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Thread: What do EMTs and ER Nurses and Cops do about your firearm?

  1. #1
    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    What do EMTs and ER Nurses and Cops do about your firearm?

    There's a decent discussion going on over at http://ambulancedriverfiles.com/2011...and-er-nurses/ . This is NOT an invitation to go over there and get involved in their internal discussion. It is a suggestion to go see how they view handguns and the folks who carry them (Yeah, most of them do think that the only way to carry is CC, but then that's just the way they are. Let it go.)

    If you want to discuss anything, bring it back here where we can kick it around. Let those folks reach their own conclusions without the peanut gallery chiming in.

    For the record, I was in a MVA a few years ago where both hands got banged up to the point I could not use them to hold anything for a few days. At the time of the MVA I was enroute to a shooting vacation in another state and had several loaded firearms in the vehicle. I had to wait to be taken to the ER until the local cop showed up so they could secure my OC'd handgun and the ones in the vehicle. At first the EMTs were PO'd at my demanding to wait till the cop arrived, but once I explained te presence of the firearms they calmed down. I got a receipt, and later that day after I was released from the ER I met with the cop and recovered all my firearms, which were unloaded with the ammo from each placed in the separate evidence bag the cop used to store each one (it's what he had - and it worked).

    On another, unrelated, trip to the ER I asked the ER nurse what the hospital - with a no-firearms policy - wanted to do about the handgun on my side that the ambulance had not dealt with. Hospital security was called, it was removed while in the holster, and I got a receipt along with a key for the lockable bag it was put in. I got it back still in the holster and still loaded. I strapped it on and walked out of the hospital - nobody said anything about waiting till I got off the property to touch it or anything like that.

    YMMV.

    If folks post thoughts and experiences here without getting out of hand I will direct Kelly to look over here at what you all have to say.

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    Regular Member Badger Johnson's Avatar
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    Sounds like a good solution, but I'm surprised that you had unencased loaded firearms in the car if that's what it was. When we go to the range, if I'm not packing them, all firearms are encased.

    Have you changed your transport methods since this happened? If so how?
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    I had a bad case of vertigo two years ago (which took a couple specialists to diagnose). I was at the business I owned and started having severe dizziness and heart palpitations. The EMT unit on the scene lifted up my shirt to take vital readings and my gun was obviously visible (it was in a concealed IWB holster). The EMT technicians took the fact that I was armed in stride (they didn't even mention it). Once they had checked my vitals, they transported me to a local hospital for further tests. En route, I asked them how they would have dealt w/ the firearm if I had been unconscious. They said that they come across this fairly frequently. If conscious, they usually would notify the attending physician (which they did in my case). He asked me to keep the firearm holstered while they conducted tests and asked me if I wanted a licensed family member or friend to come pick up my pistol. I responded that I would just keep it on my person, which he was fine with. In the case that I was unconscious, the hospital medical staff would have phoned the police at the hospital to have them keep the firearm in custody until I was able to pick it up at the local precinct (they would have left me a receipt). All-in-all, it was a non-issue.
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    Regular Member Redbaron007's Avatar
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    I'd had never really given it much thought. I'd had asked a doctor friend of mine a few years ago how they handled someone who was carrying. He was not aware of the process, but for him, the patient is generally unclothed or very close to it.

    It's good, in these two circumstances, everyone seemed to not have any issues.

  5. #5
    Regular Member Wolfgang1952's Avatar
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    My wife is an EMT with Acadian Ambulance Service hear in La. I asked her what they would do if they came across someone OCing a weapon. I had to explain what OC is. She says if someone is carrying any type of weapon CC or OC they just let the LEO handle it.
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    Regular Member okboomer's Avatar
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    Several years ago we had this discussion over on the Women and Guns forum (which is now inactive ... MamaLiberty can you access the forum archive?) and an EMT member had written a paper for an EMT publication dealing with this very subject.

    IIRC, he suggested in the paper that ambulances be equipped with a locking gun safe (but where to put it?) in case there was a "scoop and run" situation. Otherwise, allow the LEO running the scene to handle the weapon.

    He also made several pertinent observations: most LAC carry in a holster, whereas, in his opinion, most illegal carriers would have the gun in a waist band or pocket without a holster.
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    I won't go into the specifics but a snowboarding accident a couple of years ago had me pulled off the mountain on a stretcher. Mentioned to the resort security that I had a firearm (P226) and they simply secured it and released it to the party I requested come back and retrieve the firearm. Got it back in a bag, it was unloaded and with a list of the contents to verify. The only thing that bothered me about the whole ordeal was the use of the term, "clip" for my loaded magazine, wasn't a big deal really.

