Colleges can’t ban guns, rules Florida court in major 2nd Amendment victory

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This is from BizPac Review.

This is a big win for Florida College students.

This is a win for the Second Amendment.

The Florida appeals court ruling that the University of North Florida was violating state law when it prohibited a woman from storing a gun in her vehicle while she attended class will spill over to cities and counties statewide, an attorney said Wednesday.

And it’s one of many nationwide where anti-gun activists are trying to do at the local level what they can’t do in the statehouse – restrict Second Amendmentrights.


From University of North Florida student Alexandria Lainez’s Facebook page.

“This is a growing movement in a number of cases,” said Jacksonville attorney Eric Friday, who represents Florida Carry Inc. and UNF student Alexandria Lainez in the court fight.

Friday, who called the Lainez decision the biggest of its kind in Florida in 20 years, said the case “reaffirmed that the power to regulate firearms rests solely with the Legislature and not anywhere else.”

Florida Carry Inc. and  Alexandria Lainez vs. the University of North Florida centered around Lainez’s ability to store a gun in her vehicle while attending classes at UNF so she would have available for self-defense while traveling to and from campus.

Lainez is a young mother, Friday said, “and she takes seriously her responsibility to protect herself and her child.”

Lainez, who’s 24 and has had a concealed weapons permit for three years, said she takes firearms safety and training pretty seriously, too. A Jacksonville resident with a half-hour one-way commute to school, she said she’s working to get students at other schools interested in gun training, too.

“I think it’s pretty important to be able to protect myself and my son, especially with that long commute to and from school.”

And making that commute armed means storing the gun on UNF property.

UNF regulations prohibit weapons on campus. According to the student handbook printed in 2011 when the case was filed, expressly threatened that violators could be arrested.

“No college or university has the authority” to make such a regulation, Friday said.

Lainez, a member of Florida Carry, sued UNF to change the regulation, but lost at trial to UNF’s argument that it could ban weapons because state law allowed school districts to do so. UNF argued that since it’s a school, it should be considered like a public school district.

In Tuesday’s decision, the 1st District Court of Appeal ruled otherwise.

“From the beginning, the argument was an absurdity in my mind,” Friday said.

But the broader issue, Friday said, involved the powers of local governments – such as counties and cities – to violate gun rights through control ordinances that in effect in one part of the state but not another, putting gun owners at risk of arrest depending on the jurisdiction.

It’s a gun rights battle being fought in other states – where officials in places like libraries and bus companies try to make petty authority grounds for violating constitutional rights.

In Michigan in November, the state Supreme Court  refused to hear an appeal by a library district in Lansing that claimed it had a right to ban guns in a battle with Michigan Open Carry Inc. National Review’s headline called it a “victory for open carry advocates.”

In Wisconsin, the gun rights group Wisconsin Carry is suing the Madison Metro Transit Authority for trying to ban guns on city buses. That would make for stricter gun law than the ones passed by the state Legislature – which meets in Madison.

In Florida, a state law in 1987 prohibited local governments from passing local gun control ordinances stricter than those passed in Tallahassee, but included no way of enforcing it, Friday said.

That led to local governments – particularly in South Florida – “thumbing their noses at the Legislature,” Friday said.

In 2011, the Legislature passed another law containing a series of threatening local jurisdictions or agencies with fines against the agency heads, removal from office for elected officials and allowing for personal damages up to $100,000 for violations, Friday sad.

When that law passed, most local governments changed their laws to comply before it came into effect Oct 1, Friday said. UNF and some other agencies didn’t.

In an emailed statement Wednesday, UNF Associate Director for Public Relations Joanna Norris wrote that the university is still reviewing its options on whether to appeal the case. Until it makes that decision, she wrote, the university’s policy prohibiting weapons on campus will remain in effect.

Friday said that means the university intends to continue breaking the law.

“In other words, despite the express, well-reasoned opinion of this court, they intend to continue violating students’ rights until they have to comply,” he said.

Why this kind of obstinacy by officials at the local level when they can’t get their anti-Second Amendment way in state capitals?

“In some cases, it’s just a personal belief, or bias against firearms or the right of self-defense,” Friday said. “People in power don’t like it when their power is challenged.”


Proposed Law Would Fine Ohio Cities Into Obeying Firearms Laws


This is from Ammo Land.

I say Bravo to the State of Ohio for standing up to

the regimes in the anti gun cities.

I am glad to see the loophole in the law being closed.

These anti gun regimes have been abusing the law.


