Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Travel Considerations for Armed Citizens

                                                              



by Art Joslin, J.D., Director of Legal Services

Hopefully, folks will begin to travel in May as we head into more excellent weather (hopefully). More specifically, May will bring thousands of patriotic Americans to Houston, Texas, for the 2022 annual membership meeting of the National Rifle Association. This is a great time to remind us about reciprocity and travelling with your firearms.

In the early 1960s, a few states entered the driver's license compact. This compact between states gave driver's license reciprocity to those states that entered it. This allowed drivers to travel in conditions in the agreement and have driver's license reciprocity between their home state and the state they travelled to. Eventually, all states had driver's license reciprocity.

Our civil rights don’t stop at the state line. The first ten amendments to the Bill of Rights are considered our civil rights. My right to free speech, the fifth and fourteenth amendments, the right to a jury trial, and the right to counsel isn’t left at the state line. They are rights endowed by our Creator and not by any government. If this is so, why isn’t our Second Amendment also listed among those civil rights we can take with us? Consider this: if I possess these rights, shouldn’t I be the one to decide where I take them? Yeah, I know…we could write volumes about the issue. Let’s leave this question to the Attorney-of-the-Month Q & A.

Let me continue with my analogy to driver's license reciprocity. Some states have different motor vehicle codes when driving from state to state, although most jurisdictions have adopted the Uniform Vehicle Code. A cursory study of firearm travel laws across the United States can spin a person’s head.

When travelling to each state, you need to know the laws of each jurisdiction and have studied the regulations before your trips. For example, when my son and I travelled on camping trips to the Appalachian Trail in June last year, we carried firearms. We carry under LEOSA, the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act. LEOSA is a federal law that allows law enforcement to carry firearms in all fifty states under certain conditions. We travelled through Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Maryland, and Vermont. Guess which state wouldn’t let us carry?

While planning for this trip, I spent about an hour researching the various carry laws of each state to which we travelled. I found some interesting facts to which I paid attention if we were questioned on our LEOSA carry. All the states I mentioned above, except New York, allowed us to carry without issue. A constitutional carry state, Vermont allowed us to carry with only a driver's license. At least one state restricted us from bringing our guns into our motel room, whether we posted “no guns” or not. The law left that restriction up to the innkeeper. Maryland wasn’t as restrictive as I expected, but we could hike into Vermont and camp and hike fully loaded.

Here is an interesting note: we had an extra day to stop and visit Niagara Falls on our trip back through the People's Republic. I stopped to talk to a New York police officer. He was, in fact, a commanding officer. I asked about carrying under LEOSA, and he responded, “What’s that?” I explained it, and he said he had never heard of it. Yes, true story. What’s the point of the story? Even those who are supposed to know often don’t know. He said if we are going on the boat, just lock our guns up in one of the storage lockers. Unbelievable.

Make sure your information comes from reliable sources. Don’t take advice from Internet lawyers. They might be correct, but if they’re not, who suffers the wrath of the legal system? However, the Internet does have a few well-researched websites that have taken great pains to bring accurate information to the concealed pistol carrier. One such website is https://handgunlaw.us.

New York, among others, is not a preemption state, so individual government units can restrict the carrying of weapons in their jurisdiction. There are so many disjunct laws across the United States that it can be a harrowing experience. If you are travelling through a particular state, do you know if you can carry in their state parks, national parks, motel rooms, campground domiciles, rest areas, or houses of worship? The list goes on and on, almost forever.

Until we get national carry reciprocity or constitutional carry in this country, spend some time doing your own research before travelling. A great place to start to search is the website I mentioned earlier. Actually, browse each state’s website and read their laws, restrictions, where to carry, etc. PRINT this information. Do this for each state or jurisdiction you will visit. Place their printouts in a folder and keep them with you. Careful study of this material will hopefully keep you out of trouble. Is that guaranteed? Of course not, but it is a great place to start. If they are not sure they can carry, I teach my students then do not carry. Please don’t be the guy (or gal) who starts spouting their Second Amendment rights, hoping to try your case on the street, because your words will fall on deaf ears while the jail cell closes behind you. When you must make changes in your carry-travel arrangements, do it before hitting the following state line or jurisdiction, not five miles in.

