What You Need to Know About Changes to the Form 4473

Last Monday, November 14th, 2016, the ATF announced new changes to the Form 4473 that will take effect on January 16, 2017, just four days before the inauguration of President-Elect Donald Trump.  Form 4473 is the federally-mandated form that must be filled out by any person who acquires a firearm from a licensed dealer.

Here are the changes you need to be aware of:

  1. The new form must be filled out in its entirety at the business premises of the licensed dealer. Federal law already generally requires transferees to appear in person at the business premises to complete a firearm transaction, but there is no requirement in federal law that the transferee must complete the Form 4473 at the dealer’s premises.  Appearing at a dealer’s premises with a partially completed form is a good way to expedite the buying process, but doing so will no longer be possible once the new form goes into effect.
  2. The new form includes a bolded warning that “the use or possession of marijuana remains unlawful under Federal law regardless of whether it has been legalized or decriminalized for medical or recreational purposes in the state where you reside.” This warning is a continuation of ATF’s policy that was first published in an open letter on September 21, 2011.  Under ATF’s policy, not only are users of marijuana prohibited from possessing firearms, but a person may not transfer a firearm to an individual if the transferor knows that the transferee holds a medical marijuana card.  Importantly, this second prohibition applies even where the cardholder does not actually use any marijuana.
  3. The new Form 4473 is a little more streamlined. It combines fields asking for the transferee’s street address and state of residence, provides clearer guidance to members of the military on determining their state of residence, and indicates how individuals who have had their firearm rights restored should complete the form.
  4. The new form provides guidance to licensed dealers on how to complete a firearm transaction that was initially denied, but where the denial was later overturned. This is very important for individuals who may have been denied because of incomplete or dated information in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.

Firearms dealers should expect to receive the new Form 4473s in early December, and, beginning January 16, 2017, all firearm transactions must use the new form.  Below is a preview image link of the new version of Form 4473. For more information, visit the ATF page that details all the new changes here.

New Form 4473, Effective January 16, 2016: atf_form_4473-firearms_transaction_record_revised_2017

A Post-Election Message

Rarely do I make a personal statement and publish it on behalf of an entire company; however, today, I am making an exception.

As the CEO of a 100% Veteran-owned and operated company, one of the values I absolutely cherish above all is honoring our country which also means respecting everyone’s right to vote, regardless of how well-informed or ill-informed they may be.

Throughout the past few years leading up to this Election, I’ve heard and read a multitude of things from people across the spectrum that should be alarming to anyone, but the most alarming things are being glossed over almost completely.  I’ve especially heard many gross, categorical generalizations being made about people based upon whom they voted for.  The most offensive of all generalizations involve anything that claims a person does not love their country if they voted for one person over another.  I could not disagree more with these generalizations and, as a person who fits none of the stereotypes for a person who voted for Donald Trump, I have a few things to say regarding my personal decision to cast my vote for him.

First, let me start by explaining how I fit none of the stereotypes and seem to always confound those who try to categorize me: I am female, of Korean ethnicity, a US Service Academy graduate, a combat veteran, an entrepreneur, and the youngest child of legal immigrants who grew up extraordinarily poor in a small town, most of whom were openly hostile towards my family.  The small town I grew up in was comprised of all Caucasians who assumed we were Vietnamese, since this was during the post-Vietnam era.

Despite this, never once did I, nor anyone in my family assume all Caucasians were intolerant or ignorant or cruel.  Never once, even when days went by with little to no food in our stomachs, did we beg or expect assistance from the government or others.  Not one time did we ever claim a minority disadvantage or complain of bias or prejudice.  Never had it crossed our minds to retaliate against people in retribution for what they had and what we didn’t.

My parents never cultivated this way of thinking because not only are these points completely irrelevant, but pointing a finger and blaming anyone or anything did nothing to improve our own situation or our character.  They told us with utter conviction that no matter how difficult challenges may ever be in America, that this is the only country in the world where all things are possible for anyone with enough grit and heart, no matter where they come from.  They taught me that accolades cannot be issued, only earned –  and if not earned honestly, then they are not achievements at all.

I suspect that many Americans share similar lessons in their upbringings.

So, all that said, I voted for Donald Trump.  I am frankly insulted that I am reading from seemingly educated people that this election clearly indicates that Americans hate women.  Or that voting for Trump means someone is racist.  Or any number of grossly false categorical statements about more than half of the American population of voting age.