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    Regular Member MKEgal's Avatar
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    I would love to do a general firearms familiarity / safety class for EMTs, ER personnel, etc.
    Tried to add a post, it's waiting on moderator approval.
    (And Skid, before you get after me for crashing their party, I used to work as an EMT, am currently in nursing school, & am an NRA certified instructor. I think that's a reasonable combination of credentials to be allowed to play along.)

    Some comments from that thread:

    Quote Originally Posted by k8
    This is actually a recent topic of conversation with us, as Wisconsin's just passed concealed carry.
    In my rural town, the police are encouraging our medics to inform patients that they won't be transported with their weapons; i haven't yet heard what the medics' response to that has been, or whether it's something they can do legally.
    I'd like to know what town this is.
    And no, I don't think it's legal to refuse service (especially if it's a taxpayer-funded service).

    Quote Originally Posted by emsguy175
    I would explain that for his and my safety (guns have a way of ACCIDENTLY discharging and that it would be in the best interests of all concerned if her were to voluntarily unconceal the weapon.
    a) he's already been taken to task for his ignorance about when guns go bang
    b) I don't understand why he equates carrying openly with being more safe, but I like it
    Maybe he's confusing unloading with carrying openly?
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    My wife works retail and on one sunday morning she became ill seriously enough as to concern her boss to call an ambulance for her. she goes in early to set up the cash registers and carries because there always seems to be some vagrants hanging around the parking lot at all time of the early morning and day. Anyway, the genesee county sheriff responded along with the EMS and she informed the officer that she was armed, so the officer took posession of her pistol. I was on my way and arrived before they had left for the hospital. After checking on my wife the officer asked me if I had my CPL and I showed it to her and she (female leo) promptly returned my wifes pistol to me. Very professional and no other questions asked. One of the Medics said he carries also and has frequently come accross people who carry and they let the LEO who responds take care of that issue.

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    Campaign Veteran since9's Avatar
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    Last year I had to head to the ER. There's a security desk at the entrance, along with a metal detector. They have lockers behind them, and will store your firearm, giving you the key, until you're done.
    The First protects the Second, and the Second protects the First. Together, they protect the rest of our Bill of Rights and our United States Constitution, and help We the People protect ourselves in the spirit of our Declaration of Independence.

  11. #11
    Regular Member sraacke's Avatar
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    As a former FF/EMT and current hospital security officer I guess I can weigh in here.

    When I worked with St Gabriel Fire we often ran across people with firearms. St Gabriel is home to 2 state prisons, a National Guard facility and is a bedroom community to Baton Rouge. A good example would be when we responded to a motor vehicle wreck involving 2 female corrections officers. They both worked the prison front gate and had their pistol belts with S&W 686 revolvers holstered on them in the car. We removed the pistol belts and had a St Gabriel police officer hold on to them while we loaded them onto the Acadian Ambulance. The St Gabriel PD contacted the prison and had a supervisor come out to the scene and weapons were turned over to the prison supervisor to take back to the prison arms room. I was working full time at the prison and part time for the Fire Department and knew both of the female COs in the wreck and the supervisor who showed up. One of the volunteer FFs on scene that day was a full time CO at the prison also, on the K9 unit. It was no problem and there were no issues, ever, with handeling firearms when we were presented with them on a scene. Just let PD know and have PD hold onto it until a family member could pick it up.

    Currently I work security for Baton Rouge General hospital system. Our hospitals have a No Weapons policy but no signs are posted anywhere. If someone shows up with a visible gun (OC or poorly concealed) or staff becomes aware of a weapon (usually will see it in a purse when moving patient valuables) one of us will ask the person to take the gun outside and secure it in the owners vehicle. In one case a man showed up for surgery and when the nurse asked if he had any valuables he wanted to have Security hang onto while and he answered "I have my wallet and my pistol." The nurse told him that he needed to take the pistol back to his car. She notified security and we met him in the parking lot as he was locking his CCW in his glove compartment. So it happens occasionally. If the person doesn't have a vehicle, (dropped off or came in by EMS) we will ask to secure it in our Security Department safe. A receipt will be given to the person with Make, Model, serial number, etc and the firearm will be unloaded and stored in our safe until the person is ready to leave the property.

