The Ultimate Gun Free Zone: The Beach

Thinking about the mass killing of 27 people at a tourist beach in Tunisia over the weekend, I worried that this sort of attack could provide a template for attacks here. I am not personally much of a beach person. I don’t like crowds, my pasty skin doesn’t appreciate much sun, and I’m not a big fan of salt water. When we visited Hawaii, I did go to a few lesser visited beaches to do some snorkeling. Even if Hawaii allowed carry, I wouldn’t have had a gun on me.

I think it’s safe to say that even in some very gun nutty states like Florida or the Texas Gulf Coast, your average beach goer, even the gun nutty types, aren’t going to take a piece when they head out for some beach time. It seems to me if this type of attack is to be a template, the only viable solution is a stepped up police presence at beaches, with the officers appropriately armed with patrol rifles (for those of you who are gun control advocates, ‘patrol rifles’ are what you people call an ‘assault weapon’) that can handle the kind of range you’ll encounter in a beach environment.

27 thoughts on “The Ultimate Gun Free Zone: The Beach”

  1. And it can’t just be one or two officers, either; for reasons that ought to be obvious.

    Bah. There really isn’t much of a good answer to this one, alas.

  2. I have one answer, though: just because it’s inconvenient to carry a gun to the beach, doesn’t mean that carry should be banned. There will always be people who are there who have no interest in going in the water, or some of the other activities, but are there to be with people who want to do those things. Such people should have the choice to carry guns.

    It’s by no means a perfect solution, but then, gun rights activists have never promised perfect solutions, they only advocate for the choice to have the tools to fight back, when all other options have been exhausted. (And sometimes you’re going to die anyway…but if you’re going to die, you might as well die fighting…and who knows, perhaps you or a loved one will live after all?)

    1. I don’t propose banning carry at the beach. I’ve been at the beach in street clothes with no intention of going swimming.

  3. Many Britons and Europeans travel for vacations and many resorts cater to them I expect that the demand for security to be provided at resorts will met. This could happen in SE Asia or northern Africa or anywhere along the Mediterranean.
    This just a logical answer. That any resort beaches provide security.

  4. “I think it’s safe to say that even in some very gun nutty states like Florida or the Texas Gulf Coast, your average beach goer, even the gun nutty types, aren’t going to take a piece when they head out for some beach time”

    Ziploc bag buried in the sand & covered by the towel or mat. Waterproof bag inside the cooler.

  5. Oh, sure, you can carry to the beach, and as long as you don’t go in the water, you can carry at the beach. But leaving a firearm unattended (no matter how “secure”) while you take a dip, with the requisite fingering and inserting and removing and locking and unlocking? Maybe not so practical. And damned if I’m going to leave anything worth several hundred dollars unattended on the beach, even if I thought it was stored safely.

    1. See my prior links. Find a water-tolerant subcompact, deep-undercover holster, and thankfully-popular baggy long shorts.

      1. Requires a specialty firearm and specialty accessories for a specialty situation. And no matter how corrosion-resistant, I’d not want to skimp cleaning something I dragged into one of the most corrosive environments humans regularly expose themselves to.

        1. Glocks & others are built to fire underwater, so they’re basically tolerant of wet conditions. Yes, you clean & dry the thing ASAP afterwards.

          Used to be such discussions were verboten on most discussion boards for being too paranoid/absurd, derided as gun-nuttery in the intolerable extreme.
          Now, alas, it’s turning sensible – as is spending ~$500 on suitable “safety equipment”.

  6. Haven’t you guys seen pictures of Israeli beaches? Babes in bikini’s and guys in baggy trunks carrying fully automatic weapons; army types on leave. This kind of attack would be very hard to make there!

  7. At least in freshwater environments, I can attest to modern pistol coatings (melonite/tennifer) holding up to frequent and prolonged submersion as well as neglect after the fact.

    I don’t do the typical beach bum thing, but I carry when I’m out enjoying the local fishing/swimming holes. After several years of this my XD is none the worse for the wear.

