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Response to Gov. O'Malley's signature of SB281 - Your Gun Rights


describe the imageThis morning, Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley signed into law SB281, a bill that will severely limit the Constitutionally-protected rights of American citizens in the State of Maryland. 

Following the signature of the Bill into law, Beretta has issued the following statement, regarding our company's position regarding the law, and our willingness to remain in the State of Maryland.

You may also wish to read this article, outlining our future plans to remain in a state that has chosen to cripple its citizens' Second Amendment rights.

"The firearm companies owned by Beretta Holding in Maryland—Beretta U.S.A. Corp., Benelli U.S.A. Corporation and Stoeger Industries, Inc.—have all been deeply concerned about Governor Martin O’Malley’s effort this year to impose broad new restrictions on the rights of Maryland citizens to buy firearms, as well as on the types of firearms and firearm magazines they can acquire. The Companies have submitted comments before the Maryland legislature and to the press condemning these efforts and stating that the Governor's anti-gun activity is causing them to evaluate whether they want to remain in this State.

Notwithstanding some media reports to the contrary, those efforts have had some beneficial effects. 

Through the Companies’ legislative efforts and with assistance led by Delegate Joe Vallario and others provisions were stripped out of the final Bill that would have required an immediate move of certain operations out of Maryland. The parts of the legislation that remained, though - and that were not deleted notwithstanding the Beretta Holding companies efforts to do so -remain offensive not only to our companies as firearm manufacturers, importers and distributors and as investors in jobs, taxes and income within the State of Maryland, but also to those of us who, as Maryland citizens, will now be encumbered with obstacles to our exercise of our Constitutional rights, such as a requirement we now be fingerprinted like a criminal before we can buy a handgun, without providing a commensurate benefit in reducing crime.

The resulting law that passed is not acceptable, even with the improvements we were able to obtain.  In short, the law that finally passed went from being atrocious to simply being bad. 

The question now facing the Beretta Holding companies in Maryland is this:  What effect will the passage of this law--and the efforts ofMarylandgovernment officials to support its passage--have on our willingness to remain in this State?

In that respect we are mindful of two objectives:  We will not let passage of this legislation prevent us from providing on-time delivery of our products to our U.S. Armed Forces and other important customers.  We also will not go forward in a way that compounds the insult made to ourMarylandemployees by their Governor and by the legislators who supported his efforts.

Prior to introduction of this legislation the three Beretta Holding companies located inMarylandwere experiencing growth in revenues and jobs and had begun expansion plans in factory and other operations.  The idea now of investing additional funds inMarylandand thus rewarding a Government that has insulted our customers and our products is offensive to us so we will take steps to evaluate such investments in other States.  At the same time, we will continue our current necessary operations withinMarylandand we are thankful for and welcome the continued support of our employees as we do so."

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This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not necessarily represent Beretta.

If our guns could talk...


A few things our guns might say if they could talk:

I don’t care what your buddies said about that gun.  You do not need to get your hands on her to see how she shoots.

I am not going to fit into that holster.  How long have we been together, and you still don't know what size I am?

No, that's ok, I don't need any attention.  I'll just keep working no matter dirty or tired I am, because you need me to.  It's ok.  Really.  Don't worry about little ole me.

Those are most certainly aftermarket accessories.  She didn't leave the factory with those sights.

I’m trying to watch what I eat.  Could I maybe have some of the top shelf ammo once in a while?

Let’s see if her finish is that nice after being in your holster for 10 years. 

Who taught you how to lubricate?  Oil doesn’t go there.

Are you ever going to clean out this range bag?  It stinks in here. 

You're obviously lost, so be a real man and ask directions.  The match starts in 20 minutes and I don't want to be late. 

Oh, the match is over?  No, I don’t mind if you go hang out with your shooting buddies.   I’ll just sit here patiently waiting for you, in this filthy range bag.

How would you like to spend the day stuffed in your pants?

I know you would like to play with two of us at the same time, but that only works in the movies.


Her action won't be that smooth after 20 years and 300,000 rounds.

