Sheriff Jim Wilson: Don’t Buy Expensive Defense Guns?
By Jim Wilson, American Rifleman
“Don’t buy expensive defense guns.” I heard that comment from a defensive shooter just the other day. His argument was that your defense gun will be confiscated by law enforcement if it is used in a defensive shooting. He further argued that even if the gun is returned to you, it will have rusted and reposed in some police evidence locker for quite some time. For this reason, he suggests arming yourself with an inexpensive gun that you won’t mind losing. Frankly, I am still trying to wrap my head around his logic.
Having spent quite a few years as a peace officer, I can tell you that your gun will more than likely be collected as evidence if it is used in a defensive shooting. Law enforcement officers don’t do magic; they can’t always look at everyone and tell the good guys from the bad guys. In addition, the courts require that all physical evidence, including your gun, be examined and compared to witness statements and other evidence that has been collected regarding the incident. In most cases involving a justifiable shooting, the gun will eventually be returned to you. But the reasoning that this justifies carrying a cheap gun—a disposable gun, if you will—just boggles the mind.
All of the knowledge and skill that you have acquired is of no value of the defensive handgun fails during the moments of a violent criminal attack.
For the average citizen, the most traumatic event in your life is to be involved in a criminal attack where you have to use your defensive handgun. It is something that you can only hope that you will survive. Your survival will depend upon your level of marksmanship, the amount of training that you have received and how well you have applied it, and quality of your defensive armament. All of the knowledge and skill that you have acquired is of no value if the defensive handgun fails during the moments of a violent criminal attack.
Consider this: We don’t buy the cheapest car that we can find just because there is a likelihood that it might be stolen and, if that happened, we wouldn’t be out a lot of money. No, instead we buy the best car that we can afford, one that will perform the tasks that we expect of it.
The defensive shooter does not require a lot of guns, although there is certainly nothing wrong with owning a number of guns. What he needs are defensive handguns that he can depend on when/if the day ever comes that he has to bet his life against an armed criminal. And it is a simple fact that quality, well-made guns tend to cost more.
Does this mean that you need to run out and spend $3,000 to $4,000, or more, for a super custom gun? Absolutely not. But you should buy and carry the best quality handgun that you can possibly afford. That is just as important as getting the best defensive training that you can afford.
When the lives of you and your family are at stake, going cheap is just not really a good idea.