    Generally there is no problem and we handle it on a case by case basis. Our hospital has been the scene of an active shooter in the past. A couple of years ago a man checked in at the ER Security desk to visit a person on our 2nd floor after regular visiting hours. The person was signed in and escorted to the elevators. He got to the room he was looking for, drew a concealed pistol and shot 2 people in the room (his ex wife and her new boyfriend) and fled. So violence does happen but we try to keep things under control and when it comes to weapons in the hospital we simply tell people that they can't carry here.

    Steve
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    Hospital Security dude
    Last edited by sraacke; 12-14-2011 at 04:32 AM.

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    Campaign Veteran since9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yale View Post
    Our hospital has been the scene of an active shooter in the past. A couple of years ago a man checked in at the ER Security desk to visit a person on our 2nd floor after regular visiting hours. The person was signed in and escorted to the elevators. He got to the room he was looking for, drew a concealed pistol and shot 2 people in the room (his ex wife and her new boyfriend) and fled.
    This is precisely why I do NOT want to relinquish my right and means to protect myself against criminals such as this, merely to obtain medical treatment.
    The First protects the Second, and the Second protects the First. Together, they protect the rest of our Bill of Rights and our United States Constitution, and help We the People protect ourselves in the spirit of our Declaration of Independence.

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    A bit off topic, but a friend is an officer in NJ. She also works a box as a paramedic. She is prohibited from carrying while working EMS, even as an off-duty police officer, by the hospital and university in the district. Now that is messed up.

    When I was a first-in paramedic, Texas did not have any legal method for carrying, so the presence of a handgun was police business, and always resulted in arrest. That made it easy.

    Texas prohibited carry in hospitals in the original CHL rules. This has changed, but since almost every hospital here is university-affiliated, they are off limits despite a change in the rules (no carry on colleges or university property.)

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    I'm a medic and really have not dealt with this. If they do have one, security is called and its placed in a safe till you are released. If its a car wreck, the Leo's will clear it and keep it. If it was me envolved, my firearm is going with me. I will try and get the pts firearm and do the same thing. Most of us medics carry here at work (off duty) so I dont think it will be issue. Some will want it away from the person, esp if they dont know him.

  15. #15
    Regular Member ken243's Avatar
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    I am a Paramedic and I have delt with this several times. The way I have and continue to handle this is;

    Upon finding the firearm I remove it from the patient. If they are alert I will ask them for permission to. (Never had a "no" answer) I clear the weapon and place it in a cabinet with the ammo in my pocket. Reason being if at anytime the patient's condition changes they may not be in a frame of mind to carry/control the weapon. Obviously their ability to make sound choices becomes impaired. During my radio report to the hospital I request security me us on arrival to take pistol while unloading the patient. After turning over care to the ER staff I will report to secuirty and give them the ammo. I then ask for a recipt for what I have given them. My safety and my partners safety is the most important thing to me. If I ask for the pistol and get a no answer I would simply wait for PD to secure it.

    This is a practice I have used on all my patients. This includes a officer that passed out after a foot pursuit. The other officers were busy, he was dehydrated, we loaded him up, I asked to disarm him, he allowed it. The practice or disarming a patient is also taught as step 2 in TCCC. Step one is shoot the guys shooting at you.

    I can understand some EMS personnel wanting PD to handle it. If they don't know how to handle guns I would not want them touching it either. But getting pissed a person is carrying....shame on them.
    Last edited by ken243; 12-16-2011 at 04:53 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by since9 View Post
    This is precisely why I do NOT want to relinquish my right and means to protect myself against criminals such as this, merely to obtain medical treatment.
    DING, DING, DING! We have a winner here!
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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by yale View Post
    As a former FF/EMT and current hospital security officer I guess I can weigh in here.

    When I worked with St Gabriel Fire we often ran across people with firearms. St Gabriel is home to 2 state prisons, a National Guard facility and is a bedroom community to Baton Rouge. A good example would be when we responded to a motor vehicle wreck involving 2 female corrections officers. They both worked the prison front gate and had their pistol belts with S&W 686 revolvers holstered on them in the car. We removed the pistol belts and had a St Gabriel police officer hold on to them while we loaded them onto the Acadian Ambulance. The St Gabriel PD contacted the prison and had a supervisor come out to the scene and weapons were turned over to the prison supervisor to take back to the prison arms room. I was working full time at the prison and part time for the Fire Department and knew both of the female COs in the wreck and the supervisor who showed up. One of the volunteer FFs on scene that day was a full time CO at the prison also, on the K9 unit. It was no problem and there were no issues, ever, with handeling firearms when we were presented with them on a scene. Just let PD know and have PD hold onto it until a family member could pick it up.