To the women – and men – who state anything close to the sentiment that a person should be in the Office of the President of the United States simply because of her gender, I will tell you that nothing makes you less equal or less qualified than to cite your gender, race, etc. as the pivotal point – or any point for that matter – in ANY argument.  As a woman in an ethnic minority who has worked in fields comprised mostly of men such as the military, petroleum industry, and firearms industry, I can tell you that I have never once experienced a “pay gap”.  Yes, I dealt with piggish, insecure, inadequate males on many occasions, but I handled those situations the way a woman and a lady should – by simply outperforming them or, in the case of attempted assault, I kicked the living crap out of their laughable sorry asses and moved on with my life.  But I also had the privilege to work with spectacular men who should not be penalized for being male when they more than rightfully earned their merits.  In my experience, males who were sexist or hostile towards women always had deep inadequacies and failures – they were physically, mentally, and/or emotionally weak.  But the same goes for women who are categorically hostile towards men.  By demanding consideration without merit simply for the sake of your gender or race or other non-merit-based factor is an insult and an injustice against all those who rightfully earned everything they have.  Bottom line: if you are truly the best qualified individual, regardless of gender, race, etc. – you will be sought after and there will never be such a thing as a “pay gap”.  Stop demanding equality – earn it.  If that statement offends you, I suggest you re-read this paragraph again.

To those who are in despair for your children that they lack a good role model in Donald Trump, this is simply an insult to yourselves.  Not once in my life have I ever looked at a single politician, actor, celebrity, athlete, etc. as a model where I looked to shape my values because they all paled in comparison to my parents.  No amount of wealth or fame or achievement a person had ever influenced my character development.  I’m concerned that it is that easy to sway the character and behaviors of your children.

To those who think all supporters of the 2nd Amendment are paranoid, racist, uneducated white trash, you are sorely mistaken and, again, insult yourselves. If you do not believe every part of our Constitution is what makes us the greatest nation on earth and are willing to re-write it without pause, then you have never taken an objective look at humanity and its capabilities both good and bad.  On Memorial Day, I quietly published a post on these points which you can read here rather than me repeating them again now.

But before we can even get to the issues and values of what is important to each one of us, one candidate was completely unqualified for the job and was not even a valid option: Hillary Clinton.  If you have never served in a capacity to defend this nation or handle classified materials in the defense of this nation and her people, do NOT for one second opine about Clinton’s email server. The issue is not about WHAT was on it – it’s the simple fact that it even exists. And if you don’t understand the gravity of that or why that is even a big deal, then you clearly have not served in any shape or form in this capacity. At a MINIMUM, this would be a cause for IMMEDIATE revocation of access in the intelligence community – there is no jury for this and for very good reason.

In Clinton’s case, this means she should no longer receive access to classified information. If no one revokes it, then she should make the example as a LEADER to step down so that the entire system is not undermined and completely shattered. Without a clearance, this also means she is unable to do her job. This is not an emotional statement – it is simply the cold, hard reality of the world of intelligence. In the intelligence world, you can be a great human being, make one mistake, and you are forever barred from access again.

All humans make mistakes and regardless of how severe those mistakes are, a decent and honorable human accepts full accountability for their mistakes. And even when forgiveness is granted, it doesn’t mean a complete carte blanche can be or should be issued.

Nothing is more important to me than the security of the country I love, my family, and the people who defend it. Neither Clinton nor Trump would have been my first choice by any means. But one candidate should not have even been on the ballot.

I, like many Americans, examined all the candidates and did not take that task lightly, thinking, “what can I get out of this?” I thought deeply about my single voice and the power of which it holds in the form of a vote in the US Electoral process.  I hate politicians but politics and government are a sort of necessary evil in the world.  And if you think anarchy is a better option, I invite you to live in Somalia for a trial period.  The role of a politician is to bring two sides forward a little at a time, even if grudgingly.  It is a truly thankless job and it sits so poorly with many of us because if you have convictions, you don’t want compromise. But even with our politicians, a few things should never be compromised like the integrity of our Constitution. Donald Trump is not a person I want to have raise my family, but thankfully, that role is already filled and was never open for negotiation. I will, however, give him the chance to make good on his promise to serve the American people and to keep our Constitution intact.

If any of this resonates with those who read this, please feel free to share it with others.  Thanks for reading.

-Susan C. Gonzales

CEO, Women’s Holsters

EEOC investigating whether ‘Don’t Tread on Me’ Flag is Racist


DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA (August 5, 2016) – The EEOC is investigating whether the Revolutionary War-era Gadsden Flag could be considered a racist symbol in the workplace. In recent years, the yellow flag with its coiled snake has also become a symbol of the Tea Party.

So what’s the basis of the EEOC’s claim that the Gadsden Flag is racist?

In 2014, a black government employee filed a complaint to the EEOC alleging that he had been discriminated against by a coworker who wore a ball cap with an insignia of the Gadsden Flag; despite the fact that there was no evidence that the gentleman who wore the ball cap said or did anything racially driven towards his coworker.

The claim stated that he “found the cap to be racially offensive to African Americans because the flag was designed by Christopher Gadsden.”

The EEOC report goes on to identify Gadsden as a “slave trader & owner of slaves.”

The plaintiff “maintains that the Gadsden Flag is a ‘historical indicator of white resentment against blacks stemming largely from the Tea Party.”

