Picture this: you’ve just used your firearm in a life-threatening situation, and now law enforcement is on the scene. What unfolds in the next few moments is pivotal.

Law enforcement’s primary objective after a self-defense shooting is to secure the scene to prevent further harm. Your self-defense gun, being a crucial piece of evidence, is likely to be collected. This immediate action serves the purpose of cataloging and logging it into evidence. The serial number is recorded, photos are taken and your firearm is securely stored, often in the evidence locker at the police department or sheriff’s office.

Will You Get Your Gun Back?

As you ponder what happens after a shooting, recognize that the investigation process plays a significant role in determining the fate of your concealed carry gun. The nature of charges, the outcome of investigations and the overall legal proceedings will influence whether and when you get your firearm back.

While it’s comforting to know that you’ll eventually retrieve your gun, the reality is that it might take a considerable amount of time. Even in legally justified situations, the return of a firearm can be a prolonged process, stretching over years.

One aspect that often concerns concealed carriers is the question of compensation for the time they are without their self-defense gun. Unfortunately, there is generally no provision for compensation during the period your firearm is held as evidence. It’s a challenging reality, but it underscores the importance of understanding the legal intricacies surrounding self-defense incidents.

Even in cases of proper use of force, having reliable concealed carry insurance can be a game-changer. In the aftermath of a self-defense shooting, legal fees and associated costs can accumulate quickly. Quality concealed carry insurance provides the financial support needed to navigate legal proceedings, ensuring you can focus on reclaiming your.

What About Guns and Ammo at Your Home?

Another frequent concern is whether law enforcement will seize all your ammo or take additional firearms from your residence. Generally, the focus is on the specific piece of evidence used in the self-defense incident. Your concealed carry gun is the primary target for evidence collection.

In typical scenarios, law enforcement does not seize anything from your residence. However, serious allegations or convictions that render you ineligible to own firearms may lead to such actions. It’s crucial to be aware of local laws and regulations governing firearm ownership, as they can vary.

Navigating the Aftermath: A Call to Preparedness

Unfortunately, reclaiming your self-defense gun isn’t a swift process. The attitude of the prosecutor, the legal climate in your area and the prevailing sentiments toward firearms can influence the timeline for the return of your firearm. If you’re in a jurisdiction with an anti-gun stance, be prepared for a prolonged and possibly challenging process. Work closely with legal counsel, stay informed about the progress of your case and maintain open communication with law enforcement.

Understanding what happens after a shooting, the legal processes involved and the potential challenges you may face is an important part of becoming a responsible concealed carrier. Remember, the proper use of force and adherence to legal guidelines are essential aspects of protecting yourself and your loved ones.


The police might take your gun as evidence if you’re ever involved in a defensive shooting, and the question we keep getting is when or will I ever get it back. In this video, I’m breaking down what actually happens when firearms are involved in a self-defense shooting.

Alright, let’s talk about what happens to your gun if you are involved in a self-defense shooting. Will you get it back? When will you get it back? What is the longest you’ve heard that police are holding a firearm? Do they compensate you? All of those topics.

The first thing that’s going to happen is, at the scene of a self-defense shooting, police are going to secure that entire scene. Cops arrive, and they want to take control of the entire scene and make sure that nobody else gets hurt, especially the cop. And a gun that is used in self-defense, especially if you have shot somebody, that gun is going to be collected as evidence. They’re going to take it.

So, depending on what happens with charges and all of the other investigations will determine whether or not and when you get that gun back. The gun is going to be cataloged and logged into evidence. They’re going to record the serial number, take the picture, and put it in the locker and do all the other stuff that they do in the back evidence locker area at the police department or sheriff’s department or wherever they’re taking it. So yes, you will eventually get your gun back, but understand this, it might take a long time.

So people are talking about the Kyle Rittenhouse case. Kyle still hasn’t gotten back that AR-15 rifle. Think about this — the very first legal self-defense shooting after concealed carry was implemented in the state of Wisconsin back in 2011. The man who shot the person legally and was completely exonerated took him more than two years to get his gun back. And understand when that gun is gone, they’re not going to compensate you for the time you are without your gun. They’re taking that gun from you. Another question is, do they take all your ammo too or do they take other guns from your house? Typically not. Typically, they’re taking the piece of evidence that was used in that crime. But if there are very serious allegations or you are convicted of something and you can no longer own firearms, yes, they’re going to make sure that you completely get rid of your guns, and they’re going to order you to get rid of them in that situation.

So understand this, I’ve said before, you know a backup gun is the exact same kind of gun that came out of your holster. So that when police take your gun after a defensive shooting, you can go home, grab another gun that fits right in your holster and be carrying that gun.

Yes, they’re going to take your gun if you’re involved in a defensive shooting. Yes, it’s going to be a big giant pain in the butt for you to try to get that gun back in some cases. It all depends on the attitude of the prosecutor and the areas where you’re living. If you’re living in an anti-gun state, they’re going to keep that gun as long as they possibly can. You’re going to have to fight to get it back. Thanks for watching all the way to the end of this video.

I’m Kevin Michalowski, Director of Content for the U.S. Concealed Carry Association. If you enjoy videos like this, please subscribe to our YouTube channel and click that notification bell. We will notify you every time something new comes out. Stay safe, we’ll see you in the next video.