“Privacy – like eating and breathing – is one of life’s basic requirements.” – Katherine Neville

Our advice to students is to live what’s called the ‘Stealth Existence.’ This is a multilayered activity that runs from practicing a low profile in public to keeping one’s ownership of guns to themselves. It’s no one’s business what or how many guns we have, or if we are or aren’t carrying.

The Stealth Existence is a lifestyle.

We suggest dressing in neutral colors, never wearing shirts, patches, or hats with political messages or the names of gun manufacturers on them; same with bumper stickers on vehicles.

Anywhere we have business, we are not the loud, obnoxious customer demanding to see the manager. We are grey, boring, and quickly forgotten.

While traveling, we transport the firearms not directly on our person in bags and cases that don’t alert others to the contents. Tennis racquet, La Cross, snowboard bags – guitar cases and tool bags – all pressed into service, offering no indication to strangers that firearms are present.




DSC_0388 The Covert Rifle Bag by SneakyBags.com. Made to transport guns, not advertise guns.

The reasons are threefold:

1- Theft

That NRA sticker on the back of the car alerts criminals to which car to break into.

The gun bag with ‘Sig Sauer’ printed on the side lets hotel staff know which room has the guns in it.

None of us need an employee tipping off their criminal cousin which room to break into while we’re downstairs eating breakfast. Yes, musical instruments and tools get stolen, too, but guns are in a distinct “high risk” category which intensifies the lengths criminals will go to obtain them.

2- Police

Guns tend to gain the attention of police officers. And as much as all of us always try to comply with the law, it’s impossible to know what the law in every jurisdiction is. We also have the potential of biased police officers who simply don’t like guns or their owners. Gun conversations should not be had with random LE!

Contact with law enforcement outside of your home jurisdiction will have a neutral or negative result. At the very least, you’re engaged in a Terry stop, which is a form of arrest. You’ll be questioned, and you’ll be looked at with suspicion. It will probably end with everyone going their separate ways, but do you need the stress? At worst, you’re in possession of a 17-round magazine where a city ordnance says only 10-rounds are allowed, and to lock up you go.


Not stealth 2

Vehicle parked in the hotel lot where a Fortress Instructor recently stayed. The owner is probably a wonderful person, but not someone we want to risk a gun confrontation over in the lobby.

3- Strangers

I’m not interested in a gun debate with an ACLU intern while I’m checking in – It will accomplish nothing! I also don’t need any person of the anti-gun persuasion making a “man with a gun” call to 911.

Yes, we have an Article II right to keep and bear arms, we have a right to travel, and we have a right to voice our opinion. However, I would suggest this:

We should always do the legal thing, we should always do the moral thing, we should always do the right thing – but above all, we should do the SMART thing. With all things in life we should be asking ourselves, “What is the smart thing to do?”

When transporting firearms the smart thing is keep it to yourself!

“The way things are supposed to work is that we’re supposed to know virtually everything about what they

[the government] do: that’s why they’re called public servants. They’re supposed to know virtually nothing about what we do: that’s why we’re called private individuals.”
― Glenn Greenwald