These scratches will not buff out and the finish is wearing off my frame.  Sigh.  Will you still love me when I’m old?

What do you mean I could use a new set of "springs?"  What exactly is wrong with the ones I have? 

It’s no big deal to let other people squeeze my trigger.  I’ll still come home with you.

You're very good with me dear, but some projects might be beyond your abilities.  Why don't you just call the gunsmith?

Every time you time you miss a shot, I laugh a little.

I saw you looking at that other gun.  Am I not good enough for you?  What does she have that I don’t?

Do these grips make me look fat?

Behind every good shooter is a good gun. Don't you forget it Mister.

Maybe if you kept your eyes on my sights, you would hit the target.

I can smell that gun oil on you.  Where have you been?

Don’t blame me for the score sheet.  You were the one pulling the trigger.

I know you don't like commitment, but we would both be much happier if it was just the two of us.  What do you need those other guns for?

How was your day?  Mine was fine.  I just sat here in the safe waiting for you to pay some attention to me.

Yes dear, you are the best shooter I’ve ever had.

this is it

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This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not necessarily represent Beretta.

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Shooting handguns with my brother.


 My youngest brother came to shoot at a pistol match with me. He has some experience shooting a pistol. It’s not very much. He does need to learn more of the fundamentals of how you handle it tactically. But he is very enthusiastic to learn.

 I have my 92FS for him to use at the match. We shared it. I don't own any other 9mm handguns to use. What a great weapon for him to learn with. All the safety features that you can't go wrong with when teaching gun safety. He followed every step. It was about 22 degrees out that day in the middle of January. And the 92FS worked flawlessly for my brother as a first time shooter in that weather.

 The first stage of the match was shooting 6 steal plates at 11 yards. You shoot as many rounds as it takes till all 6 plates are down. Rules are that the first magazine is to hold only 11 rounds. All other magazines after that are 10. I have seen as many as 20 to 25 used. But there are some shooters who do so well that they only use 6 to 8 rounds.

 They let me shoot before my brother so he can watch how it’s done. When you load the first round with the 92FS, you can take the safety off before you holster the weapon. But the hammer has to be forward. Then when you draw to shoot the first round, it will be double action first pull. It was cold and I usually never get the first plate on the first shot. So this time, when I drew the weapon and raise it up to shoot, I cocked the hammer manually. The first plate went down with the first shot. It took me less time to do that then to take the time to waste the first shot on double action pull. I plan on doing that every time from now on. No more wasting that first round.

 SAM 0388

This is a picture of my brother shooting for the first time ever for a competition. They allowed another shooter between us so we can have time to change over the weapon from my hip to his. And during that time I can answer any of my brother’s questions. What is best about the people I shoot with is that we all get along great. Anybody and everybody there is willing to help eachother. Its the best part of being there. After that it came time for my brother to shoot. He never competed before. His experience shooting a handgun involved just plinking. Mostly aiming at the general direction of the target and shooting for fun. This was his first time ever where every round counts and thats it timed. Now, I love my brother. But I honestly was a little worried how he would do. I thought to myself. “Please don’t waste a lot of ammo”. “Please don’t miss”. “Please don’t go to fast”.  “Please don’t break a rule”. To my amazement, and everybody else’s, he did great. He even manually cocked the hammer for the first shot and hit the first plate like he has done it before. The norm is usually to try to shoot the plates down in less than 1 magazine. With eleven rounds in the first magazine, he did it with ten. The first 3 plates went down with his first 3 shots. Then he took 7 more shots to take down the other 3. I think he started rushing it. But he got the right idea. After that, the other stages were like nothing to him. He paid attention to everything and shot groups like he was a natural. I am very proud of him.

 My brother talked a lot about how much he loved shooting the 92FS. Still does. He had so much fun that I foresee him coming out to compete more often. He even talked about how interested he is on possibly purchasing his own handgun. Until then, I would proudly allow him to continue to use my Beretta. 

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This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not necessarily represent Beretta.

