Former CIA Officer Jason Hanson Reveals...

Spy Secrets That Can

Save Your Life

Get Out Alive

Mailbag Monday

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Which is better; purchase a brand-new firearm or a used one from a pawnshop?

-From Jeri R.

Answer: The thing is a new gun is always going to be more expensive, but a new gun is also going to be the safer option.

When you buy a used gun you never know if there are any issues with the gun or even how it’s been cared for by the previous owner.

​With that being said, most legitimate pawnshops will look over the firearms they are selling since they want to avoid selling junk.

It really comes down to personal preference as to whether you are buying a gun you plan on keeping forever or if you are buying a gun that you aren’t 100% sure will be the right fit for you.

If you aren’t convinced you will be keeping the gun for the long term, then buying a used gun isn’t a bad idea.


Jason, I’m guessing you were in some high stress situations during your CIA career. How do you control your nerves when you are in a dicey situation?

-From Hank L.

Answer: Preparation and practice. Practicing skills over and over and over so that when you find yourself in dangerous situations you go on “autopilot” because you’re so well trained.


I’m considering getting my Federal Firearms License after reading your guide. To obtain my license am I required to have a commercial storefront?

-From Vincent M.

Answer: There is a common misperception that to operate an FFL you need a retail or office location but this isn’t correct. You can 100% legally operate as an FFL dealer from your home.

The catch is that the ATF typically doesn’t approve FFL’s that will only be for personal use. (They want to know you’re going to do it as a business)

In other words, during the application process you have to disclose what you will use the FFL for and if you put that you just want to buy your guns at a cheaper cost, your application will probably be denied.

So, you need to specify what you will use the FFL for such as conducting firearms transfers, etc.


My father recently passed away. While cleaning out his house I found thousands of rounds of 9mm ammo. I don’t know how old it is or where he acquired it from. It doesn’t look like it’s in the best of shape and I wouldn’t trust it. What should I do with it?

-From Valerie B.

Answer: For ammo you don’t want any more or for corroded ammo, you should call your local police non-emergency number and ask them if they will take it.

Usually, you can take the ammo into a police station and they will safely dispose of it.

Now, if that isn’t an option, I would call your local gun store and ask if they will dispose of ammo.

If the gun store has a range, they will most likely have containers for bad rounds and they should be able to assist you.


I have owned many different brands of guns throughout my life. But I was recently introduced to Sig Sauers and fell in love with their pistols. If you were going to buy a Sig, which model would you get?

-From Malcolm R.

Answer: I own a lot of Sigs. My favorite pocket gun is a Sig P365. I also own a Sig P226 and Sig P250 and Sig P320. If you want a pocket gun I would go with the P365 and if you want a full sized gun I would go with the P320.


I live in the middle of nowhere. The nearest house is 5 miles away. Since I’m so isolated, I would like to get night vision goggles in case I need to bug out at night. Are there any that you recommend?

-From Greg T.

Answer: When it comes to night vision goggles the reality is they are very expensive. The ones available on the civilian market are nothing like the ones worn by the U.S. Military.

A quality pair of goggles will cost at least $3,000 but there’s no doubt they can provide a tactical advantage. I would check out products from the Armasight company. Their night vision products start around $3,000 and they sell them on Amazon.

You want to find goggles that are rugged, and made with high grade optics. Also, choose ones that are designed for hands-free use so they can be worn on a flip-up head mount.

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