News and Information 2018-01-11T14:57:22+00:00

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Holiday Safety

By Ron Mullins and Thom Bolsch

We’re going to take a twist on the normal holiday safety article this year and go back in time to learn what we need to know for the future.

It was the mid-1960; and boys around the age of 8 and 9 were being introduced to what would be considered today a para-military organization.  In reality it was just the Boy Scouts.  It was a place where fathers and sons could learn the foundation of citizenry, self-respect, self-reliance and service to others.  

It was a place where leaders of the future would learn about service to others, honor and ethics.  It was a place where boys could grow to men with guidance and mentorship.

So what was so important about the past that can help us in the future?

Knowledge!  The most important concept of the Boy Scouts is their motto: “Be Prepared.”  “Be Prepared”.  Seems a bit simplistic, maybe even a little comical today, but there are millions of men in this country that pledge an allegiance to that motto every week.  Men today that are community leaders, business leaders; and those that have put their lives in harm’s way in our Armed Services and Law Enforcement.  They took away from that experience as young men the notion that service to others is important, that self-respect is important and that planning for what could happen can save a life.

“Be Prepared”.  Stay alert when walking through the parking garage; be prepared for the unexpected.  Be watchful while in public places; be prepared for the possibility.  Be knowledgeable; be prepared for a medical emergency.

Scouting has fallen out of favor in today’s technological society, it’s no longer cool to be a scout.  But scouting shaped the character of men to be prepared and look out for others.  That character is in demand more so today than ever before.  

Men, and women, that can extend a watchful eye across a parking lot, or across the street, to look for suspicious behavior.  Those that will remain alert when in public, looking for an opportunity to serve another.  Those that are prepared for an emergency, whether medical or life threatening.  

Scouting was the foundation upon which men of character were built.  That foundation, that character shaped a mindset.  A mindset to care for others, protect others and prepare for what may happen.

So, what does this have to do with holiday safety?!  

We are safer as a community, when we watch out for each other as well as for ourselves.  We are approaching the holidays; a more festive environment; and the criminal element is waiting for you to let down your guard.  

Make sure doors are locked at home and the alarm is set.  Have motion sensor lights stationed at entry ways and blind-spots.  Take extra care when shopping, don’t load yourself down with packages heading to the car, and protect your credit cards (it is recommended that you buy fix dollar cards that you can reload and leave your regular card at home to limit the potential loss of cash and exposure of identity).  Keep your car in the garage at night; but if you must leave it outside – take everything out of it and LOCK the doors.

If you are prepared for what might happen, you can probably prevent a lot of what could happen.

We’ll leave you wishing you a joyous and uneventful holiday season; and remember to be prepared.

For a holiday safety checklist, click here.

Stay Alert, Stay Safe,   

© Copyright 2017 Ron Mullins and Thom Bolsch

All rights reserved.

By | October 30th, 2017|Categories: News|0 Comments

Buying a Conceal Carry Handgun

By: Ron Mullins and Thom Bolsch

At a recent social event, the topic of carrying concealed came up and one of the participants in the conversation asked “What’s the best conceal carry gun?”.

Immediately participants in the conversation were suggesting various gun manufactures and specific handguns.  Additionally, recommendations such as “smallest compact”, thinnest” and every version of caliber available for a pistol were mentioned.

Last month we discussed buying your first handgun, and the thought process of selecting a gun that meets your specific purpose for the gun.  Buying a carry gun requires as much if not more thought and consideration.

First: DON’T BUY THE CHEAPEST GUN IN THE GUN CASE!  And DON’T buy what your buddy, or the store salesperson says is the “best gun out there”.  Buying a gun is personal, buying a carry gun; even more so!

Second: Consider how you will carry the gun.  What will your daily activities allow?  Your lifestyle will impact your decision on how and what to carry.  Are you regularly behind the same desk every day, or with different people in a different office every other day?  Does your lifestyle allow for more casual clothes, or more business attire?  In this evaluation, determine how you would carry your gun every day – regardless of location or dress.  Experts recommend that the method of carry of a firearm for protective defense should be the same regardless of your various circumstances.  Responding to a threat is mostly muscle memory; and if your gun is moved to a different carry method based on changes in your situation or dress, your response will be clumsy and may cost you your life.  Once you recognize and understand your lifestyle limitations and/or restrictions, if any; then we can move to the next step.