  8. Keltec in double ziploc bags in a Thunderwear holster and cutoff jeans as swimwear.

    1. Perhaps even better, a HiPoint, cheap gun that if it’s damaged you really won’t care much!

      Also consider the NAA Mini revolvers, SS construction and small enough to fit in the little pouch inside most swim trunks.

  9. When the herd goes to the beach (or any other group activity, especially outdoors) we have one adult on overwatch – paying attention to who’s in the water, where they are, keeping an eye on the stuff, when sunscreen needs to be reapplied, just staying alert to the surroundings; that responsibility rotates among the adults but it’s always there. It wouldn’t be difficult to include a suitable self defense device in a waterproof box (outfits specializing in outdoor gear carry a variety of them, and Pelican has some small cases), even if it meant Grandma or old Uncle Norbert was no longer a good choice for the task.

    Random thought – we use an odd-toned whistle and waved banner as an “assembly command”; I’ll have to think about changing that to a “scatter command” with reassembly at a distant point.

  10. Anyone see Scalia’s dissent today in the lethal injection case? Sounds like it would be a perfect dissent for when a big ccw case comes to the court.
    “We federal judges live in a world apart from the vast majority of Americans. After work, we retire to homes in placid suburbia or to high-rise co-ops with guards at the door. We are not confronted with the threat of violence that is ever present in many Americans’ everyday lives,” he wrote.

  11. Texas Gulf Coast beach-goer here. Sebastian, your post’s title pretty well sums it up. When I go to the beach, I go to be completely free from all earthly worry. And to me, figuring out how to stash my G26 on my half-naked body in the seawater would be a big worry. Often, my truck is parked somewhere nearby, and the gun is tucked in there should I have to go running to get it (I know I’m taking a risk with security). But obviously if the demon comes straight from the sea with a rifle and is upon you, there’s not much to do. That’s a situation from the paranoia files, and the fact that it happened is almost unfathomable. Kind of like a shark attack. I for one, will probably continue to risk my life for the pleasure of that ultimate worry-free beach party time.

    P.S. The designation of a marksmanship-inclined watchman was a good idea, but in my circle of fellow beach-goers no one would ever volunteer for the position!

  12. “P.S. The designation of a marksmanship-inclined watchman was a good idea, but in my circle of fellow beach-goers no one would ever volunteer for the position!”

    Give it time, if this sort of thing happens more frequently. And not just at beaches, either!

    “That’s a situation from the paranoia files, and the fact that it happened is almost unfathomable.”

    Wishful thinking about safe places. Lots of CCW’rs and cops go home and disarm themselves because they want to turn off the world and relax. Doesn’t make your home a safe place, either.

  13. I’ve just checked – a Taurus PT111 G2 (about the size of a G26) fits perfectly in a 1 quart ziplock bag. With the air mostly pressed out, I was able to wrap grip tape around the covered grip, and actuate both the safety and trigger. The covered pistol fits just fine in a DeSantes pocket holster.

    I assume you would only get off the first shot before having to remove the plastic, as the slide’s rearward movement is restricted.

    1. Try firing it in the bag, my guess would be the force of the slide moving backwards and the blast of expanding gasses would blow the bag apart and allow for normal operation.
      If you do try it please let us know what happens!

  14. You should check out the “Israeli beach party” in John Ringo’s “To Sail a Darkling Sea.” Of course the participants are a group of Marines and sailors taking a break after clearing an island in the Canaries during a zombie apocalypse, so no hoplophobes show up to tell them that they can’t be armed (at least until the final book…no, they don’t feed them to the zombies. :( )

  15. Oddly enough, I was fired from the first real gunwriting job I ever had, as the handgun columnist for a gun mag, for an article titled, “How To Carry a Gun on the Beach.” I believe I was using a stainless Walther TPH .22 carried in a Zip-Loc bag. The editor’s words on firing me was, and I quote, “What sort of paranoid a$&hole carries a gun on the beach? Jesus, Bane, you’re so far off the reservation you can’t even see the signs!”

    And paranoid a$&hole I remain.

    Happy Independence Day from New Zealand!

    Michael B

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