If It Is To Be,
It's Up To Me:

The Little-Known Backstory of the United States Concealed Carry Association

If It Is To Be, It's Up To Me:

The Little-Known Backstory of the
United States Concealed Carry Association

Chapter 10:

Shy Engineer on 60 Minutes?

Tim: Have you ever watched 60 Minutes?

Roy: Absolutely.

Tim: Do you know Steve Croft?

Roy: I know who he is.

Tim: Right after the NRA decided to try and compete head-to-head with us-

Roy: What?

Tim: I forgot, I haven’t told you about that yet. Forget that for now. We’ll come back to it later.

Roy: OK.

Tim: Anyway, I got an invitation to be interviewed by Steve Croft on 60 Minutes.

Roy: Wow.

Tim: I didn’t want to do it.

The shy engineer in me wanted to say, “No thank you. Can you ask someone else to do the interview?”

But I knew I had a responsibility to my employees and my customers. This all happened during the early part of 2018. At that time, the USCCA had over 250,000 members. So, I sucked it up, prepared like crazy and did my best to represent the U.S. Concealed Carry Association!

Roy: So how did the interview go?

Tim: I’ll never forget flying to New York. My son, Tim Jr., was with me. It was awesome to have him there.

I remember sitting at this Greek restaurant in New York City with this giant Greek salad sitting on the plate in front of me. All I did was just mash that salad up and push it around the plate. I was so nervous. I couldn’t eat a bit.

Then we showed up at the 60 Minutes office. First, we recorded for about an hour and a half. Of course, I knew they were only going to use a few minutes of what I had to say. So every word had to be on point. Then we went walking down the streets of New York City, just me and Croft and the cameramen. That show was so huge that death threats started coming into our office right after it went on the air. But, really, it was a tremendous–

Roy: So why was he interviewing you?

Tim: At the time of the interview, U.S. Congressman Richard Hudson sponsored a bill called the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2019. Croft and 60 Minutes were doing a piece on that.

Roy: What’s concealed carry reciprocity?

Tim: OK, you know how if you get married in one state, all the other states recognize that marriage?

Roy: Yeah.

Tim: And if you get a driver’s license, you can use it to drive in all 50 states?

Roy: Yeah.

Tim: And if you graduate from a state university, all the other states will recognize your college degree?

Roy: Are you saying that a person who is licensed to carry a concealed weapon can only carry it in the state that issued the license?

Tim: Yeah, that’s what Richard Hudson was trying to change.

Roy: And that’s what Steve Croft was interviewing you about?

Tim: Yeah. He said, “There’s a lot of people who feel citizens carrying guns is a bad idea. It’s going to turn into the Wild, Wild West. What do you think about that, Tim?”

Roy: Ambush journalism is what 60 Minutes does best.

Tim: Yeah, I knew that when I accepted the invitation to be interviewed.

Roy: So how did it turn out?

Tim: When we went outside and were walking down the street together, there were people everywhere. We were right by the CNN headquarters when Steve said, “So you mean to tell me that you think these people should all be carrying guns?”

Roy: How did you respond?

Tim: I can’t remember my exact response, but in general, I said, “Well, Steve, if they’re well-trained and know what to do, then yes.”

Roy: That was either the best thing you could say or the worst thing you could say. How did it turn out?

Tim: It turned out to be huge for the United States Concealed Carry Association. But, like I mentioned before, it also caused people to call us claiming they were going to hunt me and my family down and kill us.

Roy: Anti-gun people said that to you?

Tim: Yeah. It kind of scared me at first, but the death-threat calls eventually stopped coming in.

Unfortunately, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2019 never made it very far, but it is very important to me that we get this done.

Roy: Why?

Tim: One of my life goals is to see the day when concealed carry reciprocity is enacted across all 50 states.

Roy: Is that important to you?

Tim: Roy, I believe it would save lives and reduce crime. I believe that with all my heart.

Roy: I believe that you believe that. I’m just not sure why you believe it.

Tim: We sent a survey to 350,000 of our members asking if they had ever used our education and training to save a life or stop a crime.

Roy: How many responded?

Tim: About 38,000.

Roy: What did you learn?

Tim: 25.4 percent said that something we had taught them helped them save a life. And 17.8 percent said something we had taught them helped them stop a crime.

Can you believe that? According to our very own members, the education and training at the USCCA has had a hand in saving over 100,000 lives!

Roy: You’ve got to be proud of that.

Tim: It’s what I live for.

Roy: You said you made a mistake when you bought your first handgun, that it was the wrong gun for concealed carry. Just out of curiosity, what was it?

Tim: I bought a Taurus PT92, which is very similar to a Beretta 92, because back then, I didn’t fully understand the “concealed” part of concealed carry. But the gun I carried for four years was a Glock 36, which is a single-stack .45 Auto, a very compact Glock. I carried it in an ankle holster because I wore big baggy jeans in those days, and people don’t usually look at your ankles.

Roy: Have you ever had to draw your weapon?

Tim: No, and I hope and pray I never do.

Roy: Are you sure you’re a gun guy?

Tim: Roy, I’m an avoid-danger-and-keep-my-family-safe guy. A gun is just the tool of last resort.

Roy: Tim, you’ve got to tell me something.

Tim: OK.

Roy: You said you were invited to be on 60 Minutes — and I quote — “right after the NRA decided to try and compete head-to-head with us.”

What was that all about?

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