Patrol Rifle Policy

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What should administrators consider when developing their department’s patrol rifle policy that is often overlooked?

Start with equipment
Don’t skimp in this area.  We made some serious errors with our base patrol rifle setup.  Our administrators chose an A2 version because it was $150 cheaper per unit.  We have been fighting that system.  A department’s patrol rifle program should start with a platform that is adaptable to future needs; flat-top variants will allow for most upgrades they will need.  Also, officers will need a rail system to mount accessories.  For example, a mounted light on the patrol rifle is an absolute must.  Additionally, each officer must be issued at least 3 magazines with their patrol rifle.  20 round magazines are ok but 30′s should be the standard.  An officer also needs to have some type of magazine pouch to hold the extra magazines.  Get something of quality. If you stay with standard/quality items then you will have less issues in your future.

An effective law enforcement training plan is the basis for the entire patrol rifle program.  You can have the best equipment in the world but without the proper training on how to use it, it will be useless!  Each officer will need training in how to field strip the weapon and make sure that each part is not worn.  (Operators Armorer Course)  This will breed confidence in the use of the weapon.

The patrol rifle training should include the foundation of how to effectively fight with the weapon.  Another fundamental is how to obtain a zero and determine which distance is the best zero for them.  The training should include, standard positional shooting, use of cover and concealment and how to reload and unload.  These core skills can take up to three days for the officers to learn.  Lastly, you need to develop a qualification program and update the patrol rifle training program.

Obviously this article only covers the basics.  I would love help out any LEO teams out there that want help setting up their patrol rifle program.  There are so many little details that need to come into play and I could type about this for the next three days.

Concealed Carry

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What is the first thing someone could consider when contemplating carrying a concealed weapon as a private citizen?