Third: Find a friendly, knowledgeable gun shop.  One in particular comes to mind!

Fourth: Last week we discussed the feel and fit of buying your first gun.  The same is necessary for your first carry gun; with the added consideration of trying various holsters with various handguns with different carry methods.  You have to have the right fit and feel for the way you carry as well as the gun you carry.  (When deciding on my first carry gun, I spent more than two months checking out two dozen different guns and carry methods…)

Naturally, you’ll want a smaller gun; but the size is determined by your lifestyle, the method of carry and your attire.  I know people that conceal .45 caliber 1911s – their lifestyle, cloths and daily routine accommodates that gun for them.  I know others that carry a “pocket gun” as a result of various limitations and restrictions in their lifestyle and daily routine.  And there is everything in between.

Your Saddle River Range sales clerk will walk you through a process of trying the feel and fit of various handguns, carry methods and holsters.  Spend the time to find the right fit for you: you’ll be wearing this gear all day every day.  And you need to practice what you wear; but that’s a different article.

Stay Alert, Stay Safe,


© Copyright 2017 Ron Mullins and Thom Bolsch


For more information from a different perspective check out

By | October 2nd, 2017|Categories: News|0 Comments

Buying Your First Handgun

By Ron Mullins and Thom Bolsch

We have written several articles on benefits of having a firearm for personal protection and family security.  While we think having a firearm can provide an increased level of safety and security, it’s not the firearm per se; but the attitude and training that go along with it that increases the level of security for you and your family.

However; if you’re new to the idea of using a firearm for defense or just new to firearms in general, how do you decide what is the best handgun to buy?  Conduct a Google search on handguns for sale and you’ll see that you have hundreds of options.

In part one of this series; we are going to review some of the primary comparisons of various handguns available to purchase today.

We’ve talked with instructors, gun store counter personnel, law enforcement professionals and regular gun owners about “the first handgun” and some of the responses include: “You can’t go wrong with a (insert manufacture name here)”; “this is what your husband, boyfriend, brother has”, “you need at least a (insert caliber here)” and this one we just can’t understand “it’s pink, girls love pink!”.

On the surface, a handgun is nothing more than a hand held firearm.  But; there are various categories of handguns.  The primary variables are:

  1. Revolver or Pistol (magazine loaded, slide action).
  2. Full size, compact, sub-compact or Pocket
  3. Barrel size (caliber)
  4. All metal or composite
  5. Hammer (Double action or Single action) or Striker Fired

And there are almost a hundred different manufactures to add complexity to your decision.

We have outlined various categories and suggested a few recommendations to ignore.  Now let’s consider some guidance in selecting a handgun that you’ll enjoy shooting.

If you are buying your first gun, or looking at a second or third; here is what you need to consider:

  1. Ask yourself how you’ll be using this handgun.  Buying a gun to take to the range once a quarter and keep in a quick access vault next to the bed will be different that buying a gun to carry concealed while you meet with clients as a custom jeweler.
  2. Ignore everything else until you find a gun that fits your hand.  Can you comfortably place the back strap of the grip in the webbing between you index finger and thumb and get the second through fourth fingers around the grip while positioning the tip of your index finger on the trigger.  Before you shoot your first round, hold a dozen or more guns in your hand and check for the “fit and feel”.
  3. Consider the weight of the gun.  You’ll want to be able to hold the gun at arms-length for a duration of time to allow for around ten shots.  You don’t want it so heavy as to cause you to drop your aim after each shot, but heavier handguns help absorb the recoil.
  4. Ignore the caliber..

Find a gun store and a clerk that will help guide you to the right gun, not someone pointing you towards what they like.

As soon as you make your purchase, bring your gun to the range, hire an instructor and have some fun; and welcome to the world of “SHOOTING”.

Be Aware, Be Safe.

© Copyright Ron Mullins and Thom Bolsch 2017

By | September 5th, 2017|Categories: News|0 Comments

ATF Implements instant Form 3 Approvals!!

ATF Implements instant Form 3 Approvals!!

Originally posted here by The Firearms Blog.


In an actual blessing bestowed upon the National Firearms Act (NFA) community as a whole, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) has begun rapid approvals of Form 3 transfers between dealers, distributors and manufacturers. In case you aren’t an NFA process nerd like myself, these non-taxed transactions occur between FFL holders to move registered items that will most likely be sold and transferred to consumers.

