“Are Concealed Firearms License holders more law abiding than the police? The answer might surprise you!”

From a 35+ year LEO and LEO trainer.

I want to take a few minutes to ask you, you the liberal, anti-firearm, anti-citizen self-defense, pro law enforcement people out there “do you trust law enforcement to protect you and your family from most threats?” I hope the answer would be yes. The vast majority of law enforcement officers are average Joe’s or Jane’s who have a family to support and are just trying to make it by doing what they feel is a job that is worth doing. Making everyone around them feel safer, be safer and if in the process they can
remove threats to society as a whole and lock them up, that’s a plus. Cops are for the most part really good intention-ed people. Yes, we have our bad apples, just like most professions.


Unlike some professions, people do not realize that when a cop misbehaves they can be punished more than the average citizen most of the time. Cops who do wrong on purpose are even fewer, but when caught they can be punished by their department, by the courts, and fined civilly in court also, losing their job is not unheard of either. All one has to do is look in the news for examples of cops that have done something wrong and been arrested or punished. In Florida we have the Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission that governs all police officers in Florida at all levels. If a cop screws up in Florida they can have to “go before the board” and they can get anything from not guilty and no punishment to losing their police license for life. We try to do a good job of policing our own, and we like
to think we do a fairly good job of it.

But just how many cops really screw up and get in this kind of trouble? There were roughly 550 officers in Florida that were disciplined for some kind of offense in 2015. (FDLE/CJSTC Officer Discipline Report). So even with that many I still think that the men and women in law enforcement as a whole are good people and I when I call 911 I want one of the m to respond. So what does this have to do with anything? What could this possibly have to do with Concealed Weapons License holders or self-defense? Well, you see many of the arguments that you hear that oppose things like Campus Carry and Open Carry are that there will be all kinds of people waving guns all over the place. People will be getting in shoot outs left and right and God forbid we pass Campus Carry, all of our drunken “children” in college
will be shooting it up at frat parties! I have to laugh when I hear people say how all these problems and others will happen. What they fail to do is realize that the citizens that have gotten a concealed carry permit are even more law abiding than the police officers they call for help. In fact, not just more law abiding, but by a FACTOR OF 6 TIMES MORE LAW ABIDING! What? You mean that concealed firearms license holders are more law abiding than our cops? The simple answer is yes, by far. After reading the
above information on our police officers and their discipline, we looked at the number of officers that were disciplined for committing a crime that would result in their certification as a police officer being revoked verse concealed carry firearms license holders and how many of those have had their CWL taken away because they committed a crime. And what we found was very surprising. CWL holders are 6 times LESS LIKELY to commit a serious crime than the police officers you trust with your families’ safety
and even your life if need be!

So why are so many of the anti-gun types so fearful of those that carry firearms lawfully? When those that do so are even ore law abiding than the police officers they trust their lives and the lives of their family members to? It’s because they do not look at the entire set of facts before making a decision on something. I would be willing to bet that CWL holders are one of THE MOST law abiding demographics in the country. Here is a group of people that have gone through background checks, spent money, been fingerprinted, sworn that they do not abuse drugs or alcohol among some things. How many of your friends that are not CWL holders can you claim you know their back grounds are clean?

I find it seriously flawed logic and thinking when a business owner posts a sign on the front of their business saying that they do not want lawfully carrying and licensed firearms owners in their stores. First any of their customers with a CWL have been screened as mentioned above, what can they say about their other customers? In addition, the business owner is announcing to the criminal world that the chances of one of the customers in the store being armed and able to fight back is slim. Better for the
criminals don’t you think? Might as well post a sign that says, “Criminals Welcome, no one here will fight back or shoot at you, so feel free to rob us!” Instead some businesses have gotten smart and posted pro CWL signs, even going to the point of offering discounts to CWL holders to attract more of them. Why? Well one it shows solidarity with the segment of people that believe in your rights, but even more important, it’s a warning to the criminal element that “Our customers may be armed, it even a good
chance they are, and if you try to rob us, you may very well be shot!”


I know which store I am going to spend my money in. And maybe if the business owner thought it out a little more, they might not be so quick to alienate the 2.0 MILLION CWL holders in Florida (as of Dec 2019)!