In its investigation, the EEOC found that there was no evidence that the flag was created in a racial context, stating in its findings, “Moreover, it is clear that the flag and its slogan have been used to express various non-racial sentiments, such as when it is used in the modern Tea Party political movement, gun rights activism, patriotic displays, and by the military.”

Despite this, the investigation goes on, stating, “…whatever the historic origins and meanings of the symbol, it also has since been sometimes interpreted to convey racially-tinged messages in some contexts.”

Citing the “ambiguity in the current meaning” of the Gadsden Flag, the EEOC has decided to investigate this matter further to “determine the specific context.”


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{Watch} Flag-Burner Outside DNC Sets Himself on Fire Accidentally

Just like last week at the RNC, protesters burned American flags at this week’s DNC. A reporter captured the video above as one protester stomped on the burning flag and inadvertently set himself on fire. Bystanders helped him quickly extinguish the flames as he dropped to the ground in a panic. One protester yelled “burn that white capitalist s*** to the ground!” as Old Glory burned and people cheered. Another flag-burning left some protesters disappointed because the flag seemed to be made out of a non-flammable material.

RELATED VIDEO: {Watch} Anti-Trump Protester Accidentally Lights Herself on Fire While Burning Flag

Last week, a Fox News reporter asked protesters why they hate America.  Watch some of the ridiculous responses below.

How to Select the Best Gun Safe for You

How to Select the Best Gun Safe for You

So you have made the decision that a gun safe is the safest, most cost-effective way to house your weapon when it is not in your possession. You may already know a lot about gun safes, or you may just be in the beginning stages of learning about them; either way, the question is always the same: Why do I think that I need a gun safe right now and what is the best option out there for me?

Although you may be price-conscious, there are other factors to consider when making an investment in an item like this. There is no reason to spend anything on a safe that does not have the appropriate feature set to protect you and your family. So what exactly are your options?

Your Lifestyle and Your Gun Safe

As you look through your options, remember that you must pick your gun safe by your purpose and lifestyle FIRST rather than by price – remember what you are actually paying for! Your safety is paramount, and if you choose the wrong safe in order to save a few dollars, you are doing yourself no favors.

In your initial assessment of gun safes, you must first determine the balance of features that you need. For instance, large gun safes are generally more difficult to break into but they may cost more.  However, this added protection will keep an intruder from easily making off with your firearms or valuables, provided that they are unaware of the fact you own a gun safe.  When you are looking to protect and secure critical documents from theft and fire, a steel fireproof gun safe is what you are looking for – in fact, most insurance companies will lower your premiums for insuring certain valuables if you declare that you own one of these types of safes.

In contrast, if you live by yourself with no children or pets in the home, then you may be able to afford greater accessibility with limited concealment – for example, a biometric safe that is out in the open or an RFID-enabled quick access gun safe. However, if you live with kids or you have people coming in and out of the house on a regular basis, then you may have to conceal your weapons more while giving up a bit of accessibility. If you don’t care for the fireproof rating and the location is well-concealed, a smaller safe does not have to be as durable, and you can save money there.

That said, there are a myriad of options out there which can leave your head reeling with indecision. This article will assist you in prioritizing your needs and help you feel confident in making an appropriate selection.

Selection Criteria

A gun safe can be a significant investment and price is probably a factor for almost every consumer in the market for a gun safe; however, it seldom is the primary or sole deciding factor in which safe to purchase. There are a number of things to consider when selecting a gun safe which are all unique and personal to the buyer – this can be broken down into five main criteria: Purpose, Lifestyle, Size, Accessibility, and Price.  First determine which of these criteria is the highest priority for you and then work your way from there.  Below, we’ve broken down each of these factors for you to consider when shopping around for this investment.  We’ve created an interactive guide for you to assist in this process.

