LEO Spouse Backup
Michelle Perin

As the wife of a law enforcement officer, I live around guns. My kitchen often smells like solvent. I’ve picked a gun belt off the bedroom floor more times than I can count. I have a full-sized, heavy-duty gun safe taking up part of my walk-in closet. I’ve listened as the “guys” sat around discussing the newest models and accessories. They discussed tips, tactics and training. Each knew the other guy had his back.

But what about when they went home and all of that was left was me? There are a few key things significant others need to know to be their spouse’s No. 1 backup.


Whether you’re faced with an active shooter at the mall or an attack at your home, you should know where the guns are. You might never need to grab a weapon off of your spouse, but if he gets incapacitated and it’s you or the bad guy, you’d better get there first.

At home, are the weapons kept in a safe? Know the code or have access to the key. If they have a trigger lock, know where the key is. Talk about where the best place is to securely keep the firearms and the ammunition before a situation occurs.


Be familiar with the weapons your family keeps in the home. My husband always had a Glock 19 and a Mossberg 500 in the house. He also carried a Glock 27. This was the weapon I was supposed to grab if something went wrong. It had two 9-round magazines and a grip extension.

Together, we went over the parts. I knew how to break them down, clean them and put them back together. Seeing how the moving parts worked increased my confidence that I could use them when I needed to, even if something went wrong like a jam. Be familiar with the safety features. You don’t want to be fumbling with it trying to find out why it’s not working because you don’t know it has a safety, let alone how to take the safety off.


The best way to know you will be able to back up your significant other when you have to is to go and shoot. Head to the range and try all the guns out. Feel the weight. Understand the kick. Figure out the nuances. This is the time you want to learn how it feels to shoot them.

It’s also the best way to make sure you have the greatest accuracy. Most important is the confidence that comes with really knowing the weapons and that you are quite capable of protecting your husband, your children and yourself if need be.

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