About a week after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, local police went door-to-door evacuating residents. During evacuations, police confiscated guns so they wouldn’t face armed resistance during the forced evacuation.
As P. Edwin Compass III, superintendent of the New Orleans police stated, “No civilians in New Orleans will be allowed to carry pistols, shotguns, or other firearms of any kind. Only law enforcement are allowed to have weapons.”
What a disgusting statement. Fast forward to Florida in 2017 and we witnessed Hurricane Irma hitting the Florida Keys as a Category 4 hurricane and causing massive devastation through the southern U.S.
At least 92 people died throughout the U.S. in relation to Hurricane Irma and more than 9.2 million suffered power outages. One of the many differences in the response to these two storms was that Floridians were allowed to carry concealed weapons, even if they didn’t have a permit to do so.
In 2015, then Governor Rick Scott signed a law that allows citizens without a concealed carry permit to carry concealed for 48-hours during a mandatory evacuation as they transport their families and belongings from the path of the storm.
Under the law, “People who may legally possess a firearm may carry concealed or carry on or about the person while ‘in the act of evacuating’ under a mandatory evacuation order during a declared state of emergency.
This law is a no brainer. When you are given an order to evacuate, you are going to take your family, survival gear, a few valuables, and your guns. The last thing you want to do is leave a bunch of guns to get flooded or for looters to steal.
One of the best ways to evacuate with your guns during an emergency is to use a quality range bag. These can obviously serve multiple purposes such as daily use at the range, but they are also important to have packed up and ready to go at a moments notice.
Considering how critical a range bag could be I want to share with you a few different options when it comes to bags.
5.11 Tactical Range Bag. 5.11 is a major player in the tactical gear market. This bag is capable of packing a lot of gear and you can tell it’s been designed by shooters.
Excluding the main pouch, you get five pouches on the outside of the bag including a large pouch with eight pistol magazine pouches that can hold eight double stack mags or 16 single stack mags. In addition, there is a divider that is perfect for storing your handguns.
The remaining four pouches are a little smaller but capable of storing ammo boxes or even a set of full earmuffs. The 5.11 Tactical Range Bag sells for $100.
G.P.S. Tactical Range Bag. The G.P.S. range bag is a backpack style bag instead of the common duffle bag style. The biggest advantage to this design is going to be for evacuating or bugging out since you can easily throw this pack on your back.
The bag is made of Cordura Nylon with DuPont Teflon and features a military style triple stitched MOLLE system. The main compartment is large and comes with a divider so you can separate your gear.
It also has two pockets for smaller items like a flashlight, phone, etc. The G.P.S. bag sells for around $130.
Case Club Tactical 4-Pistol. This bag is another backpack style that can carry at least four handguns. Plus, it has twin side pockets to store six extra magazines each, along with other gear. It includes a pullout rain cover that protects gear in case of a sudden downpour and built-in Molle straps allow you to attach extra gear.
For security, it has lockable heavy-duty zippers for the gun compartment and thick moisture-wicking padding on the backpack straps. The Case Club sells for $100 on Amazon.
If you’re like me and have several handguns, you need to plan ahead for a way to safely transport them to the range or out of town during an emergency. One of these bags would be a great choice and they are small enough you could have them loaded and ready to go 24/7 while storing them in a large safe.
During a fire or last-minute evacuation, you will want to be able to grab this bag and get to safety as quickly as possible.