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10 Prepping Items To Get Before It's Too Late

Posted by Tom Miller on 8/21/2015 to Ghillie's Corner

For every day that passes, it seems as though one more thing becomes illegal and it is often not even something that is worthy of the trouble it takes (32 ounce sodas come to mind). If making methamphetamine, terrorism, and human trafficking illegal didn't work, what makes the government think that they are going to change human behavior over 32 ounces of soda? Oh, that didn't work either!

The list of nine items below are all items that either have already been made illegal in some areas, the federal government has worked to try to make them illegal, or I just have a gut feeling that they could easily be on the list of items to attempt to outlaw in the near future.

Drumroll Please!

1. An "Assault" Rifle (AKA: A Scary Black Gun) - Everyone knows that the gun control crowd is after so-called assault rifles. It seems as though the liberal (do as I want but don't disagree with what I want to do) lawmakers will not stop poking and prodding at the second amendment until the right moment arrives to go after it again.

The current cost of one of these scary black guns in the AR-15 style starts at about $500 and can go well into the thousand's of dollars. Quality 30 round magazines from Magpul cost $20 each and ammunition can be found for 40-50 cents a round. In the end, you can beat the government from keeping you from owning an "assault" rifle for the (low end) price of:

$550 (rifle) + $40 (2 magazines) + $50 (100 rounds of ammo) = $640

2. Other Firearms & Sharp Objects - The ban on, or attempts to ban, assault weapons has historically included other firearms (pistols and shotguns) that include key features or "military" characteristics. Because of these other firearms being on the hit list of liberals everywhere, it may be best to acquire yours while they are still available.

When it comes to pistols and shotguns, they can be much more affordable than their scarier cousin, the assault rifle. Here's an estimation of what you may be looking at when purchasing a pistol or shotgun:

Semi-Automatic Pistol (9mm) - $250 to $1,000 or more.

9mm Pistol Ammunition - $0.20 to $2/Round

In theory, you could get a budget 9mm pistol that comes with two magazines for about $250 and 100 rounds for the price of about $25. This puts you into a complete pistol setup for less than $300. If you would prefer personal defense rounds, your cost would increase by about $75.

Pump Shotgun (12 gauge) - $200 to ~$1,000

12 Gauge Shells (box of 25, 00 buckshot) - $20 to $25/Box

A shotgun setup is even more affordable than the pistol rig. A 12 gauge pump shotgun with 50 rounds of self-defense ammunition will run you less than $250.

Eventually the government will work towards outlawing any weapon that is capable of firing anything but a single shot.

If outlawing guns isn't enough, I think that certain bladed tools/weapons will be added to the list of those that are already illegal in many areas (automatic knives, gravity-assist knives, switchblades, knives with blades over four inches that you carry on your person, etc.).

The move to outlaw more bladed tools/weapons will only be sped up based on events like the attack that happened recently in Sweden that has caused IKEA to stop carrying knives in their Sweden stores at least temporarily.

Some of the bladed instruments that I could see being outlawed or at least regulated include:

  • Tomahawks or hatchets capable of being thrown

  • Some of the larger models of machetes

  • Tactical knives, folders, and fixed blade knives with blades that are more than 6" in length

These are just speculations but it is something to consider.

3. High Capacity Magazines - These magazines are already illegal in Washington, D.C. and eight states (California, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii [handguns only], Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York) as well as a few counties and numerous cities across the United States. Typically a high capacity magazine is considered to be a firearm magazine capable of holding more than 10 rounds.

Because many of these laws that come along only make future purchases illegal, it is worth looking into buying high capacity magazines for your firearms now. Typically the following are high capacity mags that are pursued in legislation and therefore should be of particular interest to you:

  • 15-17 round pistol magazines

  • 20-30 round AR/AK variant rifle magazines

  • Extended tubes for shotguns (holds more than 5 rounds)

  • Rifle magazines over 10 rounds (Ruger 10/22, Mini-14, etc.)

Further evidence suggests that high capacity magazines are necessary because:

  • Increased chances of survival when facing multiple attackers.

  • The need to be our own protection while waiting for the police to arrive on scene at a crime (home invasion, mass shooting, etc.).

  • Civil disturbances and mob violence will not be stopped by a low capacity weapon.

  • Criminals do not abide by the law. Isn't it only fair that we get to at least be as well equipped as the threats we face.

  • 'Merica!

