“’He didn’t get the money, and I didn’t have to shoot anybody,’ (Gary) Spencer said, relieved. ‘The good citizens actually got to take one home yesterday. It felt good to help somebody out, you know, out there in the world.’” Spencer was cooling his heels on Monday morning, waiting in his car while his wife made a deposit. That’s when he was shocked t0 see a stun gun-weilding miscreant trying to make a withdrawal from another bank customer in the parking lot via the liberal application of ECT. Spencer has a concealed carry permit as does his wife. And while he wasn’t packing at the time, his wife had a Kel Tec .380 in her purse among the Tic Tacs and wet wipes. So when he spotted the struggle over the bag o’ cash . . .

“I grabbed the gun, and as I opened up the door of the truck, I started running across the parking lot,” Spencer said. “As I was loading up the gun to put one into the chamber, I ran up to about … 20 feet from where the struggle was going on.” . . .

“And I said ‘stop, I have a gun,’” Spencer said. The man turned around, saw Spencer and his gun, slammed the stun gun down on the ground and fled in a green Honda Civic, described as stolen in a Concord Police Department incident report.

Good thing Spencer’s wife didn’t take her purse, right? The bad guy left without the cash, but hasn’t been caught yet. Not to worry, though, North Carolinians. While Spencer isn’t for hire, he did manage to get the tag number on the getaway car. So it shouldn’t be long before Concord’s finest get their man.

In the mean time, it’s just another little-reported case of a law abiding citizen with a concealed carry permit using a gun to prevent a crime and protect an innocent person. All without ever firing a shot. Not bad, eh?

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51 Responses to Defensive Gun Use of the Day: Providential Purse Edition

  1. Ugh. Not having a round chambered didnt seem to matter, now did it?
    I don’t carry chambered unless I feel the need. Get over it folks.

    The point is to have a gun!

    • The point is to be able to shoot a bullet out, if needed.
      Loaded > Unloaded, just like on the body > in the purse. But all four options are better than the no gun option.

    • Yes, worked out in this case. Course it’s your choice, so I’m over it …but, on those occasions you feel the need to chamber, maybe you just shouldn’t be there/doing that/hanging out at that time…..you know, since you’re so prescient to know when it might be a wise thing to chamber a round then?

    • In this one scenario where he wasn’t the person actually being attacked…

      Don’t use this as an example to justify your mistaken belief that you’ll always know when danger is coming.

    • Carrying a weapon without a round chambered? “That’s so eighties Dahling” (with a valley drawl).

      Not carrying a gun on you; “Go Bahhh!” (From “On wolves, sheep and Sheep dogs” by ret. Lt. Col. Grossman)

    • The bedside gun sits there in condition 3. The last thing I want to do is be half sleep, pick up the gun an get an ND. I have enough confidence in my dogs to alert me long before (10 seconds) the BG enters the house. I can rack the slide before I get out my bedroom door.

    • Agreed Wayne. The article makes no mention of the KelTec being in a holster inside the purse. If the pistol were loose in the purse, then it is prudent to not have a round chambered. Even with its heavy, double action only trigger pull, the lack of a safety makes it dangerous to carry chambered in a bag with other, oft accessed, items.

      We can argue tactics, what ifs, and personal preferences all we want. In the end, what we think doesn’t really matter. It is not our gun, our bag, or our lives at stake. In this particular case, it all worked out. Thankfully.

      • It doesn’t really make it “better” if the wife doesn’t chamber a round because she fails to properly secure her firearm. That’s like saying it’s ok to drive recklessly as long as you wear your seatbelt. A gun just tossed inside a purse is not a good idea…

        At the end of the day you’re right, it doesn’t matter to these people what we think. But let’s not forget that he got out of this situation in spite of his and his wifes carry habits, not because of them.

    • That is the wrong attitude. The point is to have the ability, means, and willingness to defend oneself or others. You need to think long and hard about every situation that could possible happen, no matter how remote. Prepare yourself and equipment appropriately. Failing to act could be more devastating than having to. Are you willing to bet your family’s lives on not having a round in the chamber?

    • As I face the prospect of concealed carry in downtown Chicago, bag carry is looking better and better. Unless, of course, I want to be fondling a gun constantly to put it in my trunk or another safe storage area in my car because of all the prohibited places. In a bag, the bag goes in the trunk. Done. Less risk of an ND. There, took some flames for ya.

    • Not necessarily against bag carry, I can just see the odds of forgetting the gun altogether increasing…

      If the gun is ALWAYS in the bag then at some point you will forget it’s there. If you forget it’s there then complacency can set in and you won’t be as diligent about ALWAYS keeping it on you, and keeping other people away. Worst case: leaving the bag somewhere public.

      That, and I can never find a purse that goes with my belt….

