How to Keep Your Handgun if a Thug Is Trying to Take It

You are legally carrying a concealed handgun for protection, but somehow your “cover” is blown. Maybe somebody saw the “print” of the gun through your shirt, or he saw it when you raised your arms to get something. Or you moved your arm the wrong way and someone caught a glimpse of your pistol in an in-the-waistband holster on your hip. It doesn’t matter. Your “situational awareness” just wasn’t functioning well in that moment, and now a bad guy knows you are carrying.

And he wants your gun.

When he reaches for your gun, what should you do to retain control and save your life?

1. Secure the weapon.

1. Immediately slam your hand that is on the side of the gun DOWN on the gun, securing it. Your hand might be on top of his hand; good! Don’t let him draw that gun out!

At the same time, strike your attacker in the face. A palm heel strike to the jaw or nose is very effective. (See my article “The 6 Best Body Weapons to Defeat An Attacker.”) If you can hit the attacker with a strike to the throat or eyes, do so. (My article “6 Best Targets to Strike on the Body If You’re Attacked” shows you exactly where to hit.) Your life is on the line, and this is no time to “be nice.” Strike repeatedly if necessary.

2. Make him loosen his grip.

Once you have stunned the attacker, with one hand still keeping pressure on your gun, smash your other forearm into your enemy’s arm. Your forearm should be crashing into his arm that is extended. This could break his arm at the elbow, or at the very least severely hyperextend his elbow. Either way, this will make him loosen his grip.

3. Do NOT stay in place.

While you are striking his extended arm (or arms if he is reaching for your gun with two arms), pivot and spin away from his body, positioning yourself at an angle away from him.

You want to “get off the X.” In other words, you do NOT want to stay in that location and “duke” it out with him. Move away at an angle, making yourself a harder target to attack. This technique will work whether that attacker is using his right arm, or left arm, or both arms. All you need to remember is just this one technique. (And practice it!)

Next Page: You may have to shoot him.

4. Shoot if necessary.

Once you have broken free from his grip, aim your gun at the attacker and shoot if necessary. (Legally you cannot shoot if he runs away at this point; he would no longer be a threat.) If you shoot, shoot him into the ground. Aim for center mass.  One shot will probably not end the threat. Once he is on the ground, cease firing.

In this video, police officer Richard Nance shows us how this is done:

What if I have already been sufficiently threatened, drawn my pistol, and somehow the enemy lunges for my gun and grabs it? You can be taken by surprise. Sure, you can just pull the trigger and shoot him, but what if he is pushing the weapon away from his body? Now if you shoot you may hit innocent people. What do you do now?

Again, Officer Nance and the good people at have supplied us with a great training video. This technique will work.

1. Hit him with the pistol.

Rather than getting in a “push/pull” battle royale with the bad guy, pull back and then DRIVE your pistol straight into his gut. Lunge in with great force and determination. Hit him with the pistol.

2. Get the gun free.

Then rapidly jerk back on the gun, twisting it and pulling it free.

3. Retreat at an angle.

Try to retreat at an angle (“get off the X”) away from him. Shoot him into the ground if necessary.

Here is how it’s done:

Next Page: What if you’re on the ground, and they go for the gun?

Just one more defensive tactic for the day. What if somehow you’ve been taken to the ground and your attacker is reaching for the gun in your holster The best technique I know of is this one:

1. Wrap your legs around his waist.

As soon as the bad guy is on you, go to the “guard” position. That is, your chances of controlling the attacker significantly increase when you wrap your legs around his waist and then hook your feet together. This is a standard defensive ground position in jiu jitsu. Learn this technique and do it immediately when your back hits the ground!

Here’s a good video showing how to do the guard position:

2. Secure the firearm.

Slam your hand down on your gun! He may already be reaching for it. Pressure from your hand on top of his will keep him from drawing the gun out.

3. Strike back.

Take your free hand and strike him in the head, preferably with an elbow, so that your free arm can now reach over to your other arm. Now, snake your arm over and through his, putting him in an arm lock popularly known as a “kimura” in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

Here’s how to do the “kimura” armlock:

Then wrench his arm back. This is extremely painful to the attacker and you can rip his arm out of its socket. Since he was trying to kill you, go ahead and rip his arm out of its socket! Roll him off, draw your gun, and stand as quickly as possible. Shoot him if he makes any further threatening moves.

You may be saying, “I have no idea how to do a kimura on someone!” Well, now is the time to learn. Watch this video carefully, and you too can learn how to destroy someone’s arm (and save your life in the process):

You will never be able to do these techniques merely by watching a video. If you are serious, find a training partner, get an unloaded airsoft pistol, and start training! You will fight like you train!