  • PURPOSE.  There are four primary purposes for a gun safe: theft protection, access prevention, fire protection, and water protection.  Theft protection and access prevention are completely different concepts.  For example, if you have valuables that you want to secure and frequently leave town, the strongest vault safe will not protect you against theft if people are aware that you may have valuables and that you frequently leave your place vacant.  A hidden gun safe or concealed gun furniture may be a better solution for you for this purpose.  If you have critical documents that you need to protect and don’t keep a bank vault for safekeeping of these items, you will want a fireproof safe for this purpose; or if you live in an area afflicted by frequent floods, a waterproof safe is something you should also consider.
  • LIFESTYLE.  Do you have young children or do you live alone? Do you frequently have guests over? Do they have children? Do you travel frequently or are you home all the time?  These lifestyle factors should also play into your decision-making process of selecting the best gun safe for you.
  • SIZE.  Oftentimes, size can be the main factor for deciding upon which gun safe is appropriate.  For example, if you live in a small apartment, certain gun safes just won’t make sense to purchase.  Another factor for determining appropriate size is what you are considering securing in this safe.  If you are only concealing a single handgun and some ammunition, you have far more options than trying to figure out the best gun safe for securing fifty rifles.  If size is your primary constraint, then start your selection process here.
  • ACCESSIBILITY.  This is where you typically hear most people inject their opinions on what is the best gun safe to buy; however, this should be an individual consideration as different needs in this area dictate completely different solutions.  If being able to quickly and conveniently access your gun is your primary concern, a giant, fireproof safe is probably not your best bet.  Instead, you’ll want a quick access gun safe option – quite likely biometric, electronic, or RFID access-enabled.  For those that say none of these options are fast enough, keep in mind they are confusing the function of a safe versus a holster.  Other factors to consider under accessibility are: is this being secured in a vehicle or a safe room? Do you require remote access? Do you need to restrict access selectively?  If any of these factors trumps all other criteria, then start your search with this in mind.
  • PRICE.  Understandably, everyone will be price-sensitive in the gun safe buying process.  It’s a considerable investment, no matter how you look at it.  This will be a durable item that you keep for many years AND you are entrusting a great part of your physical security into it.  But this doesn’t mean that you have to spend a fortune to find the right solution, no matter what your budget may be.  But if you are absolutely constrained to a budget and what that to be the first factor in weeding out options for gun safes, then start here.  In the interactive gun safe selection guide at the bottom of this article, we’ve broken down gun safes by price range to assist you in your search.

Gun Safe Reviews and Specs

The majority of people who are in the market for a gun safe are actually looking for a storage solution for a single handgun, shotgun, or rifle; however, most people only think of the huge, fireproof gun safes when they think of the idea of a “gun safe”.  Since the overwhelming majority are really looking for a gun concealment and/or access control option, we’ve included some descriptions on some of these lesser-known types of gun storage solutions below.

The Fingerprint Gun Safe (Biometric Gun Safe)

Using biometrics as your point of entry gives you a better balance between safety and security than a traditional safe. As unlikely as it might be, an unwelcome guest or a lucky child may guess your entry code; however, biometrics completely locks the safe to anyone but you.  Some newer biometric gun safes have a “tattletale” feature which logs failed attempted entries so that you will know if it has been tampered with.

A fingerprint gun safe also allows you the ability to hold the safe in a more advantageous position for easy access during an emergency. Being able to quickly unlock the box is another advantage that fingerprints provide over traditional safes. You gain quicker retrieval because you do not have to keep up with a key. Fingerprint gun safes are also mobile – able to be moved to a new place in order to keep access exclusive or to accommodate changes to the home.

fingerprint gun safe by arms reach the gun box biometric gun safe

The Hidden Gun Safe

Your hidden gun storage options need to balance quick access with good cover. You have many options, including the hidden gun cabinet, secret compartment furniture and unattached hidden safes.

Hidden gun furniture provides easy access; however, they may limit exclusive access. You must ensure that the compartment stays fully stable in order to keep from disengaging at a random time and showing your position. Hidden cabinets and safes provide slightly more exclusivity; however, they limit immediate access. Hidden gun safes can be small enough to fit in the sidebar of a truck as well.

Diversion safes can provide you access that can get a jump on an intruder, because you can hide guns in places that seem innocuous – for instance, behind a clock tower or a bookcase.

quickshelf hidden gun storage wall shelf

Gun Concealment Furniture

Concealing larger weapons is a prospect that gun concealment furniture has an almost exclusive market on. If you need cover for your long rifles or shotguns, you need cover that is just as long, and furniture is the perfect place.

Even though no one sees your guns, you are basically hiding them in plain sight. With just a bit of creativity, you can keep them completely out of sight while always in arm’s reach if an emergency should show itself.

Your Next Move

If it wasn’t your primary or sole factor in the selection process, once you have determined the best kind of gun safe for your needs, you can begin to compare prices. You will have multiple price options for every different kind of safe depending on the level of features that you need. In general, you get what you pay for.

For instance, a more expensive gun concealment furniture safe will more closely match the decor and give less of an indication of the presence of a weapon to the untrained eye. However, you may have other means of covering your furniture to mask a less elaborate gun concealment option, in which case, you may be able to scale back on the price. The more the safe, the less work you do to maximize the benefits.

Now that you have the basics of how to choose a gun safe, it is time to ask yourself some relevant questions:

  • What are the features that are most important to me in a gun safe?
  • How do I keep myself and my loved ones most protected by my investment?
  • Will I feel 100% comfortable with my investment 5 years down the road?

Your choices now may save your life later. Now that you have made the wise decision to take your safety into your own hands, you can begin the process of creating the environment that will best uphold your lifestyle. Make sure that you purchase the right gun safe for you, and exercise your right to protection.

