Question of the Day: What’s Your Non-Gun Plan B?

FAB Defense hat (courtesy ammoland,.com)

A firearm is the best self-defense tool a person can carry. Except when it isn’t. The first and most obvious reason a firearm can’t get you out of a jam: you don’t have it on you. Despite gun rights advocates’ best efforts there are lots of “gun-free zones.” Places where carrying a gun can lead to the complete, lifelong loss of gun rights. Hospitals, schools, airplanes, the post office, and other government buildings, etc. What then? Situational awareness will only get you so far. Escape from a potentially deadly threat may not be possible. Make the jump for a press release on an ingenious new product [above, not endorsed by TTAG] that could provide an effective alternative, even on an airplane. Meanwhile and in any case, what’s your plan B? . . .

FAB Defense Gotcha Hat Self Defense Tool

USA – -( When it comes to personal protection, why not be proactive?

The ultimate concealed self-defense tool from FAB Defense, the Gotcha Hat can go with you where other weapons are prohibited. The less-lethal self-defense tool is hidden in plain sight adding confidence to any individual wearing the hat under any set of circumstances.

The tool is made of MIL-SPEC reinforced polymer composite, so it won’t trigger metal detectors and is mounted into the brim of a stylish hat so your attacker will never see it coming.

Martial arts experts Dov Granchrow and Yaron Hanover designed the Gotcha hat so that individuals, even when wearing little clothing (such as shorts or swimsuits), would never be caught empty-handed.

The Gotcha can be drawn easily from the holding mount within the brim of the hat in a non-threatening motion, which will catch your attacker off guard. Not only will users confidently defend themselves, they’ll have the last word: Gotcha. The personal-defense tool enables quick pressure point standoff as well as restraining and disarming techniques.

The comfortable baseball-style hat is available in four colors, black, coyote tan, dark earth (brown) and OD green. The front of the hat can be personalized with interchangeable Velcro patches.

The Mako Group, of New York, is the exclusive U.S. distributor of the best tactical equipment and weapon accessories that have been proven in combat. Products designed for the Israel Defense Forces, Israeli Security, and Israeli Police by Meprolight, FAB Defense, Front Line Holsters and RTS Target Systems, are fully available to the U.S. market. Please “like” The Mako Group on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to stay up-to-date on the latest news and products.

[ED: Trivia question! In Thunderbirds, what did F.A.B. stand for? Answer: nothing.]


  1. avatar Pantera Vazquez says:

    Fab hat is great. Have a black one for myself, use it when I go to my daughter’s school and other no gun locales. Got an olive drab one for my father in Brooklyn. He loves it.

  2. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    A blade is plan B.
    I’m liking the hat tool. That’s pretty neat

  3. avatar KCK says:

    A stainless steel coffee cup with a stout handle, always filled with coffee or water

  4. avatar John A. Smith says:

    In a lot of controlled or restricted areas, there are generic prohibitions against offensive weapons or martial arts weapons, or that sort of thing. So please do use care before assuming these are good to go where other weapons are not.

    Should you be arrested with it, prosecutors are rarely so stupid that they can’t google the name of a product like this, see that it is being advertised and sold as a such, and use that against you in a case.

    1. avatar Other Tony says:

      Agreed. I would not try to wear or carry this through airport security.

  5. avatar Detroit Medic says:

    Great assuming you don’t live in Michigan.

    Michigan classifies a weapon by the intent of the user.

    “Oh this 4″ folding knife? I intend to box boxes with it at work.”

    You’re good to go.

    Hence, brass and plastic knuckles are illegal here because there can be no “good intent” for carrying them.

    1. It’s nearly the same in PA. This item seems like it would fall under title 18 § 908, prohibited offensive weapon. I really have to go to the case law, this section is overly broad but the crime is classified as an M1 and conviction of an M1 carries a potential jail term that’s long enough to qualify at a federal prohibitor.

      1. avatar ValleyForge77 says:

        Spot on. PA knife laws are goofy and this would most likely not be legal.

      2. avatar Wiregrass says:

        Officer I had no choice but to fight him off with my can opener.

