Self-Defense Tip: Maintain Op Sec

 We’ve already discussed the inadvisability of deploying lawn or window signs that advertise the fact that you’re armed and dangerous (i.e. on vacation with a nice gun collection inside your unoccupied home). In case you forgot, a prosecutor would be glad to remind you that nothing says trigger happy quite like a “Go Ahead Make My Day” posted warning. Down at downrangetv.com, Ed Head loses his, suggesting that a little gun-oriented intimidation is a good thing, not a bad thing . . .

I’m assuming most of you are multiple gun owners and I would be willing to bet you have a collection of padlocks the manufacturers have thoughtfully included with your gun purchases.

Why not lock up your breaker box with a logo padlock? I’m thinking this could have a double deterrent effect as the bad guys might get the hint and go elsewhere if they see a “gun lock” on the power panel and you will deny them easy access to the circuit breakers.

Here’s a good reason: anything that makes you look like a gun nut can work against you in a court of law. In the same sense that you should never open your gun safe to the heat unless the cops have a warrant, the less gun stuff in evidence the better. Period.

Here’s another reason: if someone really wants to break into your house (as indicated by their desire to cut power to your premises) chances are they are some serious mo’ fo’s. Giving them a heads-up that you’re packing heat—undermining operational security—could make them more determined (i.e. dangerous).

If you’re that worried about the bad guys breaking your breaker box, you can get an alarm monitoring service that activates when the power’s cut. Or move the power for the alarm system. Or something. Depending on a Ruger lock to scare away invaders—to any extent whatsoever—is a bad, potentially disastrous strategy.

comments

  1. avatar g says:

    Ruger makes locks?

    Hrmmm.

    My neighbors and I have posted “Neighborhood Watch” signs. We’ve only been doing it for a few months, but so far, so good. We haven’t had any major incidents.

    1. avatar Loyd says:

      I got a Ruger padlock with my LCP

      1. avatar nonnamous says:

        I got a padlock with my 22/45, 10/22, and SP101

        1. avatar Tim says:

          Every Ruger sold in CA comes with a pad lock, including rifles.

  2. avatar ST says:

    Agreed 100%.

    The locks included with guns are so weak anyone with a paperclip could pick them open,as many youtube videos can attest.

    Even a well made gun safe isn’t immune to determined theft.If the bad guys know what you have and where it is in the home,game over for your collection.

  3. avatar D. Mat says:

    I’ve got one of these

    http://www.target.com/p/come-back-with-a-warrant-doormat/-/A-541543

    and it’s worked so far. No warrantless searches of my property.

    1. avatar Ing says:

      Ha! I want one of those!

      Too bad the nearest Target is about 90 miles away. Guess that’s the price I pay for enjoying small-town life.

      And how many search warrants have they served in the meantime? 🙂

      1. avatar ThePowerofCheese says:

        Ing.. from the looks of it you can order it online……..

        1. avatar M1 says:

          “not sold in stores”
          “not in stock”

  4. avatar Skyler says:

    What a nervous nelly.

  5. avatar jwm says:

    I don’t brag, brandish, warn or otherwise announce that I’m armed and willing. I don’t want anybody,good or bad, knowing about my guns. I don’t tell people that I have a safe full of silver either or a garage full of food. Bad policy.

    1. avatar ae4797e3ab0b says:

      “I don’t tell people that I have a safe full of silver either or a garage full of food.”

      … But… you just did.

      1. avatar jwm says:

        ok, bob, since we’ve been thru so much together and can trust each other, when the shtf you can come and hole up with me. But don’t tell any one else. It’ll just be our secret.

        1. avatar Ben says:

          Hahahaha priceless.

  6. avatar Accur81 says:

    I used a Ruger padlock when I moved recently because it:
    A. Fit the in the U Haul Lock and
    B. Because I couldn’t find any of my other sh!t.

    My stuff didn’t get stolen, and I’m still alive.

