The Police and Concealed Carry

What do the police think of concealed carry? I get the question from time to time. In my limited experience, officers I have come in contact with have no problem with it at all. I've heard many tales of officers saying "Thanks for carrying" when handing out a warning for speeding (which might have been a ticket were it not for the permit, but who knows?).

Two stories in the news demonstrate a lot.

In this one, a uniformed law enforcement officer wearing his handgun was having dinner with his wife at an Outback Steakhouse. The manager came over and asked the officer to put his pistol in his vehicle. The officer refused, saying he was required to wear the firearm while in uniform. The manager left, made a phone call, and then returned to ask the officer to leave because Outback has a no guns policy.

While it might be possible to be more stupid than this, I can't imagine how. Only after the officer posted the story on Facebook did the high-ups at Outback say it was a mistake, yada yada yada. Fugitabout it, Outback.

Here's the story.

In Utah, we see the real face of legal concealed carry when a man sees someone attacking a police officer and comes to the aid of the policeman. Derek Meyer saw someone punching the officer, made a U-turn, came back, got out, drew his pistol, and yelled for the attacker to stop. The bad guy fled, and when other police vehicles rolled in, Meyer put his gun away.

The story is here.

Fox 13 in Salt Lake City reported Meyer said, “I carry a gun to protect me and those around me, but primarily I carry a gun to protect my family first and foremost. Outside of that, if I were to use my gun to protect anyone it would be law enforcement or military personnel."

The police said that Meyer may well have saved a life, either that of the officer or the attacker.

Of course, still fresh in our minds is the horror of the Sutherland Springs, Texas, church shooting, and how much worse Policeit would have been had Stephen Willeford not run barefoot to the gunfight, carrying his Modern Sporting Rifle, and shooting the madman, which caused him to stop killing innocent people.

Much like Meyer, I don't carry a gun to protect everyone. It's to protect me and my family. I, too, would come to the aid of an officer, if possible, and I would certainly respond to an attack at a school or on children. Yes, I fully realize the risks, and I could get shot or killed by either the bad guys or responding officers. You make your choice and you live or die with the results.

What's extraordinary about Derek Meyer and Stephen Willeford is that they are not extraordinary at all. Every day many people with firearms save lives. Many people respond to help others. I'm not saying it is what you should do. That's a personal call. That it happens so often, though, stands as testament to who we gun owners really are. ~ Tom

Tom Gresham
Author, outdoorsman, gun rights activist, and firearms enthusiast for more than five decades, Tom Gresham hosts Tom Gresham's Gun Talk, the first nationally-syndicated radio show about guns and the shooting sports, and is also the producer and co-host of the Guns & Gear, GunVenture and First Person Defender television series.