        Looks like it would be quite effective for a shot to the throat with those inward protusions.

  6. avatar Tony says:

    Alternatively: Fully Acknowledged Broadcast or Fully Advised and Briefed

  7. avatar DickDanger says:

    Damascus push dagger

  8. avatar Old Ben turning in grave says:

    Pepper spray kubaton on the key chain. Could be plan A, depending on circumstances. Looks like a little flashlight, never gets a second look.

  9. avatar JWM says:

    Plan B? Alameda county, CA. Apparently a constitution free zone. My whole daily routine is plan b with a little c thrown in.

  10. avatar DanRRZ says:

    Knife would be plan B where allowed. Quite frankly beyond that, I’m either going to look for an improvised club (chair etc.) or go hands on. Fiddling with deploying the hat tool will cost time, block your FOV, and is unreliable if your hat gets knocked off in a scuffle. Furthermore, delivering a serious punch with that would probably be more likely to break your hand/fingers than a traditional haymaker.

  11. avatar AllAmerican says:

    Aww yea boi that MILSPEC yo.

    1. avatar Gatha58 says:

      Uhh, translation ?

      1. avatar sagebrushracer says:

        “its made from a sturdy plastic resin”

      2. avatar AllAmerican says:

        I really didn’t think that needed a sarcasm tag. But I was making fun of the idea of “MILSPEC!” plastic.

  12. avatar Sixpack70 says:

    Plan B is my cheesey 12 dollar buck knife, nobody will mistake it for anything but a pocket knife. I’ve been thinking about a tactical pen also. Why? Because you can write with it and use it as a weapon. I’m not sure if they are banned on flights though. I have metal bodied pens thay could serve as a weapon in a pinch, but they are not nearly as durable. Plus you can write with the blood of your enemies after a successful DPU. /SARC

    1. avatar Other Tony says:

      My understanding is that TSA typically regards tactical pens as a kubotan (and thus forbidden).

      1. avatar JimmyDelta says:

        Mine’s been through TSA dozens of times without a second look.

    2. avatar Cubbie says:

      Just picked up a tactical pen (with ferro rod and whistle) and traveled between Seattle and San Francisco with no issues. A friend makes regular trips with a basic tactical pen with no issues. TSA can be a crapshoot but at least it only sets you back $20 if they do take it.

    3. avatar DisThunder says:

      tactical pens are just fine in most airports, and that’s my plan C. Plan B and a half is where I have a knife in one hand and throw my pen at the bad guy. (Plan A and a half is where I just throw the knife at the bad guy and try to propel it into them with bullets.)

    4. avatar Tim says:

      I’ve had both experiences with tactical pens. My first was the Gerber which made it though security fine but eventually got stopped. I had quite a discussion with a types of security, they considered it a kubaton. I have a TuffWriter now, which looks totally unthreatening and is thus never an issue. It really comes down to appearance, one security person said they weren’t going to do anything about he Gerber pen until they saw it said Gerber on it and knew Gerber was a “knife company” so the pen must be a weapon. Granted it did look a little threatening too. As with all things in the liberal world, appearance is most important.

      1. avatar Scott says:

        Gerber is also a baby food company. Does that mean your tac pen could feed infants?

        1. avatar Tim says:

          This was a TSA agent, so maybe?

    5. avatar Stutz says:

      You can get a stainless steel Sharpie, either a pen or a marker, for under $5. I doubt anybody anywhere would think of it as a weapon. That’s my go-to option for airport-style security situations.

  13. avatar Kyle in CT says:

    “Make the jump for a press release on an ingenious new product [above, not endorsed by TTAG] that could provide an effective alternative, even on an airplane. ”

    Yeah, no. TSA catches you trying to get that thing through security and you’d better be prepared to at the very least be detained, and at worst be spend some time in a federally-sponsored extended-stay hotel. Beyond that, in a lot of places “knife” laws (and yes, this would likely be considered a knife or brass knuckles in many states) are actually more confusing and obtuse than gun laws, leading to a lot of prosecutorial discretion. Good luck explaining this thing to a jury.

