Former CIA Officer Jason Hanson Reveals...

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Mailbag Monday

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From Thomas S: I had the need to visit our local Walmart about midnight on Saturday night to do some shopping. First, I noticed in the parking lot, several teenagers riding around on shopping carts, including the battery powered riding carts. No legitimate use.

Inside, several more were throwing basketballs in the aisles of sporting goods… The store obviously has no security, or they don’t wish to engage these hooligans. Your advice on what to do?

Answer: I’m assuming that you typically don’t go shopping at midnight but there was specific need that required you to go at that time. Since I live in a small town in Utah, I got to Walmart all the time and I try and go at 8am.

I would obviously avoid the hooligans, but as you’re walking past them, don’t look like a victim. Stand tall, carry yourself well and move with a purpose. Of course, always have a weapon on you whether it’s a tactical pen, stun gun flashlight or a gun, just in case.

From Arnold L: What do you have to say about older ammo? For example: In the late seventies and early eighties a lot of folks bought bricks of 22 caliber rounds and hundreds, sometimes thousands, of higher caliber rounds because of the threat of confiscation during some of those years.

Answer: Ammunition doesn’t necessarily have an expiration date. However, it can go bad over time depending on the conditions it was stored in. If you have kept your ammo in a damp basement for the last 10 years, then it has most likely gone bad from the moisture.

But, if you live in a dry climate and store your ammo at reasonable temperatures then it could last decades. I store my ammo in cool, dry places and don’t ever worry about it going bad.

From Hillary H: What do you think of plants as a way to deter criminals? I love roses and cacti of many kinds. I have put a potted cactus that grows tall and has long and short spines. They do not hinder my view and flower beautifully…

Answer: It’s certainly not a bad idea and worth doing. Anything that’ll slow criminals down is worth it. But, you still need to have the other more important security measures such as an alarm system, motion sensor lights and security cameras.

From Jason P: I have a question about traveling with a firearm, is it possible to UPS or FedEx your gun to your destination? Or does the courier do examinations like metal detect or x-ray?

Answer: You can certainly ship your items to your destination. You will want to follow their procedures and you need to let them know you’ll be shipping a firearm. One of the things to keep in mind is that you cannot ship ammunition with firearms.

Also, you need to be the one to open the package at the destination. So, don’t let a friend or relative open up the package with your gun in it. Also, make sure you follow all federal and state laws related to shipping the firearm within or out of your state.

From Todd S: Do you have any suggestions on the companies or types of satellite phones that would be good to get?

Answer: I would look into the Inmarsat IsatPhone 2. This is about $650 on Amazon and you can purchase prepaid minutes. The IsatPhone 2 operates over the global Inmarsat satellite network, which has an average network availability of 99 percent so you can depend on IsatPhone 2 wherever you need it.

From Mitchell T: How do I put a freeze on my credit to stop other people from using it? I have life lock but don’t think that is enough…

Answer: I strongly recommend placing a credit freeze because this makes it impossible for anyone else to access your credit. The way it works is you need to contact the three main credit agencies, which are Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion.

You can go to each of their websites and apply for a freeze. It will cost around $10 per each company depending on the state you reside in. I’ve had my credit freeze for over 15 years now.

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