Testimony of Beretta to the State of Maryland


Second AmendmentRecently, Maryland Governor Maryin O'Malley presented Senate Bill 281 to the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee. This Bill, which you can read here in its entirety, includes, among other things, a ban on the transport, sale, purchase, transfer or possession of certain commonly owned semi-automatic centerfire rifles, a ban on any magazine containing more than 10 rounds, and a required state permit for the purchase, rental or possession of a handgun.

On Fabruary 6, the Maryland Legislature held a hearing on this Bill. The hearing was attended by what some estimates put at over 1,000 people, who voiced their disagreement with the Bill.

Beretta addressed the Legislature, during this hearing, in a testimony by Beretta USA Corp. General Counsel, Jeff Reh. Though Mr. Reh's testimony was capped at four minutes, the entire written testimony was introduced formally.

As a service to our readers, followers, fans and Second Amendment supporters, I have asked Mr. Reh to provide us with the complete document. 

You can read Beretta's complete Testimony here.

Beretta continues to be committed to the safeguard of law-abiding citizens and to their Second Amendment Constitutional rights. 

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This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not necessarily represent Beretta.

Responsible gun owners: Don't Give Up!


by Phil McNaughton- Guest Contributor

A few months ago, gun control was a rare discussion at the dinner table, on the news, or around the water cooler. It felt like the winds had changed and we were heading for calm waters.  Then a storm erupted, and now gun control seems to be front and center on everyone’s mind. The tragic misguided actions of a few disturbed people have turned the spotlight on us, the legal, responsible, safe gun owners and firearms enthusiasts of America. Unfortunately, that spotlight is full of misguided rage and ignorance.

Everyone seems to have an opinion about gun control these days, including politicians, journalists, actors, musicians, soccer moms, the mail man, and even my brother’s dog, who barks every time certain politicians show up on the TV.  I’ve been taking it all in, from day one, but the reactions I’ve encountered at the range over the situation are truly amazing. 

I’ve heard gun owners say that nothing is going to happen.  “There won’t be a ban. Nothing else is going to infringe to our rights. They aren’t that stupid. The votes aren’t there.” I wish I was this optimistic.

I’ve heard from shooters who are concerned, but aren't taking action.  Other than panic buying like everyone else, they just don’t seem to want spend time fighting for our rights.  “I’m worried, but I don’t know what to do.”  I wish I was this apathetic.

I’ve heard from gun owners who are already throwing in the towel.  “We can’t win. We’re going to lose something; it’s just a matter of what. No way can we stop this steamroller, after such a deplorable act.”  I wish I could give these people hope.

“So, what are you doing Phil?”  I’ll tell you, but first let me tell you what I am not doing. 

I am not giving up. I’m not giving up on America. I’m not giving up on the Constitution. I’m not giving up on my right to defend my life. I’m not giving up on my freedoms. I’m not giving up on my hobby.  I’m not giving up on the shooting sports. I’m not giving up on the modern sporting rifles or their owners. I’m not giving up on the duck hunters, the deer hunters, or the back yard plinkers. I’m not giving up on my Berettas, my AR-15, or anything else that has a trigger.

I am contacting my legislators.  I know, does it really do anything?  I honestly don’t know, but it’s something I can do.  I’d wager some of the people screaming for gun control are doing so because the talking heads on TV, their favorite actor, or their Facebook friends are telling them it is the right thing to do.  I’m also going to wager these people won’t go the extra mile to write that letter or make a phone call when the next gun control bill hits the floor for a vote.  If I can get just one more letter or phone call in than the other guys, it’s a win.

I’m increasing our numbers.  I’m already a member of a popular 2nd Amendment lobbying organization, but I’m also persuading others to join, including family, friends, my brother’s dog, and anyone else who will listen.  I gave gift memberships for entire family (even you Mom) right before I wrote this.  I want to make sure every gun owner that I know is a member of one of these organizations.  Maybe I can persuade a few non gun owners too. 