Concealed Carry as a private citizen is decision that is often too quickly made.  In today’s world, the threat of crime and violence towards one’s self or his/her family is often reason enough to decide to carry.  Others feel that it is their duty to carry a concealed weapon, somehow feeling that their ‘skills’ with a firearm may save a life or stop a crime.  As a private citizen, the decision to carry a concealed weapon should be very well mulled over and considered.  Factors that play into this decision can vary from person to person, however the basic factors that one should initially consider are legality, necessity, capability, and mindset.  These factors are NOT listed in order of importance; they are all equally vital in your consideration to carry a concealed weapon.
There is an eternal argument between the left and the right as to whether or not defensive firearms should be in the hands of private citizens.  This section is not about that argument, but about the enacted and enforced laws in your area.  This factor can be answered with one simple question: ” Is it legal (through licensing or otherwise) for me to carry a concealed weapon in my state?”  Answering this question in the affirmative will “check the box” on this consideration and give you a good starting point in your desire to carry a concealed weapon.  Once you’ve answered that question, begin to research the required training or procedures required by your state in order to be on the correct side of the law.  To even further educate yourself, use this same time to research your state’s self-defense laws regarding the justified use of deadly force by a private citizen as well as identifying where your state prohibits possession of a firearm (see: courthouse, etc.).  While it would be easy if all states were the same, they most definitely are not and should be researched and studied individually.
If you’re reading this and/or still deciding whether or not to carry a concealed weapon, chances are you’ve already felt that it is a necessity.  Webster defines necessity as, “the quality or state of being necessary.”  Easy, right?  Circumstances for the necessity of a concealed firearm is different from person to person.  One should consider their day to day activities, their original thoughts on the reasoning behind wanting to carry, their job, their living and working environment, etc.  All of these elements play into the necessity of having a concealed weapon, and should all be considered prior to making the decision.  While the necessity for self-defense is ALWAYS present, there are alternatives to a firearm, both lethal and less-lethal, if the situation calls for it.
Here we discuss the capabilities of the individual considering the decision to carry a concealed weapon.  Obviously everyone who has able use of their hands (or feet) is ‘capable’ of shooting a gun, but the mere action is not what one needs to consider.  Training and education is where true capability shows itself.  In an adrenaline-induced event, an individual will fall back on the skills that they trained the most on.  If an individual is carrying a handgun with no training or education into skills and tactics for its use, then the mere action of carrying the gun becomes nearly useless.  Reality-based, fight/combat-oriented training is necessary for the individual to become truly capable of defending his or her self and/or family.  An individual needs to be comfortable with the weapon, and all actions and movements associated with its use.
I am sure someone is looking at the mindset title at the bottom of the article and screaming at their computer.  Surely mindset is the most important factor in self-defense, so it should be first!  I believe that mindset is the most important factor in the use of a firearm for self-defense.  I also believe that putting the most important consideration up top dilutes the rest of the factors that I feel are still extremely important to consider.
Now that we have that out of the way, we can actually discuss mindset.  It is very common among private citizens that carry a concealed weapon that if they are presented with a life or death situation that they would have no problem using their firearm to defend themselves or their loved ones.  The unfortunate reality is that the majority of those who believe that may very well be wrong.  The reality of the situation is that normal private citizens have not been conditioned to overcome the extremely strong mental roadblocks in their mind associated with the taking of another human life.  Dave Grossman does an excellent job in his book “On Killing” talking about this lack of conditioning.  He states, “A hundred things can convince your fore-brain to put a gun in your hand and go to a certain point…But traditionally all these things have slammed into the resistance that a frightened, angry human being confronts in the mid-brain,” (Grossman, 1995).  It is not merely a decision in your head to shoot someone, there is a great deal of mental conditioning that needs to be accomplished in order to make that decision in a useful time frame.   This is the reason that professional gunfighters (soldiers, law enforcement, security specialists) train for realistic scenarios with stress-inducing stimuli.  The hope is that simulating the reality-based stress of a deadly force scenario will allow the brain to know what it feels like and train itself to react in the correct manner.  Think of it as muscle memory for the brain.  The unfortunate reality is that there are SOME people in the world who are just not wired to be able to kill another human being, be it in self-defense or otherwise.  If you find yourself honestly questioning your willingness or ability to be able to defend yourself with a firearm, you should reconsider carrying one for self-defense.
The importance of these factors as well as others when deciding to carry a concealed weapon cannot be understated.  You are consciously placing yourself into a situation every day that has the potential to change your life forever.  It is vital that you do take the time to research all of these factors and come to a logical, educated decision on whether or not to carry a concealed weapon, and what tools or training you need to be proficient and responsible with it.

LMS Endorses LDI DBAL-I2 Civilian Available MFAL

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Laser Devices DBAL-I2 Civilian Available (Class 1) MFAL

For years citizens and individual law enforcement officers who utilize night vision devices have struggled to find a way to aim their long guns while wearing night vision.  The solution, an infrared (IR) aiming laser, has been available, but only to government agencies.  Laser Devices has come to the rescue of folks who are in need of this capability but do not have access to it as agency provided equipment.

Laser Devices has equipped their highly successful military grade DBAL Multi-Function Aiming Laser (MFAL) with Class 1 IR and visible lasers, making them compliant with FDA regulations for commercially available lasers.  The unit LMS is recommending for both personal protection and law enforcement patrol is equipped with a <5mW green visible laser and a <0.07mW IR laser.

This combination of the green visible laser and IR pointer give the user all of the capability necessary to address all of the needs filled by the laser on modern long guns.  The green laser is the fastest and most effective option for shooting with an occluded face (gas masks, etc) and as a backup to the red dot optic (maintain your exact same weapon interface and continue to look through the optic); and the <0.07mW IR laser is more than powerful enough for use within the 100 meter observation envelope of the Gen III PVS 14 and 15.

Price on this unit is around $1000, a very reasonable cost considering the military grade quality and the capabilities added to the personal protection and LE patrol toolbox.  Austere Provisions Company is taking orders now, and we recommend getting in before the production line is maxed out.