    1. avatar Bob says:

      ^ This. The a-holes who call themselves government don’t care about what the law may say or not say. (Police are part of the government)

      If they think you might be trying to get away with something, even if they absolutely know you’re not doing anything illegal, there’s an excellent chance they will go full aggro on you.

      And it won’t be pretty.

  14. avatar Richard in WA says:

    4″ folding Smith and Wesson “Border Guard” knife. Goes with me everywhere except airplanes and the courthouse. It’s kind of cheesy but it was cheap, very solid, holds an edge well, is large enough to easily slice an apple (the #1 most often use for my pocket knife).

  15. avatar Roscoe says:

    Head to toe, there are a number of very sensitive, painful areas on the human body that can be quickly…touched. And if not…intimately close…I’ll either try reason, retreat, or start throwing things.

    Use ALL tools available; one need only be willing and able.

  16. avatar Forrest says:

    Plan B: a knife. I carry a Fox Karamabit most days. It deploys faster than an auto and is a great defensive option where guns are not allowed (such as working for a large unnamed national pizza delivery chain like I do.) and is scary looking enough that even the sight of it has stopped multiple muggings.

    Beyond that, i carry cheap disposable pens anywhere I can’t carry a gun or knife. TSA doesn’t need to know that I intend to stab any threat I may encounter in the neck, they just let me walk right on through with my Bic.

  17. avatar Shire-man says:

    Sock full of nickles.
    This officer? This is my coin purse. I carry $30 in nickles for the tolls and meters.

  18. avatar Bill C in w. tx. says:

    My Plan B? Pocket sand.

    1. avatar Removed_californian says:


  19. avatar Gunr says:

    Plan B, run like hell!

  20. avatar Former Water Walker says:

    Knife and pepper-baseball bat,machete,more knives.2 axes at home. The hat looks cool…

  21. avatar Grant says:

    Plan B is a collapsible steel baton.

  22. avatar Stinkeye says:

    “…that could provide an effective alternative, even on an airplane…”

    I have a feeling that trying to get that thing through airport security has a better-than-even chance of getting you into a very uncomfortable conversation with some unpleasant people. Best case, you’re missing your flight and your MIL-SPEC “plastic knuckles” hat now belongs to whichever TSA goober picks it out of the trash can. Worst case, you’re gonna need to call a lawyer.

  23. avatar Chris. says:

    Plan B – Speed Surprise & violence of action. No gun, Can’t run, can’t talk down -then I will do my best to Rip the attacker’s arm off and then beat him with it.

  24. avatar actionphysicalman says:

    I have a very nice smallsword.

    1. avatar Mark N. says:

      I have a very nice longsword, but its not something I can take with me….I wonder what the po-po would think if I started carrying a nice modern Gladius…(It is legal to openly carry fixed bladed knives in most of California. Not LA.)

      1. avatar actionphysicalman says:

        Yeah, that is the hole in my plan B – if it is not convenient or possible to carry a pistol it is usually doubly so for a 31″ knife. There is also the fact that I suck at fencing. It’s just that it looks so good! One advantage though is that many people see it as too foppish to be a threat. Longswords usually garner more respect, I imagine.

      2. avatar Pieslapper says:

        “My name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father…prepare to die.”

        1. avatar Bob120 says:


  25. avatar Ralph says:

    Plan A: avoid gun free zones whenever possible. Plan B: a BUG. Plan C: at home, tomahawks and hatchets. The damn things are scary; for outside, see Plan B.

  26. avatar jans says:

    600 and 1000 lumen flashlights to disorient and …
    Pepper spray when permitted.
    Recently my 3 CR123A battery 1100 lumen flashlight was not permitted at the local courthouse because, “You might hit someone with that.” Previously I carried the 600 lumen (2 CR123A cell size) flashlight on many flights with no questions.
    Things may have changed.

  27. avatar Mike says:

    The Razor Razor belt swords look extremely appealing… otherwise I’ve got a SOG Trident in my back pocket, and a Kershaw Camp 10 in the truck.

