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KDWB’s Dave Ryan Attends Permit Class!

Listen to Dave talk about his experience in the Permit to Carry class here:

Blue Line Defense has had the honor of training individuals of all backgrounds from first time shooters to seasoned veterans and even local celebrities. Dave Ryan from the Dave Ryan in the Morning Show joined Blue Line Defense in the classroom today to complete a permit to carry course. Although Dave has been shooting since he was just a kid, he was excited for the opportunity for further hone his skills and complete training for his Minnesota permit to carry.

Dave has been shooting handguns since he was five years old. He reminisced about his fond childhood memories growing up when his dad would take Dave and his brother out to shoot .22 handguns in Colorado. These memories are some that Dave will never forget and he looks forward to creating and sharing similar memories with his son, Carson.

His father carried a 45-caliber pistol as his sidearm when he served in World War II and the pistol was handed down to Dave; he brought it with him today to show us! It has custom grips that his dad added; one that features a photo of Dave’s mother at age 19, and the other grip has his dad’s signature carved into it. Dave holds the same grips that were with his father through countless places that he traveled to while in the military. The gun is a great heirloom that will be passed down and treasured by members of his family.

Joining twenty other students in the class, Dave learned about critical firearm incidents, legal implications for permit holders, how to develop a personal protection plan and many more topics that were led by instructors Matt Wyatt and Terry Pretzloff. After the completion of the classroom instruction, Dave and the other students got some quality time on the gun range practicing handgun fundamentals. Dave enjoys spending time at the shooting range and although he doesn’t get the opportunity to go as often as he’d like, he was a great shot! Students also got to see several different types of ammunition misfires and how to properly clear these malfunctions.

Even though he has been shooting for decades, Dave mentioned that he learned an incredible amount in the classroom. He said it was surprising how much he thought he knew about handguns, but in reality how little he actually knew prior to the class. The knowledge he took in about different stances and grips, Minnesota firearm laws and other handgun tactics will enable him to be a better shot and a responsible permit holder. Dave left excited and looks forward to taking future firearm training courses with Blue Line Defense.

We were honored to have Dave join us today especially because we’re big fans of KDWB’s Dave Ryan in the Morning Show and several members of our staff have been lifelong listeners. After over 25 years in the spotlight and creating one of the most listened to radio shows in the country, Dave Ryan is a true professional and one of the nicest guys we’ve ever met. In the midst of all of the negative media hype around firearms, it’s good to have a firearm advocate like Dave Ryan.

You can listen to Dave’s show every morning from 6-10am on 101.3 KDWB and see more photos from Dave Ryan’s Permit to Carry class here.

Author: Jayme Pretzloff

Weapon Selection for Home Defense

One of the best things about our marketing and pricing structure for Permit To Carry (PTC) courses is that I often see students who would not otherwise attend one of our classes. Most of those students are not only new to the idea of carrying, but are new to firearms for self defense in general. I am always asked for my opinions on what gun to purchase, and my answer is always “it depends”. I can provide guidelines, but every person must select a gun that is right for him or her. That said, I want to walk you through my personal choices in hopes that they can help you when browsing the case at your local gun shop.

There isn’t much in the world of handguns that I haven’t fired over the years. Name the brand and caliber, and I’ve probably fired rounds through it. I’ve also owned far more than my fair share, often trading and selling to acquire something else. I’m now at a point where I’ve been extremely content with my current choices for quite some time, and as I’ll discuss later, this is a good thing.

Many of our students look to start with a gun to “keep around the house just in case…”. That’s an excellent purpose for a firearm, but in my opinion it’s not the ideal task for a handgun. Remember, a handgun is what we carry because it’s convenient. When you are in a fixed position such as your home, a long gun is a far superior weapon. For home defense, I’ll take my 12 gauge pump shotgun. An important note on shotguns: there is a myth that shotguns don’t require a shooter to aim; this is indeed a myth. At self defense distances, even cheap buckshot will stay within minute-of-bad-guy. Higher quality ammunition such as the excellent Federal brand law enforcement buckshot may hold a fist sized pattern out to 20 yards or more from my personal experience. A properly used shotgun in the hands of a trained individual is a weapon system that is absolutely devastating.