 Interactive Guide for Selecting a Gun Safe

Gun Safe Index:

2 Hr Fireproof Burglary Safe
3 Hr Fireproof Electronic Lock Data Safe
60″ Concealed Storage Wall Mirror with Hidden Gun Compartment
American Furniture Classics 100 The Gunfather
American Furniture Classics 611 10 Gun/Curio Slider Cabinet Combination
American Furniture Classics 906
American Security BF6030 Vault
American Security BF7240 Safe
American Security BF7250 Safe
American Security Safe AM3020E5
American Security Safe BF 6636
American Security Safe OD19
American Security Safe TF5517D
Arms Reach Defender Series Biometric Handgun Safe
BARSKA Biometric Safe
Barska Biometric Wall Safe
Barska Extra Large Biometric Rifle Safe
BARSKA Hidden Real Book Gun Safe
Barska iBOX Dual Biometric Secure Storage Device
Barska Large Biometric Rifle Safe
BARSKA Mini Biometric Safe
BARSKA Quick Access Biometric Rifle Safe
BARSKA Top Opening Biometric Fingerprint Safe
Browning Pistol Vault 1500 Biometric
Browning Pistol Vault PV-1000
Bulldog Cases Car Safe
Cannon EX40 Executive Series Safe
Cannon Safe 50 CuFt
Concealment Clock
Covert Cabinets HG-21Gun Cabinet Wall Shelf Hidden Storage
Covert Cabinets SG-58 Gun Cabinet Wall Shelf Hidden Storage
First Alert 2.14CF Waterproof Fire Safe with Digital Lock
First Alert 2013F Fire and Water Chest
First Alert 2087F-BD 0.94 Cubic Feet Bolt-Down Waterproof 1 Hour Fire Safe
First Alert 2092DF Waterproof 1-Hour Fire Safe
First Alert 2096F-BDSC Ready-Seal Waterproof Fire Safe
First Alert 5200DF Portable Handgun or Pistol Safe
Fort Knox FTK-AUTO Auto Pistol Box
Fortress Alarming Quick Access Pistol Safe
Gunbunker GS-1 Car,Motorcycle,Truck,Home Gun Safe
Gunvault GV1000S Mini Vault
Gunvault GV2000S Multi Vault Standard Gun Safe
Gunvault MV500-STD Microvault Pistol Gun Safe
GunVault NV200 NanoVault 200 with Key Lock
Gunvault SpeedVault SVB500
HandGun Concealment Flag Box
HOMAK HS10036684 Electronic Access Pistol Box
Honeywell 1104 1-Hour Fire/Water Safe Chest
Hornady Security Rapid Gun Safe
Hornady Security TriPoint Lock Box
Ivation Electronic Gun Safe w/Mechanical Pop-Open Door
Liberty 9G HDX-150 MICRO Biometric Safe
Liberty 9G HDX-250 Smart Vault Biometric Safe
Liberty Handgun Vault – HD-100
Orvis Gun Safe-pro
Paragon 7800 Electronic Digital Lock and Safe Fire Proof
Phoenix Fire Commander 2-Hour Digital Fireproof Safe
QuickShelf Safe – Hidden Gun Storage
QuickShot Lock – RFID Quick Access Shotgun Safe
QuickVent Safe – Hidden Gun Storage
Rustic Small Dresser with Hidden Lockable Gun Chest
Sentry Biometric Handgun Safe
Sentry Safe Biometric Quick Access Pistol Safe Model # QAP1BE
Sentry Safe CFW20201 Waterproof Fire-Resistant File
SentrySafe H0100CG Fire-Safe Waterproof Chest
SentrySafe H2300CG Waterproof Fire Chest
SnapSafe Lockbox with Key Lock
SnapSafe Trunk Safe
Stack-On A-64-MB-E-S-72
Stack-On E-24-MB-E-S Elite 24 Gun Security Safe
Stack-On E-30-MB-E-S Elite 27-30 Gun Safe
Stack-On GCB-8RTA Security Plus
Stack-On PS-1514 Personal Safe
Stack-On PS-15-5-B Drawer Safe
Stack-On SS-16-MB-E 16 Gun Security Safe
Stack-On SS-22-MB-E 22 Gun Fully Convertible Security Safe
Stack-On TD14-28-SB-E-S Fire Resistant Waterproof Safe
Stack-On TD14-54-SB-C-S Fire Resistant Waterproof Safe
Stack-On TD14-54-SB-E-S Fire Resistant Waterproof Safe
Steelwater AMSWD-530 2-Hour Fireproof Home and Document Safe
Steelwater Extreme Duty AMHD593924
Steelwater Heavy Duty 39 Long Gun
Tactical Frames
The GunBox 2.0 Biometric Gun Safe
Tracker Safe HS20
Tracker Safe HS30
Tracker Safe M22
Tracker Safe M32
Tracker Safe M45
Tracker Safe S10-B2 Biometric Gun Safe
Tracker Safe S12-B2 Biometric Gun Safe
Tracker Safe S8-B2 Biometric Gun Safe
Tracker Safe TS08
Tracker Safe TS14
Tracker Safe TS22
Tracker Safe TS24
Tracker Safe TS30
Tracker Safe TS45
Tracker Safe TS64
Tracker Safe TS-QAPS
Tracker Safe TS-SPS
Viking Security Safe VS-20BLX Mini Biometric Safe Fingerprint Safe
Viking Security Safe VS-25BL Biometric Safe Fingerprint Safe
Waterproof Book Safe with Key Lock
Winchester Legacy Premier 26-7-E Gun Safe
Winchester Ranger Deluxe 19 Gun Safe
Winchester Ranger Deluxe 31-7-E Gun Safe
Winchester Safes eVault Biometric 3.0 Pistol Safe
Winchester Safes L-7242-10-E Legacy 53 Gun Safe
Winchester Silverado Premier 23-7-E Gun Safe