If you use a long gun for personal or community protection, especially in conjunction with night vision, this is must-have gear.

Stout Hearts.

To Carry or Not?

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By Matt Merony, LMS Defense Instructor

I am a Law Enforcement officer and get asked all the time if I carry my sidearm off-duty or not and if I do how often? My answer to people is yes and almost always. I say I almost always off-duty carry because there are certain situations where carrying a firearm would not be appropriate. These situations would include anything that puts you in a state where your judgment may be impaired. The following is just my two cents.

It is my opinion that officers are never “off-duty”. When a person takes their oath they do not swear to “protect the citizens of their community for a certain numbers of hours on a particular day”. As a trainer in my agency this is a battle I have fought with others many times. The following are some of the responses I have been given when I pose the above question to fellow officers: “I’m not getting paid for it so I’m not doing it”, “This is a paycheck, when I leave for the day I leave everything here”, or “It’s too hard to conceal” and my answer to them is to find another job. We as Law Enforcement have been given the task of protecting our communities from ever growing violence in society, a task we freely accepted by taking our oath’s. The first Department I worked for made it mandatory for officers to carry their weapon off-duty, the only excused days were if the officer was sick or they were on vacation and this was a large metropolitan department; in my opinion every department should have this policy. We are given the training to employ our weapons in an effective manner to stop a threat and we owe it to the people we serve to be able to do that whether “on duty” or not.

Civilian Concealed Carry holders have made the decision to be armed and it is a decision that should not have been taken lightly. If you are one of the people that got a Concealed Carry License just because you could and do not train with your weapon, do yourself and society a favor and lock up your gun and never touch it; you will ultimately only hurt some innocent person and put the ones you love through a legal nightmare. The others that have taken the step to get the training and pursue additional training in order to better prepare themselves, I applaud you. Armed citizens have made the choice not to be victims to the ever increasing predatory nature of criminals in our society. The decision to carry your weapon should not be made whether it is convenient to do so or not, I don’t recall suspects asking people if it was a “convenient” time for them to be a victim. If you are licensed to carry a weapon, and appropriately trained to do it, then please do; you may be all that stands between an armed assailant and a massacre.

It is far better to have and not need than to need and not have. Again, this is just my opinion. Train hard, train often, and stay safe.

How will you be remembered?

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by Rob Edwards, LMS Defense Instructor

I have been a law enforcement officer close to 20 years now. With 10 or so years left on the job, I have begun to think of how I will be remembered. You can call it self-centered or conceited if you want. I would rather say I am concerned about how my peers feel about me. I want to feel like I have served my team well and earned my living. I also like to think that I made a difference. I think of guys that I know that came before me. Some I have the utmost respect for, others I don’t. What impact did they have in their chosen profession? What impact will you have?

Whether you strap a weapon on and defend our streets, defend your household, or serve in the armed forces, you have a job to do. Do you train for the event that your teammate or family will need you most? I often see guys in my line of work that refuse to train. They look at being an armed professional as being a job and not a way of life. I know it’s not just the police that don’t want to train. It comes in all line of work. The one thing that I always try and remember is that I am constantly being evaluated. That evaluation is informal but is conducted by peers, citizens, or family members. I refuse to be a failure or fail the people who mean the most to me. What they think is very important.

I am making it my commitment to be the best I can be. Every day I will do the best job I can. Not for me but for everyone who I come in contact with. It is kind of a life re-dedication. I encourage you to do the same. As I contribute to this blog, I plan to focus on pushing all of us to be the best we can be. Hopefully you and I both will get something out of it. At LMS Defense we have experts in all facets of shooting and tactics. I would like to push your mind. The mind is the ultimate weapon. How will I be remembered? That is for others to decide. My goal is simple, a professional!

Stay safe.

To Stay or Go – What will you do during a crisis or emergency?