So, if this process only involves licensees, why should Shawn Short-Barrel and Susie Silencer care about such mundane news? Because, both Shawn and Susie most likely buy their NFA toys from an out of state dealer, probably requiring a wait for the Form 3 approved transfer. Up until recently, the wait for a for a Form 3 approval had grown to one or two months, adding on to the already painfully long transfer process.

Silencer Shop, who is rumored to move an overwhelming majority of all the total NFA transfers across the country, recently posted images on their Instagram page showing Form 3 approvals coming back within hours of being submitted. Again, although this process only directly effects licensees, the individual buyer will see a benefit in quicker silencer availability from manufacturers and transfers from dealer to dealer. Although Silencer Shop has already streamlined this process with a network of local dealers and electronic form submissions using fingerprint scannerselectronic signatures and a mobile application for photographs.

My local dealer, MAC Tactical, who I Like to mention whenever I get the chance becsuse he facilitates all my TFB review guns, also just had a Form 3 approval in a few hours. Boom – ATF’s eForm system is still alive! (Well, partially anyway.)

This new trend is speeding up transfers for industry members is overdue. However, I am the first in line to applaud the ATF when it comes to streamlining every aspect of the NFA process. So on behalf of all silencer lovers everywhere, thank you.

NOTE: For clarification, the Form 3’s must be submitted through the ATF’s EForms system to take advantage of the quick approvals.  Also, the new standard Form 3 approval time is two to three days. Obviously some will be quicker and some slower. In my eyes, two to three days is “instant” compared to the recent past.

By | August 8th, 2017|Categories: News|0 Comments

Keeping Our Daughters Safe at College

By Ron Mullins and Thom Bolsch


If you know a college age woman, you NEED to read AND share this article.

This month, over twenty millions students will head off for college; some returning, some entering a new life experience.  And each year, almost a quarter (23%) of undergraduate women will be raped or sexually assaulted while away at college.  Take a minute to let that sentence sink in…  Almost a fourth of college women will become victims!

There is an unsavory element in society that preys on women and we provide an inadequate educational foundation for women to be alert for, avoid and/or fight should they be threatened.

At and around the college environment, half of all assaults occur in the first semester (August through November).  As new students they are learning to cope with being away from home, learning new study habits and struggling with living on their own in a new environment with people they don’t know; providing for an increase in their level of risk.

Our daughters need – MUST – know what they face and how to prepare and protect themselves.  We cannot shelter them anymore; they must learn to protect themselves.

There is a lot of information that can be written on this topic.  There are a number of programs, seminars and classes women of all ages can attend.  We hope this article will act as a spark to highlight this subject and take action to learn more.

The most important action a woman can take, and we can’t emphasize this enough; is to BE ALERT.  Just as it was important to learn to look both ways before crossing a street as a child, so is the importance of being alert to your surroundings as a young woman.  When you leave the safety of the classroom, the dorm, a group of friends; put your phone in your pocket and keep your head up and your eyes looking around you.  DO NOT let someone sneak up on you!

Additionally, try not to go anywhere by yourself.  If you can identify or find a friend to fly your wing; there really is safety in numbers.

Below are a few topics to consider; and some actions items that can help keep you safe while establishing a foundation for your professional future.

  1. Always keep the door (and windows) to your room locked; whether you’re in the room or away (even if you’re just going next door).  Additionally, keep the door to your residence hall closed and locked.  And don’t let anyone into the residence hall that you don’t know.  Keep your keys with you at all times.  If in your room, put your keys in a specific location every time you enter the room after you’ve locked the door.
  2. If you can’t arrange a friend to join you, use the campus escort service.  Regardless, always let someone you trust know where you’re going and who you’re supposed to meet; and have your friend call you at predetermined times.  There are phone aps that provide ‘flight following’.  Find one that works for you and USE it.  While you’re at it, add emergency numbers to your phone and set them up to be at the top of your contact list.
  3. Listen to your inner self.  If something doesn’t feel right, excuse yourself and LEAVE, don’t worry about being polite – protect yourself.
  4. While in public, DO NOT let your drink leave your hand.  If you do, order a new one.  If out with friends, DO NOT leave, and don’t be allowed to be taken away by yourself.  If you feel dizzy, drowsy, fatigued or have slurred speech, immediately find your friend or a police officer.  Drugs and alcohol are most commonly associated with sexual assault.
  5. If you have access to a Victim Proofing Women or Rape-Aggression-Defense course, sign up – and bring a friend.
  6. Find a defensive tool that you can learn to use and take classes on how to use that tool. Defensive tools include:  Kubaton or Tactical Pen, Mace, Pepper Spray, Tasers, Stun Guns and of course a Pistol.  Each one requires training and practice, some require licensing and/or certification.  We recommend something that you can take to any class or facility and can easily use if needed.

