What Could Possibly Go Wrong: Concealed Carry Badge Edition

Via saysuncle.com comes this WTF-worthy item (and two other variations) from the Sportsmen’s Guide catalogue. Literally minutes of intense brain racking failed to generate any possible good use for these things. But I did come up with a few bad ones. And tacticaltupperware.com‘s not happy about ‘em either. “I have decided and am encouraging the rest of you to join me in saying that we will not order from Sportmans guide until these items are gone or at least become marketed as novelty items.” My guess is that, if asked, the folks at SG would say that’s exactly what they are – novelty items. I’m not a boycotter. Still, just because you can sell these things doesn’t mean you should.

42 Responses to What Could Possibly Go Wrong: Concealed Carry Badge Edition

  1. avatarASM826 says:

    Just because someone sells something doesn’t mean you should buy it. I don’t have to boycott anyone, I can just not buy that particular product. If no one buys it, they will stop offering it. It’s a bad idea, but so what? There’s lots of stupid products on the market. My local gun store stocks the Taurus Judge and I don’t boycott him.

    • avatarMoonshine7102 says:

      “My local gun store stocks the Taurus Judge and I don’t boycott him.”
      Ugh! Coke all over keyboard!

  2. I see those badges, and get the image of Jim Carrey yelling out, “It’s ok, I’m a limo driver!”

  3. avatarCUJO THE DOG OF WAR says:

    Yes, wearing a security guard’s badge is less likely to get you in as much trouble as “impersonating a law enforcement officer” here in SC. The last time I recall someone doing similar he caught a two year bid, all travel expenses paid and accommodations were free.

    • avatarBlake says:

      Impersonating a police officer, where I live, will get your CCW revoked.

      Considering just how elastic the interpretation of “impersonating a police officer” might be, I can see where this badge just might result in the loss of CCW.

      At the very least, having such a badge could result in a protracted legal battle that would cost a lot of money to no avail.

      I tend to think this badge is a bad idea all the way around.

  4. avatarJOE MATAFOME says:

    I agree that it’s a bad idea to buy these silly badges, but I wouldn’t boycott the company. The fool who is stupid enough to use one of these badges will most likely get arrested and lose their carry permit forever. I guess if you keep it hidden you won’t have a problem, but if you flash this at the wrong person and they file a complaint you’re going to have some really big problems and lawyer fees.

  5. avatarRick Tyler says:

    Reminds me of the NRA HOLSTER that has a window to display your concealed carry permit.
    “Sure, officer, let me just whip this out”
    (apologies to Blazing Saddles)

  6. avatarLeo Atrox says:

    I already boycott Sportsman’s Guide, but for a totally different reason. Namely: They just pissed me off. They put a product in their catalog that they did not have in stock and, in fact, would never offer. (Blamed it on broken promises from a manufacturer, as if I should care about their business dealings with someone else.) I made a big order by rolling a bunch of additional product into an order that I made only for that one item. They drew me in with an awesome product at an awesome price, and then they didn’t deliver. They solicited business using false advertising. That’s why I boycott them. I don’t mind if other people buy from them, but I avoid them.

    • avatarJoe Grine says:

      I ordered an H&K flare pistol from them back in May or so. Its been on backorder ever since. I’m starting to wonder if the same thing has happened. On the other hand, I’ve bought a lot of cool camo uniforms from them.

  7. avatartdiinva says:

    I have a friend who carries something like this in case he is caught in a situation where he has drawn his gun and the cops arrive. His plan is to put his gun down, get to ground and hold up the badge. The idea is to let the cops ID you as a good guy in a pressure situation. It is not a badge and there is no implication that he is impersonating a cop. It buys you time as the police gain control of the situation.

    I use a different approach. I put my permit on a lanyard around my neck when I carry. If challenged by a LEO I can keep my hands in sight and not appear threatening as I retrieve my permit.

    • avatarDan says:

      I have a friend who carries a little Ruger .380 in a holster on a lanyard around his neck.

      Just sayin.

      • avatarTravis Leibold says:

        If you are being CHALLENGED by the cops, DONT EFFIN MOVE! Don’t reach for anything!