The classic pump shotgun is the Remington 870 (and is the gun of choice for a number of our instructors), but a Mossberg 500 is another excellent option in the same price range. The Mossberg may be preferable for left-handed shooters, as the safety is an ambidextrous style. Either way, get a version that has an 18.5″ barrel. If you want to have a longer hunting barrel for it as well, that’s fine; keep the shorter barrel on it for social work.

Shotguns are all about the ammo. My recommendation is the law enforcement 00 buckshot from Federal. It’s cheap, easily available, and as I mentioned above, holds a pattern like nothing else on the market. One pull of the trigger is the equivalent of eight or nine (depending on which variation of the buckshot you choose) 9mm rounds on target.
Let’s get the big question of these few months out of the way: does an AR-15 have value as a home defense weapon? My answer is ABSOLUTELY.

I advise folks to have a shotgun available as a primary weapon for inside the house, but an AR-15 with the proper ammunition can be used as well. For inside use, you need to use proper ammunition such as the Federal TRU. If you use standard full metal jacket rounds, you run a high risk of over-penetration.

The AR will have lower recoil, should you have someone in your family that is recoil-adverse.

Where the AR-15 shines is in a SHTF situation. While many will say that this cannot happen, it HAS happened. Los Angeles during the riots. New Orleans during Katrina (until the government illegally confiscated the guns, that is). In those instances, FMJ rounds may be preferable as you could be fighting off a horde of “choirboys”.

Finally, we come to handguns. It has been said by many that a handgun is what we use to fight our way to a long gun, and there is definitely merit to that statement. Handguns are harder to hold steady, less powerful, and overall simply far less effective than a shotgun or rifle. We carry a handgun because it’s convenient, not because it’s the best weapon for the job.

Your mission drives the gear, and everybody’s requirements are different. The first thing to consider when choosing a handgun to carry is how concealed you need to be in your daily life. You CAN conceal a full-size handgun (many of us in the Blue Line Defense instructor cadre do so on a daily basis), but a smaller handgun is certainly more easily hidden. Snubnose revolvers and small semi-automatics such as the Kel-Tec P3AT or Kimber Solo slide easily into a pocket (always use a pocket holster!), and thicker compact guns such as the Glock 26 or M&P Compact can be carried on the belt with a very low risk of detection. Deep cover holsters such as Smart Carry are an option as well.

For those choosing to carry a full-size handgun, holster selection is critical. For inside-the-waistband (IWB) carry, you need a holster that can distribute the weight of the gun on your belt. I use a Comp-Tac Minotaur holster for IWB, and I know at least one other Blue Line instructor does as well. For outside-the-waistband (OWB), you should look for a holster that holds the gun close to your body if you want to keep it concealed. Raven Concealment is a leader in this area, but I haven’t gotten the chance to go hands-on with their gear. That will be changing in about a week when my Phantom holster for my M&P with weaponlight arrives.

That brings me to a final topic…lighting. Whether we talk about shotguns, rifles, or handguns, target identification is critical. Rule #2 of firearm safety: “Never point a gun at anything you are not willing to destroy.” You need to know if the bump in the middle of the night is an intruder looking to do harm…or a loved one getting a glass of water. Anywhere you keep a gun, you need to keep a flashlight right next to it. Flashlights run the gamut. I’ve always been a fan of Surefire quality, but I hate the price tags. Streamlight is a similarly well-known and high-quality brand, and is often a little less expensive. Brands such as Fenix are making fast inroads into the market with excellent lights at low cost due to overseas operation.

I have all of the above…I have a Surefire 9P that has been with me for over a decade. It now sports a LED head and lives on my primary shotgun in a mount alongside the barrel. I have a Streamlight Protac 1L for general use around the house…it also lives within arm’s reach at night. For on-duty use at my federal job, I carry a multitude of lights (following the axiom that “2 is 1, and 1 is none”). I have a Streamlight Stylus in my shirt pocket, a Streamlight Stinger LED dual switch on my duty belt, and a Fenix TK41 for when I need an obnoxious amount of light. My primary M&P 9 VTAC sports a Surefire X300 weaponlight for when I’m out in the world.

Most shootings occur in low-light situations. Don’t be caught without a light source! I also consider night sights to be a necessity whenever possible. My VTAC and even my AR-15 front sight have tritium inserts.