4. Hollow Point Ammunition - We are headed in the direction of losing our right to own hollow point ammunition. There is no better round available to protect yourself and your loved ones. I would encourage everyone to inventory their gun safe(s) and ensure that you have an adequate supply of defensive rounds for all of your pistols and shotguns too, if it applies.

The time to buy hollow point ammunition is now!

Within the last six months we have seen the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) go after common rifle ammunition  by trying to label it as armor piercing.

Just two months ago, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled to uphold a San Francisco law that bans, "the sale of ammunition that expands on impact, has “no sporting purpose” and is commonly referred to as hollow-point bullets.

No big deal, right? Except for the fact that, because the ruling was made by the highest court in the land, it has now become the legal precedent for the entire United States of America. This just opens the door for other cities, counties, states, and maybe even our entire country itself to go after the ammunition that is considered the gold standard for personal defense.

Even the United States Army has realized the error of their ways and has switched to hollow point ammunition!

Tin Foil Hat Time - Maybe the move is designed to enable the military (and militarized police of course) to use hollow point ammunition while keeping the civilian population from being on even footing by keeping hollow point ammo away from civilians.


To support the argument for buying the above mentioned items sooner as opposed to later, I outlined the accomplishment of, or attempt to outlaw certain firearms below:

The last major attempt on the national level to emplace law that would ban particular weapons was Senator Feinstein's attempts in early 2013 following the mass shooting in Newtown, CT. Her Assault Weapons Ban of 2013 would have:

Banned the sale, transfer, manufacturing, and importation of:

  • All semiautomatic rifles that can accept a detachable magazine and have at least one military feature: pistol grip; forward grip; folding, telescoping, or detachable stock; grenade launcher or rocket launcher; barrel shroud; or threaded barrel.

  • All semiautomatic pistols that can accept a detachable magazine and have at least one military feature: threaded barrel; second pistol grip; barrel shroud; capacity to accept a detachable magazine at some location outside of the pistol grip; or semiautomatic version of an automatic firearm.

  • All semiautomatic rifles and handguns that have a fixed magazine with the capacity to accept more than 10 rounds.

  • All semiautomatic shotguns that have a folding, telescoping, or detachable stock; pistol grip; fixed magazine with the capacity to accept more than 5 rounds; ability to accept a detachable magazine; forward grip; grenade launcher or rocket launcher; or shotgun with a revolving cylinder.

  • All ammunition feeding devices (magazines, strips, and drums) capable of accepting more than 10 rounds.

  • 157 specifically-named firearms including all AK Rifle & Pistol Variants, all  AR Rifle & Pistol Variants, Mac & Uzi types of pistols, several models of shotguns (particularly Saiga), and all belt-fed semi-automatic weapons.

Feinstein's bill was also designed to strengthen the defunct assault weapons ban of 1994 and state bans by:

  • Moving from a 2-characteristic test to a 1-characteristic test.

    1. The bill also makes the ban harder to evade by eliminating the easy-to-remove bayonet mounts and flash suppressors from the characteristics test.

  • Banning dangerous aftermarket modifications and workarounds.

    1. Bump or slide fire stocks, which are modified stocks that enable semi-automatic weapons to fire at rates similar to fully automatic machine guns.

    2. So-called “bullet buttons” that allow the rapid replacement of ammunition magazines, frequently used as a workaround to prohibitions on detachable magazines.

    3. Thumbhole stocks, a type of stock that was created as a workaround to avoid prohibitions on pistol grips.

  • Adding a ban on the importation of assault weapons and large-capacity magazines.

  • Eliminating the 10-year sunset that allowed the original federal ban to expire.

If that is not good enough, New York (not a state to shy away from doing what they think is best for their citizens, regardless of what anyone that lives there thinks) did pass the NY SAFE Act on January 15, 2013 that made it a requirement to register any firearm that the state deems to be an assault weapon.

There are hundreds of rifles listed by model or manufacturer as assault rifles while any rifle that is not listed but has any of the following features:

  • A detachable magazine

  • Folding or telescoping stock

  • Protruding pistol grip

  • Thumbhole stock

  • Second handgrip or protruding grip that can be held by non-shooting hand

  • Bayonet mount

  • Flash suppressor

  • Muzzle brake

  • Muzzle compensator

  • Or threaded barrel designed to accommodate the above.

They also threw in grenade launchers to round out the list.