As we have mentioned in previous articles, we as individuals are responsible for our own safety and security.  Take 10-15 minutes to learn, then set up a schedule to prepare and train.  If you become a target, you won’t have time to think; you only have time to react!

We don’t want you to be paranoid, we just need you to pay attention and be prepared.  You can learn more about sexual assault and prevention at

Be Aware, Be Safe.


Copyright © 2017 Ron Mullins and Thom Bolsch

By | August 2nd, 2017|Categories: News|0 Comments

Weapon Malfunctions in an Active Shooter Event- by Greg Ellifritz

Understanding the dynamics of an Active Shooter event is key when preparing for this all to common violent criminal action. Knowing what to look for in the event you find yourself in one of these events could give you the advantage and the ability to run, hide, or FIGHT! – Chris

Originally posted here.

Written by Greg Ellifritz

*I originally wrote this article about four years ago.  I updated it after reading Ron Borcsh’s excellent chapter on active killers in the book “Straight Talk On Armed Defense.”  Ron’s research alerted me to several previously unknown active killer cases where the shooters had malfunctions.  I did some more research in addition to Ron’s excellent work and came up with a more complete list of historic active killer events where the killer had a malfunction or an empty weapon at some point.  I have at least 27 documented shootings where this has happened.

It’s a situation we all should be watching for.  It happens in quite a few spree shootings.  If you are alert, you can use these moments to escape or attack. — Greg

I was recently doing some research on historic active shooter incidents and found these articles about an election night shooting in Canada.  This shooting didn’t get much media traction in the USA, but it was an interesting case.  Read more about it at the link below:


Gun jams on active shooter in Montreal


The shooter was allegedly mentally ill and upset at the increasing levels of government bureaucracy affecting his business.  He began to shoot up a politician’s victory celebration at a public club.  He fired several rounds from an “assault rifle” before his gun jammed and he was apprehended.  An official police statement described the events:


“In fact there could have been many more injuries and possibly more fatalities — the reason for that is that the man had an assault rifle…and we’re hearing from witnesses the gun appeared to have jammed after only a few rounds were fired,”

Jamming weapons are not uncommon in active shooter events.  In fact, another spree shooting with much more media coverage (the movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado) had a similar ending…


Jammed Gun Saved Lives In Colo. Shooting


A federal law enforcement official told the Washington Post that a weapon malfunction likely saved lives by forcing Holmes to abandon the M&P15 he had equipped with a 100-round drum magazine after it jammed.”


Note that both of these shooters had weapon malfunctions.  Both also had additional firearms in their possession.


Even more recently, victims took the opportunity to flee after the terrorists’ guns jammed in last year’s terrorist attack in Paris.


Weapon malfunctions give victims time to escape.  They also provide opportunities for unarmed victims to violently resist the killer with less danger.  Similar opportunities are presented when shooters reload their empty weapons as well.  In looking at past active shooter events, it is exceedingly rare to find one where the killer didn’t have either a malfunctioning or empty weapon at some point in the engagement.


Take a look at some of the active shooter events in recent history.  The shooter had a malfunctioning or empty gun in every one…


1988- Atlantic Shores Christian School.  Shooter subdued by a teacher after his gun jammed.  He had hundreds more rounds on his person.

1999- Columbine High School- Two shooters reloaded several times each

1999- Fort Gibson Middle School- Shot until his 9mm pistol was empty.  At that point he was taken down by a teacher and school safety officer.

2004- Al Rosa Villa Concert shooting– Killer had a malfunction with his Beretta 92 handgun

2007- Virginia Tech. Shooter reloaded several times

2007- NY/NY Casino in Las Vegas- Gunman tackled by bystander while attempting to reload his pistol.  Suspect had more than 100 additional rounds on his person.

