Rob Pincus

Carrying While Drinking/Impaired

Rob Pincus
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Duration:   4  mins

Think carefully about the appropriate and inappropriate times to have access to firearms. If our judgment is impaired and we can’t operate at our best, a firearm may not be a good choice of defensive tool. Rob Pincus explains why.

Carrying a defensive firearm is always a matter of compromises, and those compromises go beyond the obvious issues of comfort and concealability or how much training to have or how many accessories to buy.


Rob often chooses concealed carry of a handgun as his way to be prepared to defend himself and others in the event of a worst-case scenario when in public space. One of the times he does not choose to carry a handgun in public is when he knows he’s going to be drinking alcohol, for example when going out to dinner, going to a bar with friends, or playing pool. In these circumstances, he may carry defensive tools but he will specifically not choose a firearm as one of those tools, as his judgment and/or motor skills may become impaired.

Rob is talking about responsibility here, not legal issues.


Marijuana use and taking prescription or even over-the-counter drugs are other times to think about your judgment being impaired or your ability to apply your defensive shooting skills responsibly being impaired.

Mental health issues are also possible causes of impairment, especially ones related to going onto or off of drugs that may affect your judgment, or if you have issues with anger, rage, or depression, which may lead to suicidal tendencies. These are times you do not want to have immediate access to a firearm.


Rob stresses that these are all issues of responsibility. He is not talking about himself or anyone else telling you that you cannot have a firearm (though he does mention some legal issues involved). He lists some of the other compromises and sacrifices we make in order to be better prepared to defend ourselves. This is another of those compromises, and one of the important self-defense concepts.

Jeopardizing our legal ability to own firearms forever by carrying a firearm in a situation where our judgment and motor skills are impaired and we might end up hurting ourselves or other people? Rob considers this unnecessarily risky.

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One Response to “Carrying While Drinking/Impaired”

  1. Robert Galin

    While Rob separates the legal issues, those are very important. As a park ranger, I’ve had to deal with people out for a nice weekend getting drunk and carrying and/or using their firearms, which is illegal in the state. Inevitably, they claim the guns are for protection against bears, though should they shoot beats just nearby but not threatening, they’d be charged with illegal taking of wildlife. Some even drove drunk (or stoned) while holding firearms—in their hands or on their laps. So, DUI and illegal possession of firearms while intoxicated. Not the safest way for park staff and visitors to do their work or have a good time. One group was even throwing rounds in their campfire because they liked the sound of the rounds popping off. And they had a bunch of kids and nearby campsites. What I’m suggesting is that Second Amendment rights are no more—or less—important than other peoples’ rights. Used responsibly, firearms are good tools. Used irresponsibly, they lead to many of the issues that gun control advocates use against the Second Amendment.

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