Just so that those rifles would not have to be the only firearms on the list, the SAFE Act classified almost a dozen shotguns by name, any shotgun that is semi-automatic, or any shotgun that has any of the following military characteristics as assault weapons as well:

  • Folding or telescoping stock

  • Thumbhole stock

  • Second handgrip or protruding handgrip that can be held by non-shooting hand

  • Fixed magazine capacity in excess of seven rounds

  • The ability to accept a detachable magazine

Lastly, one dozen pistols made the list of assault weapons in New York. The requirement to classify a pistol as an assault weapon in the state of New York include that the pistol is semi-automatic and feature one or more of the following military characteristics:

  • Folding or telescoping stock

  • Thumbhole stock

  • Second handgrip or protruding grip that can be held by non-trigger hand

  • Capacity to accept an ammunition magazine that attaches to the pistol outside the pistol grip

  • A threaded barrel capable of accepting a barrel extender, flash suppressor, forward hand grip or silencer

  • A shroud that is attached to, or partially or completely encircles, the barrel and that permits the shooter to hold the firearm with the non-trigger hand without being burned

  • A manufactured weight of fifty ounces or more when the pistol is unloaded

In addition to the features outlined above, the NY SAFE Act makes it illegal for residents in New York to load a firearm magazine with more than seven rounds (you know that criminals will be counting the number of rounds they load into their magazine as they prepare for their crimes), register an antique gun or magazine that now qualifies as an assault weapon, and pass a background check to purchase ammunition.


5. Less Lethal Weapons - There are alternatives to firearms for self-defense with the most common being pepper spray, stun guns, and tasers. While these items are considered less lethal, that does not mean that the government won't go after it.

As an example...in our nation's capitol, you must register with the police to be able to possess pepper spray.

What you should do:

  • Buy pepper spray!

  • Look at bear spray or other animal repellent (the range and amount contained in the bottle is usually significantly higher when compared to pepper spray).

  • Plan on what you will use it for and where you will keep it (it will only work if you maintain it and know what you are doing with your pepper spray).

  • Maintain pepper spray. In order for pepper spray to be most effective, it must be shaken regularly and even tested periodically to ensure that it is still working well.

It is important to understand that animal repellents, like dog or bear spray, are often looked at differently than pepper spray and are legal to possess in many of the states that have pepper spray restrictions.

In the United Kingdom, pepper spray is already illegal under the Firearms act of 1968. Historically, the United States is only a few decades behind our European counterparts that we fought against for our freedom, but ironically enough tend to follow when it comes to certain things like gun control.

Several people (politicians, activists, and organizers) used the U.K. model as an outline for gun control in the United States following the Sandy Hook massacre.

6.  Gas Mask - A gas mask is one of the most affordable preps that you can acquire. If you are in the market for protection against compromised air, you can easily find a military surplus gas mask starting at $15 that comes with a filter!

While the first thought when discussing a gas mask is usually chemical or biological agents, there is a whole lot more to it. With that said, don't write off the possibility of a terrorist attack that would use a chemical or biological agent. That would most certainly justify having a gas mask. You would at least regret not having one in that position.

When there is rioting in the streets like there has been in Ferguson (Michael Brown), Baltimore (Freddie Gray), Florida/California/D.C. (Trayvon Martin), Occupy Wall Street (Nationwide), etc. over the last few years, a gas mask can protect you from the tear gas and smoke that hangs thickly in the air.

It's important to know:

  • What your mask is capable of filtering.

  • The threats you are most likely to face.

  • How to properly use your gas mask before you need it. If you haven't practiced with your mask before you need it, you are already too late.

  • Some cardiac and pulmonary conditions are exacerbated by gas masks.

  • If you are claustrophobic, a gas mask may cause you to struggle with claustrophobia.

While there are gas masks that are not military surplus, they can be very expensive (upwards of a few hundred dollars). Because of this, I like the idea of military surplus masks if you can find one that will meet your needs.

7. Body Armor - Personal body armor for civilians is another area that has come under attack by our elected officials in Washington, D.C. More on that in a second though…

If you think there is a possibility of ever being in, or around, a gunfight you should have body armor.

There are two types of body armor, soft and hard/plate armor. If you anticipate your greatest threat being a pistol, then soft body armor may be the best solution for you. If rifle fire is the greatest threat that you face, then hard/plate armor is probably your best bet. When it comes to shotguns, soft body armor may stop the threat but certain rounds will only be stopped by hard armor.

