So in yesterdays mail I got the new Sportsman’s Guide shooters catalog. Normally I like the shooters catalogs because its the only one with a lot of stuff that I both want and would use on a semi-regular basis. But for some reason this edition really ticked me off because of the huge assortment of “CCW Badges”. These things are not only a terrible idea from a legal standpoint because it pushes the “impersonating a cop” line way to far for my taste. But they provide no actual use or positive value.
I feel that these items seem attractive to somebody who is new to concealed carry or who only occasionally carries. They seem like some sort of object to add official status to you. When in reality all you need is your state issued CHL and then leave it at that. I am a firm believer in not flaunting your CHL and am an even stronger proponent of the “concealed means concealed” mindset.
For this reason the CCW badge seems like a remarkably bad idea. There are 3 main kinds available in this current catalog.
The neck badge: really at what point did this seem like a good idea? When would you need to whip this one out? And more importantly is this something you wear everyday to be just that much more “mall ninja” And here is the part that REALLY pisses me off, from the product description “Hidden heat? Better pack this Badge and Permit Holder to show you’re in full compliance. Essential gear for private investigators, security personnel and more.”
I have a CHL in 2 states and private security licenses in both of the same state but my CHL does NOT entitle me to carry a firearm while performing security work. In fact if I carry my firearm without the armed endorsement for security license I risk both my CHL (because it would be committing a crime) and my security license. Of course any professional with common sense would get this but I am sure they are misleading somebody.
The next one is the generic stand alone badge: the product descriton reads, “A pair of golden-finished “shields” that show you’re approved to be packin’! Polished, gleaming metal with “Concealed Weapon Permit” message and colorful emblem. You get 2, 1 large and one small badge, with belt / pocket clip.” These badges don’t show anything other than your status as an idiot and certainly don’t show your approved for anything.
Ok last but not least the holster to hold one of the badges pictures above. This one is even dumber than the rest because at the point your cover garment moves enough to reveal the badge the gun is on full display. So whats the point, what are you trying to accomplish by displaying this? Again the description reads “It also holds a concealed carry badge to show you’re “official.””
I am purposely not linking to the individual items but all pictures and descriptions came from the sportsman’s guide website and are available in their most recent sportsman’s guide shooters catalog.
I have decided and am encouraging the rest of you to join me in saying that we will not order from Sportmans guide until these items are gone or at least become marketed as novelty items. Below is my sample letter that I am sending to sportsman’s guide.
Dear Sportmans guide, in your most recent “Shooters” catalog you have a large selection of CCW badges, these items not only endanger people by really pushing the line between legal CHL holder and an idiot attempting to impersonate a cop. Although you do have a small disclaimer on most of these items reminding people that they need to actually carry your permit these items only create confusion and possible legal issues.
Until these items are either removed from your catalog or reclassified as novelty items, I will be taking my business elsewhere. I am sure that Brownells.com or Midway USA would be glad to fill my need of ammunition and shooting accessories.