’s impossible to try and grab that gun, without me feeling what’s happening.
An important part of maintaining control of your gun is to never put it down. As long as it is on your person, you have control of it. But there are always situations where you’re going to need to take your gun out of the holster, probably because you’re entering a building where guns aren’t allowed.
I handle this problem by keeping a lockbox bolted to the floor of my car’s trunk. That way, if I have to take my gun off, I always have someplace secure to store it. Anyone who wants to steal my gun has to first break into the trunk of my car, and then break into the lockbox. It’s not a foolproof solution, but it’s a whole lot better than hiding it under the driver’s seat.
A couple of weeks ago, I had to go to the doctor’s for my annual physical. When it came time to weigh me, I had to take my gun out of the holster, so that they could get an accurate weight. So I did. But I also ejected the magazine and the round in the chamber. The gun when on a chair, beside me, and the ammo went on the countertop across the room. If anyone had tried to grab both, I would have time to grab them before they succeeded.
Always maintain condition yellow, where you are looking for potential threats. In this case, anyone getting close to you is a potential threat, not just someone who looks like they’re going to rob the place. Other than people that you know, you can’t really trust anyone.
I’m especially aware of those who get close to me, whether it is the guy sitting in the next chair at a banquet or theatre event, or someone who is passing me by in a crowded store aisle. If necessary and possible, I’ll turn around and go another way, rather than allow myself to get into the crush of bodies. If it’s not possible, than I keep my arm in contact with my gun, as I said above. At the same time, I’m always scanning those around me, looking for potential risks. It’s just one more part of staying ready; just like keeping your powder dry and your survival gear close at hand.