    1. avatar Other Tony says:

      Those razorrazor beltswords are crazy! I just watched some youtube videos. The inventor looks and acts like a mad scientist of flexible edged weaponry.

  28. avatar ghost says:

    Now I know one hundred and one ways to get my butt kicked.

  29. avatar Chris In Texas says:

    Screw that. That thing is illegal as Hell almost everywhere in this country. Airplane? Your kidding right? That will fall under all bullshit brass knuckle laws. Stupid lol.

  30. avatar The mayor of Candor says:

    Spiderco Civilian. Incredibly it’s legal in California and San Francisco. Feel naked without it.

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      Oh, HELL YEAH!

      Had one a few years back, a Spyderco ‘second’, downright evil looking…

      I’ll have to get me another…

  31. avatar JohnF says:

    Each to one’s own. This product would be useless for me for the following reasons:
    1. I travel by air every week. I might get it through one or two TSA checkpoints with it because they are so incompetent, but it would eventually get stopped and confiscated. At best I would get delayed, at worst I might wind up in legal trouble and either way I would be out the money I spent on this dumb device.
    2. I work white collar jobs where ball caps are not acceptable.
    3. I don’t see it as a particularly effective weapon. If I am going to carry a non-gun weapon, it will be pepper spray and/or a knife. Depending on thee situation, I can either avoid more legal trouble with the pepper and I can do a lot more damage with the knife.

    IMHO, the foundation of all self-defense, including with a gun, needs to be some good H2H basics. Whatever works for you as long as it’s reality-based. You may need H2H skills to even be able to get to your gun. My experience is that if H2H students can’t use their hands, they are even less able to use a less than lethal weapon. With almost any system of H2H, empty hand is taught first and then student graduates to non-gun weapons, because that requires more skill.

    That being said, a pocketful of change makes a great weapon. Completely legal everywhere. Thrown hard at a attacker’s face, it’s unlikely you will miss, it gives you a little stand-off distance and thrown coins hurt like heck and are temporarily disorienting. If you have some more coins in a sock, you can use it as a sap to knock the attacker out while he is disoriented. Or if you can, just run.

  32. avatar Mark N. says:

    A Kershaw or a Buck when out and about, except in courthouses where they too are prohibited. I can’t run, so Plan C is to scream like a pitbull has a hold of my testicles. In this town, that would actually garner attention. New York, not so much. YMMV.

  33. avatar BigBoy says:

    A Cross pen can do a lot of damage including fatal.

  34. avatar Accur81 says:

    On duty: Taser X2, pepper spray, ASP, patrol car as a battering ram, personal weapons.

    Off duty: Weimaraner, Benchmade knife, Taser C2, personal weapons, running away in Infiniti G37S, Wife’s Chevy Traverse as a battering ram, enthusiastic sniffing from Yellow Lab, calling 911, pushing alarm button, sheltering in place, voting for additional gun control.*

    (Just kidding on the last one)

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      “Off duty: Weimaraner”


      (Is that a dog in your pocket, or are you just glad…?)


  35. avatar Joe R. says:

    Flatulence, QT buffalo-roller-chicken flatulence.

    And. . .

    I fight nekid.

    1. avatar Joe R. says:

      Not funny, I know, but look at all the rest of the cr_p listed here that we’ve been forced to resort to, and ask yourself who’s kidding who.

  36. avatar Gs650g says:

    For male attacker a kick to the groin

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      His or yours? 🙂

  37. avatar Yadama says:

    Surefire P2X Fury Defender & Boker Wharncliffe Auto
    A compact, tactical light comes is extremely handy as its the only nonlethal device that can stop an attacker from a decent distance. At 25 yards, all you can see is light, that’s it. Anything closer, you body will naturally force you to cover your eyes either with your hands or eyelid. If you do try to close the distance, the bezel edge on the front of the light are purposely shape like brass knuckles, so you going to be blind with a broken face. Plus, an auto knife always comes in handy if they’re already too close to use the flashlight effectively.

  38. avatar Rick K says:

    I don’t wear hats, is there a tighty whitey version available?