Arizona -( As with most states, Ohio pre-empts  local governments from enacting gun ordinances that are stricter than state law.

To allow such laws would make the exercise of second amendment rights a legal minefield, as it would be practically impossible to keep up with hundreds of variations in the law that could make a perfectly legal act on one side of the street a serious crime on the other side.

Cleveland challenged the law in 2010, claiming that “home rule” prevented the state from restraining the cities power.   The Ohio supreme court upheld earlier  rulings in favor of state authority to protect second amendment and state constitutional rights.

Many local governments continued to keep laws that infringed on second amendment rights on the books, producing a chilling effect on the exercise of those rights.   A provision in the statute provided for the recovery of costs and attorney’s fees when cities were sued, to provide incentive for them to follow the law.

Several cities changed their local ordinances as a result.   But some cities learned to exercise a loophole in the law in order to discourage further lawsuits.  They refused to change the law, fighting the effort in court until the last minute, wasting city resources and costing those challenging their illegal practices as much money as possible.  Then, before a court ruling was made, they would repeal the statute, preventing the plaintiff from recouping any costs or attorney’s fees.

As part of a number of reforms Ohio gun laws proposed in House Bill 203, the bill would change to law to close this loophole.

Once sued, cities would be subject to a $100 a day fee if they lost the lawsuit or repealed the ordinance.

While $100 a day is only a fraction of the cost of one city worker per day,  it provides some reimbursement of the costs of funding the lawsuit and provides and incentive to prevent the city from delaying the action as long as possible.

Other reforms included in House Bill 203 include reform of Ohio self defense law to bring it into concurrence with most other states (Stand Your Ground provision),  and reforms of the Ohio Concealed Carry permit law.

©2013 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch

About Dean Weingarten;
Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973.  He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation

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Under Creative Commons License: Attribution



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This is from Brietbarts Big Government.

More of the sons of Obama need to be fatally shot

and this knockout game will stop.

But sadly the game is being played in places where

Second Amendment is restricted. 



A teen playing the “Knockout Game” in Lansing, Michigan unwittingly targeted a concealed carry permit holder and was shot twice. He survived and is now in jail.

As Breitbart News previously reported, the “Knockout Game” thrives in areas where victims are unarmed. In the “game,” teens approach a stranger on the sidewalk or in an alley and punch the stranger in an attempt to knock him or her out. A punch that results in a knockout scores one point.

WILX in Lansing reported that teenager Marvell Weaver, who is black, tried to knock out a father who was standing at a bus stop waiting for his daughter to arrive. Instead of simply punching the father, Weaver tried a variation on the “game” by trying to taze the man. The taser malfunctioned, and the father pulled a .40 cal handgun and shot the teenager twice.

Weaver admits to previously knocking out six or seven people on other days before targeting the man who shot him. He said being shot by the father at the bus stop was “a lesson learned.”

Weaver is now serving one year in jail.


9th Circuit Issues Important Gun-Rights Decision

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This is from AmmoLand.

California-( It took nearly two years but this morning the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision written by ninety year old judge Harry Pregerson which created a framework in the 9th Circuit for deciding Second Amendment cases.

The court of appeals adopted a “Two Step Inquiry” (1) If the challenged law burdens conduct protected by the Second Amendment then (2) courts are directed to apply an appropriate level of scrutiny.

This is an important decision because when the US Supreme Court decided District of Columbia v. Heller (2008) and McDonald v. City of Chicago (2010) the cases involved bans. The High Court did not describe a framework for the courts to use to evaluate laws that fell short of outright bans as was the case in Heller and McDonald.

Until today, the cases decided in the 9th Circuit did not articulate a framework because they either involved persons the court said fall outside the scope of the Second Amendment (e.g., convicted felons) or “arms” which the court likewise said fall outside the scope of the Second Amendment (e.g., bombs) or persons using firearms to further their criminal enterprise (e.g, drug dealers), etc. In cases such as this, the court decided that it was not necessary to articulate a framework to use in deciding the cases. In other words, these were “Open and Shut” cases.

What This Portends for the Concealed Carry and Open Carry cases?

There are close to a dozen concealed carry cases either pending in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals or are currently being decided in the lower 9th Circuit District Courts. Unfortunately, the concealed carry cases have several insurmountable mountains to climb. First, the US Supreme Court said that its decision in Heller did not invalidate prohibitions on concealed carry and when the Supreme Court applied the Second Amendment to the states via the 14th Amendment in McDonald it also applied the Heller decision to the states. The US Supreme Court in Heller said that Open Carry is the right guaranteed by the Constitution.