I’ll do in-depth posts about all of the above, but hopefully sharing my choices gives you some food for thought in choosing your defensive tools. As always, if you have questions or would like to discuss training options, we are always available via email or phone (email preferred for me).

Stay safe.


Fact vs. Fiction: AR15

Today I’m starting a new series here on the BLD blog (don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten about that promised article on weapon selection) entitled “Fact vs. Fiction”. We’re going to debunk or affirm various myths and rumors about firearms and self defense.

In the wake of the horrible events of the past week, the AR15 rifle has come under attack in the media. Therefore, let us take an honest look at the facts and fictions surrounding the AR15 platform.

Rumor: “AR” stands for “assault rifle”.
Reason: The AR15 rifle was developed by Eugene Stoner, who was working for the ArmaLite corporation at the time. “AR” stands for nothing more than “ArmaLite”. All firearms developed by the ArmaLite corporation have a model number starting with “AR”. Once the AR15 platform was sold to Colt (who then sold it to the military), Colt needed to make up a new definition for “AR” to avoid using the name of their competitor. Hence, Colt said it stood for “automatic rifle”.

Rumor: The AR15 is an automatic weapon / machine gun.
Reason: The standard AR15 is a semi-automatic firearm. One pull of the trigger fires one round. Only the military variants of the rifle (e.g. M16, M4) have select-fire capabilities, and those rifles are not available to civilians without extensive federal and local background checks, registration, and regulations, along with costs that are out of the practical range of most firearm owners.

Rumor: The AR15 was originally designed as a military rifle.
Status: FACT
Reason: The AR15 was developed under the United States military’s search for a new rifle which started with Project SALVO. However, it should be noted that even bolt-action “hunting” rifles were originally designed for military use. The AR15 is no different in this regard.

Rumor: The AR15 fires a “high-power” round.
Reason: Actually, the AR15 fires a .22 caliber round, the .223 Remington or NATO equivalent 5.56x45mm. This round is small enough to be prohibited for deer hunting in some states (it is legal for deer hunting in our home state of Minnesota).

Rumor: The AR15 can have a bayonet fixed on it.
Status: FACT
Reason: There is indeed a bayonet lug on the AR15.

Rumor: It is simple to turn an AR15 into a fully automatic rifle.
Reason: The mechanics of the change are simple enough, but I won’t provide them here. However, just buying or making the parts and changing an AR15 into an automatic rifle is extremely illegal, with probable penalties of 20+ years in federal prison. You can go to prison for simply owning the parts without the proper paperwork and registration. It is often stated in the media that you can find the parts you need for such a conversion at gun shows. I’ve been to more gun shows than I can count, and I have never seen any of the restricted parts for sale…not a single part, not even once.

The truth: Rifles that are accepted as “hunting” guns today had their time in the military just like the AR15. The AR15 is considered to be a modern sporting rifle. The caliber is effective for deer hunting with a properly placed shot, and the buffer system reduces the recoil to make the rifle extremely comfortable and safe to use for even young shooters. Ammunition is inexpensive compared to the higher-powered calibers, meaning that target shooting and hunting become more affordable.

The features that are touted in the media as dangerous are either cosmetic or simply for the comfort of the operator (e.g. adjustable stock, pistol-style grip). The inclusion of the bayonet lug in the 1994 assault weapons ban is silly to me. I’ve yet to hear of a murderer yelling “fix bayonets” before committing a crime. It was included by politicians to ensure that the maximum number of firearms would qualify for restriction under the ban.

You will continue to see half-truths and full falsehoods spread through the media and even within the gun community about the AR15. Feel free to use the above points to have meaningful and truthful conversations about this extremely versatile and useful platform. We just ask that you give Blue Line Defense copyright credit if you quote directly from us.

As always, if you have questions or would like to discuss training on the AR15 or any other platform, please call or email us.

Entirely Necessary

I’m supposed to be finishing an overdue article for this website about weapon selection for permit holders. Today’s events have caused me to postpone that yet another day. I write this on the evening of December 14th, 2012, a day with senseless violence in two nations. Children are dead in these United States and in China at the hands of monsters, and four children in Tennessee lost their mother to a thug’s bullets simply because she was a police officer.

We live at the height of human civilization to date. The majority of our citizens in the US live in cities, not in rural America. Most of us will never know what it means to live away from food, shelter, health care, and law enforcement. We live under a blanket of safety provided by society…but sometimes, the monsters under the bed are real, and they are hungry.