Firearms Training Should Include Shooting a Real Firearm!

OK I have to say I am just a bit astounded and disappointed. I just discovered someone I thought was a reputable, stand up instructor of firearms is actually teaching concealed firearm carry license classes where the students do not even shoot real firearms as part of the “firearms” training class.

Now I am all for teaching as many law abiding citizens as we can to properly and safely carry firearms for self-defense. I do not believe that getting a license should be required to do so, it’s a right protected by the U.S. Constitution. But I also am a responsible adult and if I were new to firearms I would want to get trained and become educated on the firearms basics. Part of that would of course include shooting a real firearm.

Having taught firearms to law enforcement officers for more than 25 years and also citizens for a good portion of that, and still teaching them both, I know that you cannot teach someone how to shoot a firearm without shooting a firearm. Sure you can teach the laws, the fundamentals, how to do just about everything without shooting a firearm, but you can’t teach someone how to shoot a firearm without shooting a firearm! There is a huge difference between shooting a real firearm and say something like an plastic pellet or BB type pistol and a real handgun that goes bang.

Part of proper training with a firearm includes learning about how the firearm functions when you shoot it and becoming comfortable with the noise and action of a real handgun. The noise, the recoil, the grip and more are all different with real firearms. You must shoot a real firearm to experience that and become comfortable enough to carry one for self-defense. And malfunction training requires a real firearm.

Also I have enough experience training people in firearms to know that you cannot teach a large group of people a basic firearms class in just a few hours. The Basic Handgun class I teach takes at least 8 hours for a large class and that includes a couple hours on the actual firearms range shooting actual firearms.

I guess this bothers me so much because I realize that the people taking these classes at gun shows and from others where you do not shoot a real firearm are being done a huge disservice and it’s more about the money than proper training. Just remember you usually get what you pay for, a $20 couple of hours course verse an all day training session on a real range with real firearms is no comparison.

Don’t let the first time you actually shoot a real firearm be when you need it most, to defend your life or the life of another. Get training with real firearms and learn the right way. And just think of sitting in a courtroom and saying that the training you got for your concealed carry license didn’t require you to shoot a firearm. Might not go over to well with the jury or judge.

LEGISLATIVE ALERT! OUR RIGHTS NEED YOUR VOICE! BAD BILL ALERT!

Florida HB 197  – Concealed Weapons and Firearms – Prohibits concealed weapon or firearm licensee from openly carrying a handgun or carrying concealed weapon or firearm into any child care facility.

Sometimes it is just as important opposing bad Bills as it is to support the good ones!

HB 197 – has been assigned to committees for hearing and review. Yesterday afternoon (01/16/2017) HB 197 – Referred to Criminal Justice Subcommittee; Children, Families and Seniors Subcommittee; Judiciary Committee. While it has not been scheduled for any hearings yet, if you are a firearms rights and Constitutional supporter you should support this Bill. It is time to make your voices heard. This Bill needs to be voted down. It is just one more infringement on your rights!

Think of the parent going to pick up their child at a daycare and they are a lawful concealed carry license holder. They must disarm before doing so! Florida Law defines “Child care facility” as: “Child care facility” includes any child care center or child care arrangement which provides childcare for more than five children unrelated to the operator and which receives a payment, fee, or grant for any of the children receiving care, wherever operated, and whether or not operated for profit.” Notice it does not say licensed! A babysitter with more than 5 kids (private home) would be included. This is just one more attempt to limit law abiding citizens from protecting their families and children!

The Chairs of each committee decide what Bills get heard, and they can stop a Bill dead in its tracks by simply ignoring it. If they do not take it up for hearing, it dies a quiet death. We want this Bill to be opposed or voted down and we need to make sure they know it has opposition from the law-abiding firearms owners of Florida.

Please take a few minutes in the next couple of days to email or call the Chair of the Criminal Justice Subcommittee, Rep. James “J.W.” Grant and Vice Chair Rep. Stan McClain and tell them to OPPOSE the Bill and want it voted down in committee if it’s heard! They have a meeting scheduled Jan 23rd, 2019 but the Bill is not on the agenda yet.