    I try not to look like a gun nut, so I post anonymously on TTAG. My friends all pretty much know I’m a gun nut anyways, and I have barking and howling dogs that will alert me to hazards such as squirrel, possums, and my next door neighbor (who is a really great guy, incidentally). We’re still working on the puppy SHTF portion. Rroowwrr!!

  7. avatar irock350 says:

    I liven Texas, a place where painting your fence purple carrys the force of law. A purple fence in Texas means no trespassing. I am not at all worried about what the prosecutor will say about my ” this home protected by Smith and Wesson” sign. As far as breaching my opsec by posting it…….make up your damn mind. The wearing your gun outside your pants is the same as posting a gun owners sign on your car or vehicle. So either it’s bad for both, or good for both.

  8. avatar b6/b7C says:

    I think this whole “don’t advertise” thing does have its uses. But at the same time, it all comes down to where you live and where you go. You just have to be reasonable about it and do everything in moderation. If you leave a gun in your car while you’re at work whilst said vehicle is in a metropolitan parking garage, it probably isn’t a good idea to cover your vehicle with anything relating to firearms. Instead, cover your back glass with punk, hardcore, and emo band stickers and don’t wash your vehicle. People will take pity upon you, assuming you’re broke and therefore have nothing in your vehicle worth stealing.

    If you live in a more rural or gun prevalent area and drive a lifted pickup, NOT having a gun sticker on your car COULD alert people to one of two things. Either A) “That guy must be unarmed”, or B) “He must have the nice crap!”. Where I live (GA), seeing one without a gun sticker is almost unheard of…

  9. avatar Goldenboy says:

    That’s the same reason I don’t wear NRA hats or Glock shirts in public since it takes the concealment out of my concealed carry.

  10. avatar Joe says:

    Don’t take this as a troll/flame, but can you cite some actual court cases where someone was more aggressively prosecuted by a DA/convicted by a jury for displaying warning signs?

    1. avatar DJ says:

      I’m with Joe – if the DA is a jerk, he’s not going to become more (or less) of a jerk due to something you posted on your house.

  11. avatar Ralph says:

    A Ruger lock isn’t going to get anyone prosecuted for anything, any time, period. However, since it’s crap, don’t use it.

  12. avatar asia331 says:

    This looks like pure paranoia to me. Have you considered getting some professional counseling Robert?

    1. avatar Robert Farago says:

      Is that a trick question?

      1. avatar Sanchanim says:

        I think RF is beyond help.. 😉
        I heard he hangs out with Ted on weekends and shoots zombies LMAO!!
        Then again I am beyond help to. You know the whole thinking for yourself and wanting to live free nonsense..

  13. avatar Leon says:

    Seriously don’t your close friends know you have a gun thing going on?
    At our BBQ ‘s there are always a few of us that go in a room. Or out back and shoot the shit about our new purchases and old reliables . Be nice when you could start swapping. I tell you living in NM and working in MA keeps a fella on his toes
    He’ll my wife and I play hopscotch just to get home from MA. We have to worry about the storms on the plains and the storm troopers in Illinois .
    But we have it down now. From the northeast to the southwest. And back. Sometime we worry about the weather coming first. Then the politics……confuses a few with my Obama sticker and my GOAL and NRA tags. We get into a lot of friendly conversations
    Firstly I have a Mass class A, then because of my border town status I got the NH. I wasn’t going to but I am in NH so much to shop and snowboard. I wanted to be covered. Heading out to the house in NM is a whole nother adventure.
    We only stay over in states that recognize my Utah license …….or we car camp in Walmart stores or truck stops. Or if we are really unsure we head south to 40 and boggie west thru OKC and Texas……..and into the enchanted state
    However, when I must go through NY OR Ill. Everything is locked up out of my reach in a different compartment……….and I don’t speed
    Every night I pray for reciprocity during the trip. Question: do hotels allow guns.
    I have never scene a sign saying no firearms.

  14. avatar Bear does kata says:

    Cover and ambush are the best strategy. Be the grey man.