I’m not letting the media bias break down my resolve. Bias, agenda, whatever you call it, it’s there, whether we like to admit it or not. I am standing firm, no matter what they spew at us.  At the same time, I am not shying away from the other side either. As frustrating and illogical as some of the “facts” and opinions out there may be, I’m paying attention to what they are saying. I’m thinking about it, thinking about what drives it, thinking of ways to discuss it, and thinking of ways to argue against it. 

I’m being a responsible representative for gun owners.  How?  By communicating with people about the 2nd Amendment and safe, responsible firearms ownership in an effective, non-argumentative or aggressive way. It’s proven difficult for me at times, trying to remain calm, and discuss the situation without letting emotion take over.  If you are passionate enough to be reading this, you have probably felt the same way.  I am seeking out people who want to discuss the issue.  We shouldn't force a discussion on anyone, but if I overhear one happening, I am jumping in.  Engaging in calm, collective debate, and making folks understand that the criminals all over the nightly news are NOT indicative of the typical legal American gun owner, is our most effective tool right now.  I’m putting these folks in my shoes, showing them what gun ownership means to me, what I have gained from it, and teaching how important it is to all of us.  What better way to educate people about guns than friendly conversation with an actual gun owner?

I’m remembering who the real enemy is.  We could have a healthy debate on this one, but I tell myself that many of the people calling for gun control are not our real enemy.  Our real enemies are fear and ignorance.  Yes, the person blaming us and our guns for the deaths of innocents isn’t our enemy, their misguided ideas are.  It’s very hard to stay above the emotions and rage often inflicted upon us, but we have to, at all costs.  We must prove that the stereotype of gun owners is not correct.  We must rise above and be better than the illogical ideas and the false fears.

I’m reminding myself that we all have a common goal.  Gun owners and anti-gun folks alike all want the same thing in regards to recent events.  We want to never again turn on our TV’s and see a scene like the one from Newtown, or Columbine, or Aurora.  We just have differing views of how to accomplish that goal.  It’s hard to look past that sometime, but we have to keep that in mind, no matter how emotional this issue gets.  If we can devote some of this energy we are using against each other into a common solution, we might just be able to accomplish this goal.  I know that there are those among us who will always seek to infringe on liberty, but we would have an easier time standing against those people if they didn't have the terrified masses behind them in the wake of another tragedy.

I’m shooting!  Of course!  This is the most important thing we can do!  We have to keep the spirit of the American gun owner alive, now more than ever!  Matches are still happening.  The thrill of the hunt is still waiting.  There is practice to be done.  There are lots of new shooters who need a guiding hand or a basic firearms safety education.  Ammo needs loaded.  Lots of guns at the gun shop need a new home!  Admittedly, it’s sometimes difficult to keep a smile on my face and enjoy the range time with my friends and family, given the seemingly enormous mountain of obstacles ahead of us, but keeping my passion alive reminds me why I must continue to fight the good fight.

Lastly, I’ll tell you what I am going to do if we are hit with new gun control legislation.  I’m still not giving up.  I will keep shooting.  We must all keep shooting.  We will change our gear, adapt our rule books, and do whatever else we need to do to keep our guns running.  We have no choice.  We owe it to every American who has ever served or given their life in defense of this country and the Constitution.  We owe it to ourselves, our families, our friends, our communities, and all who have lived, or ever will live, under the Stars and Stripes. 

I’m finishing this post with an important picture.  It's not a gun, or a flag, or an eagle, or anything else commonly seen as patriotic.  It's picture of the Safety Officers and Staff from the 2012 PA State IDPA Championships.  I had the pleasure of working with this motley crew in running this match.  What does this photo have to do with the 2nd Amendment battle we are facing?  Everything.  These folks are the reason I am fighting.  Of all the things I have gained from being a gun owner, nothing is more important than the people I have met, the memories we have made, and the memories waiting to be made, on and off the range.  There are doctors, lawyers, police officers, housewives, students, mechanics, and active and retired military in this picture.  They are all safe, responsible, legal American gun owners.  Some of them are my oldest friends, some of them are new friends, but every single one of them is a member of my family.   

