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Last week my wife and I were traveling back from a trip to visit family. We flew from Denver to Phoenix and I legally checked and declared my 9mm for the trip. As we were driving back to drop off the rental car around 10 at night I realized that I needed to fill up with gas or risk being charged for not returning the car full. I found a nearby gas station and needless to say it was in a pretty sketchy neighborhood (also keep in mind that we had rented a bright red Camaro that stuck out like a sore thumb).

As I was filling up (wife in car) I saw a tall thug looking guy approach from the building. He looked like he was up to no good. As he approaches all I could think was "Oh 's***' my gun is unloaded and locked in its case in a bag in the trunk". The guy asked for some change and looked him in the eye and told him that I had none and he went on his merry way. To make matters worse my wife starts to get out of the car to throw something away, I told her to "get back in the car NOW" as the guy was still about 20 ft away. She was not pleased as she did not know why I was doing this. She gave me the "what did you say" look followed by a "why?" (she is a bit of a :sheep: we are working on that).

I now realize that I should not have locked the gun up when I did, I guess my thinking was that I would not have time because the rental car people start looking around the car as soon as you pull in. From now on I will wait until the last possible second to unload and lock up my gun before going to the airport. It was a very vulnerable and unnerving feeling knowing that I would have had very little defense against this guy had he meant ill will. It has also taught the wife that if we are in a situation like that and I sternly tell her to do something that there is a good reason...

Anyway. Lessons Learned...

Merry Christmas!
 

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Well, It was definitely a 'Lessons Learned' moment. It couldn't have turned out any better, for you. Count your Blessings....
 

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It's interesting that as a "potentially dangerous" situation developed that the first thing you thought about was that your gun was locked away and inaccessible.

If the gun is your only salvation and you are SOL without it, I would recommend that you work on learning other means of handling such situations.

If I don't have my gun with me, I don't necessarily consider myself unarmed. The more tools you have in your tool box, the more options you have in handling adversity.

I'm glad it all turned out Okay.
 

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It's interesting that as a "potentially dangerous" situation developed that the first thing you thought about was that your gun was locked away and inaccessible.

If the gun is your only salvation and you are SOL without it, I would recommend that you work on learning other means of handling such situations.

If I don't have my gun with me, I don't necessarily consider myself unarmed. The more tools you have in your tool box, the more options you have in handling adversity.

I'm glad it all turned out Okay.
What he said. :yup:

Presence and verbal skills are the first tools. The gun is the last, with lots of options in-between.

Biker
 

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Yes, I have been to the PHX airport and there is no where to fill up where you would feel safe. Let's just say it isn't like Montana.

Next time I'll fill up WAY earlier.
 

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Or take the hit: remember that you can often throw cash at things to solve problems. Might be more expensive cash-wise, but one could also call it 'insurance'. Consider the similarity here to the advice given to folks when they get bad vibes approaching a parking place or on seeing a front door open as they near their home - keep on driving: it will 'cost' you in time, but you'll be safer.

Here? I probably would have filled up the tank just like JamesD did... but we should always consider that we COULD drop the extra $20 (or whatever) in the name of safety.
 

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What he said. :yup:

Presence and verbal skills are the first tools. The gun is the last, with lots of options in-between.

Biker

What he said also, SEE BARKN

A quick "STOP right there bubs, I do not have anything you need", while reaching behind your back should get him going, and if he advances, throw a jug or two of windshield washer fluid sitting there, spray him with gasoline and pull a lighter out and say,' Now what"

The list goes on, just look for available tools



If there is to be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace.
Thomas Paine
 

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The gas stations near the Memphis, TN airport are in bad areas. I was approaced in each of the first three times I filled up prior to returning my rental car by "friendly citizens" wanting to perform the service of "filling up my tank" for payment. No thanks. I don't think that's what the Memphis Visitor's Bureau has in mind. I'm not a small guy; I just squared up to them, looked them in the eye and said no thanks. They moved along. I now fill up in nicer areas around the offices I visit on my trips to Memphis. Lesson learned.
 

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I think I filled up at the same station a few months back. I know what you mean about the neighbourhood. I stayed armed until turning in my rental car.

I then "went to the washroom" with my luggage, disarmed and packed my HK away, checked in and flew home. My rental car turn in location is a couple of km from the terminal and has private washrooms so I was lucky.

IIRC you're OK to carry except in secure areas at Sky Harbor (PHX). We're going to Charlotte NC in a few months and carry is prohibited on all airport property at Douglas airport so I'll need a different game plan when turning in my car there.
 

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James, I know what you mean. I always pack my stuff away before I head to the airport. You never know if you can find a safe place to disarm. By the way I always have a stout pen in my breast pocket. So far it hasn't been a problem when flying.
Semper fi
 

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My local gas station is in an area that I'm nervous about....question....if I were to try to spray someone w/ the gas nozzle ...how far would it shoot?

My guess would be a pretty good stream for about 4-5 feet.
 

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Here's a hint for you occasional renters.
The car wasn't full when you got it. The gauge looked full or close.
So fill up way before you return the car, feel good about driving up to 30 miles, and say the car is full.
Or, take the fuel purchase option where you pay for a full tank at reasonable prices, and return the car empty.

If you returning early morning, often there is no one to check you in. Note your mileage, fuel level, (F), and check it in yourself in the office. No one cares enough to look, the car gets washed, fueled (more or less) and rented to the next guy.
 

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how many situations do you run into where you actually need your gun?...and why is it in these descriptions its the first thing everyone thinks about...i'm with the others who suggest you find other methods of protection that dont involve firearms to take some of the apparent worry out of your day...

you were worried about not having your gun on you and you had a gas pump in your hand...i gotta tell you...i would rather get a face full of pepper spray then gasoline any day of the week...if your that much in fear pop the pump off and remove the nozzle as though you are finished...hold it in front of you like you are ready to hang it up as he approaches...i'm guessing if he is up to no good he will recognize this as a defensive posture and will terminate his action...and you dont have to worry about getting in touble for brandishing a fuel nozzle...

buy a can of pepper spray...and dont worry if youre not armed...these things usually work themselves out....even in bad neighborhoods...
 

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My local gas station is in an area that I'm nervous about....question....if I were to try to spray someone w/ the gas nozzle ...how far would it shoot?

My guess would be a pretty good stream for about 4-5 feet.
It depends on the pump type..... The old pumps would shoot an easy 10 feet.

However the new pumps won't shoot much, and some won't shoot at all. If they have the new EPA safe pumps they are almost impossible to get them to shoot gas unless they are pointing down, and the safety lock is disengaged.

Some of the new locks can be disengaged with two hands, some cannot be disengaged at all until they are pointed down. They have a float in them that will not work unless the nozzle is pointing at less than 90-degrees.
 

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It depends on the pump type..... The old pumps would shoot an easy 10 feet.

However the new pumps won't shoot much, and some won't shoot at all. If they have the new EPA safe pumps they are almost impossible to get them to shoot gas unless they are pointing down, and the safety lock is disengaged.

Some of the new locks can be disengaged with two hands, some cannot be disengaged at all until they are pointed down. They have a float in them that will not work unless the nozzle is pointing at less than 90-degrees.
well then i guess all youve got is a hose with a weight attached to the end that i'm guessing could do some serious damage if employed in the direction of an assailant...or at least be used to ward them off...
 
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