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Mailbag Monday

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I will be taking a vacation to another state where I can’t carry my pistol. So, I plan on taking a quality survival knife. Can I legally put a knife in my checked baggage and fly with it as long as I check the bag?

-From Brandon T.

Answer: I’ve never had a problem with a knife in checked luggage. And, I usually have several pocket knives in my checked bag, so yes, you can put a knife in your checked baggage.

Remember that it may be legal to put the knife in your checked luggage, and it may be legal to carry the knife in your home state…

But, as soon as you collect your luggage at the destination, you could be carrying an illegal knife depending on the location.

Lastly, in the U.S. you don’t need to declare a knife that you have in checked luggage. The rules are different for firearms, which always need to be declared.


For Christmas I got my entire family bulletproof backpacks. My question is, can I make it through airport security and fly with these bags?

-From Andy B.

Answer: According to the TSA, body armor is allowed in carry-on or checked bags.

Also, I have flown for years with a bulletproof bag and I have never had a problem. (TSA doesn’t even recognize it and I have never been asked about it.)


My wife and I are buying new pistols. When buying guns is it best to buy all the same manufacturer or switch it up and have one from all the big gun makers?

-From Kevin C.

Answer: It all depends on how much you train.

For most people, the better option will be to find a brand you like and buy all the same brand since the controls will be the same (like on a Glock.)

But, if you are going to spend the time to train on multiple guns, then get as many different types of guns as you wish.

The thing is, you might like a 9mm Glock but not like the .380 Glock. Maybe the .380 Sig Sauer feels more comfortable.

My point is, buy the guns that you are most comfortable shooting.


My wife does not like guns. For Christmas, she bought me a BB gun for home defense. Is this worth using in a deadly situation?

-From Charlie R.

Answer: This would not be my first choice for a home defense gun at all.

The thing about BB guns is they usually have power around 400 FPS. A good home defense firearm could be well over 1000 FPS.

A BB gun might break a person’s skin but it wouldn’t stop an intruder that is looking to harm you.

If you’re looking for something that is easy to shoot and with very little recoil, I would at least try a Ruger 10/22.

Also, instead of a BB gun, I would much rather have a weapon such as a tomahawk or machete that will do more damage.


I just obtained my first concealed carry permit. I know I cannot carry a gun in government buildings. But, can a business like Walmart ban people from carrying guns even if they have a permit to do so?

-From Rich T.

Answer: In the context of gun laws, most states allow business owners to enforce their own policy regarding the carrying of guns on business premises.

Remember, I’m not a lawyer, but a business such as Walmart is considered private property, therefore they have the right to ban people from carrying guns on their property.

Basically, it’s just like if your friend came to your house with a gun on his hip and you didn’t want him to bring it in, you have the right to tell him to leave since it’s your property.

Of course, if you’re carrying concealed, these businesses will never know you have a gun and I will neither confirm nor deny that I just ignore those businesses signs.

The only sign I have ever seen at Walmart is they didn’t want people open carrying their gun. I have never seen a Walmart sign that prohibited concealed carry.


I live near a large dam in the northwest. With all the rain we’ve been getting I’m worried that the dam could fail one day. How do I prepare for this type of disaster?

-From Rebecca W.

Answer: There is no good answer, except the obvious of evacuating the moment you think something isn’t right. If the dam starts to fail, get in your car and drive far away.

I realize this is easier said than done since we can’t predict the exact moment a dam will fail.

However, I would begin preparations now to evacuate at a moment’s notice. (Get your bug out bags ready so you can quickly flee your home.)

Have a plan in place of where you will go and how you will get there. What roads you will take and how you can avoid bridges. Roads will be damaged so keep that in mind.

But make sure you have your supplies ready to go, so you can evacuate your home in mere minutes.

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