So the concealed carry cases are unlikely to even reach, let alone pass, the first step of the “Two Step Inquiry.” For nearly two hundred years state courts have said that concealed carry is not a right. Two recent Supreme Court decisions say concealed carry is not a right as have every Federal Court of Appeals to decide the question. Since there are only two ways to carry a firearm, openly or concealed, that leaves the two Open Carry cases, Nichols V. Brown and Young v. Hawaii to be decided under the “Two Step Inquiry” framework.

“Step 1″ – Does the challenged law burden conduct protected by the Second Amendment?

The US Supreme Court said that Open Carry perfectly captures the meaning of the Second Amendment right to Keep and Bear Arms and both California and Hawaii ban Open Carry. So both Open Carry cases pass “Step 1.”

“Step 2″ – Having passed “Step 1,” courts are directed to apply an appropriate level of scrutiny.

There are three levels of scrutiny; rational basis, intermediate scrutiny and strict scrutiny. “Rational Basis” basically means the government wins except in rare circumstances such as the law being “irrational” or “arbitrary.” The Supreme Court in Heller took rational basis off the table so that leaves intermediate and strict scrutiny.

Intermediate Scrutiny – Sliding Scale

Intermediate Scrutiny is a sliding scale that courts apply to “regulations” of fundamental rights that fall short of a ban. For example, if you as an individual want to walk up and down the sidewalk wearing a t-shirt with some political or religious message then you are free to do so. If there were a local law requiring a permit for you to do so then it would likely be overturned even under the low end of “intermediate scrutiny.” However, If you and a hundred friends want to walk up and down the same sidewalk then you might have to comply with a law requiring you to get a permit and that law would normally be subject to the sliding scale of “intermediate scrutiny.” The greater the restrictions placed on getting a permit, the greater the burden on the government in justifying the law.

However, once a law passes a certain threshold then “strict scrutiny” applies and the restrictions on your fundamental rights have to be narrowly tailored and the government needs a very good reason to justify that restriction.

Under both intermediate and strict scrutiny the burden of proof is on the government to justify those restrictions.

There is an exception however, when the government bans a protected right, as does California and Hawaii which both ban the bearing arms for the purpose of self-defense, then it is unnecessary for the court to decide what level of scrutiny to apply. Bans on fundamental rights are always unconstitutional regardless of the level of scrutiny.

The case decided today was US v. Chovan (11-50107). Mr. Chovan had been convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence which results in a lifetime ban on the possession of firearms under Federal law unless the conviction is expunged, pardoned or otherwise set-aside. In California, once the period of probation has expired, a person has the right to have his misdemeanor conviction expunged. Mr. Chovan did not have his conviction expunged and was therefore charged with possession of a firearm in violation of Federal law.


Charles Nichols is the President of California Right To Carry, a non-profit California association of Second Amendment advocates. Mr. Nichols filed a Federal Civil Rights Lawsuit seeking to overturn California’s 1967 ban on openly carrying loaded firearms in public.

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10 Reasons To Consider A Light On Your Concealed Carry Gun


This is from My Gun Culture.

10 Reasons To Consider A Light On Your Concealed Carry Gun

I’m a fanboi.

Of lights on guns.

I used to be a super fan of lasers on handguns. Then I shot the Crimson Trace Midnight 3 Gun Invitational. After what I learned there, I’m a fan of lights AND lasers on guns – like the Crimson Trace Lasergrip / Lightguard setup. To me, having a light and laser combo on a home defense gun is kind of a no-brainer. Of course you’ll also want a quality flashlight like this one on the nightstand strictly for looking. Having one mounted on the gun also speeds and simplifies target confirmation and aiming.

In fact, with today’s weapon-mounted light offerings, there is no reason not to have a light on your carry pistol as well. The only real drawback is holster availability and/or not being able to use holster you already own.

My daily carry setup: Springfield Armory TRP with Crimson Trace Lightguard and Crimson Trace green Lasergrips. Shown with a White Dog IWB holster.

My daily carry setup: Springfield Armory TRP with Crimson Trace Lightguard and Crimson Trace green Lasergrips. Shown with a White Dog IWB holster.

I got to thinking of reasons to mount a weapon-light on your carry gun, and here’s what I came up with:

1. According to the FBI, the busiest hour for crime is midnight to 1am. Remember what Mom used to say – nothing good ever happens after midnight! Need proof? 93.72% of Lindsay Lohan’s arrests were after midnight.