2009- NVCC Woodbridge College. Shooter’s gun jammed after 2 rounds

2009- Bridgeville fitness club.  Shooter reloaded at least twice

2009- Fort Hood Army Base.  Terrorist reloaded several times and had a pistol malfunction

2009- First Baptist Church Maryville, Illinois- Shooter’s .45 pistol jammed after he fired four shots.  The suspect continued his attack with a knife.

2010- University of Alabama Faculty meeting.  Shooter’s gun jammed and she was locked in a closet by coworkers until police arrived.

2010- Deer Creek Middle School Littleton, Colorado- Teacher tackled the adult male suspect as he reloaded his rifle

2011- Tucson Shooting.  Shooter had to reload and had a jammed gun at one point.  He was tackled as he fumbled an additional reload and was trying to pick his dropped magazine off the ground

2011- Norway shooting.  Multiple reloads

2012- Chardon High School, Ohio.  Shooter fired 10 rounds with .22 pistol and then ran out of ammunition

2012- Oikos College.  Shooter reloaded several times.

2012- Clackamas Mall in Portland, Oregon- Suspect fired 17 rounds and attempted to reload his AR-15 rifle, but was unable to do so.

2012- California Chicken Plant shooting– Killer fired until his pistol was empty.

2013- Sandy Hook Elementary School– Reloads and live rounds on ground indicative of malfunctions

2013- Ross Twp Pennsylvania Municipal Building- Shooter fired 28 rounds out of a Ruger Mini-14 and ran it dry.  He transitioned to a .44 magnum revolver and continued his attack.

2014- Pacific University in Seattle, Washington– Student safety monitor stopped the shooter by spraying him with pepper spray as he reloaded his double barrel shotgun.  Suspect tried to continue his attack with a knife while being restrained.

2014- Marysville-Pilchuck High School in Washington State- Teacher confronted student as he was reloading, prompting the student to shoot himself.

2014- Second Ft. Hood Shooting– Multiple reloads of a S&W .45 automatic pistol

2015- Charlie Hebdo Shooting in Paris– Multiple reloads.  Live 7.62x39mm rounds on the street indicate possible malfunctions.

2015 – Thalys France Train Shooting- Islamic terrorist fired on train passengers until his rifle jammed.  At that point he was tackeled and choked out by three traveling Americans.  The shooter was also armed with a 9mm handgun and a box cutter.  He transitioned to the box cutter when his rifle jammed and slashed several people.

2016- Kansas Lawnmower Plant– Shooter fired weapon until he was out of ammunition.

2016- Orlando Pulse Night Club– Killer reloaded multiple times.


There are likely many more occasions when an active shooter’s weapon jammed or ran out of ammunition.


Knowing that active killers often end up with jammed or empty guns really doesn’t affect the response priorities of armed individuals.  If you are armed and within range of an active shooter, your safest course of action will be to shoot the killer as quickly as possible.


If you are unarmed, things get a little more tricky.  Rushing a shooter with a fully functional firearm may or may not be successful.  Seeking cover and waiting for a better resistance (or flight) opportunity when the shooter’s gun stops working is a much safer strategy.  Knowing how to recognize and unloaded or malfunctioning gun is key.

Most shooters will understand what an empty or malfunctioning gun looks like.  If you are reading this article and you don’t know how to tell if a gun is jammed or malfunctioning, have a friend who owns guns show you what it looks like.  Such knowledge may one day save your life.

Even more importantly, do your children know how to identify jammed or empty guns?  They need that information as well.  Take the time to discuss some response options with your children if they are old enough to understand.  Stress rapid action, either by attacking or escaping, as soon as they notice that an active shooter has a jammed or empty gun.

Making your move when the shooter’s weapon is empty or jammed makes good tactical sense.  Two cautions are in order, however…..


Don’t wait until it’s too late.  Use this strategy only when you have cover or are hidden from the shooter.  If the shooter has you in his sights and is firing, act.  Don’t wait.


Many active shooters  carry more than one weapon.  Be prepared to deal with the shooter attempting to access a backup gun or knife as you attack.  Don’t let your guard down until you are sure the fight is over.

If you would like to read more articles like this one, please sign up for my email updates.

By | July 28th, 2017|Categories: News|0 Comments