SHTF blog – Modern Survival

How to Spot Someone Carrying a Concealed Handgun

concealed handgun

You’re at a convenience store late one night and some scumbag is talking trash with the cashier. Is he packing heat?

It’s post-SHTF and you’re bartering junk silver with Farmer Joe for a few chickens. Two guys across the road see you bartering goods and trot towards you. Are they hiding handguns?

The idea behind carrying a concealed handgun is that you gain the element of surprise – which is huge. If you know what to look for, what mistakes people make, you might be able to remove that surprise advantage from a scumbag.

The following graphic was published in the New York Times in 1992. The artist, Megan Jaegerman, interviewed Detective Robert T Gallagher from the NYPD. She wrote the following about her interview:

He was a New York City policeman for 18 years, who for much of that time worked as a plain-clothes undercover detective (anti-robbery tactical unit, confiscating illegal firearms) in Bronx & Manhattan, 6pm to 2am shift. He got very good at picking out people carrying weapons. So good that he received 1984 Governor’s Police Officer of the Year Award. The great achievement was not just making gun arrests (1200 of them), but making them stick. The letter nominating him said he had ‘an almost flawless conviction rate’. I believe he put it at ‘99.99’.

That’s the whole point of his observation–not just to get a gun off the street, and then maybe have the arrest thrown out, which apparently happens too often–but to get from arrest to conviction and jail time. It’s all about probable cause, he explained. First identify suspicious demeanor, appearance, behavior (which don’t qualify as grounds for arrest), and then wait for probable cause, or legal grounds for frisking and/or arresting someone. He pretty much had to watch for enough clues to justify suspicion, which would allow him to stop a suspect. Then he’d identify himself as a policeman, and then he’d watch for the hand reaching toward the waistband, or the guy instinctively turning away, and pulling his arm in to his side. That would combine to give probable cause for a frisk. And when there’s a frisk and a weapon, there’s an arrest, and apparently with Gallagher, very often a conviction. The sequence is necessary, in the context of suspects’ rights and legal requirements for arrest–evidence must exist that rises above suspicion to probable cause…

Here is the graphic image on spotting a hidden handgun. Click the image for a larger version.

carrying concealed infographic

If you look at this post from a different angle, it could be called How to Further Conceal a Handgun. If you carry concealed, you now know a few extra measures you can take to hide your piece. Don’t do things that might give you away. Start with a good holster.

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