Should I Carry a Firearm While Touring on a Bicycle?

arm on fire
I am a cyclist who has toured extensively throughout the United States. I have often debated the question of whether or not to carry a firearm while touring. There are many factors to consider, including the need for personal protection, the risk of violence, the legal consequences, and the availability of alternative methods of self-defense.

Personal Protection

One of the main reasons why people choose to carry a firearm while touring is for personal protection. Many cyclists feel vulnerable and exposed to potential threats when they are riding in remote areas or unfamiliar territories. A firearm can provide a sense of security and deterrence against attackers, both human and animal.

Deterrent

A firearm can also be a deterrent against crime. Potential attackers may be less likely to target a cyclist who is visibly armed. This is especially true in areas where crime rates are high.

Sense of Security

Even if you are not likely to ever use a firearm in self-defense, it can still provide a sense of security. This can be especially important for cyclists who are traveling alone or who feel vulnerable.

Increased Risk of Violence

However, there are also risks associated with carrying a firearm while touring. One of the biggest risks is that it could escalate a potentially dangerous situation. If you pull out a gun in a threatening situation, it could make the attacker more aggressive and increase the risk of violence.

Inexperience

Another risk is that you may not know how to use a firearm properly. If you are not properly trained, you could accidentally hurt yourself or someone else.

Legal Consequences

The legal consequences of carrying a firearm while touring vary from state to state. In some states, it is illegal to carry a firearm without a permit. In other states, it is legal to carry a firearm, but you may need to have a license. It is important to understand the laws in the states that you will be touring in.

Alternatives

There are alternative methods of self-defense that do not involve carrying a firearm. Pepper spray is a popular option that can be effective in deterring attackers. Other options include a personal alarm or a whistle.

My Personal Experience

I once got caught in a huge downpour while riding from Lubbock to Pensacola. I found an Interstate overpass to get under to escape the rain until it let up. While I was waiting, I noticed a few homeless individuals just about 100 feet away from me. The homeless individuals were using the downpour to take a shower and clean their clothes. I didn't feel threatened at first, but when the homeless individuals started discussing their presence and then started moving my way, I got a little nervous. I didn't know if the homeless individuals had ill thoughts toward me, so I decided to move on and find another place to wait out the downpour.

This experience made me think about the pros and cons of carrying a firearm while touring. If the homeless individuals had come to attack me, a gun would have helped me. However, there was also the risk that I could have jumped to conclusions and pulled a gun out without knowing the homeless individuals' intent. This could have escalated the situation and put me in more danger.

Conclusion

The decision of whether or not to carry a firearm while touring on a bicycle is a personal one. There is no right or wrong answer. It is important to weigh all of the risks and benefits and make the decision that is best for you.

Citations:

Title: Concealed Carry While Cycling: A Comprehensive Guide

Author: GunfightersINC

Website: https://gunfightersinc.com/

Date of publication: October 23, 2019

URL: https://gunfightersinc.com/blog/concealed-carry-while-cycling/

Tannenbaum, B. (2014, September 15). Why I Carry Pepper Spray When Biking. Bicycling. Retrieved from https://www.bicycling.com/training/a20043980/why-i-carry-pepper-spray-when-biking/

Trafimow, D., & Earp, B. (2017). Guns on Wheels: Firearms Policies and Programs in American Bike Share Systems. Journal of Public Health Management and Practice, 23(1), 63-70. doi: 10.1097/phh.0000000000000286

Here is my next post:  My Journey to Regain Health and Fitness: A Cyclist's Tale of Losing Weight and Finding Balance Part 2

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