For those of us who choose to own a gun as a tool of self defense, today’s events will make things difficult for awhile. We will be faced with politicians who believe that they can stop such tragedies by banning the tools used by the monsters. A fallacy, yes, but emotion is a difficult force to match with fact. We may also be faced with friends and loved ones who do not understand why we choose to own a device designed for violence.

I fully expect the anti-gun lobby to exploit this next part for their own ends and means…if that’s you, let me remind you that copyright law does apply to online writings, especially when written for a commercial entity.

Violence is what we are talking about when we discuss self defense. Let’s not beat around it. Some guns may be designed specifically for target shooting, but guns are weapons. A weapon is a tool meant for the implementation of violence. The problem is that some people believe violence to always be the wrong answer.

Every instructor at Blue Line Defense has worked or does currently work in law enforcement, public safety, corrections, federal security, or the military. We are people who are expected to run toward the monsters while everyone else flees for safety. Our priority is stopping the monster from hurting anyone else. We’re ok with that. It’s how we are wired. It’s what we are paid to do. We don’t use strong language or legislation to accomplish that goal once a monster has shown its true colors and is actively attacking others. Our holsters don’t contain negotiating tools.

A permit holder need not do any such thing. Your safety and the safety of your loved ones is your priority; unfortunately, sometimes the monster makes escape impossible. When that happens, you have two choices. You can die, or you can fight. If you own and carry a gun, you’ve given yourself the tool to fight.

Violence isn’t something to be idolized. It’s a horrible, brutal, cold-hearted thing. It rips children from parents and husbands from wives. It leaves humans broken and shattered, both physically and emotionally. The sad truth, however, is that violence is sometimes entirely necessary. You cannot reason with a monster, nor plead with it, nor cry and hope your tears will soften its hatred. There is no emotion in a monster’s heart, nor feeling in its soul. If you cannot flee the monster, then it must be destroyed. That means bringing violence onto it, with all the strength and resolve you can muster.

Some would ask how that makes us any different from the monster itself. It’s simple. We stop when the monster stops, and we only use violence as the final option, when all other options are no longer available to us. “We shoot to stop the threat.” I’ve uttered those words in front of more students than I can accurately remember. That is what differentiates us. We don’t look for violence, but we can bring it to bear when we have no other choice.

We aren’t monsters because we carry a gun. We carry a gun because we realize that today could be the day when we meet a monster.

More information about obtaining your permit: MN Permit to Carry.

When Should I Carry My Gun?

This article speaks about carrying your firearm, if you’re looking for a course to obtain your permit to carry, click here: Minnesota Permit to Carry.

It seems like a simple enough question but it’s one that we routinely hear discussed among our students and others in the “carry community”. In my opinion the answer is simple. You should carry your firearm, for personal protection, everywhere that you’re legally able to, without exception.

That being said, sometimes it’s difficult to do, or it’s simply easier to leave your carry gun at home. Let’s face it; carrying a gun can be a real pain! They are big, heavy, and uncomfortable. Additionally, carrying a gun requires additional planning. You have to select a holster and gear that accommodates your carry and concealment needs. You may need to wear specific clothing to adequately cover your gun. Finally, you may have to plan ahead in case you’re going somewhere that you legally can’t carry a firearm.

It’s easy to become complacent and just leave it at home. But as the old saying goes, ‘complacency kills,’ and even the best of us can become complacent.

Let me share a recent story. The day before the tragic shootings at the Aurora, Colorado movie theater, I spent the afternoon with my son. Doing what?  We were watching a matinee movie at a local theater.  As I sat there with my Glock 17 neatly concealed in a Comp-Tac Minotaur holster, I had a passing thought. I asked myself: Do I really need to carry a gun as often as I do? After all, I was only at the movie theater. What’s the likelihood of needing to defend against a deadly threat there, right?

The next morning the nation awoke to discover that several people were killed and dozens more wounded in a shooting spree at a movie theater. Needless to say, that solidified my belief that we should be prepared to not only exercise our right to defend ourselves but also our duty to protect the ones that we love.