  2. Wife carrying but you aren’t? That’s a problem.

    Wife not trained to carry with a round in the chamber? That’s a problem.

    Purse carry? That’s a potential liability.

    But something tells me this guy won’t learn much from this encounter, at most he might start carrying himself more often…

  3. Not carrying a round in the chamber means you lack the confidence in your ability to not negligently discharge the weapon… Otherwise you wouldn’t see the need to carry empty chamber.

    Get some training

  4. Hey assholes….I’m sick and fucking tired of how you gunslingers think other people should carry their bang stick. It’s NOT your concern nor your business. I’m sure they will review and decide for themselves if any corrective action is necessary.

  5. It seems like a lot of people carry kel-tecs. Are we being firearm snobs by looking down on these things? I ask because the somewhat recent post about Rock Island Armory moving their logo to the back of the slide brought out a lot of haters. Something about affordable guns that people don’t like? I constantly hear about 1911’s not functioning, but my RIA hasn’t so much as sneezed in over 4000 rounds. It ain’t pretty, it won’t split hairs, but it works like nothing I’ve ever owned. Except my F250. That beast is unstoppable. like my RIA, now that I think about it…

    • If I had bought my wife a keltec she would have a carry piece and her xds wouldn’t be at Springfield armory getting reworked…

      Of course a keltec is no guarantee of a functional firearm so I digress….

    • +1

      I’ve said it before, no matter how reliable other firearms prove to be the 1911 has a track record of proven reliability in almost every combat condition one can imagine.

      And, at the risk of bringing out haters, I think the *perceived* 1911 reliability problems come from the ultra high end custom finished guns. I’m not a gunsmith, but I am a mechanical engineer and I know in just about ANY machine when you file and polish things so that they’re a line to line fit then the tiniest amount of dirt, grit, or grim is going to lock it up.

      • It’s not a question of reliability but coolness. Glocks are cool and like iPhone owners many Glockophiles feel they must badmouth every other product on the market.

      • The 1911 is a great gun no doubt, but I have discovered recently when invited to teach a womens group how to shoot their husbands guns that women who don’t shoot and 1911s are not a good pair. The 1911 is far less forgiving of poor grip than say a glock. I had to let a bunch of them shoot my glock 22 and glock 23 because they jammed every time with their 1911s due to poor grip. Even though the recoil is worse on the Glock, especially the 23, not once did they jam.

        And no, I am not a glockophile I am a gunophile, I like them all. I am just pointing out a recent observation I made. I had my main carry gun, a makarov, and considered letting some of them shoot that, but i realized I had spent the last 20 minutes pounding into them that they need to grip the gun as high and tight as possible. On the Makarov, high as possible will get you bit every time. And for those of you who have never been bit by a Makarov, it hurts, a lot!

        • Find that hard to believe. It is well known that weak grips on polymer pistols results in a tendency to stovepipe, The 1911 and other traditional metal framed pistols are far less grip sensitive.

  6. It is up to the individual to analyze the risks of their environment, and use that to decide what kind of counter-measures they will carry and how they will carry. I often do not carry while I travel about the town I live, for I feel the risk is minimal. If I travel outside the town I live, I almost always carry with a chambered round. I analyze the risk, and I use that to determine how to mitigate the risk. I recently purchased a new carry pistol. I purposely carried that firearm with an empty chamber for the first few months so that I could become confident it would not easily misfire with normal, safe use. (Yes, I carried a firearm with an empty chamber. I am a bad gun owner.) I have not yet been able to conceal carry that particular pistol with a round in the chamber, because I sent this firearm – a Springfield XDS – back to the factory as part of a recall. As most know, the XDS was recalled because it had a little tiny problem whereby the firearm could potentially misfire while chambering a round. So, this guy carries a firearm with an empty chamber. So what. If he feels safe enough where he lives to carry in a configuration that requires an additional second or two to bring that firearm into action, than who are we to disagree. It is his decision…his risk, not ours. If he feels uncomfortable carrying with a chambered round, if he feels that the risk of a misfire is too high for his level of training or the equipment he is carrying, I praise him for being responsible enough to recognize this risk and carry his firearm with an empty chamber.

    • The other problem is he doesn’t actually seem to carry a gun… His wife does.

      That combined with the fact that she doesn’t carry with a round chambered makes me wonder how serious they both are about self defense. Maybe the only reason she even had a gun in her purse is because she tossed it in there one day and never took it out?

      In the majority of cases I’ve seen people who do not carry with a round in the chamber lack confidence and/or training. I feel if you’re going to carry a gun, you need to get the training, and get the confidence to be able to carry a loaded gun. If after that you still choose for whatever reason to not carry with a round in the chamber? Fine, that’s your choice and I won’t argue it any further. But at least you aren’t doing it because you lack confidence or training.