There are a couple of absolute musts to remember when purchasing body armor:

  • Know what threats you face and while something is better than nothing, if you don’t have the right level of protection it will not matter anyway

  • Unless you know and trust the seller, never buy used body armor

    • Water damage is a no-go

    • Ultraviolet light damage is a no-go

  • Most Kevlar panels are assigned expiration dates when they are manufactured. For the most part, this doesn’t matter as long as there is no damage to the vest. Kevlar does not instantly go bad at the five year mark

Last year, the Responsible Body Armor Possession Act (H.R.5344) was introduced with the goal to,

Amend the federal criminal code to prohibit the purchase, ownership, or possession of enhanced body armor, except: (1) by or under the authority of the United States or any state or political subdivision, or (2) enhanced body armor that was lawfully possessed before the effective date of this Act.

Defines "enhanced body armor" to mean body armor, including a helmet or shield, the ballistic resistance of which meets or exceeds the ballistic performance of Type III armor, determined using National Institute of Justice Standard-0101.06.

Luckily, this act did not get anywhere but the fact of the matter is that Congress (or at least members of) spent some of it’s time considering this nonsense to be a good idea.

Knowing all this, there are at least three reasons to make the move to purchase body armor now:

  • It is currently legal in most areas to be purchased by civilians

  • If you buy your body armor before any legislation can be passed, your body armor will likely be grandfathered

  • The body armor on the market now is priced competitively and will never be this affordable again if any legislation is passed to prevent civilians from possessing body armor

There are many body armor brands but if you are looking for the best value for your money, I would look at AR500 Armor where you can get an entire plate carrier package with Level III hard armor plates and pouches for only $215.

8. Night Vision Goggles - So far, of all the items that I have listed, night vision goggles (or NVG’s as we called them in the Army) are the single most expensive item.

There are some models that have been made specifically for release to the civilian market. If you would like to have night vision capabilities without the big price tag, check out some of the night vision devices that are not made specifically for the military and law enforcement.

If you are in search of a device that will put you in the league of those who rule the night…high end night vision goggles that have been manufactured to meet military specifications can be found on the open market but will often cost at least $2,000 and move up from there. The PVS-7 and PVS-14 models are the most common MILSPEC models on the market.

9. Precious Metals - In the scheme of history, it has not been all that long since FDR made it illegal to hold gold and silver as a personal asset. Over time, the ability of private citizens to own gold and silver has fluctuated around the globe. The U.S. government could easily sense the threat that assets like gold and silver are too much for the dollar to compete with and make certain aspects of precious metal ownership, or all of it, illegal.

I have chosen to diversify my holdings by primarily holding junk silver (pre-1965 dimes and quarters mostly). Unfortunately, like almost everything else, there are tons of counterfeit coins that are supposed to be able to pass for silver coins when they are not.

The best course of action to ensure that you do not end up being the proud owner of worthless coins is to only buy from reputable, local dealers. Stay away from EBay for sure and do your research before making purchases from online sources. Here are two tricks to spot fake silver and gold coins:

  • Use a magnet to see if the coin(s) are magnetic. Silver and gold are both non-magnetic so a magnet should not pick up any bars or coins that are real.

  • Silver holds heat better than any other metal. If a coin is claimed to be silver, place an ice cube on it and it should start to melt immediately if it is real.

My basic rule is to hold some of my assets in precious metals but the majority of my holdings should be in hard goods that have value to me but could also be easily traded or liquidated to obtain other items if need be.

10. Books & Print Materials - Last, but certainly not least, is something that may have the greatest value. Perhaps second only to actual skills themselves, having printed materials on hand may be the only way to learn, master, and teach skills following a disaster or collapse.

I don’t necessarily think that most books will be banned or kept from the masses but I do know that as times change and more skills are outsourced to other countries or just plain become outdated, it has become even more important to keep this type of information around. But with the demand missing, it is unlikely that materials will continue to be made available in print form and if there is a disaster, online and/or electronic material may not be available.

A well-put together library could actually make the difference between long-term survival and failing to survive. With the importance of reference materials, start putting together your library at the soonest opportunity.

Look at areas like scavenging, survival skills, natural medicine, food preservation, gardening, first aid, carpentry, homesteading and self-sufficiency, alternate energy sources, animal husbandry, weapons, and the list goes on and on.

My hope is that at least a couple of the items mentioned here will be of assistance to you. There are many reasons to prepare for the unknown or specific threats and a big part of preparedness is gathering the tools, materials, and resources you need to guarantee your survival.

Don’t forget to always evaluate the threats you will most likely face and then make a list of survival/preparedness priorities. After establishing your priorities, start taking the steps necessary to put together your plan. With your plan in place, begin to gather what you need to carry it out. And don’t, under any circumstances, forget to forecast what items may need to be moved up in priority based on the likelihood that they may not be available for long.

Good luck!

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