They are your family too. Don’t give up.

Blog Imate

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This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not necessarily represent Beretta.

An Honest Look At The Concealed Carry Purse


by Carrie Lightfoot - Guest Contributor

The Concealed Carry Purse, people either love them or they hate them. To carry your firearm in a concealed carry purse is your decision to make and there is no right or wrong answer. What there is though, is what is recommended. You are an intelligent woman who can consider all of the information, the risks and the pro's and con's and make an intelligent decision for yourself if a concealed carry purse is right for you. Why do so many fiercely counsel against this popular mode of carry? Likely for two reasons. One, there is serious risk anytime our guns are not on our bodies and two, it limits our ability to respond as quickly as possible and those seconds could count! These are very real issues that must be considered and consciously accepted by you when making the decision to holster your gun in a concealed carry purse. I trust you will do this.

What do I think about concealed carry purses? First, I must tell you that I believe my role is to provide information and resources and let you make your own decisions. My opinion is just that, my opinion and really only matters to me in making the decision for myself. What do I know? I know that awareness and practice are key. Do I carry in a concealed carry purse? Yes, sometimes I do. Why? Because there are times that if I didn't, I wouldn't have my gun with me, and that is not an option for me. (As long as it is legal) 
I know myself - I know my capabilities - and I practice. Having your gun holstered somewhere ON your middle is BEST. It is close, it is safe and it easy to get to. You really can't argue with that. On The Body is the safest and best way to carry your gun, Period! Can you carry safely in a concealed carry purse, yes you can. The proper purse, meticulous awareness, and practice drawing/shooting from one is the key. 

When choosing to carry in a concealed carry purse, here are some questions you might ask yourself in making this decision:

  • Am I forgetful?
  • Have I left my purse behind in the last 6 months, in the restroom, a restaurant or store?
  • Am I around small children regularly who might have access to my purse?
  • Am I willing to carry my purse cross-body to minimize risk of someone taking my purse?
  • Can I keep it on me and store it properly when it must be off my body?
  • Will I vow to always have my gun in a holster in a designated compartment of the purse?
  • Am I disciplined enough to practice the awkward draw and use of my gun from the concealed carry purse? (yes, you may very likely need to shoot through the purse to not loose the precious seconds)

These are just a handful of important questions to ask yourself. It is your decision, one that it is important you make honestly and thoughtfully. If you can't answer these questions with confidence, than even if you think this is the best option for you because of the convenience, it likely is not a good choice for you.

Carrie Lightfoot is owner of The Well Armed Woman and quest contributor for the Beretta Blog. Join the dynamic group of women shooters on Facebook orTwitter and visit
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This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not necessarily represent Beretta.

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This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not necessarily represent Beretta.

Things that go crash in the night...

The word 'gun' conjures up different images, depending on who is thinking it. We think of guns as tools of the trade, as hunting implements, as devices for our hobbies.

Beretta Model 96
And then there are stories that bring the many facets of a gun alive, showing, for example, that a handgun purchased originally for concealed-carry can serve its purpose when we're home, and the threat is not another person, bent on threatening our welfare, but dangerous, nonetheless.

The story below is from Dean Rosnau, who holds a CCW license and a Beretta 96.
When a noise awakens him and his wife in the middle of the night, Dean is prepared for anything. Well, almost anything.

"I was awakened at 0100 by some crashing sounds, clearly coming from the downstairs area of our home. My wife stated, "Something's in our kitchen!"

I jumped out of bed, threw on some pajama bottoms and a sweatshirt, and grabbed my model 96 .40 cal Beretta and an extra mag. (loaded with 180 grain S & W FMJ) I chambered a round and started downstairs, not knowing whether someone or someTHING was in my home. (I am a CCW holder) More noises drew me towards the kitchen. Nearing the kitchen at the end of our hallway, with weapon in a lowered safe position, I suddenly heard a loud crashing noise from the dining room, 20 feet away, and I raised my weapon in that direction.

