10 Commandments of off-duty carry
Being armed can make the difference in dangerous situations, as I learned on spring break.
By Heath Jepson
In April 1989, I was a junior in college and had returned home to my parents’ house for the second part of my spring break. I had spent the first part working in the Minneapolis-St. Paul Metro area as a security officer. I had a valid CCW permit and always took my duty and off-duty weapons with me upon returning home.
My parents had a livestock and dog breeding operation near the Minnesota/Iowa border, and they had been the victims of several brazen burglaries.
The first night I was home, my younger brothers and I were having supper when we were disturbed by the sound of our dogs barking loudly.
I armed myself with my off-duty weapon (a Colt 1911 .45 ACP) and a spare magazine, grabbed a flashlight, and went to investigate.
Even though I knew about the burglaries, I walked out the door expecting to find an animal messing with our dogs.
What I found was a pair of men, one of whom was armed with a shotgun.
We exchanged fire at a range of about 30 yards and they ran off into the night.
I was uninjured and the burglars never showed up at any of the area hospitals, so we can assume that I either missed or they self-treated.
Ever since this incident, I have been a big proponent of off-duty/concealed carry.
Here are some of the points that I came away from this incident with.
I call them my “10 Commandments of off-duty carry.”
1.) Buy and carry a quality off-duty handgun
Being armed off-duty is an important choice, and it is not one to be taken lightly. Weigh your options when it comes to equipment and training. Being armed off-duty is a choice that should be discussed with spouses, significant others, and even children. This will help to ensure that you have an off-duty family plan for any hostile encounter that you may face.
I hope that you decide to carry off-duty — in my opinion, not enough officers do. All too often we hear about off-duty officers getting hurt or worse, and I believe that in many of these cases being armed might have made a difference.
Please stay safe and vigilant, my brothers and sisters.
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