Weapon Retention – Are You Prepared?

Every year skilled law enforcement officers are disarmed and murdered with their own firearm.

  • FBI statistics tell us that since 2000, at least 57 suspects have taken officers’ weapons and murdered with their own firearm.
  • Studies have shown that two thirds of offenders facing arrest were looking for an opportunity to assault or kill the officer detaining them.
  • No singular profile exists of an individual who feloniously assaults or kills law enforcement officers.

Solution to the Problem:

  1. Attitude and Mental Preparedness:
  • Be aware of your personal space 360 degrees.
  • Never let your guard down.
  • If anyone is going to be surprised, make sure it’s the bad guy.
  • Don’t ever have to say after the fact, “I never saw it coming.”
  • Watch for potential danger cues in your immediate area.
  • You must realize that if someone attempts to take your gun away, they are probably going to try to murder you with your own gun.
  • Stay aware and stay alive
  1. Pre-Attack Signals: Read the suspect’s intentions.
  • An assailant will often telegraph his intentions to attack.
  • Look for behaviors such as:
  • Staring at your firearm.
  • Repeated glancing towards your firearm.
  • Movements to close the distance between you and them.
  • Movements to the side of your firearm.
  • Odd or inappropriate questions about your firearm.
  • Other body signals that suggest imminent fight or flight (shuffling feet, shoulder shifts, clenching fist, etc.).
  1. Physical Preparedness:
  • You must always protect and secure your gun from unauthorized hands.
  • Always be aware that you are armed.
  • Maintain a healthy physical boundary.
  • Know where your gun is at all times.
  • Maintain an appropriate level of physical fitness, strength, speed, flexibility and cardiovascular endurance. All these will be called upon in a fight.
  • Rotate your body 45 degrees keeping your gun away from the potential attacker. This will make it harder for the subject to try to grab your gun quickly, but will still allow you to face the threat.
  • Remember, any confrontation you find yourself in involves at least one gun.
  1. Appropriate Equipment:
  • Uniform Deputies should utilize retention holsters.
  • A retention holster does not replace awareness and retention training but it may give you the second chance you need to prevail.
  • You carry a gun to save lives – the last thing you would want is to have it taken away from you.
  1. Proper Weapon Retention Training Is Critical to Success:
  • Well-rehearsed psychomotor weapons retention skills.

What have you done to develop the necessary self defense and weapon retention skills that are critically important to your survival? Remember – “COMPLACENCY KILLS.”

Please contact FSRMF with any questions or for additional information at loss.control@fsrmf.org.