Emails:

James “J.W.” Grant – james.grant@myfloridahouse.gov   Twitter: @JamesGrantFl, Phone: (850) 717-5064

Stan McClain – stan.mcclain@myfloridahouse.gov  Twitter: @RepMcClain, Phone: (850) 717-5023

While many of us feel very strongly about the Gun Free Zone/ Unarmed Victim Zone issues, this Bill would just create more, please be respectful and concise when emailing to them. We want them to be on our side, not against it.

In the Subject line, please include “Please OPPOSE HB 197!” as part of your subject.

If you happen to be on Twitter I also use it at @CmdrCW, but I may not be as tolerant of the anti-rights people there as I am here. 😉  

Florida Officers are NOT Taught Firearms Law in the Police Academy.

I can only speak for my state, Florida, but I have found something that is very eye opening and needs to be addressed by the State of Florida.

I found that in the Basic Law Enforcement Officers Training Curriculum there is no mention anywhere of the laws and procedures relating to firearms and Concealed Carry License holders and laws, and it is vital that it be addressed immediately as it could result in the serious consequences for both my fellow law enforcement officers, and the law abiding citizens of Florida!

I have been teaching and training law enforcement and corrections officers in Florida for more than 34 years. I currently am the Law Enforcement/ Corrections Training Coordinator at Santa Fe College, Institute of Public Safety in Gainesville, and have been there for going on 20 years now. I have been very active in the past in writing and developing the FDLE/CJSTC Curriculum that we use to teach in our basic courses, acting as an SME (Subject Matter Expert) for FDLE on several subjects.

As part of my duties as coordinator, it is important that I review the current curriculums and make sure that we are teaching all of the needed information to make our officers/ deputies the very best informed and trained LEO’s we can. In addition, the more knowledgeable our LEO’s are the better they are equipped to handle situations that arise during their careers, and also helps to keep them from being liable for any misdeeds due to the lack of knowledge or training. It was while reviewing last years and this year’s Basic LEO curriculum that I found a serious omission in the text and materials.

I am sure that if I asked you how much time we spend on the firearms laws in the State of Florida in the Basic Academy you would probably say at least several hours, right? I mean with over 1.7 million concealed weapons license holders, you would think that we would address these laws and the proper way of dealing with this group of law abiding citizens correct? Well, we do not. There is actually 0 (zero) time or lessons dedicated to the instruction of the Firearms laws in the state of Florida. Even though Officers are expected to know and deal with these laws almost on a daily basis. In fact, we do not cover the laws concerning the CWL holders of Florida and what is legal and what is not as it pertains to citizens possessing firearms.

There are even only a few very brief, very short mentions of the Florida Chapter 790 in the entire training text. One of which simply mentions that it is one of the warrantless arrest exceptions for “Carrying a Firearm in Violation of an Injunction (s. 790.233, F.S.)” and “Carrying a Concealed Weapon (s. 790.02, F.S.)”[1] in Chapter 1. Chapter 2 mentions it as one of the crimes in Chapter 2, Unit 3, Lesson 2, Elements of crimes where it covers “carrying a Concealed Weapon (without a license), s. 790.01, Misdemeanor/ Felony”[2]. That is it! That is the entire law enforcement curriculum on dealing with firearms laws.

It is understood that we cannot cover every law and every situation in the Basic Law Enforcement Academies. I know this better than most people. But I also know that with the increase in Concealed Weapons License’s in the State of Florida (now over 1.7 million!) officers are encountering the law abiding citizen that is legally armed more and more. And with several current cases and lawsuits against officers and departments for unlawful arrests[3], or otherwise unknowingly violating a law-abiding, licensed citizens’ rights and getting complaints filed against them, we need to do something to better protect our officers, departments and the law abiding citizens of Florida.

I first discovered this lack of information when working on an in-service training curriculum with the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office Training Unit. They were getting complaints about officers disarming CWL holders during routine traffic stops and were investigating the legality of this issue and trying to better educate their Deputies. I assisted with the curriculum due to my involvement in this subject matter for a number of years.  We developed and used a very good curriculum and taught their deputies during in-service about the current state laws concerning the carrying of firearms by citizens. Both lawful and unlawful, and the training was well received.