There, halfway through the window, was a HUGE bear. My ability to fire was compromised by a home across the road, directly in the line of fire should I have missed. I resorted to yelling..."Get out of here you son of a bitch!"....the bear backed out of the window. I went to the front door, on the wall 90 degrees from where the bear was standing on the deck, and switched on the porch light, in hopes that the bear would get scared and flee. Seconds after the lights came on, there was a huge crash of splintering wood....I assumed the bear went right through the deck rail.

I opened the front door and took 4 steps towards a blind corner leading to the front deck where the bear had been. 20 feet from that blind corner, the bear suddenly appeared in front of me. I stopped in my tracks and raised my weapon. The bear immediately raised it's lips, snarled at me, then started straight for me. As I backed toward the open front door, I squeezed off 4 rounds, striking the bear with all 4 in the chin and forehead. The bear wobbled, but kept coming.

I stepped into the open door, and the bear went down the steps off the deck into the front yard, clearly wounded. Not wanting to let a wounded bear get out in the community, I stepped forward towards the bear, and from 15 feet, put two more rounds in the hind quarters to slow it down. The bear then wobbled more severely, but headed towards my driveway. From 30 to 40 feet, I put the last four rounds into her, then slapped in my second mag.

The bear dropped on my driveway, clearly mortally wounded, and I walked up to it and fired 3 rounds to the head. Done.

This whole event...from the moment I saw the bear in the window, to when she was dead and down, was less than 60 seconds. (Notice the look on my face in the picture... kinda like, 'What just happened?'

Later that morning, the [Department of Fish and Game] came and retrieved the carcass. The sow weighed 322 pounds, and was 'Wanted' for breaking into numerous homes for the past 2 years."

You can view a larger version of this image here.

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This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not necessarily represent Beretta.

A Call To Women Gun Owners - Speak Up


by Carrie Lightfoot - Guest Contributor

I  wanted to speak to you, the American woman gun owner, face to face.

The looming changes and restrictions to our rights to to be able to match the weaponry of the violent criminal who wants to do us harm are coming. As women - we already have the disadvantage, the application of the proposed legislation would leave us ill equipped and on an even more un-level battlefield. I believe the path we as a nation are about to head down leaves us extremely vulnerable to more restrictions that will jeopardize our Second Amendment rights. Now is the time for us, collectively, the millions of women like you and me who exercise our right to defend ourselves, our loved ones and our homes, to enter this debate with passion and might.
Thank you for listening and uniting to effect policy.
With great respect,

Carrie Lightfoot is owner of The Well Armed Woman and quest contributor for the Beretta Blog. Join the dynamic group of women shooters on Facebook orTwitter and visit

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This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not necessarily represent Beretta.

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This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not necessarily represent Beretta.

3 Concealed Carry Tips For People With A Disabilities

I was diagnosed and treated for a rare muscle tumor when I was 17. The cancer was so rare that I was only the 7th person diagnosed with it and the first person to ever survive it. I was sent to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, TN which is an awesome hospital and I strongly recommend that you help support they hospital with donations or fundraisers.

I spent 6 months in treatment and have been in remission since December of 1997. Eventually the side effects of the radiation treatment set in and the scar tissue in the radiation area set up like concrete. I reached the point where I couldn’t move my left hip or knee. I walked with a very pronounce limp.

In March 2010, I broke my bad leg. My femur snapped where the good bone and the irradiated bone met and the bad bone shattered into 3 pieces. Two years, ten months, two surgeries, a bone graft and two titanium rods later (the first non-slip rod slipped), and I am still on crutches and will be for the foreseeable future.

The bone started mending after the second surgery but the healing is slow due to the poor circulation in the radiation area and also due to the poor condition of my femur bone. The doc was shocked when what looked like dead bone started healer. I guess it was just mostly dead. Thanks to God for the miracle of the human body.

I’ve told you all of that so that you can know that I know what it is like to live with a physical disability. As you know from my previous posts Crutching Around With A CCW and 3 Problems With Carrying A Gun While On Crutches I now have a concealed carry permit and have been working out the best way for me to carry a concealed weapon.