    • I’ll take my 1/3 of a second and my +1, thank you. Unloaded carry also assumes you’ll have your non-shooting hand free and not defending yourself to work the slide. While there are tactics to load an auto with one hand, that takes additional training, and definitely more that 1/3 of a second.

      The point is, why take on a disadvantage? To gain a small amount of safety? It seems to me the shooter in the video may have had a little training with his draw before making the video? I would offer that additional weapons safety and handling training needed to carry +1 would offer the same safety benefits, without the disadvantage?

      If a shooter wants to carry unloaded, that is a personal choice, based on an individual’s comfort level with a firearm, or level of training needed to get that draw down to within 1/3 of a second. I don’t agree with it in principal. Murphy’s law always rules. Your hands can slip, your fine motor skills are degraded, etc. If a knife wield in attacker can close a 21 foot gap in 1.5 seconds – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tueller_Drill – what if the attacker is 15 feet away? I bet you could use that .02 seconds now? Or not, you could just hope you complete the manual load and draw maneuver in time.

    • This isn’t true reaction time, he is prepared and waiting to draw, under little to no stress. He isn’t reacting to an unknown situation, he is reacting to a staged event…

      Have him play with his kids, have someone come up from behind him and start beating the crap out of him, then time him, that would be his true reaction time.

  7. Revolver, always chambered and not dependent on quality of ammo or mags.

    On a serious note. I hear this guy getting piled on for not carrying chambered. Does this mean that practising clearing a jam is a waste of time. If you can be overpowered or defeated in the moment it takes to chamber how are you going to survive the malfunction?

    • Apples to oranges jwm. While the act of clearing a jam is very similar, they are not the same, nor done at the same time. One assumes you’ve already got your weapon out and may have even fired a few rounds, the other assumes you’re not even in the fight yet.

      • +1

        Loading your gun after the incident has started and clearing a failure during the fight are two very different scenarios.

    • Starting off the fight with an unloaded weapon and having a malfunction in the middle of the fight are two different things…

      One is uncontrollable, the other is a mindset issue and completely controllable.

  8. Everybody pisses on the KelTec .380 but you see this same pistol used in more and more DGUs. I have one myself and it’s never malfunctioned yet after several boxes of ammo.
    Maybe the Kel Tec haters should move on to something else.

    • What they hate is that a $250-300 gun does the exact same thing as their $600-650 gun (Sig, Glock, etc). It’s like when your neighbor comes home with a Kia and paid 15k less than you did for your Honda. You both got a small, economical Asian car but he paid a lot less. So you hate him and say, “Kia/Hyundai sucks”.

  9. Re•vol•ver.

    Addressing the concerns of concealed carry enthusiasts since the 1800s:

    Q: Do I have a round in the chamber?
    A: Ummm…. yeah.

    Q: Is the safety disengaged?
    A: What’s the eff is a safety?

    Q: What if: I’m shooting from an akward position; the BG grabs my gun; I have to shoot from a pocket; I limp wrist it; my barrel bushing is too tight; won’t this cause a malfunction?
    A: Nope.

    Q: What do I do if there is a malfunction (ammo related)?
    A: Pull the trigger, reaquire sight picture, repeat.

    Q: Is this gun chambered in a caliber sufficient for social work?
    A: .357, .41, .44, .454, .480… you get the picture.

  10. Its funny how you can read an article here and then almost guess what the comments are going to be.

    Debate on condition 1 vs condition 3 – check
    Debate on off body carry – check
    Debate on why the hubs wasnt packing in the first place – check

    There should be more plain old kudos for an armed citizen being the first responder on scene stopping a crime, no innocents being injured and no cops shooting a dog. In my book it was mission accomplished. Now the cops will hopefully get out of the donut shop and catch the guy.

    Stop with the woulda coulda shoulda already.

    • Not looking to pick a fight, Mack, but if we didn’t do the coulda, woulda, shoulda thing it gets to be a short post with few comments. And just occasionally I learn something from all the argumentive comments.

      • I wouldnt consider your comment picking a fight, its valid and I appreciate it, as I appreciate everyones differing opinion as well.

        I guess the underlying message I was trying to relay was that the comment section often times is predictable. Instead of “DGU good guys win! YAY!” followed by discussion of why things went right, it’s usually the opposite followed by redundant arguments as above.

        Maybe its the cynical nature of armed citizenes in general. I just find the dysfunction within the gun community curious.

        • It’s sad really that there isn’t more unity in our community. After the insult of the 68gca we came together and brought shall issue to practically every state. We also saw off the AWB. But of late I see a bunch of people that feel that the fights won and over just because they live in a gun friendly area. It’s not and we need the unity.

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