2. Daylight savings. Or maybe you’re just burning the midnight oil at work. What time do you get home from work? Yeah, I know, later than you want. But is it dark when you get home? At least during the winter months? Might be nice if the gun you have has a light. If Sasquatch is hiding in your dark garage, you want to be ready with more than a Jack Links jerky stick.

3. If you have to use your light-equipped gun in the daytime, who cares? Worst case, you burn some battery, and batteries are cheap when doing a spreadsheet on life and death cost / benefit considerations. If you’re just practicing, the Crimson Trace Lightguard has an on / off switch so you can save your battery.

4. Powerful lights are now really, really small. I’ve got a number of Crimson Trace Lightguards on Glocks and 1911s. They add no width or length to your pistol. The placement just in front of the trigger guard means that there is no real impact on my ability to conceal a Lightguard-equipped gun – even using an inside the waistband holster. You get 100 lumens of light with no additional storage requirement. Why not?

5. Theaters. Remember Aurora? Enough said.

6. Restaurants (where legal) for the same reason. The good ones tend to be all romantic and dark. That’s great for foreplay, but no so good for gunplay.

7. Adding a light to your gun gives you an excuse to buy a cool new holster. Like this one. Or this one.

8. Light over 60 lumens has the possibility of temporarily distracting or disorienting an attacker. Don’t count on it, but a surprise flash in the eyeballs just might buy you a couple of seconds of much-needed time. Of course, since the light is mounted on your gun, this scenario only applies if you are in a position where pointing your gun at someone or something is warranted.

9. Even in reasonably well-lit indoor environments, a weapon mounted light will dramatically clarify both your target and your gun sights. Try it.

10. Your carry gun is also your home defense gun. Hey, if your carry gun lives on or near your nightstand while you’re sleeping, you definitely want a light on it. Yes, you want a separate flashlight nearby too for pure “looking” purposes. If you find any bad surprises, you’ll want that light on your gun.

An alternate carry setup: Glock 31 with Crimson Trace Lightguard and Lasergrips. Too big? The same configuration works on a Glock compact like the 19, 32 and 23.

An alternate carry setup: Glock 31 with Crimson Trace Lightguard and Lasergrips. Too big? The same configuration works on a Glock compact like the 19, 32 and 23.



Gonzaga Students Face Possible Expulsion After Pulling Gun On Home Intruder


This is from KHQ NBC6 Spokane, Washington.

A son of Obama tries to break in and rob white students.

A white student pulls a legally owned handgun and is

able to scare off the son of Obama.

Now the white student is facing possible expulsion

because said student was unaware of the firearms rule. 

Gonzaga Students Erik Fagan and Dan McIntosh face possible expulsion from the university for pulling a gun on an intruder.

SPOKANE, Wash. – Two Gonzaga students are facing possible expulsion from the University after they pulled a weapon in self defense as a six time felon attempted to get into their on campus apartment. According to the student handbook, students may not possess handguns on campus or university owned property.

On Friday a university discipline board decided to move forward with sanctions, including possible expulsion, for using the weapons. The students will learn in the near future about their future with the school. It all happened late in the night on October 24th when roommates Erik Fagan and Dan McIntosh were hanging out in their university owned apartment.

At 10:15 Fagan answered the door and was greeted by John Taylor. John TaylorTaylor is a felon with an extensive criminal history and when he arrived Fagan said Taylor showed him what appeared to be an ankle bracelet as he tried to intimidate him. Fagan said Taylor then demanded money and was frustrated when he was turned down.

Taylor then attempted to force entry into the apartment. At that point McIntosh brandished his pistol. McIntosh has a concealed weapons permit for the gun and did not know it was in violation of policy at the time. Once Taylor saw the gun he left the property. McIntosh said Spokane Police took Taylor into custody after their report because he was wanted on a Department of Corrections warrant.

Gonzaga released a statement speaking of their long standing weapons policy that has been in effect. The University says the policy has been in place to reduce threats to the school. This story is developing and will be updated as more information becomes available.




Arizona Concealed Carrier Stops Possible Mass Shooting by Shooting Man Armed With a Rifle


This is from Guns Saves Lifes.

A more accurate headline would be a mass murder was

prevented by Arizona Concealed Carrier.

This story will see little or no coverage by the Obama Media.


This is a story of a mass shooting that might have been if not for the efforts of a concealed carrier. However, don’t expect to see this story on the national news since there were no fatalities.

Several guests, in their 20′s and 30′s were attending a party at a Glendale, AZ home when one of the guests, identified only as a 27 year old male, got into an altercation with several people at the home.