Here are 3 Tips for folks with a disability that conceal carry:

Don’t Let Someone Else Tell You What Is Best For You – talk to people, get opinions but when it comes down to it, you need to carry what works for you. Don’t let someone tell you that you should be carrying a .45 for the stopping power when your arthritis will barely let you use a .22. The choice of a carry pistol has to be what works best for you.

When is comes to how you will carry concealed, you will need to figure out what works best for you with that too. In your case, a lot of the recommended conceal carry techniques and holsters may not work for you. Don’t let someone else tell you what is best for you. You need to work it all out in a way that best suits your needs.

Practice Your Way – Once you have the best method that fits your situation, practice, practice, practice. This applies to everyone but more so to someone with a disability that might impede their ability to draw their weapon. Sorry but that’s just the way it is.

Don’t Carry a Gun – I know that sounds radical but hear me out, if your disability doesn't allow you to draw or shoot your pistol or allows an attacker a more than average chance of taking your pistol away from you, don’t carry one. You are responsible to be able to defend yourself and your loved ones. If your disability makes carrying a pistol a danger to others either by your inability to fire the weapon safely and accurately or by the potential of your weapon being used against others then you should seriously consider not carrying a pistol.

Instead, you could carry a knife and tactical flash light. In a pinch, those two items are quite effective. I am not sure where I heard this saying but is has stuck with me (I am paraphrasing): Someone can take a gun away from you without getting shot, but no one can take a knife away from you without getting cut.

What do you think? Anyone else have some tips that you want to add?

This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not necessarily represent those of Beretta.

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You can check me out on Twitter @thejasonparksand on Instagram Instagram

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This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not necessarily represent Beretta.

Deer Hunting Gear


By Jason Parks – Guest Contributor

Sunrise in the Ozarks
When it comes to going out into the woods, there are some items that you really need to have with you no matter what, like matches, water, knife, flashlight, etc. When it comes to hunting, that list gets expanded somewhat.

I feel that I pack like my wife when I venture out into the deer woods. Then I see all the stuff my friend Boone takes with him and don’t feel so bad.

Here is a list of what I carry with me when I go deer hunting.
My rifles: I mainly hunt with my Remington 7400 Carbine .30-06 and my Marlin Model 1895 .45-70. I prefer larger caliber rifles when hunting due to my preference of trauma and knock down (if you hit them hard enough with a big enough bullet, the deer will go down). I don’t hunt in any location that one of these two rifles can’t get the job done. I have a few others that I pull out occasionally to play with. Last year I hunted with an Enfield Mk III SMLE .303 rifle manufactured in 1915. 

My Backup: Hunting on crutches in an area that has fresh bear sign has made me a little cautious. I don’t venture too far out into the woods on the crutches but it takes me a good 10 minutes to get back and forth from my 4 Wheeler and stand. A few years ago I started packing my Ruger Blackhawk .44 Magnum. This is an older model Blackhawk manufactured in 1968. I can’t help it. I have an affinity for older guns. I also have the goal of taking a deer with my Blackhawk if the opportunity presents itself. In the mean time, the black bear we nicknamed Tux because of the white patch on his chest is still roaming around and this fat boy on crutches can’t move very fast. Be sure to check out a pic of Tux I posted at the bottom.

My pack: If you are going into the woods, you most likely will be taking a back pack with you. I like back packs,  but I prefer a shoulder pack because of the ease I can access my gear when I have it on. This year I bought a surplus Yugoslavian Combat Pack from Liberty Tree Collectors that can be used as a back pack or shoulder pack if you rearrange the straps. It has 2 inside pockets and plenty of room to carry everything I need.

My Belt: I use an old Army web belt to carry my canteen, my Recon Tanto knife, my Ruger Blackhawk .44, a small pouch and sometimes my small binoculars. I like my old belt and have had it since I was 5. At the rate I am going, it will probably only fit for a few more years so I am going to keep using it until it doesn’t fit any more.