When you fly, make sure you have called ahead to ask the airline you’re booked on how their procedure works. I usually take an extra gun lock if I need to make someone happy at the airline or TSA (Transportation Security Administration). I don’t usually give endorsements, but I have found Delta to be one of the best in this regard, in my experience. I try to fly Delta almost exclusively because of the ease of transitioning through this process.

Allow me to relay an exciting story. I once travelled from Detroit to Las Vegas with my firearm. It’s important to note this was before 9-11. In Detroit, I was told I would need to go to the security office to retrieve my checked bag that contained my gun. I did just that, but there was no bag and no weapon. I went back to the baggage claim area, and there was my bag and my gun. Anyone could have grabbed it and taken it off. Apparently, there was a gun in the bag because the airline had placed a bright orange sticker on the outside of the pack with big letters that said FIREARM. Fast forward to my last trip a few weeks ago. I had to go to TSA and retrieve my bag and gun as special baggage. It was much safer now. I’ve also had the experience of teaching the TSA agent the correct procedure of checking that the firearm isn’t loaded and that the magazine is empty.

Keep in mind that firearms are not allowed in the sterile areas of the airport. This means you cannot carry a firearm beyond the entry point to stand in line at TSA. Airports set their own rules on this, so be aware. When I was a bodyguard for the sales reps with LeVian jewelry, we had a special entrance through which we could travel. Of course, I had to be squeaky clean to get that approval. Most times, if we had been accosted, I would have had to use hand-to-hand skills to guard the rep. Were people after the agent? They wanted the 10 to 12 million dollars of cut and unmarked diamonds he had in his bags. The people I mentioned, whom we considered the most significant threats, were drug cartels that could convert the diamonds to easy cash on the black market.

It is difficult to comprehend the vast scheme of gun laws that change from state to state and jurisdiction to jurisdiction. For example, in Michigan, you may not carry a firearm into a church, house of worship, or another religious meeting unless you have the permission of the presiding church official. However, Governor Ron DeSantis signed Florida’s “Church Carry” law in 2021. HB-529 allows concealed carry into churches, houses of worship, etc. HB-529 still enable churches to exercise their private property rights where guns are concerned. Still, this bill allows concealed carry until otherwise notified, unlike Michigan, where one cannot carry in a church unless told they can carry. A subtle difference perhaps, but a difference, nonetheless.

Other restricted locations in some states may include a national park located in that state. As of this writing, the federal government allows the state government in which a national park is located to enforce their state laws about carrying guns. For example, in Bryce Canyon, located in Utah, as long as Utah has reciprocity with your state and you are legally allowed to carry in your state, you carry in Bryce Canyon. Keep in mind that some larger national parks cover more than one state. Simply because you enter one state and exit the park in another does not mean you are in legal possession of your firearm. Keep in mind that you cannot carry in federal buildings, which means no guns in any building in a national park. These can include the visitor center, ranger station, information booth, or another outbuilding.

Another important aspect of travelling with guns is magazine capacity. You may drive through one state where you can carry your firearm but cross into another state where you may carry your firearm, yet suddenly, you are subject to the second state’s magazine capacity restriction. Usually, the capacity is limited by the number of rounds the magazine can carry, not the number you have placed in them. For example, if I am in a state with a ten-round magazine capacity limit and I only have ten rounds in my fifteen-round magazine, I violate the law.

When we think of travel, we usually consider driving and flying. But what about the confusing restrictions on trains and buses? Amtrak rules are very similar to conditions on transporting firearms on any commercial airline, with a few minor differences. You must contact Amtrak at least 24 hours before departure and make a notification you are planning to transport a gun. The firearm must be in a locked, hard-sided case to which you retain the key. Check-in no less than 30 minutes before departure. Firearms may only be transported in your checked baggage with no firearms in a carry-on bag. Greyhound does not allow the transport of firearms of any kind, at any time, on any bus…period.

