Uncertainty, Fear of Criminal and Gang Activity Spur Self-Defense Training


The six o’clock news is saturated with gruesome stories of murders, home invasions, rape of young women, car-jackings, robberies and scams designed to take advantage of vulnerable senior citizens living alone.

The liberal media and school officials are mostly silent on the fact that no less than 135 gangs, including some of the most dangerous in the world are operating in the upstate cities of Spartanburg, Greenville and Anderson, but informed citizens know the danger and are very concerned.

Informed citizens are acutely aware that: “When seconds count, the police are only minutes away.”

The growing numbers of probable illegal aliens bring an additional criminal element and add to the anxiety of local citizens.

Looming potential financial and economic problems and terrorist attacks combined with probable riots in the cities and violence around election time coupled with uncertainty as to whether the national government can be trusted has added to worries of patriotic Americans.

All of the above has led to an unprecedented purchase of weapons and ammunition for self-defense. More recently, citizens of the Palmetto State have scrambled to qualify for permits to carry a concealed weapon. The waiting time for processing, after qualifying, is now approximately 90 days.

CWP classes were held at Allen Arms in Greenville, Saturday. They lasted all day.

“Can I shoot someone stealing my four-wheeler from my yard if I have a conceal-carry permit?” a young woman asked the instructor. The answer was a definite “No!” It is a violation of South Carolina law to use deadly force to protect property.

“Can I shoot someone who breaks into my house and becomes a threat?” You don’t need a CWP to defend your family in your own home in South Carolina. Other states have different laws regarding firearms. The instructor emphasized becoming familiar with the laws of any state in which you intend to take a firearm to avoid getting in serious trouble.

When asked why she was qualifying for a CWP, another young woman said simply: “I want to comply with the law.” Another woman said she was doing it “because I wanted to.” Her husband and women friends were licensed and she decided it was a wise thing to do.

Most of the CWP candidates interviewed said they were concerned about the uncertainty of the future during this presidential election year. Spartanburg County Sheriff Chuck Wright had moved some CWP candidates to action by recent comments favoring law-abiding citizens carrying concealed weapons for protection.   Others had been encouraged to take the training by relatives and friends in law enforcement. It was somewhat surprising that most were getting the training and permit to better understand the law and protect themselves and their families in their homes and on their own property as well as in their vehicles.

A resident of Cherokee County was preparing to defend his family in a rural community if it became necessary. Two individuals from the Roper Mountain Road area were concerned about strangers wandering around their neighborhoods and coming to the doors of their homes with suspicious questions.

South Carolina currently has some of the most gun-owner friendly laws in the nation. In South Carolina, any legal handgun owner without a CWP may carry a loaded handgun in their vehicle provided it is in the glove compartment, console between the seats or locked in the trunk. Should the vehicle go into Georgia, however, the laws are different, and the gun must be unloaded and visible on the seat or the owner could be in serious trouble.

There were four women and twenty men in a class of 24 taught by David Pantaloni, a South Carolina Concealed Weapons Permit instructor and NRA Certified Pistol Instructor, at Allen Arms on Saturday. Thirty-seven showed up for the class and another instructor was called in to teach the 13 overflow students.

Forty students showed up for Pantaloni’s previous Saturday class. Additional classes are held on weekday nights.

The instruction and examination requires a full eight hours. The classroom instruction includes safety and handling of handguns, and the majority of time is spent ensuring that students know and understand South Carolina laws governing the lawful carrying and use of concealed weapons. The severe penalties imposed for failure to comply with the law and the awesome responsibility that goes with the privilege of carrying a weapon was emphasized frequently.

Frank Allen opened Allen Arms and Indoor Range in April 2008. Business has been booming since, but nothing like it has been in recent weeks, Allen said Saturday. In fact, he is considering limiting class size on Saturdays due to parking space limitations. With forty people attending classes and another thirty or forty in the store and using the indoor range, parking becomes a problem.

CWP students qualify on the range after it is closed to the public.

A variety of classes are available from those for beginners to expert marksmen. Classes during the week are normally scheduled in the evenings and there are no parking problems Monday through Friday.

The Allen Arms Indoor Range is a state-of-the-art facility with 13 lanes designed for noise suppression and safety. It features safe, low-noise spectator viewing, is NRA Guideline approved and handicap accessible.

Allen Arms offers a full retail shop for firearms and accessories, including rifles, pistols, shotguns, high performance lights, gun safes, holsters, ammunition, concealed carry handbags, hunting gear, safety gear and, if they don’t have it, they will order it for you.

Frank Allen sends out newsletters to more than two thousand subscribers periodically. He keeps them informed on important pending legislation impacting gun owners and other matters. The following is a portion of one of his recent messages.

“I would like to do a little fear mongering here. Having witnessed 4 sets of riots in my 60 + years, I have come to the realize that there are groups in our society with a proclivity for rioting when they are unhappy....

They even riot when something happens that they like, such as winning a basketball game.

“If Obama is not reelected president, especially if his eligibility is challenged in various states, many of these folks are going to be very upset, and they tend to react with violence. Violence could even occur if Obama is reelected.

“We know that he is radically liberal, and his supporters have been very upset at his failures to push much of their agenda, including gun control.... He has shown that he has no qualms about bypassing Congress through executive orders, recess appointments, edicting new regulations, and manipulating current regulations to get what they want.

“We can probably expect a run up in demand for firearms and ammunition such as we saw in 2008. As you recall, ammo and defensive rifles became very difficult to obtain, and prices skyrocketed. Already industry sources are predicting similar shortages. We here at Allen Arms are taking steps to be ready for  the scenarios, and I advise that you do , too.  Ammunition prices are down almost 50 percent from 2008/2009. Supplies are good and now is the time to consider taking in a stock for emergencies.

“Guns and ammo are not the only things you need to stock up on for emergencies. Failure to prepare is preparing to fail. Ben Franklin.

Allen Arms Indoor Range is located at 1210 Poinsett Highway in Greenville, S. C. 29609.

The phone number is (864) 250-2007 and the web site is at www.allenarms.net.



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Mike Scruggs