My knives: I use a BuckLite III folding knife that I keep in my pack for my field dressing and skinning. It takes a while to get a good razor sharp edge on a Buck but once you do, it will stay sharp through field dressing, skinning and boning out for at least two deer and is easy to get the razor edge back. I also carry a Cold Steel Recon Tanto fixed blade on my belt. I like this knife because it has a very heavy blade that is good for chopping. It also makes for a pretty good skinning knife. Again it took a while for me to get a good edge on it, but once I got it sharp, it has stayed sharp. It also doubles for my camp/survival knife of choice.

My Water: I use a plastic canteen in an insulated canteen pouch on my belt. Whatever you do, carry some water with you. You never know what might happen that might keep you out longer than you planned. I have been on too many Search and Rescue calls where when our team got to the lost folks, the first thing they asked for was water.

My Flashlight: On my recent hunt in Texas, I shot a nice 8 point Whitetail Deer and dropped him where he stood. There was another deer with a limp and deformed rack that hung around after I shot so I sat still and watched him until dark. When I finally got up to look for my deer, I found that I flash light wasn’t in my pack (I still don’t know where it is). On my first trip to the store after I got back from TexasI picked me up a new flash light for my pack. I don’t recall the exact model but it is a MiniMag LED light that runs off 3 AAA batteries and will throw a 170 lumen beam out about 75-100 yards. By the way, I did find the deer finally with some help and a borrowed flashlight.

My Matches: Just in case you get stuck in the woods unexpectedly, it is also a good idea to carry matches (or lighter) and tinder of some sort like a bird’s nest, laundry lint, and cotton balls covered in petroleum jelly or anything else to help get the fire started. I carry a lighter all the time and strike anywhere matches that I keep in a pill bottle in my pack.

Non-latex Gloves: I keep a box of non-latex gloves in my truck to stock or hand out during a Search and Rescue or Medical Reserve Corps incident and to have on hand at work. During my Texas hunt I used gloves for the first time to skin and process a deer. As soon as I got back, I put a pair in my pack to have to field dress my next deer. Using gloves makes everything less messy and cleaning up is a cinch.

My Binoculars: I have two different binoculars that I use – one big and one small.  I like to scope the farthest edge of my visible area and try to catch a look at the deer coming in before they get too close. I have had too many deer suddenly appear in range with no warning so I have made looking harder, farther out a priority in my hunting. Plus I can’t hear worth a flip so seeing them first is the best option I have to getting the drop on a big buck.

My Grunt Call: After hunting in Texas for the first time this year, I am starting to become a believer in grunt calls. I have not had much luck with them here in Arkansas but after getting a small buck to come to me and having a big buck follow the smaller guy right up to me, I am have done more grunt calls in the Arkansas woods. I lost my old grunt call somewhere between home and Texas and didn’t realize it was not in my bag until opening morning of modern gun season and missed the chance to try to grunt in another nice buck. I now have a new one, but haven’t been able to call in a big buck yet.

My Mask and Gloves: I use a mesh mask and mesh gloves that are marketed for turkey hunters to keep my face and hands from being seen. When I was squirrel hunting as a kid, I noticed that I could see my hunting buddy’s hands and face when he moved through the woods even though I couldn’t see any other parts of him. Deer see movement better than anything else, the flash of a hand moving or a face turning will give away a hunter more often than not unless they are covered. I like the masks best, but you can also paint your face like a Navy SEAL. Whichever you prefer.

My Toilet paper: My Dad told me about when he was a kid and my grandfather took off into the brush to do his business and used a handful of weeds to clean up. Those weeds turned out to be what we call blister weed (I am not sure of the actual name of the plant.). That blister weed lit him up for several days after that. Ever since I heard that story I never go into the woods without TP. I prefer Charmin Ultra Tough in case you were wondering. 

What gear do you carry while hunting in the woods?

Tux reaching for the feeder.
For the record, I also carry the TP in case I have a chance run in with Tux.
This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not necessarily represent those of Beretta.

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This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not necessarily represent Beretta.

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