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Is Armor right for you?

Armor is not a topic most people talk about. Many people tend to think of body and vehicle armor as only necessary for police, armed security, and the military. And while those professions take advantage most frequently from armor solutions, they are not the only ones who could benefit from it. Considering the frequency that the media covers shootings, I wanted to take some time to dispel some myths and help those on the fence about armor.

First off, Body Armor is legal to purchase and own in the U.S. for most people, except for felons and a few other state specific limitations. All states allow you to purchase body armor, however some require to be face to face in a brick and mortar store and not over the internet. There are also some state specific laws regarding when you can wear the armor, like certain states prohibit wearing armor in a school unless it is part of your assigned duties. The bigger issue comes from intent. If you are wearing armor for your own protection during everyday activities, you are generally allowed to do so. However, if you wear armor during the commission of a crime it elevates the degree of severity of the crime and can carry additional charges and penalties. I would encourage you to check your specific state for any restrictions.

Another myth out there is calling something bullet-proof. This is a misnomer in most cases, the same as saying a suppressor is a silencer. Armor is generally tested or certified to be bullet-resistant up to a standard of protection level. Meaning that particular type of armor is capable of withstanding impacts from several calibers within their level. For instance a level 3a will be able to stop a .357 and .44 magnum, it is also capable of stopping 9mm and .38 special. Now, it will stop those rounds from penetrating that armor up to a point. At a certain number of rounds, or specially designed ammo, the armor will fail. But up to that point, the armor is bullet resistant and can help protect your life.

Now that a couple myths are out of the way, lets talk about the different type of body armor. There is soft or hard ballistic armor. The soft is going to be more flexible, more concealable, and generally weigh less. The hard armor can be composites, ceramic, or steel. These can vary in weight from 2lbs to 20lbs per plate depending on your protection level and any other enhancements. The hard armor is going to offer a higher level of protection than soft and can usually take substantially more damage before failure than soft armor. But the soft armor is less conspicuous and often more comfortable for long durations.

Many people will look at armor and think of the police/military plate carrier style that can often be large and bulky. However, there are a ton of options today, from covert soft armor that is worn under your normal clothing, bullet resistant back packs, back packs that can convert into an armored vest, and many many more. Your specific needs will dictate what kind of armor you would need. If you are looking for something to wear that doesn’t draw attention, the soft covert armor or backpacks are best. If you are looking for more protection and modularity, then plate carriers may be the best option. They also make armor specific for children, teens, and armor designed to specifically fit women as well.

There are a lot of options in levels of protection and materials used in armor, but they can all offer more protection than your standard cotton T-shirt. The media loves to tell you about shootings, but won’t ever give you any help to protect yourself. The proper training and armor can help bridge the gap between the fear some news outlets portray and the safety in uncertain times that we all need. Armor is not meant to be scary, but to give you an additional layer of protection. Other skills like situational awareness, conflict avoidance, and self defense all tie together to help keep you and your loved ones safe. Contact us today to talk about our armor and training solutions to give you the peace of mind we all deserve.

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Another look at home security

With a new year comes new challenges as well as renewed concerns. One of the biggest concerns is home invasions. Although it’s something most people would agree they worry about, not a lot of people actually take the necessary steps to make their home less attractive to potential burglars. Below are just a few of the options you can take that can help decrease the likelihood of someone breaking in.

First, if you have an alarm, SET IT! It sounds simple but the number of people I talk to that don’t set it blows my mind. The biggest 2 reasons are because of pets and just forgetting. Most alarm companies have motion sensors that can exclude animals automatically, so their motion doesn’t set off the alarm. But for those with Great Danes or other bears that are so monstrous that they could trip it, look at alarm system that don’t have motion sensors. Glass break, door, and tamper sensors are all better than nothing. For those who forget to activate the alarms when they leave or at night, technology can help here. Use your phone to set alarms in the evening and morning for setting it. Some of the more sophisticated systems can also detect that linked phones have left the property and automatically set the alarm for you.

Another simpler step is to make sure your doors and windows have adequate and working locks. With doors, we should be looking at the strike plates of the doors to ensure the length of screws in them are long enough to go through the door frame and into the stud beyond, if possible. If you have a deadbolt make sure to use it, and lock storm and screen doors. Sliding doors should have locking bars to prevent them from easily being opened from the outside. This is as simple as getting a 2×2 piece of lumber cut to length. All the first-floor windows should be locked, and blocked if possible. Its also important to look at the windows that tip in/out to make cleaning easier. Ensure they are locked into their track and can’t easily be pushed out.

There are countless home security checklist out there for free that delve into more details. The biggest thing you can do is look at your home the same way an intruder would. What is the easiest way for them to get in. What would slow them down or stop them at the spot?

As always you should always take additional training, such as the USCCA Home Defense Fundamentals class. The course offers lots of additional ideas on interior and exterior security, as well as developing and refining your own home defense plan.