        Keep your permit in your wallet with the rest of your Ids.

        If you are being pulled over get your wallet out BEFORE you stop. Get out your permit and ID and hold them in your hands that are resting on the steering wheel, permit on top. No words need be exchanged, no movements to make.

        • avatartdiinva says:

          The reason the permit is hanging from my neck is that I don’t have to move unless he tells me to. The cop can reach for the permit himself while I assume the appropriate position. My hands don’t have to move at all.

        • avatarTravis Leibold says:

          Oh, I guess I see what you mean, but maybe you are overthinking it a bit? They are easily confused ya know.

  8. avatarRalph says:

    Ah, the ubiquitous “shoot me first” badge. If the BG sees it, he’ll shoot the wearer first. I wouldn’t boycott the company for this. It’s just doing it’s job, trying to drain the shallow end of the gene pool.

  9. avatarSid says:

    I have to agree that this is a bad idea. The police (even in metropolitan multi-jurisdictional areas) are not going to be happy with a meaningless badge. States issue CCW licenses, not badges. Flipping a badge is going to draw extra attention, not less. As a previous commentor noted, the bad guys will also pay extra attention to you.

    However, I am totally in favor of the FBI credential (Female Body Inspector) and think that every male should carry one.

  10. avatarUtahLibertarian says:

    I actually read a newsletter that made me think there might be some limited use for these things (but I haven’t bought one).

    The author described a disorderly (think post-Katrina) situation where you need to travel across an area and you may encounter, say, rioters or looters. Now add your family to the mix. His thesis was that a CCW badge is basically an intermediate between command voice and lethal force or even aggravated assault. Pepper spray, tasers, stun guns, etc. are too low capacity to even make a mob think twice. And I don’t want to shoot anybody. And looters aren’t all hardened criminal.

    So if a badge helped me travel from point A to point B in a situation where it’s extremely unlikely to get mistaken for LEO, or reported or prosecuted for such, that might be a legitimate use. Maybe.

  11. avatarNemesis says:

    Hate to point out the obvious, but it looks like the same kind of badge on the jacket in your TTAG store. The one with the (insert any 3 letter government agency here) lettering on the back. That would be a fun one for someone who didn’t read English very well to differentiate between blog swag vs. Federale’… I love your blog and am an avid 2nd Amendment supporter, but this was just too much…

  12. avatarDavid B says:

    The badge has its origins in officer survival from the 90′s. And was previously discussed on TTAG. As for the boycott, so much at Sportsman’s Guide is novelty, how can you tell the difference?

  13. avatarMartin Albright says:

    FWIW those badges have been around since at least the early 90′s, IOW, long before “shall issue” Concealed carry became the norm. I’ve never heard of anyone actually using one, and I would regard anybody sporting such a badge as a demented cop-wannabe.

    Not sure if you could actually get into trouble wearing a badge like that. Different states have different statutes on what constitutes “criminal impersonation.” On it’s face the badge doesn’t make any claims to be a cop, sheriff, or any other sort of LEO, but of course you can’t tell that from a distance. Incidentally, there are similarly cheesy “bail enforcement” badges sold by the same company.

    Does anyone here know anybody who ever bought such a badge and actually used it? Given that they’ve been around for ~20 years, somebody must be buying these things or the companies wouldn’t keep selling them.

    • avatarGossven says:

      Could it be a situation similar to Lewis Black’s theory on candy corn? Is it the same box of CCW badges that has been floating around for the last 2 decades?

  14. avatarTony says:

    I’ve actually seen vendors wearing these on their belts at the Gun Show here in San Antonio. I generally slide right on past their table after that. Seen in person they are easy to spot as not being real badges like the polizei carry.

    • avatarMartin Albright says:

      I think the same folks actually make an “FFL” badge, so maybe that’s what the dealer’s were wearing?

      How about a “Law Abiding Citizen” badge?

  15. avatarMartin Albright says:

    In all seriousness, back in the days when CCW permits were “may issue” rather than “shall issue”, getting a permit was a Big Deal – it usually meant you were “connected” in some way with local or state gov’t officials.