{Watch} This 86-Year-Old American Sniper Made Everyone Speechless

Veteran Sniper

I won’t lie, I teared up a little.

This World War II American sniper veteran shows young snipers from the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (AMU) how it’s done. You won’t believe how well the 86-year-old sniper can still shoot!

Definitive Guide To Selling Gun Safes

Have you ever wondered why some people are better at sales than others?  Well, before I went into sales I was an engineer, and I did wonder!  Like most people, I just assumed some folks were just born with the ability to sell.  Then I got into sales and learned it is a process just like engineering!  Work the process!  This article is written for people considering or already using CloseHero, but it can help anybody trying to increase sales and have happier customers.  Here’s how to level up! your sales and customer satisfaction, step-by-step!

List of Supplies

  1. Write down common questions – what are the most common questions people ask about gun safes?  Write them down on a piece of paper.  Questions like…
    1. “What do most folks get?”
    2. “What’s the cheapest safe?”
    3. “What’s the fanciest safe?”
  2. Write down not so common questions – think about every customer that asked you about safes but then didn’t end up buying.
  3. Write down questions you should always ask – What questions should you ask a customer every single time a gun safe could be helpful in their life?
    1. “How much space do you have?”
    2. “How many guns and pistols do you have?  Are you planning on having?”
    3. “How many kids?”
    4. “What are their ages?”
    5. “Did you know why guns are so popular to sell by thieves?”
    6. “Did you have a budget in mind?” Expert tip:  this may sound intrusive but asked after you’ve demonstrated to the customer that you are sincerely trying to find out about them and their life so you can help, is actually the right thing to do!
  4. Sales Collateral – What is “sales collateral?” If you have ever opened up a catalog to show a picture to help a customer make a buying decision you were using “sales collateral.”
    1. You know what is even better than catalogs?  You’re real customers with real products.  An integral part of what you are selling them is that they get it from your store.  Expert tip: Take a picture of a safe you sold to somebody, in their home, with their happy family (with small kids!) smiling next to it.  People will want to be happy and safe, just like the people in the picture. Remember by buying a safe what people are really buying is peace of mind.  You want them to equate you with that peace of mind!
    2. Can you create a simple flyer about a success story when a thief wasn’t able to steal an owner’s guns?  Can you think of another scenario to drive home an important point?  Write it down!  Expert tip – Instead of rambling about some safe spec, bring up that story!
    3. If you offer installation or delivery services make sure to have all that information handy, and any special customer contracts or proposals you use for these types of services.
    4. Gather all your catalogs with pricing information, in electronic format if possible.

Now you’ve got your list of supplies you are ready to setup CloseHero.  Yay!

Set up your pricing and rules – You’ll be using Items and Spreadsheets.  Your CloseHero Success Advocate will be right there with you to make setup a breeze.

  1. Setup contracts and proposals – Do you offer any special services such as delivery and customer installations?
  2. Write a “script” for a perfect customer interaction – this is your perfect conversation to sell a safe and have the customer extremely satisfied with their purchase.  Anytime you have a conversation with a customer and it deviates from this scenario, it is your ethical duty to drive the conversation back to this ideal path!  Expert tip: If you have put the effort to thinking this through, you would be doing the customer a disservice by letting the conversation wander.
    1. Think about what images should be shown to help drive home any points or questions.
    2. Practice the conversation by yourself.  Then, with others, until it is smooth as silk!

Setup your Presentation – Keep in mind you can go back to Spreadsheets to address new rules you think of during this process.

Use your Presentation!  Keep using it with customers and refining as you see what works, new products come to the market, new events happen that you want to bring up, etc., etc.  Just imagine how easy it will now be to bring a new sales rep up to speed!

This post was written by Mike Latch, CEO of CloseHero, and Solar Software evangelist.