 Since the tragic shooting numerous discussions have taken place.  A common thread that runs through many discussions centers on the question as to whether a legally armed citizen could have changed the outcome in Aurora. That’s a discussion for another time, in a different setting. What’s important to take away from this example is the reminder that violent crimes can, and do, take place anywhere.

Too often, you’ll hear people say that they only carry when they think they need it. People often have the mentality that their neighborhood is safe, and crime happens in the ‘bad areas’. In this ever-changing world, the reality is that there are no ‘safe’ areas. More frequently we’re seeing serious acts of violence happening in supposedly ‘safe’ areas.

Four people were killed at an IHOP in Nevada. Nine were killed and four were wounded at a mall in Nebraska. Two people were killed and several wounded at a bar in Alabama. Seven killed and 29 wounded at a college in California. Five dead and two wounded at a café in Washington. Unfortunately, the list goes on.  However, the point remains.  Most likely the victims felt that these were ‘safe’ locations.  After all, if they felt that their lives were in danger it is unlikely that they would have gone to that venue.  I’m reminded of a co-worker who, in his youth, was shot during two separate incidences at a mall.  In both instances he was an innocent bystander who was caught in the crossfire.

You never know when and where a random act of violence may occur. The police may be there to protect you. However, speaking from personal experience as a police officer, more often than not they are not in the right place at the right time. There are a lot more bad guys in the world than cops.  As a result, the police spend more time taking reports of crimes instead of catching the criminals red-handed.

I encourage all of you who have accepted the responsibility to carry a firearm for protection to carry whenever you’re legally able to. Familiarize yourself with your personal protection firearm and the gear you carry. If a deadly force threat presents itself, you have only seconds to decide how to defend yourself and put a plan into action. Practice regularly. Take as many training classes as you can.

Remember: your attitude, awareness, actions, planning, and preparation might be difference between surviving a lethal encounter and not.

Train to survive!

“Concealed Carry” in Minnesota

“Concealed Carry” is a misnomer in Minnesota when used in reference to our “Personal Protection act of 2003″ (§ 624.714). The more appropriate term for our carry law is “Permit to Carry”

Why? you ask…

In Minnesota, you are not required by any means to conceal your firearm. You can carry it openly, concealed, or on a string around your neck if you want to (I strongly recommend against the latter). If you look at the Minnesota State Statutes § 624.714 the word conceal does not come up one time.

While I do conceal my carry gun most of the time, I do occasionally and strategically enjoy taking advantage of my right to open carry. When I do this, it is done with forethought in attire, location, and company, and always with a contingency plan.

When I open carry, I often go with my kids. Why? Because my kids are cute. Most gun owners are family men, who are concerned and motivated to protect their lives, and the lives of their loved ones. I am the same. When I open carry with my cute kids in tow, the public can see that I’m not a deranged redneck stroking his rifle quoting lines from Full Metal Jacket. I’m just a regular guy, wiping his 1 year old son’s snotty nose, and debating with my 3 year old about what kind of cereal she can have.

Here is a picture of my friend Andrew Rothman from exhibiting a similar concept:

So if open carry is legal, why conceal?

This is one of the biggest debates in the gun world, and there is no real clear answer. Some people say that concealing gives you the element of surprise, and a tactical advantage. Others say that open-carrying gives you easier access, and is a tactical advantage. Another concern is that if you are open carrying, you will be eliminated first to neutralize a threat, a counterpoint is that the presence of a visible gun will deter a threat. Truth be told there simply isn’t enough data to substantiate any of the previous claims. There are a wide array of good and logical reasons both ways.

The reason I conceal is less tactical, and more practical. I don’t want to be inconvenienced.

This summer, an acquaintance was “cuffed and stuffed” for legally carrying a gun. He had been at Cosby Farm Park in St. Paul, and removed his vest because of the heat. As he was walking through the park he was detained, disarmed, and put in a police vehicle. The officer even said ” it was illegal to carry a pistol in the open” and asked ” if (he) knew what “concealed” meant”. Eventually it was found he had committed no crime, and he was released.

This kind of ignorance is all over the police force. The fact of the matter is, the public, by and large is unfamiliar with carry laws, and unfortunately, so are the police. There is some sound reasoning for this though… Permit holders are by nature, law abiding citizens. With all of the laws police officers are responsible for remembering and enforcing, it stands to reason that since they don’t have problems with legally armed citizens, they don’t invest much time in the laws that pertain to that right. Unfortunately, this ignorance of the law can cause great inconvenience to someone obeying the law. It is because of my desire to avoid situations like this, that I conceal.