The 27 year old was asked to leave, which he initially did. However, shortly thereafter, the 27 year old returned, this time armed with a rifle.

The suspected shooter fired rounds off outside the home and when he pointed the gun at other guests, a 39 year old guest drew a concealed handgun and fired on the suspect, who was hit by the gunfire.

The concealed carrier waited for police, explained what happened and was released after giving a statement to police.

According to,

The shooter has been cooperative with investigators, she said. He was questioned and released by detectives.

“This is standard procedure under these type of circumstances,” Breeden said. “Information and evidence detectives have gathered leads them to believe the 27-year-old was not only firing his rifle, endangering partygoers, but also pointed the weapon at other partygoers, endangering them, prior to the 39-year-old displaying a weapon and shooting the 27-year-old.”

The shooter is being treated for injuries described as potentially life threatening at an area hospital.

We of course have no way to know how many lives were saved by the actions of the man carrying a handgun, however, based on the actions of the suspect prior to being shot I think we can safely conclude he did not return to the party with honorable intentions.

No license is required to carry a handgun a in the state of Arizona.



Concealed Carry Permit Holders are One Third as Likely to Commit Murder as Police Officers


This is from Jews For The Preservation Of Firearms Ownership.

It’s scary to think civilians are safer the police.

An armed society is a polite society.

By Dean Weingarten, Monday, October 7th, 2013
Article Source

In 1994, when Arizona started its shall issue concealed carry weapon (CCW) program, there was considerable interest in how many and what types of homicides would be related to the new law.

I started teaching classes for the Arizona CCW permit when it went into effect, and I immediately noticed that my students were well above average in attitude, responsibility, and civility. They always pitched in to assist in setting up where necessary, and their personal checks have always been good.

When the first statistics became available, I eagerly digested the information. One person with a CCW permit had committed a homicide, although not with a concealed weapon. It was a domestic situation, and the perpetrator was a retired police officer. The question arose, how often do police officers commit homicide compared to concealed carry permit holders? Of the two, which is more common?

It appears that a person is three times safer with a concealed carry permit holder than they are with a police officer.

Attempting to determine how the homicide rate of people with CCW permits compares to that of police officers is not an easy task. There are several sources that show that people with CCW permits are far more law abiding than the general population.

One would like to believe that the same is true for police officers, but data is much harder to obtain for them. Agencies that employ sworn officers do not like to tarnish their name with the misdeeds of officers, and unlike a few states that track crimes committed by CCW permit holders, I do not know of any government database of crimes committed by peace officers.

The best reported crimes are homicides. It is a significant event that is difficult to ignore. There is usually a body. Media usually reports all the homicides that they learn of.

I found two sources of data that seem roughly comparable: TheViolence Policy Center (VPC)(pdf) attempts to track all homicides that are committed by CCW permit holders. The data is incomplete, in that it relies on publicly reported stories, but it gives us a useful figure. It does not seem likely that many reported stories are missed.

For police, I used a web site that tracks domestic homicidescommitted by police officers, and another that does the same forpolice involved domestic violence. The data is comparable to the VPC data in that it relies on publicly reported stories. Data was available for complete years from 2008 – 2011 for comparison of the two groups.

Florida was chosen to represent CCW permit holders, because accurate numbers of permits were obtainable from the Florida Department of Agriculture. Florida has the highest total of CCW permits of all the states, and the number of resident concealed carry permits in Florida is reasonably close to the number of sworn state and local peace officers in the United States.

The Violence Policy Center (VPC) says that Florida tops the nation in killings by people with concealed carry permits. VPC has complete years in their data base for 2008 – 2011 for Florida. There are 27 total killings that are unjustified homicides by CCW permit holders, and 14 of those are domestic homicides. The rate of domestic homicides per 100,000 per year is .583 per 100,000 for CCW holders.

The homicide rate nationally dropped from 5.4 to 4.7 per 100,000 during this period, and the Florida homicide rate dropped from 6.4 to 5.2 per 100,000. Since we are only looking at CCW holders in Florida, we would expect those rates to be a bit higher than the national rate for this period.

When we look at the numbers for sworn officers, I found 52 domestic homicides committed by sworn police officers from 2008 – 2011. For the police, nationally from 2008 through 2011, the rate is 52/2,818,924 or 1.854/100,000 domestic homicides per 100,000 police per year.

For the data that we have, police appear to be three times as likely to commit murder as a concealed carry permit holder.