Be the Hero – A Simple Every Day Carry (EDC) Gear list


EDC or Every Day Carry is a term that carries a lot of mileage for outdoor adventurists — hunters, hikers, fishermen, and those of us concerned about the what ifs’. While our motivation for seeking the outdoors may vary from person to person or sport to sport, what remains a constant is the idea that being prepared means going farther, being safer, and truly being able to enjoy adventures. In this be-the-hero blog, we compile a simple list of must have EDC gear that all of us should use as a base list of tools:

1. Dry Box — A dry box offers a waterproof option that helps you keep sensitive equipment and tools dry. These are a good place for matches, cell phones, your wallet, etc. You can find dry boxes in a variety of sizes. A good TIP is to choose one that you can easily carry or attach to your pack with a clip like in the example below:

dry box waterproof small case pelican
1050 Micro Case by Pelican


2. Tactical Flashlight — The market is flooded with tactical flashlight options. A few helpful tips for choosing a good tactical flashlight include durability, lightweight, and long battery life. Rechargeable units are a plus, especially if they pair up with a solar energy bank.

best tactical flashlight
USB Rechargeable Flashlight by Streamlight

3. Power Bank — Sometimes referred to as an energy bank. These are somewhat confusing to people so we will add a little more detail here. A power bank is either solar-powered or rechargeable. The big difference here is that if you are out in the boondocks and run out of energy, good luck trying to recharge it. The running joke among adventurers is that you just have to plug the thing into the wild currents. The beauty of the solar powered power bank is that they recharge themselves. So the first TIP is to go solar unless you are spelunking, then the rechargeable unit is your best friend.

power bank charger

10,000 mAh Solar Power Bank by Basic Shield

The trick to picking out a good power bank is to focus on the battery. You need something in the 10,000 mAh – milliamps per hour. Anything less than 3,000 mAh has about one cell phone charge in them before the power is exhausted. The business and special class power banks hit the 10,000 mAh rate and can charge two or more devices before they require recharging themselves. Again, that is the beauty of a solar powered unit – it helps keep itself fully charged and ready for use simply by clipping it to your backpack.

It is one thing to tell you to buy a unit with more mAh but the kicker here is this. When you charge your phone using a power bank it costs energy. Not just the energy that is transferred from the bank to your phone, but about 37 percent of the energy being transferred is lost.  That is why the mAh rating is so important for outdoor adventurers.  Remember – go solar, opt for a 10,000 mAh battery and one that is waterproof.

power bank charger

4. GPS — Off road off map adventures are tricky and while you may know the way there are times when the way you are going or returning needs to change. Forest fires, snow storms, natural disaster, or even medical emergencies can force you off of the known route and into unfamiliar territory. Make sure that you pair your GPS with your power bank so that it is rechargeable.

Rechargeable GPS
Worldwide High-Sensitivity GPS w/GLONASS Receiver with Rechargeable Battery Option by Garmin

5. Utility Tool — These handy little gadgets belong in every pack. You never know when you may need them or when another tool may break or become lost. There are plenty of examples when a single loose bolt or lost screw means disaster. Be prepared.

multi tool
Multi Tool Set Survival Emergency Gear by Jeep

6. Knife — A good knife is invaluable. A good TIP for choosing the right knife for your adventure is to opt for one that has more than one use. You should also pair your knife choice closely to your outing. A knife used for fishing is different from one a hunter may use.

tactical knife
Ally Knife by Benchmade & HK

7. Waterproof Paper and Tactical Pen — These two items are probably the most ignored EDC items of all time. We opt for a tactical pen because it has more than one use and that gives you an advantage. You may need to leave a note that will stand up to the elements. Your car has broken down, become disabled, gone over the embankment and you need to bug-out to find help. Leave a note so whoever investigates your vehicle can point rescuers in the right direction. Being able to communicate without being there is critical.

tactical pen
Tactical Defensive Pen by Basic Shield
waterproof paper
All Weather Notebook by Rite in the Rain

8. Bear Whistle — Not only handy for letting bears know you are around, but also for signaling help across greater distances. These are light weight, loud and can save your life.

bear grylls gear
Bear Grylls Survival Whistle by Gerber


9. Carabiner Clips — There are many uses for these little life savers and it is a good idea to have a few sizes. A good TIP for buying these is to have at least a few the rock climbers use with the screw closed gate.

High-Strength Locking Carabiners (5,600 lbs) by Hunter Safety System

10. Paracord — A paracord bracelet is also invaluable. They are cheap and they make a difference in all types of situations. If you need to make an emergency shelter, tie poles together to make a carrying litter, or create a tool, paracord is perfect.

paracord bracelet
5-in-1 Paracord Bracelet

This list is simple and it is created with the assumption that people will already carry their cell phone, food, water, etc. The list is designed to use as a base or starter kit from which you can build your adventure. The completed list for a bear hunter is going to be different from that of an alpine skier. That is why we start with the basics and allow you to move outwards from there.

-David S.

CertaPet Reviews: Is CertaPet A Scam?