The major issue at hand is the practice of officers “disarming” lawfully carrying citizens on the side of the street without any further reason than they are armed. Any handling of a firearm (which the LEO may not be familiar with) on the side of the road or elsewhere is potentially dangerous. It has been discussed and there is case law to support the view that officers, while being able to use Stop and Frisk (F.S.S. 901.151) when someone is under investigation for a criminal act, and when finding that the person may be armed AND is a danger to the officer, the officer may frisk for weapons, it does not cover frisking or disarming a law abiding citizen, who is not breaking any laws other than a possible civil infraction of traffic law. Officers can and do ask motorist and passengers if they are armed, and rightly can do so. But by Florida law it is not covered that they can then, upon learning they are a licensed, lawfully carrying citizen, disarm that person and deprive them of their property. In fact, the courts have held otherwise. In fact case law states that it is not permitted.[4] In fact, Florida law does not require a citizen to notify an officer they are lawfully armed unless the officer directly asks the person if they are armed (790.06).

In order to prevent citizen complaints and lawsuits for violation of citizens’ rights, do away with the unnecessary handling of firearms on the side of the street, and to increase the trust of the citizens with our police officers statewide (which is vital right now considering current events) I respectfully request that the CJSTC consider adding a lesson on Chapter 790, Firearms Laws and include as part of that, “Law Enforcement interactions with Concealed Weapons License Holders”.

This training is vital to our current situation and may help prevent unnecessary litigation and even possible injury or worse happening to one of our LEO’s or a law abiding citizen. And it is important to remind everyone involved that there are multiple cases now of lawfully armed citizens saving the lives of Police Officers across the nation! Lawful gun owners are not the problem or the enemy!

 

Refs:

1 Florida Basic Recruit Training Program, Text Book 1, Version 2016.07, Page 52 & 53.

2 Florida Basic Recruit Training Program, Text Book 1, Version 2016.07, Page 74.

3 Freeman & Florida Carry v. City of Tampa, et al./ Norman vs. State of Florida (currently under review by the Florida Supreme Court) / Florida Carry v. City of Daytona Beach

4 741 So.2d 1268 (1999), Bruce WELCH, Appellant, v. STATE of Florida, Appellee. No. 98-2615. District Court of Appeal of Florida, Fifth District.

[1] Florida Basic Recruit Training Program, Text Book 1, Version 2016.07, Page 52 & 53.

[2] Florida Basic Recruit Training Program, Text Book 1, Version 2016.07, Page 74.

[3] Freeman & Florida Carry v. City of Tampa, et al./ Norman vs. State of Florida (currently under review by the Florida Supreme Court) / Florida Carry v. City of Daytona Beach

[4] 741 So.2d 1268 (1999), Bruce WELCH, Appellant, v. STATE of Florida, Appellee. No. 98-2615. District Court of Appeal of Florida, Fifth District.

 

Mandating Self-Defense Insurance for those that Carry Firearms – good or bad idea?

“The cost of using your firearm in self-defense can be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars if you have to hire a lawyer, get yourself bailed out of jail, and fight for yourself in court.”

There has been some back and forth in various media and groups on the internet about possible gun control laws that would require a person who carries a firearm for self-defense to have insurance in case the firearm is used in any incident. And some legislators thought about making it mandatory to get a concealed carry permit. I don’t think I need to tell you this is a bad idea on many levels, but just in case, let me try.

First, you should NEVER have to pay to exercise a right guaranteed by the Constitution. But even that is still not a reason good enough for some. Second, by requiring insurance to be allowed to carry a concealed or open carry firearm, you are limiting the exercise of a right to only those who can afford to purchase the insurance. That is basically “disenfranchising” to those with a lower socio-economic status. Third, the market is very limited in the choices of insurance carriers, and there is no “standard” that one can look for in a company.

Read the rest of the story here…

Down Range with Chris Wagoner is expanding!

We are now offering a full line of Tactical Items, Concealed Carry Items and Thin Blue Line items for sale at LOWER than MSRP’s!! Clothing, chest rigs, Vests,  magazine carriers, pouches, holsters, hats, boots, gloves and MUCH more! Any profit from these items will go to creating more and better content here on these pages! Check it out!

