Defense Against a Gun Threat: Step-by-Step
First thing, short of situational awareness, there is no defense against a gun attack. So if someone sticks a gun in your face and has not already pulled the trigger they want something. There are typically three things they may want.
- Your possessions.
- Your body.
- Your life. Or, any combination of those three.
I want to introduce the first concept: LOOK. It is perfectly reasonable to assume the person will say/scream or touch you to get your attention and intimidate you. It is also perfectly reasonable to turn and look in their direction. After all, if they tell you to do something and you do not look at all it is weird and suspicious. Using this to your advantage simply turn to pick up some details. Details such as, what kind of weapon it is, which hand is it in, is it in both hands, who is this person, how many people are there, etc. When you look you must see what kind of weapon it is. If it is a knife you want separation. If it is a gun separation only puts you in a worse position.
Second concept: line of attack. The line of attack, especially with a firearm, is important because being in the way of the path of the bullet is a fatal problem. So the second thing necessary after identifying that it is, in fact, a gun is to get out of the line of fire. You can do this by driving your forearm at a 45-degree angle backward and moving your body out of the way. In Krav Maga, we call this 200% defense. 100% hand defense, which is what grabs, blocks, and redirects things and 100% body defense which is moving your head and body out of the way of the attack. Together they make your 200% defense. The safest place to be when there is a firearm around is behind the muzzle which takes us to our next concept.
The third concept is to crash in toward the person holding the gun. It doesn’t matter what angle they are coming at you are always crashing in toward them at full speed to get behind the muzzle of their gun as fast as possible. Done right, this type of forceful movement is very off-putting if you are the one holding the gun. Try to crash your chest into theirs. There are tons of reasons for this, so I’ll just pick the most important one to elaborate on. The person holding the gun will likely not stand still, in fact, they will probably retreat very quickly to keep you from grabbing them or their gun. So when you move in you do it with purpose, and go all the way until you collide with them. Simultaneously you are wrapping their arm and elbowing them in the face as you crash in, see the video for reference.
Again, if you do this right it sucks to be the person holding the gun. From there you hook the back of their neck with your hand and bend them over with a big knee to the groin. Now it is time to do as much damage as fast as you can. Lastly, you make your move for the firearm. The disarm creates a pivot point in the opponents grip. Twist, then push the gun off their index finger, smash them in the head with it and be prepared to continue counter attacking as needed. As soon as you can get your distance from the person, slap the magazine to make sure it is secure and didn’t get loose in the tussle and then rack the slide to make sure a good round is in the chamber.
What happens next varies based on circumstance. Just to give a few examples, from there you can throw the gun under nearby cars in the parking lot, you can run, you can use the gun, or you can hold the person at gun point until police arrive. Like I said, it depends on a lot of variables that can be trained in scenarios.