If we include all unjustified homicides (suicides were not included) found in Florida by the VPC for CCW holders for the entire four years, the rate is only 27/2,400,713 or 1.125 per 100,000 population per year. This is comparable with the homicide rates in developedWestern European countries. It is 61% of the rate for police officers for domestic homicides alone.

There are no complete and definitive sources of data that will give us an accurate ratio of unjustified homicides committed by police compared to CCW holders. The numbers are very small and no one keeps a national record of them. However, the numbers found for domestic homicide cases, which are some of the easiest solved and most highly publicised cases, offer strong evidence that CCW permit holders are less likely to commit unjustified homicide than police officers, as little as one third as much.

Link to the data which contains links to individual cases.
Link to source comparing CCW holders to general population
Link The Violence Policy Center (VPC) data base of incidents (pdf)
Link to site that tracks domestic homicides committed by police
Link to site that tracks police involved domestic violence
Link to article where VPC claims that Florida tops the nation in killings by CCW holders
Link to FBI site showing homicide rates by year
Link to site that shows Florida homicide rates by year
Link to site comparing European homicide rates

Defensive Carry: Caliber and incapacitation

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This is from The Daily Caller.

Do your own research on calibers and incapacitation before

making a decision on a carry weapon.

Do not let the internet hype make your decisions for you.

Your live and your families lives depend on knowing the facts.

Last but not least get in plenty of range time and keep your

weapon clean.


By Greg Ellifritz,

As a full-time firearms instructor, I get daily questions from beginning shooters about the “best” caliber for concealed carry. People new to carrying a gun on a daily basis have lots of questions about how bullets work and want to choose the most effective firearm they can carry.

I went through the same learning phase. As a rookie cop who decided to carry a gun off-duty (which isn’t as common as you might think), I obsessed over my personal firearms selection. I started off with a .38 snub because I could carry it as a backup gun on my ankle while working, as well as a primary gun for off-duty carry. I quickly realized, while easy to carry, I couldn’t shoot it very well. Money was tight and I couldn’t afford another gun for a while, so I defaulted to carrying a gun I had owned since a teenager, a S&W Model 19 .357 Magnum with a 4″ barrel. I carried it in an inside-the-waistband holster for more than a year before I got a raise and could buy another gun.

That new gun was a Smith & Wesson Model 3913 9mm. I loved the gun, but I was worried about the stopping power “failures” I heard were prevalent with the 9mm cartridge, so I upgraded to a .40. Shortly thereafter I moved to a higher-capacity .40. Then I upgraded to a .45. I’ve carried just about every caliber available over the years as I stayed on the quest to find the “perfect” concealed carry caliber.

All the while, I was keeping data on the results of every shooting I could find. I went to autopsies. I talked to gunfight survivors and read police reports. I wanted to put to rest all the rumor and propaganda I had seen about handgun effectiveness. I wanted to prove once and for all which cartridge was the “best” — and I would carry that until my research identified something better.


I collected data on nearly 2,000 shootings over the course of 10 years of research. For this study, I excluded all cases of accidental shootings or suicides. Every shot in the data set took place during a military battle or an altercation with a criminal.

I looked at many different factors, but the variables I think most important are the following: What percentage of people shot stopped their aggressive action after one hit to the torso or head? On average, how many shots did it take to stop the attacker? What percentage of attackers did not stop no matter how many rounds hit them? What I found is listed in the Chart. Give it a quick look for now, and then read on.

Before I get into too much detail about the results of my study, a little education in handgun ballistics is required.


There is nothing magical about a handgun bullet, in spite of what makers may say. Handgun bullets don’t explode inside the person shot and they don’t knock someone off their feet. They merely poke holes, and cut flesh. Obviously, where those holes are located on the body is of prime importance. If the bullets don’t hit a vital structure, they can’t physically incapacitate someone. Besides the location of the wound, the other important factor to consider is the size of the hole. A bigger hole is statistically more likely to hit something vital than a smaller hole, all other factors being equal.
No matter where the bullet hits or what caliber is used, a bullets can only stop an aggressor three ways.


This is when the attacker stops fighting because of the pain or the shock from the bullet wound. Often, criminals will stop their attack even though the bullet didn’t physically incapacitate them. They just don’t want to be shot anymore! Even though it happens on a regular basis, we can’t rely on this mechanism to reliably stop an attacker. Many criminals are mentally ill or under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Those factors diminish the body’s pain response. We just can’t count on the attacker feeling the pain of the bullet wound and stopping his attack.


