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Firearms polices

Posted by Charles "Chuck" Chadwick, Jr. on

Attention all Gatekeepers: Not shooting yourself in the foot.

There are several questions we want to address to help you avoid legal issues that might arise if you ever have to use deadly force in the scope of your job as security operatives. We have done quite a bit of research and reached these policies and practices that way well help to avoid detrimental circumstances.

Q: Should I modify my duty weapons to have a lighter weight trigger?

A: We consulted various legal sources for the answer to this question. If you shoot the bad guy when they were posing a deadly threat and you are successful, this probably won’t be an issue.

From One legal source:

How can you prevent falling prey to the misleading and distracting accusations a prosecutor may make about their defense gun or ammunition? To summarize–

1) On a production gun it is best to leave the trigger pull weight alone.

If you want a lighter trigger, get a different gun, but don’t lighten the trigger below the factory settings. Smoothing the trigger pull and eliminating over travel should be fine, as long as you don’t lighten the pull weight.

2) A 4-pound trigger pull weight is the industry standard, and anything lighter could be argued as unreasonable.

4) Never deactivate a safety device on a gun you use for self-defense. If you just cannot live with whatever safety device you want to deactivate, then simply change to a different weapon type that does not have that feature.

A lighter trigger weight will make you more accurate due to the less a trigger pull, the less force you will put on the weapon and pull the weapon off target. A 20-pound trigger will usually cause you to pull the weapon off the intended target. However, there comes a point of diminishing returns. A trigger less than 5 or so pounds could lead to a negligent discharge if you put your finger on the trigger before you are ready to stop the threat.

I have put aftermarket triggers on several of our duty weapons, but all of them measure at least 5 pounds of pull. Most of our striker fired duty weapons already measure around 5 pounds from the factory. Usually you can smooth out the trigger pull without lessening the pull weight. A gritty “factory” trigger will also usually smooth out over time by exercising it with dry fire.

Q: What type of ammunition should you carry in your duty handgun?

A: We want to use the same ammunition that law enforcement uses.

Here are some good options:

  • Hornady Critical DUTY
  • Speer LE Gold Dot G2
  • Federal Hydra-Shok

What NOT to use:

The point here is to NOT provide an argument that you were so “Blood Thirsty” you wanted to carry bullets that would go beyond stopping the threat.

  • Zombie MAX or anything “ZOMBIE”
  • G2 RIP ammunition - The manufacturer calls these"the last round you will ever need," designed to "take out all your vital organs," opening "nine separate wound channels" and making your guts explode beyond repair. 
  • Winchester Black Talon – These have been off the market for years.
  • Anything “Full Metal Jacket” or “Ball” ammo.
  • Jihawg Ammo – Painted with Pig blood

This is the non-policy but good advice communications-

Q: How about “Gun Art”:

On your duty weapon - Leave the cute, custom paint jobs, engraving and cartoon logos off your serious self-defense guns. The place for those affectations is at the range, not in the courtroom.

The “Punisher” logo, Blood splatters, anything that makes you seem, again, “Blood Thirsty”.

Bumper stickers, vehicle decals – “Come and take it”, ARs and hand grenades, Protected by Smith & Wesson, etc.

Gun theme T-shirts – “Stay Calm and shoot them in the Face”, etc., etc. You don’t want the prosecutor showing pictures of you in your violent themed t-shirt in the courtroom.

Q Can social media be used against you in court?

A: Yes. Social media postings, pictures and comments are increasingly being used to paint a picture of you and your fascination with guns and violent tendencies. Showing your training can be acceptable, but showing your fascination with weapons is not. Go through your posting as though you were a prosecutor looking for posting to show the jury what a “Gun Nut” you are.

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