    Currently I work security for Baton Rouge General hospital system. Our hospitals have a No Weapons policy but no signs are posted anywhere. If someone shows up with a visible gun (OC or poorly concealed) or staff becomes aware of a weapon (usually will see it in a purse when moving patient valuables) one of us will ask the person to take the gun outside and secure it in the owners vehicle. In one case a man showed up for surgery and when the nurse asked if he had any valuables he wanted to have Security hang onto while and he answered "I have my wallet and my pistol." The nurse told him that he needed to take the pistol back to his car. She notified security and we met him in the parking lot as he was locking his CCW in his glove compartment. So it happens occasionally. If the person doesn't have a vehicle, (dropped off or came in by EMS) we will ask to secure it in our Security Department safe. A receipt will be given to the person with Make, Model, serial number, etc and the firearm will be unloaded and stored in our safe until the person is ready to leave the property.

    Generally there is no problem and we handle it on a case by case basis. Our hospital has been the scene of an active shooter in the past. A couple of years ago a man checked in at the ER Security desk to visit a person on our 2nd floor after regular visiting hours. The person was signed in and escorted to the elevators. He got to the room he was looking for, drew a concealed pistol and shot 2 people in the room (his ex wife and her new boyfriend) and fled. So violence does happen but we try to keep things under control and when it comes to weapons in the hospital we simply tell people that they can't carry here.

    Steve
    La Open Carry Awareness League
    and
    Hospital Security dude
    I am also currently working as a Hospital Security Officer in Colorado. Hospital policy is no weapons, and a lot of people (even employees) get all bent out of shape at the sight of a firearm (unfortunately). I am experienced enough to be calm when the person with the firearm is calm (I don't like it when I feel like I am being treated as a criminal either). Whenever I have seen someone OC (hardly ever unfortunately) or obviously CC, I just inform them of the rules and have them go put it in their vehicle. Once in a blue moon, they don't have that option or they are PD, and then we just lock it in the weapons safe until they leave or their partner or family member can come and get it. Never had any issues, just enforcing policies (no matter what my personal feelings are on the matter) and trying to make it as easy as possible for our patients and all other law abiding citizens. Hope that helps!

  18. #18
    Regular Member Ezerharden's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yale View Post
    As a former FF/EMT and current hospital security officer I guess I can weigh in here.

    Our hospital has been the scene of an active shooter in the past. A couple of years ago a man checked in at the ER Security desk to visit a person on our 2nd floor after regular visiting hours. The person was signed in and escorted to the elevators. He got to the room he was looking for, drew a concealed pistol and shot 2 people in the room (his ex wife and her new boyfriend) and fled. So violence does happen but we try to keep things under control and when it comes to weapons in the hospital we simply tell people that they can't carry here.

    Steve
    La Open Carry Awareness League
    and
    Hospital Security dude
    Another shining example of how "gun free zones" are effective. It is againt the law to carry a gun there but the criminal intent on committing a crime such as murder doesn't care that they are breaking a gun law.

  19. #19
    Regular Member Ezerharden's Avatar
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    On another note, I work in private/contract security and have done so for 14 years with 8 years military and a Gulf War Vet. Now I worked an apartment complex security post that was "unarmed"> I have a valid CPL in MI so I still carried a 5 shot .38 in my pocket. One night, a man got out of his car and walked toward a woman getting out of hers. He had a tire iron in his hand. As she got out of her car, he cold cocked her. I drew my weapon, ordered him to the ground, called the police, and held him there until they arrived to take him. My immediate supervisor was pissed, my company general manager was pleased and the client was ecstatic. The only person who had an issue was my immediate supervisor, and go figure, he was an ex Detroit Police Officer. He was upset that I carried a weapon on an "unarmed" contract, and I told him, I was not openly armed, but I do have a right to carry concealed. He argued and lost to the general manager who applauded my actions in preventing serious harm to a resident of their client and the property manager, who I know personally, was equally grateful and stated she would prefer armed security but the owners didn't want the liability.

    When the police showed up, they looked at my permit, and asked if I was at all injured. All very professional. The EMT's that showed up for the woman also wanted to examine me, and they did. I informed them I had a gun on me and they said no problem so long as I didn't grab it.