When people travel for pleasure, they sometimes avoid airports and choose to go in an RV. Transporting your gun with you in your RV can be tricky, too. Generally, if your RV is not hooked up to utilities and you are on the move, it is considered like an automobile, and the state law about guns in cars applies. You would still be subject to state laws that may require concealed carry permits, etc. When stationary and hooked up to utilities, an RV is considered your home for that stay. Ensure the campground or park you stay at allows firearms; you could be in violation if they don’t.

It’s easy to see now why laws can be confusing when it seems each jurisdiction has set rules on carrying a firearm in their locale. Make one minor mistake or even misinterpret the law and commit what seemingly is a petty offence and you can land in jail. After attorney’s fees, bail, fines and costs, you’ve dropped $5,000 and missed out on your travel time.

Be careful, be safe, and check and double-check every jurisdiction you enter. It will save you time and hassle when wading through the mud pit of firearm laws.

Sunday, May 1, 2022

Why are American seniors being targeted this way?

 

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Security Questions every Homeowner needs to ask -

                                                           




DOORS

 Are all exterior entryway doors solid wood or steel?

The front door has a peephole or modern smart doorbell?

All exterior entryway doors have deadbolt locks with minimum

1-inch penetration of door jam?

All exterior entryway doors have strike plates securely fastened

with a minimum of 3-inch screws?

All sliding doors secured with rods, dowels, and/or screw locks?

WINDOWS 

All windows checked for fully functional locking mechanisms?

Sliding & large windows secured with rods, bars, and/or screw locks?

Windows reinforced with security film?

Security grills or bars installed in basement and egress windows?

LIGHTING

Street address well illuminated and clearly visible from the curb?

Walkways and paths leading to home/business well lit?

Motion-activated exterior lights near all home,

business, and outbuildings entry points?

Interior lighting in various rooms set with timers?

Are window locks checked for fully functional locking mechanisms?

GARAGES, SHEDS, OUTBUILDINGS

All tools stored inside? Especially ones that might appeal to opportunistic criminals?

Garage door and remote openers never left in car?

Automatic and/or mechanical doors disconnected if away for extended periods?

COMMUNITY 

Have you introduced yourself/made yourself known to all neighbours?

Do you know all your neighbour's addresses?

Are you a member of neighbourhood or community watch groups?

Do you call the police when you see suspicious or potentially criminal activity?

ALARMS AND SURVEILLANCE

Do you have an alarm system?

Do all adult or responsible family members and employees know how to activate and

deactivate the alarm?

Does the alarm have a reliable backup power source?

Do you have a smart doorbell?

LANDSCAPING

Trees trimmed to maximize visibility?

Strategically placed hostile vegetation such as thorny bushes placed near windows

and fences?

Trees groomed as to not allow easy access to second-floor windows and balconies?

All gates and fencing regularly closed and locked?

Scheduled grooming and maintenance of yard, property?

EXTENDED ABSENCES

Plan for mail and newspapers during absence?

Ask trusted friends, family, and/or neighbours to watch home/business?

Friend, family, or service maintain lawn care and snow removal while away?

Recheck and set timers on interior lighting while away?

MISCELLANEOUS

Do you own a dog?

Do you have a beware of dog sign? Even if not a dog owner?

Have you designated a secret hiding place or safe for valuables?

Have you properly documented and insured all valuables?

Bikes put away and/or locked up?

Own personal protection firearm?

Obtained a conceal carry permit? Get your concealed carry permit. 

Gun safety and training courses?

MORE HOME SAFETY CHECKLIST

Install and regularly check smoke/carbon monoxide detectors?

All meds and poisonous substances properly stored with child-proof lids?

Outlets are not overloaded with excessive items/voltage plugged in?

Outlets are not emanating warmth?

No wires or cords are frayed or in need of repair?

No cords run across doorways or heavily trafficked areas?

Regularly check the dryer and remove lint from the screen?

All windows open quickly from the inside?

Keep all small appliances unplugged when not in use?

Emergency rope ladder for upper floors?

Back up heat source? 

Address easily visible at all times for emergency responders?

Are outside vents and filters cleaned and cleared regularly?

Flashlights and candles easily accessible? 



