Cash on Hand

In this week’s mailbag I’ll give suggestions for keeping a spare key outside, along with what you need to do if you have a your gun drawn on an intruder when the cops arrive.

I’ll also discuss why I still prefer this country to any other as well as explaining the dangers of illegally carrying concealed.

I’ll tell you how much money you should have in case of an emergency and lastly, my go-to for two-way radios.

Let’s dive in…

I was looking for a type of exterior lock box to keep a spare house key in but then I saw on youtube how various locks can be breached easily, so I wanted to know your thoughts about what you might use to secure a spare key.

– John K

Answer: The days of hiding a spare key under the front door mat are long gone and criminals know to look under planters and other obvious places. With that being said, I would find a creative place to hide your key where nobody will ever look.

I am sure there is some crevice or spot in your front or backyard where nobody will ever look. I know of one fellow who simply tapes a spare key underneath his car. He uses Gorilla tape so it stays on well.


So you are there and you are armed and you identify the shooter and decide to stop him. Then as you shoot, the first police arrive and see you firing a gun. What happens then?

– William F

Answer: First, if I were going to engage the shooter I would tell my wife or whomever I was with to call police and tell them my physical description and what I’m wearing. Of course, police are still going to arrive with guns drawn and as soon as I could see police approaching I would put the firearm down.

The thing is, police officers are trained to give verbal commands when confronting a suspect and they will typically yell those commands such as “Drop the gun.” But, it’s better to be safe than sorry, which is why I will put down the gun as soon as I see them coming and put my hands up.

Are you aware that the US ranks far behind other countries in quality of health care, education, fair wages, happiness, safety, etc.?

– Guy S

Answer: I certainly don’t believe all statistics and we know they can be easily manipulated. We certainly aren’t perfect, but we are the greatest country in the world.

There is no other country with our freedoms and our protections. I have traveled to many countries in this world and I would never want to live anywhere else but the U.S. It is still the land of opportunity.

I live in California. I have a Glock 43 that is my favorite concealed carry firearm. It is not legal for me to carry this weapon in California and probably never will be. 

However, with three daughters and a wife, I do like to carry it when we are out and about. Should I carry and take the risk or should I not carry and take that risk? Thanks for any input.

– Charlie H

Answer: I personally wouldn’t take the risk of illegally carrying a firearm. I know you want to defend your family, but the thing is, if you are caught with a firearm during a simple traffic stop, it can lead to serious charges.

My wife is from California and before we were married I told her that I would never live in the state of California because of the gun laws. I’m sure moving isn’t an option for you, but I definitely don’t recommend breaking the law.

Also, because my business involves firearms, I am certainly more cautious than others. I do know guys who carry all the time illegally, but I don’t do it.

I understand that it is a good idea to have ready cash available in case of a real “bug-out” emergency. How much would you recommend? What would be the safest manner of protecting it? 

I am sure you are aware that Homeland Security is alerted by banks when someone withdraws ten-thousand or more so maintaining an amount like that would require several smaller withdrawals in order to not draw attention.

– Sharon D

Answer: I recommend having at least 6 months’ worth of your living expenses saved in a bank and at least one months of living expenses in cash in your home. I recommend this one month of cash be in $20 bills and that you keep it in a small, fireproof safe. Sentry is one such company that makes inexpensive fireproof safes.

Some time ago you mentioned two-way radios that you recommended. Can you mention them again and also address batteries required, battery life and recommended ways to store batteries?

– Austin W

Answer: The radio I use is the Baofeng UV-5R. I have the 2nd generation model but they have a new 3rd generation model that is very similar.

This comes with a programming cable so it can be used to connect the radio to your computer to input all the frequencies into the radio instead of doing it manually. This would be a good idea if you plan on using the Baofeng as a ham radio.

As for batteries, it uses a rechargeable lithium-ion battery and comes with a charging base. Battery life will depend on usage, but I can use mine for about two full days before needing to recharge them.

Lastly, if you are considering buying this radio I would do so immediately. Soon, it will be illegal to import these radios as the FCC has changed laws blocking the import of radios with certain frequencies

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