Tag Archives: concealed carry

Trust me…. I’m a Doctor

As an avid follower of many online groups and forums I often see inquiries on people who are looking for advice on firearms, gear and/or ammo. While looking for options is never a bad thing, taking advice from a complete stranger or even a trusted friend or family member is not always the best idea. We have four members who are taking turns writing this blog and I can guarantee that if you were to pose the question on what would be the perfect carry pistol, you would get 4 different answers!

I’m not attempting to say that any of the answers would be incorrect but if you were to go and sit at the gun counter at any local gun shop, it wouldn’t take long to see that some people will buy whatever someone is selling, hook, line and sinker. If you or someone you know is in the market the best thing to do is go to an indoor range and try out different pistols. Personal preference of the salesman or associate should not be the only deciding factor on a purchase. The right firearm to own is the firearm you can use! By saying “use” I mean a firearm that fits your hand and one you can put lead on target.

Contrary to popular belief, there are far more options than the desert eagle or glock that is glorified in most movies! Don’t be afraid to fire multiple different firearms at the range, after all that is what they are intended for! Once you are able to narrow down a weapon that works for you, there are a few different necessities that one will need. Now if this pistol is going to be something that you are going to everyday carry a decent belt is highly recommended. A good rigid belt works best for everyday carry. I personally have tried everything from your $12 dickies Walmart special to the $100 Boxer Tactical Apogee gun belt. From my experience I like either my HSG (high speed gear) or Boxer Tactical. Why spend that much on a belt? I used to always just buy the “Walmart special” but let me tell ya, it is ALWAYS a pain when they fail. It usually happens when least expected and you’re not at home or near somewhere with another belt readily available. My issues were always where the belt buckle itself ripped from the belt. Was it from the excess weight from the firearm or my ever expanding waist? Your guess is as good as mine. After burning through a few belts I decided to get all “tacticool” and purchase a legit gun belt. This was a decision that changed everyday carry for me. The belts are usually overbuilt… hell that high speed gear one you could probably use to tow a vehicle with! The rigidity of the belt also supports the firearm well and you will notice that your firearm seems lighter! With a cheaper belt I always had to cinch it tight in order to keep my pistol from drooping or tipping out which is what I believe caused the issues with the buckles. Once again it is all about preference and it is probably something you have to try and not take my word for. Just as pistol purchasing, you have to go with what works for you.

For anyone looking to check out different pistols and or gear, we are always more than willing to let you check out ours or even go to the range with you and let you run them for yourselves. Between the four of us, we have plenty of different makes, models and sizes to get that ball rolling.

 

Brad Michael – 2017

USCCA SHIELD vs. NRA CARRY GUARD

Anyone who carries a firearm every day of the week is well aware of the responsibility that it entails. Whether or not someone is a Law Enforcement Officer (LEO), or a private citizen, people who EDC carry for defense, but they also realize the liability involved when it comes to use of deadly force. EDCer’s have spent countless hours researching the best firearm to carry, the best ammunition for their pistol, and the most comfortable holster to wear. After procuring the perfect setup that fits their style (which also includes other accessories such as a flash light, a monkey fist, or a knife) many more hours are spent practicing their shooting skills and utilizing the tools they EDC. People who practice EDC do it because it is the inherit right of every living creature on the planet to protect itself. As I like to say “Even a bunny rabbit has sharp claws and teeth”.  Remember, you are your own first responder. 

As I stated above, there is a liability in legally carrying a firearm. Any person who decides to EDC needs to ask themselves a very important question: What happens to a person who EDC’s when, God forbid, the unthinkable occurs and one has to use their firearm to defend themselves, possibly leading to the death of an assailant? What’s next? Will they be greeted by LEO’s and be given a pat on the back for subduing a dangerous perp? Or will the next step turn into one of the horror stories we’ve all undoubtedly heard about where people were arrested after defending themselves? Could you imagine legally defending yourself and the being placed in handcuffs, your firearm is confiscated, and you are thrown in jail facing murder charges? What does someone do if a frightening situation like this befalls them? Most “regular people” (not rich) would be screwed for lack of a better word, but there is an answer. 