    IIRC the pretextual reason for these badges was that, seeing as how legal concealed carry was so rare (for non-cops, anyway) having a badge would mark you as “one of the good guys” to an unwitting citizen if he should accidentally catch a glimpse of the heater on your hip, making it less likely that he would call in the real cops to arrest you for having a concealed weapon on you.

    But in truth, I think this was marketed to those who thought that having a CCW permit made them sort of a quasi-cop and so the real purpose of the badge was to display their privileged status to the rest of us lowly peons who were not blessed by our local Lords of Law Enforcement.

    Now that any Joe Schmoe with a clean record and a few hundred bucks can get a permit, I have no idea who their potential customers are.

  16. avatarFederale says:

    No big deal, these have been arround for years.

  17. avatarRegular Syzed Wayne says:

    There’s no reason to wear any sort of badge unless you’re an actual officer of something. This and things like it are just for people who want to play “Cops n Robbers” instead of being regular ass people with CCW permits :P

  18. Greetings:

    Many, many years ago, when I lived in Idaho, I got my concealed weapons license and I bought one of those badges.

    My reason for buying it was a safety factor in case I ever had to use my weapon, to hopefully keep from being shot by responding officers.

    The sheriff told me he considered it as impersonating an officer, although I never identified myself as one.

    (By the way, I have been employed as a police officer, but at the time of this occurance, I was retired for disability.)

    But, when I was at the VA Hospital in Salt Lake City, that badge did help, for the VA Police saw it and decided not to press charges against me for being armed on VA property.

    However, that was a very long time ago, and I’m sure things are different now.

    It’s been many years since I’ve lived in Idaho or Utah, so I no longer have a concealed weapons license.

    I had moved to the Old Soldiers’ Home in Washington, D.C., where firearms are not allowed, and my concealed weapons license eventually expired, along with my license as an emergency medical technician.

    Here in Mississippi, I can get a concealed weapons license after one year’s residence, and because of my age, I’ll pay a reduced rate.

    But, should I, or anyone else, ever apply for a concealed weapons license?

    After all, it’s a violation of our implied unalienable rights as guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States of America.

    Even more dangerous, it provides police and military units with a list of vulnerable firearms owners in the event they decide to attempt to illegally disarm the public, as they did in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

    So, shouldn’t we all become outlaws?

    Doesn’t common sense demand it?

    Anyway, I’m still trying to figure this stuff out.

    In November, I will be eligible to apply for my concealed weapons license in Mississippi – - – IF that’s what I still want to do.

    What do you think?

    Thank you.

    John Robert Mallernee
    Armed Forces Retirement Home
    Gulfport, Mississippi 39507

  19. I live in the greatest state in the Union known as Arizona and don’t have to worry about bullshit CCW cards (as any free American shouldn’t have to). Given the hypothetical situation of having to carry one I feel anything other than a CCW card an officer can find in your wallet is a definite exercise in the unknown. In any sort of stop an officer is used to pulling a wallet or purse to check “general contents” so having your CCW card stashed there will be a relative natural for the cop to find (unlike that poor bastard in Canton that was doomed from the beginning).

    I think its a shame that any law abiding citizen isn’t allowed to carry concealed at their discretion and that the cops don’t automatically assume the person they just pulled over is armed, for better (a nice change) or worse (what they expect anyway).

  20. John Robert Mallernee,

    For what its worth, I’m neither proud nor ashamed that I illegally carried concealed for nearly 24 years (since high school and until AZ bill SB 1108 officially acknowledged my fundamental right). I believe the right to protect oneself transcends ANY law in effect which is why at only 16 years old I saw current law as flawed and willingly defied it in order to adequately protect myself and at nearly 40 years old now I’m ecstatic to see my fellow Arizonans vindicate what I’ve always held true.