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By Jason Drader, LMS Defense Instructor

In the spring of 2009 I wrote a column for the blog on planning to make it home, whether it be during inclement weather or during a crisis or disaster of some kind. Since then I have continued read comments made by folks about grabbing their rifle and the bug-out bag when the SHTF and heading for the hills.

Unfortunately I don’t see a lot of value in the prevailing concept of heading for the hills as soon as the proverbial SHTF. In some extreme cases, it might be the only answer. But the concept itself leads to more problems than it answers. So let’s explore what it takes to make the decision to stay or go during a crisis.

For myself and those that I care for, departing our home is the last thing I am going to do during a crisis unless absolutely necessary. For me, we are talking about imminent or immediate threat to life such as a chemical or biological hazard, where staying home would mean our certain demise. Post disaster such as an Earthquake would be another, where the damage is so bad that staying home would be hazardous. So short of such incidents, I’m not going anywhere. My bug-out bags are in fact get home bags. They are to sustain me and those I care for until we can make it home.

There seems to be a prevailing attitude or belief with some people that anarchy, whatever it ends up being, will best be sorted out with a bug-out bag and a gun and running around the hills. Unfortunately, I believe this belief can do more harm than good.

OK, so let’s say you made a decision to GO…now where are you going and what are you going to do when you get there? IF you can even get there.

Rolling with your decision to bug out for whatever reason, let’s say you have a three day pack, rifle and the seasonal clothes. You were lucky to hit the roads before the masses and traveled 350 miles en-route to Uncle Herb’s farm in the hills…a spur of the moment decision. Uncle Herb has stuff stashed away, he will look after you right? Unfortunately, you have run out of gas about 100 miles short of your destination and yes, you are in the middle of no where and no one is interested in stopping to help you. There are no services available. You will have to walk to Uncle Herb’s.

Now, imagine this 100 mile trek by foot in the winter time in the Pacific Northwest where you are going to be rained and snowed on for a good week at stretch. Why will it take you a week or more? Because you have a wife and three kids aged 7, 9 and 11 along. Remember that 3 day pack? It now has to sustain five people. I expect you ran out of food and fresh water before you were more than a day on foot because there wasn’t any stored in the vehicle and your wife grabbed her knitting bag and not the pack you set out for her.

You have a tarp and a couple of solar blankets, but you are still soaked and freezing as is the rest of your family. You haven’t slept properly in three days now. It isn’t just the cold and wet. For the last two nights there have been shots not that far away. You though that you may have even heard screams. You are the only person that can shoot, so you have to remain awake for security reasons.

Sounds like fun right? Trouble is it isn’t necessarily that far from reality. I believe that many people rest upon unrealistic preparations, planning, equipment and ability to solve there post-crisis problems. When in reality they add to the problem by becoming a casualty themselves. In many cases this can be avoided.

Let’s say there was a crisis of some kind, but we didn’t need to go. Let’s say we decided to bug-in instead of bugging-out. There are a huge amount of advantages to bugging in. For starters, many of the things we need day to day are already there; clothing, blankets, food, water, medicine, toiletries, etc. Our home gives us shelter (hopefully) from the elements and a good amount of security if we spend a bit of time preparing.

Our preparations to bug-in, aside from the normal stocks in the household, are specific items that are set aside just for a crisis or emergency. We have a supply of water and provisions to sustain us for at least a couple of months should we be unable to leave the home. We have a box of over the counter meds to treat cough, cold and flu symptoms, pain meds and other things we might need but are unable to go out and buy. If you have prescription meds that you need to take daily or something to that affect, ask your Doctor for an extra prescription so that you can have a supply on hand.

Extra batteries, glow sticks, solar and hand crank lights are also stored for times we may be without power. I also have a fairly comprehensive medical kit set aside as well.

For securing the home, I have been laying on a stock of ½ inch and ¾ inch plywood to cover doors and windows. I don’t live in hurricane or tornado country. I have the plywood to add to security of the home during a time of crisis. If your windows and doors are covered for the most part and you have someone on the other side determined to get in despite those coverings and warnings from you on the other side, its pretty obvious their intent is less than honourable.