    My plan B is being flanked by my great dane on one side and my pitbull mix on the other. They make misguided yoots go directly to their plan pee.

  39. avatar Anonymoose says:

    My Plan B is Napalm.

  40. avatar Robert Kling says:

    Going to use that new “piss myself and say I’m menstruating” Colorado Combat Technique…

    1. avatar Gunr says:

      Was that Robert?, or, Roberta?

  41. avatar Jeremiah S. says:

    my plan b is a Gerber Applegate-Fairbairn 4 inch folder alongside my Concealed CZ P07. I’ve been thinking of getting a tactical pen as well, but I don’t want to go too mall ninja.

  42. avatar Dustin says:

    I open carry a fairly obnoxious blade because it’s illegal to open carry a gun here.

    One blade of prevention is worth 9 rounds of cure…

  43. avatar nynemillameetuh says:

    Plan B: a heavy boot
    Plan C: a generic tactical folder
    Plan D: chewing their face off like Hannibal

  44. avatar Brett says:

    Plan B: 4″ Tanto knife

    Plan C: Tactical Pen (This can be any sturdy pen or pencil, not necessarily one custom built for the purpose.)

    Plan D: Dum*Dums Lollipops, don’t laugh, they’re extremely effective against soft areas of the body (such as the throat).

    I’m also proficient in H2H combat, though I don’t practice it as much as should these days.

  45. avatar C.S. says:

    Maybe I should try taking the gun away from the assailant, like what the Progressives suggest might have happened to Carol Bowne had she a gun. There’s nothing like getting shot and turning bodybag in a gun-free zone.

  46. avatar Ryan says:

    Koch tools duo and either my coye ridgeback or ZT350

  47. avatar Anaxis says:

    I have a little hook-bill folder with a razor sharp 3″ blade; it snaps open almost as fast as an auto-knife, and with one slash can easily remove someone’s airway or drop their guts on the ground. I also practice regularly with my “tactical” tomahawk, which rides shotgun in my truck at all times even when the shotgun isn’t.

  48. avatar ADM says:

    I’ve been carrying a knife every day since junior high, and back when I used to regularly wear hats, I often wore a sap cap. I don’t wear hats anymore, but I still carry knives. The only change I’ve had to make since starting to CCH as well is that I’ve moved my knife from my right pocket to my left [when it’s not clipped into my boot], so the clip doesn’t get caught on my hand during a drawstroke.

  49. avatar Fuque says:

    My Plan B is my bench made barrage, if thats not permitted, then i go to plan C…refrain from going to places where plan A or B are not allowed

  50. avatar kap says:

    A door spring, a book cover with sharpened plexiglass, same for hat, sharpened belt buckle on a garrison style belt, a monkey fist, large nail, a cane, a pointed sharpened PVC pipe, a soda can. Lid from opened Can, SE razor blades in Hat brim, rubber hose, Metal coat Hanger, aluminum; sharpened tent spike, roll of dimes reinforced with duct tape wrapped in handkerchief, toll of quarters duct taped for fist reinforcement or in head scarf, rolled up magazine or Newspaper! chef knife etc.
    I have used these in a former life, a pocket pistol and a Boker mini Kukri are preferred and more stealthy is a 4 inch sharpened plexiglass,

  51. avatar Dick Johnson says:

    The point of carrying any defensive weapon is to stop the attacker and guns are no.1 because they’re the most effective. A knife can stab and slash, but only so far as you can reach. What if your attacker has a knife? You gonna go mano a mano amigo?

    If a gun isn’t available to carry, get a defensive tool with something longer than an arm’s reach. Ideally, some sort of pepper spray and taser combination.

  52. avatar Shwiggie says:

    Plan B: SOG Flash II

    That thing looks like a plastic mini bat-leth. If Klingons wore caps….

  53. avatar BlueBronco says:

    A knife. I also keep an Estwing tomahawk in the jeep.

  54. avatar Pat says:

    Cold Steel Seargent’s Halberd or full size Boar Spear. Pole Arms for pocket carry, I say.

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