Here at Qore Performance, our mission is to liberate and immunize humans from environmental risk, empowering them to be the greatest version of themselves. Environmental risk can come in many forms. As a former law enforcement officer (LEO), I was trained to deal with a wide variety of these challenging environments from rescues in the mountainous backcountry to ATV-mounted desert patrols to Active Shooter threats in our urban areas and the inevitable wildfires that so frequently and tragically ravage the Western United States. Each of these environments presented unique hazards that carried different types of threats and risks. In this article, I'm going to focus on the rise of the Truck Gun Concept as a means of self-defense against things like the Active Shooter threat (we'll cover Mountains, Deserts and Wildfires in future articles) for sworn law enforcement officers and responsible armed citizens alike. Unfortunately, Active Shooter threats are all too common today and we must prepare for them to minimize the loss of life.
Active Shooter Response for Sworn Law Enforcement Officers
I was "Patrol Rifle Qualified" by my department, so I was authorized to carry an AR-15 (Colt LE6920 variety for me) on duty and use it to respond to Active Shooter incidents (or any other threat that warranted employment of a Patrol Rifle) should the need arise.
Not every deputy or officer is Patrol Rifle Qualified. Patrol Rifle Qualification required a specific three-day class where we were trained in every aspect of an AR-15 from the mechanical workings to maintenance to the legal ramifications and implications of how and when we could employ the weapon system on duty. The Patrol Rifle is THE defensive tool of choice for any law enforcement officer responding to an Active Shooter and this makes sense. As sworn LEOs, it was our responsibility to carry weapons with us to protect the public and ourselves from bad guys like Active Shooters. In summary: we had the training, the responsibility and the legal authority to carry rifles with us in our cars to use in Active Shooter Response.
Protecting Yourself as a Responsible Armed Citizen
As a Responsible Armed Citizen, you have the right to carry a defensive tool on your person. Unfortunately, not all States agree with this idea, but this is what the Constitution says, so we’re rolling with it for this article. For most people in most situations, this is likely a pistol. However, as Active Shooter incidents have become more prevalent in recent years, we've seen the rise of a new trend in Responsible Armed Citizens: resurrection of the Truck Gun concept. In other words: the civilian equivalent of the Patrol Rifle for law enforcement officers.
In general, the idea of the Truck Gun is sound: be prepared to protect yourself and your loved ones in the event of a San Bernardino, Mumbai or Paris-like Active Shooter/terrorist attack. I can tell you from first hand experience that LE response time may not be fast enough to save your life, no matter how awesome the department. It is simple physics and geography. Law Enforcement simply cannot be everywhere all the time (and we don't want that as a free Democratic Republic either).
However, I think the industry and the market have taken the Truck Gun Concept too far and it is dangerous. However, “dangerous” is defined differently here than in the mainstream media. Here, “dangerous” means threatening to you and your freedom.
My POU (Philosophy of Use) for the Truck Gun is any tool that extends the range, speed and accuracy of my EDC (Everyday Carry) configuration to meet a reasonable and legal application standard. It must do so while maintaining a low profile in ROL (Rule of Law: Columbine, San Bernardino), but possess the minimum capability to facilitate extrication from an enhanced engagement in WROL (Without Rule of Law: Mumbai).
In other words, I need to be able to move freely in any state within driving distance today, use my Glock 19 mags/ammo and provide more range, speed and accuracy than my G19 as legally justified in terms of a defensive use of force.
I don’t think we need rifle ammo for Truck Guns in ROL. In ROL, Active Shooter is the worst case scenario, so San Bernardino or similar. I consider Mumbai to be WROL. In WROL, the Truck Gun will not be my first choice and I likely won’t leave home without at least one of my black rifles at a minimum to protect myself and my family. In ROL, I no longer possess the legal authority to intervene and/or "Self-Activate" as a sworn law enforcement officer, so my weapons must be geared toward what I’m legally permitted to do (defend myself). My logic here (logic only, this is NOT legal advice), based almost entirely on my extremely limited legal training which consists of my police academy and continuing professional education I received from the department, is that the KelTec Sub2k would be considered a defensive tool and it doesn’t have any of the characteristics that would play poorly in the court of public opinion or bureaucracy optics as “offensive” in nature. It isn’t an AR. It is basically a long pistol. The KelTec doesn’t have the range of an AR and that is by design on my part. I don’t want my ROL truck gun to have rifle range. I don’t want to give anyone the “ammo” to label me as “offensive.” I want all of my gear to be clearly defensive with as little room for misunderstanding as possible. I want to remove chance. For context, I’m 100% planning on winning this engagement, so I consider my survival inevitable. Therefore, I must prepare for the legal fallout which I view as equally inevitable (even if temporary) knowing that I will be cleared in the end. No matter how temporary that is, I want the experience to be as short and painless as possible.
Given these criteria, my definition of Truck Gun is one that can get me and any loved ones who may be with me, off the X. Nothing more. I’m not legally authorized to conduct counter-assault. With the longer barrel and magazine, my KelTec can put down highly accurate fire inside of 50 yards (I think 25 yards is likely the longest legal range for a defensive encounter unless the active shooter has a long gun, in which case I can see being able to articulate fear for my life out to 50 yards. Short of the Active Shooter having an M-2, M134 or a Las Vegas situation, I don’t see how I articulate a reasonable fear for my life beyond 50 yards. For Vegas, none of my black rifles could have put effective fires on target against that guy anyway, plus, I’m not trained in counter-sniper tactics and I wouldn’t have access to my truck. So, my KelTec still would have fit the bill. In fact, I think I’m 2x faster and more accurate with it vs. my Glock 19. This is explained with simple physics (Sight Radius). When I combine that with the round count, I think all things being equal (skill of the shooters) the KelTec would beat any handgun any day of the week. I know if I had to face off against myself where one of me had a G19 and one of me had a KelTec, I’d take the KelTec any day of the week.
I'd love to hear your thoughts! What is your Truck Gun? Do you even have/carry a Truck Gun? How do you prepare for Active Shooters? Let us know in the comments below and sound-off!