Former CIA Officer Jason Hanson Reveals...

Spy Secrets That Can

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Mailbag Monday

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Will I be reported to ATF if I buy a 80% lower receiver from an online gun store

-From Greg P.

Answer: Under federal law an 80% lower receiver is not considered a firearm. The ATF has no reason to track these sales. But anytime you buy something online there is a paper trail and the information could end up with the ATF or any other government agency.

For instance, if the online seller was subject to a warrant, then their records could be examined.

Basically, if you didn’t want a record of the sale the best thing to do would be to walk into a local gun store and pay cash for an 80% lower. That’s if the store doesn’t require any paperwork.

Also, some states have laws when it comes to buying 80% lowers. For example, California requires 80% lowers to be serialized and paperwork filed with the state.


Do you have a trusted source for purchasing 5-gallon buckets for food storage?

-From Mel L.

Answer: Storing food in buckets is one of the best ways to preserve food. Heavy-duty plastic buckets can keep out pests, light, moisture, and oxygen.

You can find these buckets on Amazon and many other retailers. The key is to make sure that you purchase buckets that are food grade plastic. In other words, don’t buy the cheap buckets from Home Depot.

Also, consider adding oxygen absorbers to the food buckets.


What is the best way to store batteries in my survival gear? Does putting them in the refrigerator make them last longer?

-From Irene R.

Answer: Unfortunately, it’s a common myth that keeping batteries in the freezer will make them last longer. It actually can do more harm to the batteries and the ideal place to store batteries is in a cool place around 70 degrees.

Also, before storing your batteries for the long term you should clean both the positive and negative ends of the battery with a rag.

Finally, you should store the batteries in a container where they won’t come in contact with anything else. Basically, when you keep batteries in a drawer they probably come in contact with pens, loose change, and other metal, which can damage the battery.

If you do store batteries in a flashlight or other device, turn them around. (Don’t put them in the way that makes the light work, turn them around the other way.)


Is there a way to get past facial recognition security? Is it really accurate?

-From Brett H.

Answer: Facial recognition technology is pretty accurate and is always improving. Yet, it can still be deceived.

For instance, wearing clothing made with silver-plated fabrics can reflect thermal radiation. This can fool some facial recognition software.

Or wearing clothing with pictures of other faces can sometimes trick facial recognition.

The reality is, there is no 100% effective way to avoid facial recognition (unless you walk around with a mask on) but the above things can fool some systems.


I’m going a summer road trip across the country. What is the best way to take a gun with me and legally conceal carry? How do I know where I can carry my gun?

-From Jeff P.

Answer: If you have a concealed carry permit in your home state, you need to be familiar with permit reciprocity. You want to find out what other states recognize your permit and will allow you to carry a concealed firearm.

If you go to your state’s website, they will tell you what other states honor the permit. I personally have multiple concealed carry permits to give me as much coverage across the U.S. as possible. (I have Utah, Virginia and Arizona.)

Whatever you do, make sure you follow the laws in the state you are in at the time. The last thing you want is to get caught with a concealed firearm where its illegal to do so in a place like New York City or California.


I’m a senior citizen and I recently started paying all my utility bills online. Should I use a single credit card to pay these bills? Or do I need a different credit card for each utility in case they are hacked?

-From Harry M.

Answer: These days, anytime you use a credit card there is the risk of someone stealing your card information. But I think the method you mentioned of paying all your bills with a single card is a safe and easy idea. Just make sure you are using a credit card and not a debit card.

Also, remember to check your credit card statement every month. You need to verify that all your bills were paid and that there weren’t any unauthorized charges.

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