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Doug  Wyllie

Doug Wyllie

Doug Wyllie has authored more than 1,000 articles and tactical tips aimed at ensuring that police officers are safer and more successful on the streets. Doug is a Western Publishing Association “Maggie Award” winner for Best Regularly Featured Digital Edition Column. He is a member of International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA), an Associate Member of the California Peace Officers’ Association (CPOA), and a member of the Public Safety Writers Association (PSWA).

Lou Salseda

Lou Salseda

Lou Salseda is a retired LAPD sergeant with 34 years of law enforcement experience. He is the chief instructor of TAC-1 Defensive Firearms Training in Santa Clarita, Calif., and is a consultant for law enforcement training and litigation.

Nick Jacobellis

Nick Jacobellis

Nick Jacobellis is a medically retired U.S. Customs Agent and former New York police officer who was physically disabled in the line of duty while working undercover as a federal agent.

Go to a Gun Show

More than shopping, it can be an education.

March 11, 2008  |  by William Harvey - Also by this author

Now, I am a self-confessed gun guy as well as a firearms instructor, and I'm always looking for cool stuff. My wife knows my code word. If we are going to a gun show, it is referred to as "in search of needful things." So off we go and I will admit, I cannot recall a time that I did not get something or other. I can't help it.

Education Within

There are many young officers that did not have the hunting, shooting, military background that I did. My father taught me to shoot as a young lad and the rest just fell into place. To me he was the premier shotgunner. So I am used to firearms of most all types. Still, I attend gun shows to educate myself on new models, configurations, and modifications. Now, for the young recruit who is not firearms savvy, just browsing up and down the aisles can be an education in itself.

Many dealers will explain their firearms and any variations. I would certainly want you to observe these items in friendly environments rather than in the street. In case you have to make a weapon safe you might now have an understanding of the nomenclature. Also, there are a variety of other items there for you to gander. Holsters, knives, and other needful items for the police officer are available. Most tactical operators enjoy the visit as well for military surplus deals.

A Different Kind of Shopping

One thing about a show, you will more than likely be able to peruse a larger selection of several items, say a holster. If you have seen it in a catalog and, like me, want to see, touch, and try it on, this show can offer you comparison shopping.

Not all of us have large cop shops or full-service gun shops nearby. If you do, they still may not have the full selection or police tactical models. Maybe they carry hunting, sport shooting, or cowboy action shooting lines. At a show you can drool over a veritable buffet of holsters.

Unfortunately, some gun shows carry other items that can be worrisome. These include hidden and concealed weapons, weird weapons, and just plain idiotic stuff that I may never understand. But these dealers are catering to their customers and there is a consumer niche there. Here again, some of these items offer a young officer a virtual education in items that you could encounter on the street. Learn by observing; it could save your butt sometime.  

Ranges and shooting clubs also may be there seeking new memberships. Let's face it, you may want to improve your marksmanship and the police range might not always be open or convenient. Learning to shoot competitively or even sporting clays can be a great hobby. You can network here to find some more places to shoot as well.

So, if you are in a gun show near me, take a look around. The guy who is looking for another .45 ACP might just be me.

Comments (1)

Displaying 1 - 1 of 1

wjkuleck @ 3/11/2008 6:50 PM

I'd be very pleased to accompany any LEO to any gun show which I attend, to provide "tech support" :-) .


Life Member, Ohio Gun Collectors Association
Board Member, The Garand Collectors Association
Charter Member, The Ruger Collectors' Association

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