Here is how it works, you browse the catalog and click on the items you are interested in. It will take you directly to the website for descriptions, sizes, and colors where you can put the items in your cart. When you are done shopping, print the list of items (there is a button for this!) in PDF format (you select this where you list of printers is at) and send it to me at usarmyvet8487@gmail.com with “ATTN Thin Blue Line Order” (or whatever catalog its from) in the subject line. I will then beat all of those prices you see and send you back a list with the discounted prices on it! It’s that simple. If you choose to order I can have the items shipped directly to you! Shipping is at whatever rate the distributor charges (NO ADDED CHARGES!!). If you do order you will receive a PayPal invoice you can pay any way you like (PayPal or Credit Card).

You will be surprised at the prices. You will not find them lower anywhere on the internet!

Check out the Tactical Gear catalog here!

Check out the Concealed Carry Gear here!

Check out the Thin Blue Line Gear here!

Anti-Gun Activists are Using Gun Phobia, the Education System and the Liberal Media to Slowly Take Away Second Amendment Rights!

By Joshua Gant, Opslens contributer, and LEO!

“The concept that you can stop crime by increasing gun legislation is so off base that it is dangerous to the safety and security of each and every citizen of the United States.”

As I sit back and watch headline after headline tick across my screen, it’s disgusting to me to witness the assault being waged on our right to keep and bear arms. For the people who seem to have forgotten, those rights are guaranteed by a document that liberals like to side step from time to time called the Constitution of the United States.

Read the rest here.

A Cop’s Perspective on The Top Ten Concealed Carry Firearms

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By Chris Wagoner:

When asked what I thought were the top ten concealed carry firearms, I thought about it and realized that you really couldn’t pick ten guns to be “the” guns. Each person is different, and has current styles and needs based on life factors that will help decide what gun is best for them. There are a few things people need to consider before they go out and buy a firearm for a concealed carry weapon. You have to consider your size (not the firearm, but your physical size), your experience with firearms, your lifestyle, and your clothing choices.

If you are really considering carrying a firearm for self defense, or one for your home or vehicle, you need to do a few things first. You need to learn your state’s laws on self defense, home defense, and defense in your vehicle. You need to learn to shoot and become proficient in the use of your firearm. You have to know you can use it while under stress, and once you can do that, you should not stop learning and training with it; your life may depend on it. Find a local firearms trainer and a local gun shop. Try out a few different firearms and different calibers. Find one you like, that you can shoot well, and that you will actually carry.

Read the rest of the article here…

Responsible Firearms Ownership: I Bought a Firearm for Self-Defense, Now What?

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By Chris Wagoner:

OK, you have decided to take that big step and buy a self-defense firearm for home or carry. Or maybe you got one for Christmas. Regardless of whether you already have one or are thinking of getting one, you need to be a responsible firearm owner. What does that entail? Well, take it from someone who has owned and used firearms for more than 40 years as part of my daily life, both as a police officer and firearms instructor. GET TRAINED!

The very first things you should learn if you are thinking of buying or already own a firearm are the four cardinal rules of gun safety. These rules apply anywhere in the world and are recognized as being the basis for all gun safety and training. Memorize them, follow them, and make others who are near you follow them too. They are simple and easy to remember and understand:

  1. Treat all firearms as if they are loaded, regardless of whether they are or not!
  2. Never point a firearm at anything unless you are willing to kill or destroy it!
  3. Always identify your target and what is beyond it!
  4. Keep your finger off the trigger until you are on target and ready to shoot!

Read the rest of the story here…

Carrying a Concealed Weapon Without a Round in the Chamber is a Matter of Life and Death

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“The only reason this could be true is that you’re either scared of your firearm or you’re simply not properly trained. If either is the case, STOP CARRYING!”

As a firearms instructor that carried a firearm as a cop for decades, and still carries one today, I understand the need for quick and immediate access to your self-defense firearm. That is why I am a proponent of the open carry of firearms if you are legally able to do so in your state. There is a reason why we LEO’s carry our firearms openly. It acts as a crime deterrent, and it gives ready access to your defensive firearm. I am also very set on teaching the benefit of carrying with a round in the chamber as you can tell from the title!

Read the rest of the story here!