  21. avatarPeacemaker says:

    How is a badge like this going to get you arrested for impersonating a police officer? It does not say POLICE on it. Unless you Identify yourself as a police officer, you most certainly are not impersonating one. I have been in Law Enforcement for over 30 years. I have come across a few of these badges in my time. I have yet to hear one badge holder identify him or herself as a police officer. The purpose of these badges is to protect a permit holder from becoming a victim of friendly fire. Say a person with a CCW is forced to pull his weapon and order a perpetrator to get on the ground. When the police arrive, they have no idea who is who. All they see is someone pointing a gun at someone else. The badge draws attention to the fact that the person holding the gun has a legal right to do so. Thereby preventing himself from being shot by the police for legally defending himself and his loved ones.

  22. avatarmichael burns says:

    Ive always heard bad things about the ccw badge. I heard that cops will without a doubt arrest you for impersonation. I could be wrong but most of the reviews and post and forums i read dont recommend a badge like that at all. I think its a good idea but others think not. A simple badge would change a crooks mind before they had a gun pointed in there face. They could get the badge flashed in there face or bullets to the face. If i was a crook and i seen a badge on someone i was gonna rob or whatever i would think twice.

  23. avatarDouble D says:

    The problem no one seems to address is that there are no requirements to get the CCW badge. With this easy-to-purchase symbol available to anyone, the “bad guys” can get one too, and hold it up at the same time the legal carriers do. Now which suspect to I handcuff first? Not to mention, a CCW does not give anyone the “right” to point a gun at or shoot another person, that requires a set of circumstances that cannot be ID’d with a chunk of steel. Additionally the badges are all different styles and colors, in my state at least I can recognise the CCW card from 50ft. and know what I’m dealing with. They’re harder to get too.
    It’s a bad idea to use the badge as any form of identification.

  24. avatarDouble D says:

    Don’t get me wrong:
    I enjoy the novelty of the badge because it does represent the hard work that I’ve accomplished to earn it; ie. taking a safety class, conforming to my societies majority view on the issue, and responsibly carrying a defense tool with pride. Every one deserves to take pride in that accomplishment, but dunder heads that use the badge foolishly are offensive as the dunder heads that want to remove my right to own the badge.

    “Don’t take my guns, just take HIS badge”…comes accross as hypocritical from my perspective.

  25. avatarMatt_D says:

    I used to be one one of those who assumed only mall ninjas and LEO wanna-bees would have one of these, but in light of the two most recent mass shootings, I’m not so sure.

    If you’re a CCWer and you’re drawn into an “active shooter” incident, even if you only produce but especially if you discharge your weapon, you won’t necessarily be in control of factors like when the engagement ends and when it’s safe to re-holster or disarm yourself. What if you’re still actively confronting the shooter when the police come rolling in? I wouldn’t expect the police to immediately label me a good guy just because I’m sporting a badge, but I am inclined to believe it will cause them to give me a second look before they decide to put a 5.56 in my lower brain housing group.

    I used to be a commercial airline pilot and whenever we had more than one LEA passenger who was armed, we were required to make sure each knew of all the others so there wouldn’t be any “misunderstandings” if one of them “got made.” It occurs to me that this also is one of the chief dangers to a CCWer trying to respond to an active shooter. What if you’re not the only CCW in the crowd? And what if the other CCWers aren’t as disciplined and/or situationally aware as you?

    Step #1 in the DHS Active Shooter response protocol is to flee for your life. If you can’t run away from the shooter, Step #2 is to find a place to hide. If you were a CCWer who’d got caught up in this, and if there were other CCWers in the group, I’m inclined to believe you’d be less likely to get yourself accidentally shot by another well-meaning CCWer if you were to produce a badge before producing your weapon.

    One of the biggest problems, both for the police and for the victims, especially if there are multiple shooters, is going to be separating the pepper from the fly sh1t. Alls I’m saying is that I can imagine not unrealistic circumstances when a CCW badge would improve my chances of being recognized as just another grain of pepper, albeit an armed one.

  26. avatarconcealwa says:

    I have one,
    the ONLY reason is to have it clipped right next to my rig on my concealed belt. NO intention to flash it, hold it up in a situation–it’s SOLE and SINGULAR purpose is ‘in case’ I bend over at wally world or safeway is to possibly relieve timid tina from freaking out if she catches a momentary glimpse. I know how to conceal and to carry, but sometimes shirts ride, wind blows or a button pops.

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