Thursday, March 24, 2022

The Ten Commandments of Self Defense by The Self Defense Company

 

The Ten Commandments of Self Defense

Commandment #1: Your Attacker is Armed.
Even though you may not see a weapon, that doesn't mean one doesn't exist. Martial arts train you to master different techniques for weapon attacks and another set of procedures for unarmed attacks. While in THEORY, this sounds like a good idea, in REALITY, it will get you a spot on the medical examiner's slab faster than you can say "CSI."

That punch maybe a stab; how can you tell the difference?

Did you know that according to the Department of Justice Uniform Crime Report, a weapon was present in over 80% of criminals arrested in connection to a violent crime? This means you need to treat each attack as if it were an armed attack.

Commandment #2: Your Assailant Wants to Hurt You.
Don't hope that your attacker is not going to hurt you. Never trust your attacker, no matter how persuasive they may be. DON'T PROJECT – this animal doesn't think or reason like you – THEY ARE COMMITTING A CRIME OF VIOLENCE, and that's something you would never do, so don't "put yourself in his shoes." 

Most criminals are repeat offenders; nearly 85% of them have spent some time in the criminal justice system, so make no mistake, they are dangerous and are no stranger to violence. Martial arts teach you to wait for your attacker to escalate the attack; in fact, the opposite is true – you need to "react as if your life was in danger" immediately and then once the threat is neutralized, you can "deescalate" your force. You control the severity of the attack, NOT your attacker. 

Commandment #3: Your Assailant has "friends."
Your attacker wants to stack the odds in his favour; more times than not, that means he will have help. Unfortunately, you won't know it's a multiple attacker situation BEFORE it's too late. Martial arts teach you different tactics for single and multiple attackers. The truth is you can only "fight" what's right in front of you. Your mind is a serial processor, NOT a multitasker – try pouring coffee and reading the news simultaneously (don't forget to have a paper towel handy). This means you can only deal with one thing at a time, so you need to get rid of what's in front of you FAST as possible and keep moving – avoid going to the ground at all costs because you will get stomped to death. If you go there, fight like hell to get to your feet. 

Commandment #4: You'll be Attacked When You're Injured or Older.
Criminals, like predators, attack targets of opportunity. If you appear weak or distracted, you have a greater chance of being targeted. You must prepare yourself for those times when you" re not at your best. Martial arts require athleticism, tremendous strength and coordination. How often have you missed class because you were sick, injured or out of shape? How often have you put off training due to your current physical condition? 

We have a rule at the Self Defense Company: If you can leave your house, you better be able to save your own skin! If you currently train in a program that requires you to be in shape, it's a fighting sport, not self-defence. 

Self-defence is an educationbeforeit'sss an activity It'sss a life skill that should allow you to adapt to your current age, size and physical ability to survive a violent encounter. 

Commandment #5: Your Assailant will be Bigger than You. Tigersdon'ttt eats other tigers. They choose smaller and weaker animals. Chances are, your attacker will be larger and stronger than you.

Martial arts typically match you by size, age, sex and ability in the friendly, comfortable class. Going against someone of similar stature is different from facing a more prominent, younger attacker in the street. You need to know how to use any resource to level the playing field.

You must be able to exploityourattacker'sss vulnerable areas with significant motor skill techniques. You use momentum and forward drive to increase your size and use weapons (improvised or concealed) to increase the effectiveness of your defence. 

Commandment 6:You'llll have to Fight WHERE. 
The training room is nice. It has a smooth, matted floor and plenty of space, but it's not reality. Reality is not so lovely. There's
 pavement, rocks, tree stumps, snow, ice and sand. There's pavement, broken glass and garbage.

No matter where you move, inside or out,youcan'ttt walk 10 feet in any direction without bumping or tripping over something. Martial arts are designed to work in the ring or a matted area intended for safety.

You need to prepare for all environments. You can do this with a straightforward type of movement (stomping and driving footwork) that considers any and every possible setting. 

Commandment #7: The fight is NEVER over Don'ttt assumebecausehe'sss down, he's out. After the initial confrontation, you are the most vulnerable when your adrenaline subsides. Whileyou'reee admiring your handy work, thinking he is going to leave, he may be securing a weapon, or his friends have decided to give him a hand (or a knife).