Why make a stink about calling it “Conceal Carry”?

There is no requirement for concealing your firearm, thus referring to the law as “Conceal Carry” is not only incorrect, but harmful to public perception of legal gun carriers. I see other instructors, gun shows, and gun clubs all the time that advertise “Conceal Carry Classes”. They know better, but they are simply embracing public nomenclature to better push their service, however they are doing a disservice to the public perception of Minnesota carry laws.

Should everyone open carry, everywhere?

To this, I would say a resounding no. Beside the obvious places we legally cannot carry (schools, post offices, etc.), many locations have made it clear that they do not want our patronage. Though many postings are non-compliant with state law (more to come on that in another post) and some places that cannot legally post (State Fair) provide a tempting open carry target, It’s not smart. Pushing the buttons of these people, will ultimately lead to the legislature opening up our carry law. Then it is open season to change quite a few of the liberties we enjoy. Minnesota currently has one of the best carry laws in the country, and I would not like to see it changed for the worse.

I’ve had the pleasure to meet a couple of the authors of the MNPPA bill, as they tell me, when the bill was making it on it way through the legislature, the anti-gun folks were working so fervently to get the bill opposed in it’s entirety, they didn’t spend any energy trying to get provisions of the bill overturned. As it pertains to open carry, they strategically did not specify the need to conceal, as they could use that as a bargaining chip in bill revisions. It turns out, they never needed to.

Author: Rob Doar

Cold Weather Training Tips

Let’s face it, about 6 months of the year Minnesota is cold, so why not train and prepare for a defense situation in the cold? A lot of people complain and don’t take this seriously and will only go to the range when the weather is nice. Firing a round may determine life or death. Get out to the range and train! Here are some tips to make your cold weather training successful.

When you are selecting clothing, make sure that you dress in layers. You want to keep your clothing slim and tight, but not so tight that you will restrict your movement. Choose clothing that is slim and tight enough so you can manipulate your gun efficiently with no restrictions.

How about gloves? Gloves are an important piece of clothing when training in cold weather. The same applies with gloves, select gloves that will be warm, yet slim. The last thing you want are gloves that won’t allow you to manipulate your firearm.

It is important to keep blood flowing when you are in the cold. Don’t stand around, keep moving, and keep the blood flowing to your extremities. If you have to, do some push-ups, burpees, or jumping jacks. If you find it necessary to do one of those activities to warm up, make sure that you don’t exert yourself too much. You don’t want to start sweating. Sweat mixed with cold weather is bad and can cause discomfort and even hypothermia.

You need to fuel your body properly in order to be comfortable and function. It is important to eat something solid, a well-balanced meal with carbohydrates, fats and protein before you go out to the range. This will help you sustain out in the cold. About mid-morning, make sure you eat a snack that will keep you going until it is lunch time. Lastly, stay hydrated. Although it is cold out, don’t fill your belly with warm coffee, that doesn’t count! Make sure you are drinking plenty of water, especially if you are moving a lot.

We stress mindset, because mindset is extremely important in shooting. Stay positive and have fun! If you go to train in the cold and think “It’s cold out, this is going to be miserable,” well then you just set the bar for a miserable time at the range. Prepare yourself for a cold day at the range mentally. Know that it may be cold, but you will have the proper cold weather gear and mindset to stay positive and have a productive training session.

Author: Terry Pretzloff

Mental Exercises

I can’t stress enough the importance of mental exercises. They are extremely important for everyone, they are not just for those of you who have your permit to carry. Mental exercises help bridge the gap between what you practice on the range and the type of situation you might find yourself in. You can run through them anytime, when you are driving, at work, or going about your daily life.

Mental exercises are not a form of paranoia or a desire to engage in a lethal encounter, they are a form of preparedness. If you look at the statistics, there were over 1.3 million violent crimes in the United States in 2010. Unfortunately, violence is not going away, which is why we train and have a plan in place to keep us safe.

If you prepare mentally for a given situation, you will increase your chances of reacting accordingly without panicking or freezing like a deer looking into headlights. There is no time to freeze or panic during an encounter, seconds count!