There is a service that comes highly recommended and offered by the USCCA, or the United States Concealed Carrier Association. The USCCA offers the self-defense SHIELD which is a subscription membership program of varying degrees of legal and financial protection in the event that you have to use deadly force. They also offer lots of training and access to instructors that teach skills that are vital to know if you’re going to EDC. 

This “EDC” insurance is offered at different monthly subscriptions depending on how much protection you want to give yourself. They give an example that if you are charged with homicide, no credentialed homicide trial lawyer will even begin representing a potential client without at least a $50,000.00 retainer. Who has that much cash lying around to give an attorney even if a person was in the right in defending themselves? I know I don’t. But this is where the USCCA comes in. 

When one subscribes to one of their monthly subscriptions, the USCCA SHIELD will cover your attorneys fees in the event of a homicide charge against one of their members. They will also post bail, and cover any lost monies from missing work. It’s a fantastic program offered at an affordable rate by the USCCA. In comparison an NRA membership only offers insurance on firearms, but doesn’t cover members in the event of a criminal charge or other inconveniences that are paired with such a situation. Or do they? 

Recently the NRA issued a video regarding their brand new offering of the same type of legal protection. Link is below and I recommend watching it: 

https://www.facebook.com/NRATV/videos/10154599844907898/

As seen in the video, the NRA is now offering legal insurance in the event that a member has to defend themselves, and also offering training just like the USCCA SHIELD program.

That being said, which is the better choice? USCCA SHIELD or NRA Carry Guard? Lets find out!

Both USCCA and NRA offer three levels of subscription. 

USCCA                     NRA

Platinum  $30.00    Gold     $31.95

Gold         $22.00    Silver    $21.95

Silver       $13.00     Bronze  $13.95

As you can see they are about neck and neck as far as price goes. Now lets compare the main features:

Platinum vs Gold:

USCCA offers $1,000,000.00  in civil suit defense, civil suit damages, and firearm theft. NRA offers the $1,000,000.00 under the umbrella of “Civil Protection”

USCCA offers $125,000.00 immediate attorney retainer. NRA offers $150,000.00 under the umbrella of “criminal defense”. 

USCCA offers $10,000.00/$100,000.00 immediately for bail/bond if a member is jailed. NRA says that members have “IMMEDIATE ACCESS AS NEEDED TO SUPPLEMENTARY PAYMENTS FOR: Bail, bonds, legal retainer fees, legal, referrals, lawful firearm replacement, compensation while in court, psychological support and clean-up costs”. The NRA doesn’t expound upon how much is allotted for each one. For the remainder of this article we will call it “As Needed”

USCCA offers $500.00 a day compensation while in court. As stated above the NRA says members have “as needed” access to compensation while in court but doesn’t clarify how much.

Gold vs Silver:

USCCA offers $500,000.00 in civil suit defense, civil suit damages, and firearm theft. NRA offers $500,000.00 under the umbrella of “Civil protection” 

USCCA offers $75,000.00 immediate attorney retainer. NRA offers $100,000.00 under the umbrella of “criminal defense”. 

USCCA offers $5,000.00/$50,000.00 immediately for bail/bond if a member is jailed. NRA offers “as needed” access to funds. 

USCCA offers $350.00 a day compensation while in court. NRA offers members “as needed” access to compensation while in court but doesn’t clarify how much.

Silver vs Bronze:

USCCA offers $250,000.00 in civil suit defense, civil suit damages, and firearm theft. NRA offers $250,000.00 under the umbrella of “Civil protection.

USCCA offers $50,000.00 immediate attorney retainer. NRA offers $50,000.00 under the umbrella of “criminal defense”. 

USCCA offers $2,500.00/$25,000.00 immediately for bail/bond if a member is jailed. NRA offers “as needed” access to funds. 

USCCA offers $250.00 a day compensation while in court. NRA offers members “as needed” access to compensation while in court but doesn’t clarify how much.

Both companies offer 24/7 access to a member hotline to “call for help”. They both also offer a training video course and a monthly magazine. NRA goes on to offer a 1 year membership to the NRA (not sure if this renews every year if you have a subscription or not). NRA goes one step further and offers the same coverage for your spouse at no additional cost.