Martial arts teach you t ""“fight fa""” by instilling rules and etiquette. You shake hands or bow, and when the fight is over, you accept your win or loss and go away.

While this is the spirit of sportsmanship, it has no place in the kill or be killed world of self-defence. You must keep focus after the initial assault and either remove yourself from the area or make sure the target is out of commission.

Even if you" "“shake han""” after the proverbial bar fight, he's even more of a threat because the next time, he will attack you more brutal and more viciously. Don't expect him t ""“accept defeat""” you never knowwhoyou'reee dealing with…EVER. 

Commandment #8: You Will Miss …a lot.
Martial arts make you believe that every shothitsit'sss intended target, every move is a knockout, and every finishing move is a kill shot.

In the real world, you miss. You slip, your attacker moves, and you will miss.

To prepare for this, you need to practice with the attitude o ""“keep fighting until the threat has stopped""” by training in lethal combinations – that means you practice OVERKILL. 

In the actual worldyoudon'ttt, stop when you score a point or get your partner a tap out. You must go far beyond the tap andyoudon'ttt get points for style, and there is no justice.

Martial arts teach control and not hitting your partner – this is a huge mistake because you will do what you do in training in the street. In self-defence, you need to go 100% all of the timeandthat'sss how you need to train. 

Commandment #9: You will be alone.
Almost 100% of people attacked are alone.Itdoesn'ttt matterifit'sss a street crime by a stranger or sexual assault by someone you know. Criminals pick targets they feel they can defeat with minimal effort; they want the path of least resistance, and that meanstheydon'ttt want any witnesses or anyone intervening.

In order todetermineyou'reee alone, they will stalk you, so you need to PAY ATTENTIONwhenyou'reee out and about. Listen to that little voice inside your head and take evasive action if youthinkyou'reee are targeted. Walk-in a manner that will make you appear to offer resistance (head up, shoulders back, looking around)anddon'ttt put yourself in places of ambush. 

Commandment #10: Self Defence" "“Count,"" Don't Work.
In martialartsyou'reee taught specific self-defence counters. If he does this, you do that. When he grabs your wrist, you do one defence; you do another guard when he grabs your shoulder. Well, in sports fighting and in class, with a willing partner, these appear to work. But the times you will be attacked – after a long day of workwhenyou'reee thinking about your daily grind, and you find yourself faced with a threat, you will not be able to recall your complicated" "“self-defence counter""” when you move into fight or flight mode. 

What has been proven to work under the natural stress of combat are tactics based on position and distance combined with simple, core power. These body techniques target your assailant's vital target groupings. 

Bonus Commandment #11: You Will Survive. 
The odds are in your favour; 87% of people (both women and men) who resist either verbally or with force are successful andthat'sss with NO TRAINING AT ALL. All criminals fear 3 things – being caught, identified, and injured. The longer you resist, the greater their exposure. 

Remember, they picked YOU because they thought you would be a pushover. Your resistance puts them in a position of reassessment – that alone will cause many of them to leave. It's not a prizefight; youdon'ttt have to defeat them, just survive. Martial arts have made successful self-defence mean that he must be unconscious. Every time you" "“fini""” a defence by putting him on thegroundyou'reee setting your expectation of a successful defence to mean just that, this is ridiculous. 

In self defenseitdoesn'ttt matter if you make them stop, hesitate his attack or leave him lying in a pool of his own fluid. The only thing that mattersisyou'reee no longer being attacked.  

Remember, 100% of peoplewhodon'ttt resist are raped, murdered, robbed and beaten. Don't be afraid to make a stand – The hardest step is the first one.

*No one can tell you what is worth fighting for. That's your decision. Some people will give up their car, others will fight over a dime; either way, the choice is yours but MAKE THAT CHOICE NOWbeforeyou'reee putting in that position. Knowing where your line in the sand is will help you make that first step. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2022

best .454 Casull revolver? by Jason Hanson

                                                         


Friday, March 11, 2022

Lyft driver stops two carjackers (one armed with shotgun) by Janson Hanson