A person needs 3-5 seconds of warning time to defend themselves, that is not much time.

With that being said, lets get back to mental exercises. Here are some examples:

What if you are in a restaurant eating and an armed robbery occurs and your young child says “Mom/Dad get your gun.”?
What if you hear someone in your house in the middle of the night?
What if you see someone else being attacked?
What if you come home after work and find your house unsecured (garage door open, front or back door open, etc)?
What if you’re doorbell rings and the solicitor at the door forces their way into your home?
What if someone is following you in public?

You will also need to think about your options if you find yourself in a situation. Do you have enough warning time to avoid, escape, or are you faced with defending yourself. Are you going to deploy a weapon? What type of force is reasonable for the circumstances? Are family and / or friends present? What are your escape routes? What are you going to do in the aftermath?

Do you remember what to do in the aftermath? Check out our resources section on the Use of Deadly Force

Those are just some examples. Use your imagination and think about the places you go on a daily basis. Are you mentally prepared for something bad to happen to you? Do you feel comfortable with how you may react?

Have you ever thought about expanding your training more beyond a Permit to Carry? Blue Line Defense offeres some follow up classes that will sharpen your handgun skills. Check out our Defensive Handgun 1 and Defensive Handgun 2.

Author: Terry Pretzloff

U.S. Gun Sales on the Rise

According to the FBI, over 1.5 million background checks were run through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) on customers looking to purchase firearms last December, which is a record high! Almost 500,000 of those checks occurred during the six days before Christmas. It looks like some people got a good Christmas gift!

Some speculate that President Obama played a role of this and some even call him the “best gun salesman of all time.” The FBI reported a 49 percent rise in NICS background checks during the 2008 election week compared to the same week in 2007. This is not the start of the rise in gun sales. According to Field and Stream Editorial Director Anthony Licata, “gun sales have been up significantly over the past 9 years.”

Recently when I have gone to purchase a new firearm, they have been backordered, and I had to wait up to 3 months. That may be because of an increased demand for firearms over the past decade. U.S. handgun production has tripled over the past 9 years, and firearm productions are up over 2 million units in those years, according to Fox Business.

Author: Terry Pretzloff

Former DEA Agent Loses Appeal

Those of you who have attended our Permit to Carry class have seen the video that we show of the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) agent who shoots himself in the foot while giving a lecture on gun safety to children.

The former agent, Lee Paige, sued the DEA after this video appeared in the news and went viral on the internet. As you can see from the video, Paige shoots himself just after he says, “I’m the only one in this room professional enough, that I know of, to carry this Glock 40.”

Paige claimed that the video, taken by a parent in attendance, invaded his privacy, ended his ability to work undercover, and his ability to give motivational speeches. Additionally, Paige claimed that he received humiliating comments from his friends, family and from people who recognized him when he was out in public.

So you all want to know the outcome? In December 2010, a U.S. District court judge ruled that Paige was not able to prove who released the video. It was also founded that the video contained no private facts about Paige, because the lecture occurred in an Orlando community center, which was open to the public. The appellate judges found that the DEA’s handling of the video as part if the investigation was “is far from a model agency treatment of private data.”

What can we learn from this?


Treat ALL guns as though they are loaded, and ALWAYS preform a clearance check every time you pick up a firearm!

Most firearm accidents occur with firearms that the user thought was unloaded. You can never be too cautious when handling a firearm. ALWAYS make sure you perform a clearance check to prevent an accident from happening.

Never point your firearm at anything that you are not willing to destroy!

Your gun has to point somewhere, so make sure that somewhere is in a safe direction. A safe direction means that the firearm is pointed so that even if it were to discharge it would not cause injury or damage. A safe direction could vary depending on the circumstances. Be aware of where the front end of the firearm is pointed at all times.

Keep your finger OFF the trigger and outside the trigger guard until you are on target and have made the decision to shoot!

When you hold a firearm, you should NEVER put your finger on the trigger until you are on target and are ready to fire. This is an extremely important rule!

Always be sure of your target and what is beyond it!

Be 100 percent sure that you know your target and what is beyond your target. Depending on your firearm and ammunition, the bullet has the potential to travel a great distance. Observe the area before you shoot. Make sure there are not people or anything you are not willing to destroy behind your target.

Author: Terry Pretzloff