CCW BadgesSteven Lieberman
Badges? We don’t need no stinkin’ badges!
Well… maybe you do.
One of the first questions I get when a newly minted CCW holder comes into Artemis is whether or not they should consider getting a CCW badge.
The hesitancy usually comes from the fear that they are going to be nabbed for impersonating a police officer… a felony.
To add to the confusion “experts” they have read on the internet call you a moron if you disagree with their position that you either should or should not carry a badge.
Full disclosure…. I carry one.
I also carry it in a place that is the least likely to be effective for the reasons I carry. But I do it anyway, because the alternative of not wearing it is worse.
(If you came here from our email continue reading here:)
First off, let’s talk about the argument for not carrying one:
The two arguments come down to this:
It is illegal to attempt to impersonate a police officer… and since you have a badge you are clearly attempting to impersonate a police officer.
From a civil liability standpoint the last thing in the world you want is to look like you were “itching” for a fight… the badge might make members of the jury think you were a wannabe Wyatt Earp.
The argument for carrying one:
I don’t want to die.
That pretty much sums it up.
First off… the reason I carry a badge is pretty simple… God forbid, I’m in a situation where I have my gun out and a bad guy is at gunpoint, I want the responding officer to realize as quickly as possible (ideally before he pumps lead into me) that I am authorized to have a firearm.
The quickest, easiest, and most universal way to communicate this: A badge.
Yeah… but what if someone thinks you are a cop? Only cops carry badges right?
Security guards, fireman, city council members, union reps, and little children who get them as stickers from Knott’s Berry Farm carry badges.
No one thinks that they are impersonating a police officer.
You see… impersonating a police officer is a specific intent crime. You have to be engaged in actions that positively show you are intending for someone to reasonably believe you are a police officer.
Many people tell me “I look like a cop” (must be the polished bald head… it is the only thing I can think of).
Would it be reasonable, if a police officer came up to me and asked me for my ID then began to arrest me? Incredulously I ask him: what is he doing? He tells me he is arresting me for impersonating a police officer.
“That woman over there… she told me she thought you looked like a cop. I checked your ID and you’re not… so I’m arresting you.”
I did nothing, other than be bald to make someone reasonably believe I was a police officer, and I took no steps to exercise authority over anyone.
Like my gun, my badge MUST remain concealed. It comes out only when my gun comes out…. and If we have gotten to this point, I really could care less if someone thinks I am cop…
I have only one thing on my mind: staying alive.
If I survive this encounter, then I can worry about any other fallout.
If someone is driving recklessly, would I pull out my badge and show it to them to get them to slow down?
Let me answer the question this way: Would you pull out your gun and show it to them?
The answer is obviously no.
You treat the badge just like the gun… keep it concealed, unless you absolutely need it to save your life.Now… I mentioned earlier that I don’t wear it in the best place.
I wear it on my belt in front of my gun. I wear it there because it bothers me too much to wear it around my neck.
Still… around my neck, under my shirt, is the best place.
A responding officer is going to be looking at my hands when he decides to shoot or not to shoot. I want that badge in my hands if at all possible…. not on my belt line.
So… if like me you get irritated with the feel of a badge against your chest moving around under your shirt you have some practice to do.
Like the unique process of drawing a firearm from concealment requires practice, so does figuring out how to get a badge off of your belt and into your hand.
There is only one remedy for the fumbling and bumbling…. practice practice practice.
Anyhow… like with a CCW, the decision to carry a badge is ultimately a personal one.