If your bullet hits the bad guy’s brain or upper spinal cord, it’s likely to be immediately incapacitating, and generally fatal. The only problem with relying on this mechanism to achieve a stopping of hostilities is the fact the brain and spinal cord are relatively hard to hit under the pressure of someone shooting back at you. Besides being small targets, they are relatively well protected by dense bone, which will occasionally deflect bullets.


If you poke enough holes in vital organs and blood vessels, you will facilitate bleeding. Depending on the number and size of the holes, a person can go unconscious in a matter of seconds from the blood loss (even internal bleeding qualifies here) — or stay in the fight for several minutes. There are examples of people who are essentially dead, staying in a fight for ten or more seconds, continuing to shoot, often inflicting casualties before they actually die from blood loss. Blood loss lowers blood pressure, which robs the brain of oxygen, which eventually shuts them down.

Let’s combine the knowledge we have about handgun ballistics with the results I obtained in my study. It raises some issues involved in your choice of the best caliber for your defensive pistol, so let’s see if we make sense of it.

A modern revolver, like this Performance Center Thunder Ranch revolver in .45 ACP, offers accuracy, ultimate reliability, good stopping power, and fast reloads. A design like this keeps the revolver in the fight when it comes to defensive handguns. Photo: Ichiro Nagata

A modern revolver, like this Performance Center Thunder Ranch revolver in .45 ACP, offers accuracy, ultimate reliability, good stopping power, and fast reloads. A design like this keeps the revolver in the fight when it comes to defensive handguns. Photo: Ichiro Nagata


I think the most interesting statistic presented is the percentage of people who stopped with one shot to the torso or head. There wasn’t much of a variation between calibers. Between the most common defensive calibers (.38, 9mm, .40 and .45) there was a spread of only eight percentage points. No matter what caliber you are shooting, you can only expect around half of the people you shoot to be immediately incapacitated by your first hit.

The average number of rounds until incapacitation was also remarkably similar between calibers. All the common defensive calibers required around two rounds, on average, to incapacitate. Additionally, all four common defensive cartridges have very similar failure rates. If you look at the percentage of shootings not resulting in incapacitation, the numbers are almost identical. The .38, 9mm, .40 and .45 all had failure rates of between 13 and 17 percent.

Although this study showed the percentages of people stopped with one shot are similar between almost all handgun cartridges, there is more to the story. Take a look at the percentage of people who did not stop no matter how many rounds were fired into them. The smaller-caliber rounds (.22, .25 and .32) had a failure rate roughly two to three times that of the larger-caliber rounds.

What matters even more than caliber is shot placement. Across all calibers, if you break down the incapacitations based on where the bullet hit, you will find some useful information. Headshots had a 75 percent immediate incapacitation. Torso shots showed a 41 percent immediate incapacitation and extremity shots (arms and legs) had a 14 percent immediate incapacitation rate. No matter which caliber you use, you have to hit something important in order to stop the bad guy!

How do we use this information to choose a defensive handgun?

While .22s are fun, and have and will be relied upon for defense, Greg’s research showed them to be subpar when it comes to stopping fights against real adversaries.

While .22s are fun, and have and will be relied upon for defense, Greg’s research showed them to be subpar when it comes to stopping fights against real adversaries.


The “mouse gun” calibers (.22, .25 and .32), while easy to carry, have a very high failure rate as compared to the larger caliber cartridges. If the criminal is likely to be affected by a psychological stop (“Hey, I’m tired of getting shot, so I’ll stop.”), these rounds are as good as any others. I believe that’s why they compare favorably to the larger calibers in the statistic regarding the percentage of people stopped with one shot. Those are likely psychological stops rather than physical incapacitations.

While I agree any gun is better than no gun, I can’t advise you to carry pistols under .35 caliber. They work any many cases, but if you do happen to encounter a motivated attacker, they are far more likely to fail.

.380 ACP

The .380 seems okay from a ballistic standpoint. My only concern is the general reliability of the pistols. They usually just don’t run as well as the larger guns, and people tend to not shoot or practice with them since ammo is often expensive for what you get. Some of the really small .380s are also difficult to hold onto when firing. That contributes to slower subsequent shots. Knowing we are likely to need at least two shots to stop an attacker, this is somewhat of a concern. Reliability and controllability is what helps you with that all-important second shot. If you have a reliable .380 pistol (200 to 300 rounds between malfunctions) and you can shoot it fast and accurately, I would consider it the bare minimum defensive cartridge for concealed carry.

