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I live in New York where we have very strict gun laws. I own a few different Glock handguns for home defense. But it’s not legal for me to carry concealed. Hypothetically, would you ever carry a gun even if you don’t have a permit to do so?

-From Jose T.

Answer: I personally wouldn’t take the risk of illegally carrying a firearm. I know you want to defend yourself, but the thing is, if you are caught with a firearm during a simple traffic stop, it can lead to serious charges.

My wife is from California, which is another state with strict gun laws. This is why I told her that I would never live in the state of California because of the gun laws.

I’m sure moving isn’t an option for you, but I definitely don’t recommend breaking the law. Instead, I would find weapons you can legally carry such as a knife or a tactical pen.

 

With the recent church shooting in California, I asked my pastor if I could conceal carry a firearm on Sunday. My question is, do I need a concealed weapons permit to carry a gun in a church? And can the church tell me not to bring a gun?

-From Greg L.

Answer: Laws relating to concealed carry inside churches vary from state to state. If the state requires you to have a concealed carry license, then it applies to churches as well.

With that being said, in most states, a private establishment such as a church can ban firearms from being on their property… similar to a homeowner telling someone they can’t bring a gun into their home.

 

I have made my home security a priority. For this reason, I installed a security system. I also added security bars to the doors. But I stopped using these in case a friend or EMS needs to get into the home. Any other ideas for door security?

-From Ruth A.

Answer: The security bar you use is designed to stop people from kicking or breaking down the door. Basically, if police or firefighters tried to get in during an emergency there is no doubt it would slow them down.

Of course, they have tools such as axes and they will figure out how to get in during an emergency. Unfortunately, there is no easy way to disengage these types of security devices when it’s an emergency or even a family member coming over.

For this reason, I would simply deal with the fact that first responders may have to break your door in half to get in and you will have to deal with the repairs. If it’s a life-or-death situation, this will be a small price to pay.

By the way, a good door security device is called the NightLock and I know many people who use it.

 

As I get older my hands are getting weaker. I’m 75 and it’s difficult for me to pull the slide back on my semi-auto. Any tips to improve the hand strength to manipulate pistols?

-From Gilbert P.

Answer: There are a few different things you can do to try and regain strength in your hands.

First, take a heavy-duty rubber band or a rubber wristband and put it around your fingers and try to push your fingers apart. This will help with your grip strength while shooting.

Another thing you could try is the hand gripper exerciser, which sells for about $10 on Amazon. This is the spring device with two handles that you can use to improve your hand strength.

Lastly, if manipulating a semi-auto is just too painful, I would consider getting a revolver.

 

Do you leave the lights on in your home at night? I was thinking about doing this so that if someone broke into my home, I would be able to see them clearly as I come down the stairs. Is this a bad idea?

-From Jay M.

Answer: I don’t turn on the lights because I don’t need to. What I mean is, I have a light/laser combination on my home defense gun.

So, as soon as I grab my gun from my rapid-access safe, I’ll be able to see and it will also blind the intruder because it’s a bright light pointed right at them.

You should have a flashlight on your nightstand at the very least, so I wouldn’t worry about turning on the lights.

 

When you carry concealed do you carry an extra magazine? What is the best way to do this?

-From Travis H.

Answer: One of the easiest ways to carry a spare magazine is to simply put it in your pocket. The typical magazine isn’t any heavier than the normal things you have in your pocket, so it shouldn’t be a burden. (I carry mine in my cargo pants pockets.)

Another option is to wear a magazine holster. There are a ton of them on the market with all sorts of options. For concealed carry, try to find an inside-the-waistband design that tucks easily and isn’t uncomfortable to have in the waistband.

Lastly, there are combination holsters for your gun and magazine. Obviously, these are bigger holsters, but it’s an all-in-one option for convenience.

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