    A little common sense goes a long way.
    Last edited by Ezerharden; 12-22-2011 at 03:51 AM.

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    Some things change for the better

    A couple of years ago, I was on duty and had to be taken to Chippenham Medical Center. Upon arrival I advised them to contact the Security Department for a valuables pick up.

    When he got there, I advised him I was armed and he needed to secure the gun. The Security Officer attempted to tell me that he couldn’t take the gun and that I had to turn it over to the off duty police officer.

    I advised him to contact the Director of Security for clarification because I knew he was wrong. (I helped the Director write his SOP when I was working at another hospital.) After speaking to his boss, he took possession of the unloaded gun and issued me a receipt.

    Upon being released, I asked for my gun to be returned and Security refused to bring it to me. I had to have the nurse take me to their office so I could pick it up. We had to wait 45 minutes for the officer to return.

    The Director of Nursing was upset that one of her nurses was tied up for so long and felt that it was rather foolish of the Security Department not to be willing to return the gun to a LEO. The Director of Security and I sat down a week later and “updated” his SOP.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by va_tazdad View Post
    The Director of Nursing was upset that one of her nurses was tied up for so long and felt that it was rather foolish of the Security Department not to be willing to return the gun to a LEO. The Director of Security and I sat down a week later and “updated” his SOP.
    I rewrote a few regs in my day. That was easy. Getting people to follow them is a bit more challenging.
    The First protects the Second, and the Second protects the First. Together, they protect the rest of our Bill of Rights and our United States Constitution, and help We the People protect ourselves in the spirit of our Declaration of Independence.

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    Regular Member sudden valley gunner's Avatar
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    When I was in a bad care wreck a few years ago the State Patrol took my weapon after they put me on the stretcher and loaded me into the ambulance. (He asked if I had a CPL and before I could really reply said "It doesn't matter you are Open Carrying") and released it back to me after I was released from the hospital. The evidence officer (it was placed in evidence storage for safe keeping) even delivered it to me personally since I was having a hard time getting around. It is how I got this sticker on my firearm.....and I leave it on because I find it cool and a good reminder.

    (sidenot) On a recent visit to Hawaii where I am required to register my weapon the HPD loved that sticker and actually passed my gun around for other officers to look at and talked about how they need something like that.

    Last edited by sudden valley gunner; 01-01-2012 at 02:14 PM.
    I am not anti Cop I am just pro Citizen.

    U.S. v. Minker, 350 US 179, at page 187
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    of their respect for what only appears to be a law, are cunningly coerced into waiving their
    rights, due to ignorance." (Paraphrased)

  23. #23
    Regular Member okboomer's Avatar
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    Dang, SVG, ya met cops that didn't go all snarky about "someone not them" having a firearm Good to hear that not all them islanders seem to be thinking with the wrong part of their brain
    cheers - okboomer
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  24. #24
    Regular Member sudden valley gunner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by okboomer View Post
    Dang, SVG, ya met cops that didn't go all snarky about "someone not them" having a firearm Good to hear that not all them islanders seem to be thinking with the wrong part of their brain
    Yea our State Troopers seem to be top notch when it comes to OC and firearms. I have had many great encounters with them.

    Guns are popular with many Islanders when we go to the range we have to go at 7 a.m. to get a spot and even then it is already very crowded. I have pics of that floating around somewhere to, the most beautiful and funnest range I have ever been too.
    I am not anti Cop I am just pro Citizen.

    U.S. v. Minker, 350 US 179, at page 187
    "Because of what appears to be a lawful command on the surface, many citizens, because
    of their respect for what only appears to be a law, are cunningly coerced into waiving their
    rights, due to ignorance." (Paraphrased)

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by sudden valley gunner View Post
    When I was in a bad care wreck a few years ago the State Patrol took my weapon after they put me on the stretcher and loaded me into the ambulance. (He asked if I had a CPL and before I could really reply said "It doesn't matter you are Open Carrying") and released it back to me after I was released from the hospital. The evidence officer (it was placed in evidence storage for safe keeping) even delivered it to me personally since I was having a hard time getting around. It is how I got this sticker on my firearm.....and I leave it on because I find it cool and a good reminder.

    (sidenot) On a recent visit to Hawaii where I am required to register my weapon the HPD loved that sticker and actually passed my gun around for other officers to look at and talked about how they need something like that.


    That is a really cool sticker & pic. I think I would leave it on there too.

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