While there are plenty of us that can look after ourselves for an extended period in the field, at some point supplies run out. Having a family to care for can compound issues very quickly. You can only carry so much stuff. Sure I have heard people discuss using utility trailers, RV’s, etc. Again, if absolutely necessary they are fine.

Caches might be an option if you are so inclined, but they require a considerable amount of planning and effort to put in place and maintain. Not to mention you may have to bug-out the opposite direction of your caches, in which case they won’t do you any good.

A retreat or cabin might also be an option. But the majority of people don’t have the luxury of such things.

With a little planning, bugging in can sustain the majority of people through many different emergency scenarios that you could well envision, and most people would be better off for it. You are less likely to become a casualty yourself and face it, emergency services are already going to maxed out. Why not add bugging in to your preparedness plans? Stay safe.

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Photo by jason metcalfe / david howlett us tactical rifle association

We want to give a hearty congratulations to King County, WA SWAT for their First Place finish at the 2009 Washing State SWAT Rodeo.

A more professional, dedicated group of warriors would be hard to find.

Stout Hearts.

Comics blog launch

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We wanted to create a single area where all of our comics could be viewed and downloaded, so we’ve launched a new blog.

LMS Defense April Newsletter

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You will want to check out our new newsletter.

It lists the upcoming LMS Defense classes as well as announces our new catalog for FY2009/FY2010.

And if you haven’t signed up to receive our newsletter, it’s quick and painless.

Happy Carry

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By: Kevin Williams, LMS Defense Instructor

There are several common locations for carrying a concealed handgun on one’s person. Strongside hip at the 4 or 3 O’clock, weakside hip (if carrying a backup pistol), small of the back, an ankle or purse holster – all have their pro’s and con’s. A person’s level of confidence, flexibility, any physical disabilities they may have, and body type are also just some of the factors that make some carry methods more suitable for a person than others.

A couple of things are needed regardless of which method is chosen: the pistol needs to be carried in a holster that prevents objects from entering into the trigger guard, the holster needs to stay firmly attached to one’s belt, and ideally a person should be able to access the weapon with either hand and from multiple positions (standing, seated in a vehicle, laying on their back).

For the last few years I’ve been using the appendix carry method almost exclusively, commonly known as Appy carry. Appendix carry is holster carry with the holster located somewhere to the right of your belt buckle, typically the 12 to 2 O’clock position. Here are a few reasons why it’s the method I prefer.

1. I’m faster drawing from the holster from the appendix position than from my hip at the 3 or 4 O’clock. My shot timer doesn’t lie. Less ground to cover as I bring my gun on target.

2. It’s less obvious to people on my flanks or rear that I’m drawing a weapon. May be important if I’m confronting multiple bad guys or if I want to draw covertly.

3. I’m safer from bump frisks or people inadvertantly contacting me and feeling my pistol because it’s in front of and almost centerline of my body.

4. I’m far less likely to print through my cover garment. I can bend, squat, lean, and reach without the butt of my handgun presenting it’s ugly head. I carry appendix in a t-shirt and shorts all summer long with no issues.

5. I can draw with my support side hand much easier than if I had my gun on my strongside hip. Could be important if my strongside arm is pinned by an attacker or wounded and unusable.

6. Drawing while seatbelted in a vehicle is much easier. I have had to do this once under duress in a real life encounter from a strongside holster and it was an eye opening experience.

Ok, so more than a few reasons but you get the idea. Appendix carry is a viable technique that bears looking into. As with anything self defense related, don’t take my word on it. Seek out professional training, try it for yourself and see if it has merit. Then practice, practice, practice until your at the level of unconscious competence with it.

In case your wondering if this is for tiny guns only, it’s not. I’m 5’10, 205 and my daily carry is a full sized Glock 17 with 2 spare magazines.

Photo of access seated and belted in vehicle:

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