.38 SPECIAL/.357 MAG

The .38 Special and .357 Magnum are adequate and superior cartridges respectively. That should make you revolver fans quite happy. My only concern is their rate of fire. Some of the smaller .38 snubs are difficult to shoot well because of their diminutive size, horrible sights and tiny factory grips. The .357 Magnum in a short barrel has very stout recoil and a lot of muzzleblast. Both of these factors make for slower follow-up shots.

Like the .380, I would only carry these two calibers if I had a revolver I could shoot both fast and accurately and could manage a reliable reload. Remember, you don’t have high capacity magazines (or those 8-shot revolver cylinders) so you have more ammo — it’s so you don’t have to reload as often!
9mm, .40 & .45 ACP.

That leaves the 9mm, .40 and .45. Go back and take a look at the chart again. There is a remarkable similarity in performance between these three rounds. They all stop about half of the attackers with one shot, and have a failure rate of 13 to 15 percent. Despite all the bluster you see on the Internet about not carrying a defensive pistol unless the caliber “starts with a 4” — the .40 and .45 do not perform significantly better than the 9mm in real life gunfights.

That doesn’t mean the .40 or .45 is a bad cartridge, it just means these cartridges don’t live up to their hype. While at the top of the heap, the .45 is far from a stopper 19 out of 20 times, as Jeff Cooper was fond of asserting.

I would feel completely comfortable carrying any of these three cartridges as my primary defensive weapon. Rather than worrying about the inconsequential differences in stopping power, I would focus on finding the most reliable and accurate firearm I could carry in any of those three calibers. If you can hit with it, and manage fast follow-up shots, and it’s reliable, don’t let caliber confuse you.


As I said in the beginning, I’ve carried just about every caliber imaginable during my career. My extensive research has caused me to worry less about caliber — and more about reliability, ammo capacity and rapidity of follow-up shots.

For the last 10 years I’ve primarily carried a 9mm Glock as a concealed carry pistol. But I do occasionally carry a .380 or .38 snub. My police duty gun is a .45. I feel comfortable with all of them, but on my own time, I carry the Glock 9mm about 90 percent of the time. It’s a great combination of accuracy, reliability, stopping power and capacity. That’s all you can ask for in a defensive piece.

My recommendation to you is to ignore all the advice you receive from gun store salesmen and Internet keyboard commandos, unless you personally know their info to be sound. Choose a reliable gun you can carry all the time, and shoot both fast and accurately. Caliber simply isn’t all that important. Imagine that.

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Chicago lawmakers unanimously vote to beef up assault weapons ban

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This is from Fox News Politics.

The land of Barack Milhous Capone Kardashian passes even

 useless more touchy feely legislation.

Yet they true problems for the gun violence will not be addressed.

The gangs are the cause of the violence.

The problem of fatherless homes will not be addressed.


CHICAGO –  Chicago’s City Council unanimously voted Wednesday to beef up its assault weapons ban with new measures that add strict penalties, prohibit more weapons and define “student safety zones,” changes that come in the wake of Illinois‘ new concealed carry law.

Illinois lawmakers approved a state law last week outlining who can carry concealed weapons in public after a federal appeals court ruled Illinois’ last-in-the-nation concealed carry ban unconstitutional. The new state law gave local entities 10 days to come up with new or updated gun laws of their own.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel called a rare special session Wednesday to deal with guns, the same day Cook County commissioners voted to strengthen the county assault weapons ban with tougher penalties.

Chicago already prohibits the sale and possession of the weapons and of high-capacity magazines. City council members approved measures Wednesday that outline more than 150 specific weapons that are prohibited, including any shotgun with a revolving cylinder and any semi-automatic rifle with a fixed magazine that can hold more than 10 rounds.

“There is absolutely no need for assault weapons; none,” said Alderman Latasha Thomas, according to Chicago’s WBBM Radio ( “The only thing it does is kill people. There’s absolutely no need for it. Banning assault weapons is the smart move for every city to do.”

The changes also deal with school safety, which has been a hot issue in Chicago since Emanuel began pushing for the closure of 50 schools and programs. Parents have raised concerns about children crossing gang lines, among other things.

The measures define “student safety zones,” and outlines stiffer penalties for gun crimes committed there. The zones are 1,000 feet from school grounds between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m. when school is in session and what are being called safe passage routes. Those routes, which will be patrolled by safety advocates, have been outlined for children to get to school safely if there are closures.

“Safe passage to schools is a key component of ensuring each and every one of our children has access to a quality public education. This ordinance helps ensure our children can focus on their studies and not their safety while fulfilling their educational dreams,” Emanuel said in a statement.

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