  15. avatar GA_Koenig says:

    Yea!

    More firearm owner paranoia that isn’t backed up with *any* case law to support the fear!

    Don’t modify your firearm! They’ll get ya!
    Don’t post any pro self-defense signs. They’ll get ya!
    Don’t use hollow-point bullets. They’ll get ya!
    Don’t participate in gun forums. They’ll get ya!

    Every time I’ve pressed the They’re Out To Get Ya! crowd (Mr Aboob being the cult leader of this group), nobody seems to be able to cite a lot in the way of case law. You know- actual prosecutors going after good citizens because of inconsequential details like trigger mods.

    MMO – Means. Motive. Opportunity. Those are the only things that seem to really count in a DUG as far as prosecution is concerned. Even so, the media is littered with far far more cases where the MMO test was shaky, but prosecutors didn’t come close to pressing charges. Guess what? Even in the most liberal parts of America, most people are supportive of good citizens shooting goblins.

  16. avatar Jose says:

    An ADT sign out front is the best deterrent – period. It’s really cheap too, compared to the price of guns and ammo. Keep all your guns and valuables in a single area and protect the perimeter of that area with a motion sensor. Sensor coverage can be customized so you can walk around and not set it off. This way uninvited guests can’t even get close to that area without the alarm going off….

    As an example, I had ADT install a sensor years ago the would make the alarm beep (not go off) if anyone came within 2-feet of the sliding glass doors leading to the pool. I had this done because my kids were young at the time and this was additional insurance that they would not wander off into the pool area. Of course we had a pool fence installed as well…..

    J.

  17. avatar jkp says:

    If you actually want to keep things safe, a shitty padlock like this is not the way to do it, no matter WHO manufactured it. Any hood worth his salt will crack this in a minute.

    The padlocks by this company will be much more difficult to crack.

    https://securitysnobs.com/Abloy/

  18. avatar Frank Williams says:

    So I should take down the “WARNING! I have a Chihuahua and a shotgun!” signs?

    1. avatar Moonshine7102 says:

      I like mine better:

      “WARNING! The dogs have guns and refuse to take their medication!”

    2. avatar Sanchanim says:

      Ah ha!!! Death from the ankles down!!!

  19. avatar ChuckN says:

    I’m a bit torn on this issue. If you advertise with signs,
    I’d be more leery of nutcase lawyers than criminals.

    That said, I’ve actually had advertising (of a sort) work in
    my favor. Living a a very rural area, rumors spread quick.
    If you set up your own pistol course or like long range shooting,
    word gets out that you aren’t the best one to steal from.

    So yet again, practicing yields another advantage.

  20. avatar OldLawman says:

    Got to go with the alarm company signs, over any amusing signs/bumper stickers/etc advertising your gun ownership.
    Never mind the bad guys; what do you think the officers mistakenly (I hope for your sake) at your home on a no-knock warrant think ? Really, I don’t care what they think, just how they are going to enter my property.

  21. avatar bontai Joe says:

    The bad thing about the “owner has guns” signs is when it is obvious you are not home. That is when the reasonably smart criminal will help himself to your collection. The bad thing about the “owner shoots first” type of tresspassing sign is that will be the featured visual on the 6 o’clock news, which doesn’t do a person that shoots a burgler a lot of good with the potential jury pool if the D.A. decides to build his rep on your back. I have nothing on my cars, no logos on clothing, nothing visible through the windows of my house to indicate that I own anything worth stealing. Low profile is my mantra, and so far it has worked ok. I’ve only suffered 2 truck break ins, costing me a stereo one time, and about $150 worth of tools and a sleeping bag another time. Thankfully I live in a somewhat better neighborhood now.

  22. avatar Greg in Allston says:

    OPSEC, always a paramount consideration. Don’t advertise, don’t blow your cover, under any circumstance. There is enormous value to being the “gray man”. Embrace obscurity; keep your skills up and your profile down.

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