So to me, at a glance, they both seem to be pretty comparable. The prices vary slightly between the two services and member levels. The coverages seem to be on par between the two. However I have only covered the main differences in key features of the subscriptions, and there are more details that you will need to research before you decide on which direction you will go. Either way you choose, you will be covered in the event that you have to defend yourself. Below are links to each program.

https://www.usconcealedcarry.com

https://www.nracarryguard.com

Watch your back…

Contrary to popular belief,on January 20th 2017 the next battle for gun rights began. With a Republican rule of the House, the Senate, the majority of Governor’s, and the next Supreme Court pick, a considerable portion of gun owners let out a collective sigh of relief. I mean after all, the potential of another Brady bill/AWB/Clinton fiasco was surely over right? Pardon the pun but, “WE” can now ramrod anything “WE” want straight down the barrel of the court system and straight into law right? When you have the power that’s what you do, or is it?

“We The People” are in charge, we are the ones that govern decisions that have to be made by electing officials that we believe are most like-minded to ourselves. To an extent we have ourselves to blame for what we consider “wrong doing” that has been done to us. If we are to make change, first we have to determine what changes have to be made, Then organize them from highest priority to lowest,and gather support from those that believe the same. As a collective, unified body, you then make public what you stand for and hope that others will agree, thus lending their support to a worthy cause. With enough support, voices, and a correct corse of actions, concerns, fears and want for change reach the ears of the right individuals in local government. In turn those local government officials, keep working those issue further up the ladder, hopefully gaining steam and followers (such as other county’s, states, or even country’s) Finally those well-organized ideas that have come about through correct measures, hard work, and research, are taken before the ears and eyes of our highest ranking elected officials. They are discussed, then voted upon. Pretty simple huh? No place in there did I say start a riot, or grab your rifle and head to the bell tower or nothin’, I also never said just ram em’ through, it doesn’t matter what other people think (we have checks and balances for a reason). The correct way to achieve change, right wrongs, or establish new standards and laws, is to use the ground work that has been laid out before you since the drafting of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. So what does this have to do with me personally (and since its not hunting season, you know that I’m going to start talking about guns!)? Whether you want to believe it or not, we are all falling victim to a huge invisible problem called “back door gun control”. No I’m not sitting on a bean bag chair inside my underground bunker, wearing my tin-foil helmet, listening to Rage Against the Machine, with a Che Guevara black light poster in the background. I am actually speaking more from a potential business stand point then anything else. I like to paint stuff, usually stencil work on items that I personally use,  rifle stocks, coffee mugs, Nalgene water bottle’s and the like. Which got me thinking about how I could blend a couple of things that I love together and actually make a living doing it. Cerakote seemed to be the answer, selling firearms (I have gunsmith certs, albeit with a bit of a key-holed wheel house (application wise) as for variety past hunting firearms and the usual suspect pistols, plus I have sold firearms before) and making them personalized would be a ton of fun, if not entirely  lucrative. So I started looking at what it would take to become a certified Cerakote application specialist. Well it’s 2 days process, in Oregon, there is a hotel relatively close, you have to bring your own material to paint (I.E. firearms, metal coffee cups, etc.) and you must have a type 07 ffl . That’s just to have them show you how to sand blast material, cook it off, mask it down, spray it, and bake it. Up until July 22nd, 2016 you had to pay $2,250 to ITAR as well just to be able to throw paint at a receiver. Add in the cost of a decent cure oven, material, Hvlp gravity feed spray gun, blast cabinet and a ventilation system and you quickly have $15,000-$25,000 tied up with nothing to paint on and no place to do it. If you want to actually “acccurize” firearms you must have tools, and insurance, and you are going to have to pay ITAR. Unless you want to roll the dice on a $250,000+ fine and a 10 year felony charge! If you manufacture or modify any part of the firearm, you have to register with ITAR. The government wants their share, one way or the other. The more it cost you to have modifications or repairs done to your firearms (even if the up-charged cost are justified due to increased licence fee’s, and registrations) the less likely you are to have those things done.(also the less number of working firearms in circulation). “But the Government, isn’t taking your guns”, some will say. That’s Backdoor gun control at its finest.  Anyway that you can put limits on firearms without taking the firearm directly out of the owners hand, is backdoor gun control. We have all seen it before and we have also seen that fallout from it also. The easiest way to control firearms is to regulate their ammunition. Lead is still one of the main components in a bullet. Lead is harmful and potentially deadly, so the government states that since lead is so dangerous, then it has to be closely regulated, and will be outlawed in some jurisdictions. New specialized projectiles have to be created, and they cost much more to produce so the cost of the ammo reflects those inherent cost.computer chipped firearms, and micro stamped ammo, it all serves the same purpose.  In 1993 New York Senate Democrat, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, proposed that taxes  be raised to 50 percent on most handgun ammunition and 10,000 percent on 9mm hollow points. Talk about a fast talking fly-by-night dirty way to directly control what the consumer is able to buy. It is called legislating something out of existence.  If ammo cost more, you buy less, and you shoot less. Its pretty cut and dry.