CertaPet: The Emotional Support Animal Letter Experts

Millions of Americans suffer from mental or emotional disabilities, and sadly, many of them are unable to receive the treatment they need. Numerous studies have confirmed the health benefits of emotional support animals (ESAs), and CertaPet helps mental health patients obtain ESA recommendation letters from licensed mental health professionals.

What Is CertaPet?

CertaPet is an online portal that helps people who have emotional and psychological disabilities certify their emotional support animals by facilitating the ESA recommendation letter process. Confidential and easy to access, the services provided by CertaPet are valuable resources for navigating the legal regulations that restrict the use of emotional support animals.

Is CertaPet a Scam?

CertaPet is accredited by the Better Business Bureau and recognized by every domestic airline. Only licensed mental health professionals authorize ESA letters for CertaPet, and their letters include all the components necessary to verify a patient’s diagnosis and the classification of a patient’s ESA as a reasonable accommodation.

How Does CertaPet Work?

CertaPet’s customers have the benefit of receiving mental health services in the privacy of their own homes as CertaPet is available online. The process starts with a free online screening that determines if a person is a good candidate for an emotional support animal. CertaPet then connects the qualified candidate with a licensed mental health professional for a phone and online video consultation.

If the patient is approved for an ESA, the licensed professional will write an ESA recommendation letter that meets all the requirements of landlords and airlines. CertaPet clients receive their ESA letters electronically via email, and they also receive physical copies of their letters via U.S. mail.

What Is an Emotional Support Animal?

An emotional support animal is a companion animal that provides therapeutic benefit to someone with a mental or psychiatric disability. It is different from a service animal, which is a dog that is trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities.

The purpose of an emotional support animal is to offer a person with a mental or psychiatric disability the opportunity to live independently. An emotional support animal may be a pet, and it is characterized by its close, emotional, and supportive bond with its owner.

What Is the Fair Housing Act?

The Fair Housing act is a federal act in the U.S. It protects people from discrimination when they are renting, buying, or securing financing for any housing.

The Fair Housing Act specifically protects against discrimination because of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, the presence of children, and disability. Even when a landlord’s policy explicitly prohibits pets, the Fair Housing Act protects the right of a person with a mental or psychiatric disability to keep an emotional support animal.

What Is the Air Carrier Access Act?

The Air Carrier Access Act is a federal act in the U.S. that prohibits commercial airlines from discriminating against passengers with disabilities. It requires airlines to allow emotional support animals to accompany their owners in the cabin of an aircraft.

Airlines may require specific documentation to establish that a person has a mental or psychiatric disability, as well as the reason that a person needs an emotional support animal during air travel. Documentation requirements may include a current (less than one year old) letter from a licensed mental health professional who states that the passenger has a mental-health related disability; the passenger needs the accompaniment of the emotional service animal for mental health or treatment; the passenger is under the professional care of the licensed mental health professional issuing the letter; and the date, type, and jurisdiction of the mental health professional’s license.

What People Have to Say about CertaPet

CertaPet has a 5 star review rating on Yelp. Candace from Durham stated in her CertaPet review, “This was easy to use and did exactly what was promised. Zero problems, everything was smooth.” Jeff from San Diego wrote, “This is the best solution for getting into a rental property, or on an airline with your ESA and avoiding those pet deposits, pet rent, and all the other things people like to fine you with for having an animal.”

The CertaPet reviews on Trust Pilot are great too! Here’s what Donna had to say: “CertaPet was there every step of the way. They answered all my questions in a very timely manner with genuine attention and concern.” In her review, Chelsea calls CertaPet “simple, reliable, and fast!” Here’s what else she had to say: I took my assessment and by the end of the next day I had received scanned copies of my letters. The hard copies came via snail mail shortly after. I’ve already successfully flown AND moved into a pet-free apartment with my pup so I guess it worked.

CertaPet Reviews show a 4.8 overall satisfaction rating on Shopper Approved. Customers gave CertaPet high marks for price, product satisfaction, and customer service. In his review, Adam calls CertaPet a “fantastic company that truly cares about people.” In another review, Kathleen says of CertaPet, “This process was a breeze and not stressful. I really appreciate their help.”

CertaPet Video Reviews

YouTube offers another glowing review of CertaPet. A CertaPet client posted a testimonial detailing how CertaPet helped her obtain an ESA recommendation letter so that she could move into an apartment that prohibited pets. Chelsea praises CertaPet for their team of medical professionals and exceptional customer service! Thanks to CertaPet, she was able to move into her dream apartment, and she is now allowed to take her beloved dog, Baby, with her when she flies.


CertaPet is Ready to Assist You

Moving into a new apartment or taking an airline flight doesn’t have to mean that you will be separated from your beloved companion. Getting an ESA letter will protect you and your emotional support animal, but many companies that offer ESA services are scams. CertaPet can help you obtain an ESA letter that complies with all documentation requirements, and their services are fast, discreet, and affordable! Visit CertaPet’s website to take your free 5 minute screening and get access to the best rated emotional support animal letter service!