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Those of us fortunate to live in the bubble have a weakness in our home defense: workmen. We’d never think of inviting a total stranger into our homes. Someone well outside our social circle with an unknown background. Someone who could case the joint, clock the exact security set-up and return with his friends to highlight and delete our possessions. Or worse: someone who’s emotionally unstable, and aggressive with it. And yet we hire workmen we’ve never seen before and give them the run of the joint. Some people leave workmen alone with their most precious possession of all: their family. There is a better way . . .

Obviously, anyone with an ounce of common sense never hires a handyman, window washer, roofer, etc. who’s not bonded and insured, and always check references. Right. But even if you are careful, you never know. For example, do you know the bona fides of the workmen working for your workmen?

There’s a simple way to keep yourself safe during these periods of employment and send a clear message that you and yours are not an easy target: home carry. At least one of the adults in situ should pack visible heat.

If your gun is legal, you don’t need an special permission to open carry at home. You’re good to stow.

If you open carry in front of workmen, they’ll get the picture pretty damn quick. I’ve watched workmen point to Sam’s holstered 686 with a wry smile and make a sarcastic remark. To which she replies calmly, “I’m an excellent shot.”

That’s more than enough to get the point across. The message also works its way to the “workman community.” “You’re the woman who carries a gun in the house.” To which Sam replies “Obviously.”

And then everyone gets on with their business. Just as it should be.

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  1. +1
    As a prosecutor I used to have instant access to criminal records, so when we had our basement finished I ran the general contractor and the subs. The results?

    Every single one had a felony record. Drugs, burglary, and felon in possession of a firearm were their favorites. (None had any violent felony crimes, thank god.) All but one of them was actively on probation or parole. I was prosecuting one of their miscreant sons while the father textured my new drywall.

    I don’t offer this as a condemnation of all people who make their living with their hands, but as a cautionary example of an industry in which background checks, reference checking and even workplace sobriety are not uniformly required.

    • But what about the rest of us? Who do not have that kind of access to information? And do you not think letting someone in your home whose child you are prosecuting is a bad idea? Hell, just letting them know where you live seems a bad idea.

      • Indeed! But among prosecutors, the proper use of state resources and taxpayer dollars is not uniformly required.

        • Hmmm…I do not think it is a misuse. Common sense really. I would do the same. But my point being, the rest of us do not have that luxury. We should have access to the same information.

    • When I was going in high school I worked summers for a brick layer. The conclusion I drew from this experience was that it is a good career choice if you have a criminal record, don’t want to bother with drug testing, and like the “freedom” to change employers often. Not to mention seeing what the neighbors have in the garage.

  2. We had some chimney work done and a little siding patching this past week. I saw some guys next door to us working and asked if they would stop over and fix what we needed fixed for a couple of dollars. The neighbor who was having the work done that allowed me to talk to these guys in the first place had let these four men into her home, (she is a young woman who is new to the area) and would trust them to lock up or not be there when she came home. Sad.

  3. My sister recently called me about a pushy vacuum salesman who my mom let in for a demo and he wouldn’t leave. I rushed over to the house and their was this young guy with vacuum parts all over the living room. I had my 45 on my hip in plain view and politely told him that my mom wasn’t interested in a new vacuum. He packed his stuff in a hurry and thanked my mom for her time.

      • Magoo,
        What part of “he wouldn’t leave” did you not get?
        She didn’t brandish her firearm. She didn’t threaten him. All she did was add punctuation to her insistence and he got the point. When someone refuses my request to leave me alone, then I have the right to insist. And if they refuse then I can be ready to meet HIS escalation of the situation, should he move in that direction, with an immediate appropriate response. If there is time I may call the law to do the insisting for me. But in the intervening 20-30 minutes before they arrive, I have the means to protect myself should that become necessary.

        Just go back to living in your fantasy alternate reality Magoo, nothing more for you to see here.

  4. “And yet we hire workmen we’ve never seen before, whose economic circumstances don’t match ours”

    Perhaps there are readers of TTAG whose economic circumstances match those of “workmen”.

    • “And yet we hire workmen we’ve never seen before, whose economic circumstances don’t match ours”

      If you’re talking about my plumber, RF, he can buy and sell both of us. Hell, he has so much money he can buy us and keep us.

  5. I understand the deterrent of open carry. I have a different take however. If I have a workman showing up for either outdoor OR indoor work, I am doing concealed carry.
    I don’t want them (or anyone) knowing I own guns. Even if they are not a problem, they could mention it to someone else (“Guy I worked for today had a .45 on his hip”). This could make your home a target for burglary when no one is home. If they see one, they know there could be more, and guns are a big attractor to certain scum who shall remain nameless. Just sayin’.

    • I agree. While open carrying might have some deterrent qualities, I think they are out weighed by several negatives, such as: “Look, I have a gun. Shoot me first” or telling everyone that you have something worth stealing. Plus you might make otherwise harmless workmen a little nervous, e.i. scare off good, quality labor…”Don’t do any work for that guy, he has a gun and was carrying it around the house. He might flip and shoot you if you make a mistake.” Nonetheless, I always go concealed carry whenever there are workmen in the house. My wife carries in her purse and has it on her shoulder the whole time. Plus, there are several guns strategically placed around the house for quick access.

  6. @James:

    My supervisor advised me to run their histories, because he didn’t want his employees being even more conspicuous targets of criminals’ resentment than we already were. It took me all of three minutes to look them up from my desktop computer, and once they knew that I (and my boss) knew their histories, they did excellent work on my basement.

  7. Admittedly it’s getting a bit off-topic, but adult criminal convictions are public records and are available if one knows where to look. Usually it’s a free but tedious search, and sometimes you’d rather pay a fee to the state police for a quick answer.

  8. I do carry a gun when I have workmen in my house, however I do it concealed. I also hide all evidence of guns being in the house. I do this because personally I feel “sending a message” is less important than not giving them something to talk about to their friends later which would have the result of indicating to strangers that I have a gun(s) in the house.

    It is to my personal tastes to be armed under the radar. I do see both sides of the OC/CC argument for this scenario however.


  9. Magoo,

    Is it genetic, or did something traumatic happen to you in the past? Especially in this day and age, where assistance (law enforcement) is at the other end of a phone call you may not be able to make, and they (law enforcement) will most certainly NOT be able to respond to in time to prevent tragedy, it is my qualified opinion that carrying the means of proper and effective self defense (i.e. – the biggest gun you can hide and handle proficiently) in the home is a reasonable course of action and preparation.

    Should someone be in my home (or that of a loved one, especially my mother) and refuse to leave when asked, they most certainly will get the point and leave IMMEDIATELY of be forcefully ejected from the premises. After a proper request/demand, ANY delaying action on the part of the tresspasser IS TO BE CONSIDERED ESCALATION OF THE SITUATION BY THE PERPETRATOR, and will be dealt with accordingly.

    TSgt B
    USAF (Retired)
    Former LEO
    Firearms Instructor
    Expert Marksman

  10. I’ve found that an easy and cheap character indicator is to ask the applicant if they have a concealed carry permit. Not having one is not necessarily a down check, but having one is as good as a background check.

  11. My workmen get buzzed in through the automatic gate I installed, past the 6 foot fence with 3 Rottweilers behind it, and into my house complete with my ADT alarm and 3 gun safes in view. You’d be a fool…


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