So in being conscientious gun owners like we are, what can we do? First of all we can actually be knowledgable about whats going on. Here are just a few items that will (hopefully) be going to vote this year:

Separation of Powers Restoration and Second Amendment Protection Act. (H.R.4321)

This legislation blocks any executive actions that violate the Second Amendment or infringe on Congress’s Article I responsibilities.  The bill also allows for civil action to be initiated in district courts to challenge such executive actions.

National Right to Carry Reciprocity Act (H.R. 402)

This commonsense legislation allows individuals with a concealed carry permit in one state to have that permit honored in another state that allows concealed carry.

The Second Amendment Defense Act

 This commonsense bill rejects the Obama Administration’s unacceptable violations of the Second Amendment and prohibits any new executive orders that restrict the Second Amendment.

The Lawful Purpose and Self Defense Act (H.R. 2710)

This bill is endorsed by the NRA and prevents ATF from arbitrarily reclassifying popular rifle ammunition as armor-piercing ammunition.  This legislation also allows for lawful non-NFA firearm and ammunition to be imported and sold in the U.S.  This bill also prevents shotguns, shotgun shells, and larger caliber rifles from being arbitrarily reclassified as destructive devices.

The Hearing Protection Act (H.R. 3799)

This legislation removes the current unreasonable restrictions on the purchase of silencers under the National Firearms Act.  Instead, the bill requires that sound suppressors be treated as ordinary firearms and subject to the typical NICS check.

Ending Operation Choke Point

H.R. 1413, the Firearms Manufacturers and Dealers Protection Act and H.R. 766, the Financial Institution Customer Protection Act.  Each measure makes conducting or facilitating Operation Choke Point illegal. Operation Choke Point was an unconstitutional program created by the Obama Administration that put pressure on banks and payment processors to shut down industries that President Obama and Attorney General didn’t like.

Right now the ball is in our court. But if left unchecked, and untested, those values that we speak so highly of can still be taken away and the clock is ticking. If you feel strongly about the hearing protection act, speak up now why you still have the opportunity. There are currently 3 years, 11 months, 7 hours and 45 left on Our 45th President’s term. Now is the time for you to use your voice, if there are things that you don’t like or that you would like to change, organize your thoughts and speak up, write a letter to your congressmen, start a petition, do things the right way. The worse thing that you can do when placed in an advantageous situation is to grow complacent. No one can make the decisions for you about what matters, you are crafting not only your own future, but the future of every generation to come. Hold fast to your values, don’t be taken advantage of, and always watch your back.

-Grant Willoughby 2/19/2017-

 

Who the hell are you, and why do you get to call the shots?…

Well lets get right to the meat and taters of it all I guess. When I write these blogs, I usually just get an idea going and type it out as it hits my brain…(Maybe if I had finished my 2 years of junior college I wouldn’t have had to use google to remember that this is called”free writing”) Those that know me on a personal level know that this is also the way that I speak. Brain-to-mouth, but I also spend a lot of time thinking about things, so that once my mental dump-gate opens I don’t just blabber out nonsense and gibberish (hopefully). I like to walk out into the world with my mental magazine topped up, and one in the pipe, and I’m not a big fan of safeties. I think (well I hope actually) that those that I surround myself with appreciate that about me, I will vouch for whatever I have done, I will deny anything that I have not, I will be as informed and knowledgeable as I can possibly be, and if asked for my opinion, I will let-er-rip tater-chip. Because That is what I would want those around me to do. I respect others opinions, knowledge, and wisdom. But as for me, it is very hard to let someone else be my voice.

If you think about the way that our government works, I am pretty sure that you know what I am getting at. We elect officials to be “our voice” and cast “our votes”, But how well do we actually know, and more importantly, how much do we actually trust them to be our voices? By casting our ballets, we are electing someone to a position of power, and granting them the ability to do what ever they want, and say they did it for the betterment of us. Holy-balls man, think about that for a minute. You fill in a couple circles on a piece of paper, and “voila” now you left your future, and all of your choices in the hands of someone else. That pretty scary stuff if you ask me…  But that is our political process, our forefathers believed that  the “voice of the people” should be heard, and that democracy must be protected at all cost. This belief and practice is something that we as Americans have the privilege to participate in, and most of the world does not. Not only does the world hate us because we are outspoken and patriotic, but because we have the ability to control our own destiny. Ain’t America Great!

If you look at my home state of Idaho, and the elected officials that we have had,  most have fulfilled my expectations pretty well. For example, our Senators are  Mike Crapo, and Jim Risch, Both are  pro-gun freedom, and take a pretty conservative stance on most issues. Risch has been classified as a bully of sorts for the way that he is a man of action and results. Is that a bad thing? Who knows for sure, but I know that if its my tax dollars that are going to be spent, I would like something to come out of it.  Crapo has had his fair share of not so picture perfect moments (DUI 2012) but he has worked hard for gun rights, not only in Idaho but also nationwide (On April 17, 2013, Crapo voted against the bipartisan Toomey-Manchin Gun Control Amendment, which would expand federal background checks to include gun shows and online sales, while exempting private sales between individuals. Despite receiving majority support, the amendment failed to garner the 60 votes necessary to overcome a filibuster.”) I can tip my hat to his thought process and his forward thinking. Do I think he is right all of the time? that’s a firm no, but does he vote the way that I would on issues that I am concerned about? For the most part, I would say so. Idaho’s Governor is Butch Otter he has also had a few run in’s with the law (DUI  August 1992,  which he gave enough excuses to bore just about any ISP officer. Claiming that he swerved because his cowboy had been blown off by the wind, Then claimed that he had ran 8 miles and his knees were sore, the gravel and weeds were stinging his stocking feet, he was hungry, and his breath only smelled like booze because he soaks his chew in Jack Daniel’s… Still got a DUI, But Holy crap man does that sound like a cowboy or what?) But good ol’ Butch learned his lesson and has worked hard for Idaho. He has identified problems (federally protected wolves decimating elk populations) and found solutions that not only take care of those problems, but also bring more revenue into the state (restricted wolf hunting tags) . Governor Otter has also cast his votes on behalf of the second amendment. He has written into law such acts as sb.1254 which grants certain individuals the ability to carry on the grounds of state colleges and universities. Senate Bill 1332 which according to Butch, “I signed it into law as a way of protecting our Second Amendment rights under the United States Constitution and indemnifying Idaho law enforcement officials from enforcing federal firearms or ammunition restrictions that conflict with Section 11, Article I of the Idaho Constitution”. Bravo to you Sir. But more then both of these bills, the one that Governor Otter is most known for (and most respected for enacting) is House bill 301 which enables Idaho residents  over the age of 21 to legally carry without a CCW permit. The justification is that anyone who can legally own a firearm, should have the ability to carry it and protect themselves. Now that’s something that I can stand behind wholeheartedly, even though I already posses a Idaho concealed carry permit.

So this is what I ask of you, be cognitive and diligent as you cast your votes. Learn about who you are voting for and what they represent before you fill in that bubble. Don’t vote for someone because they have a “D” or a “R” as there political designation, vote for them because they represent and follow through on issues that concern you. Do your research and be well informed. More so then anything, know who is making your choices, and make damn sure that there representing you, there voice should be your voice, if its not, write a letter or make a phone call. Express your feelings and concerns. That is your right, and this is your freedom. You are there boss, not vise versa. The stand that you make today, is what preserves the foundations of freedom for tomorrow.

-Grant Willoughby 6/19/2016-