For the Spring 2014 issue of PERSONAL & HOME DEFENSE, self-defense expert Michael Janich explored a range of disarm tactics to be used during active shooter situations. Using tactics that can be applied to an active shooter with a pistol or a long gun, Janich’s principle focus was self-defense in a location where CCW carry was not allowed.

“In order for you to disarm an assailant armed with a gun, you have to get close enough to put your hands on him. Against an active shooter, you don’t want
 to wait until he closes in on you, nor do you want to put yourself in the line of fire if you can possibly avoid it,” says Janich. “Instead, your goal should be to stay out of the line of fire and use cover, concealment and movement to flank the shooter. Then, when the time is right, you attack him from an unexpected angle to disarm and disable him.”

Beginning with a counter-pistol tactic, Janich explains the correct approach and grip in attempting to disarm a gunman. “Approach from the flank or the rear, moving quickly and decisively to make it difficult for the shooter to react and orient the gun toward you,” says Janich. “When you’ve reached him, drive both your hands forward, fingers up, to deflect the gun and the arm holding it. The hand closest to the shooter’s body should index on his wrist. The other hand should index on the middle of the length of the gun.”

Moving on to long-gun disarm tactics, Janich describes the differences in grip and stance necessary to account for neutralizing a shooter with a rifle. “Strike the forend or receiver with your left palm to deflect the gun and immediately follow with a powerful downward hammer-fist strike to his left forearm—literally chopping his hand off the gun,” says Janich. “As your right hand follows through at the bottom of the strike, ride the cyclical motion and deliver a full-power horizontal elbow strike to the shooter’s head. At the end of your elbow strike, your left hand should be gripping the forend of the weapon and your right hand should stop immediately above the small of the stock.”

To read the full article on Active Shooter Takedowns, check out the Spring 2014 issue of PERSONAL & HOME DEFENSE, available on newsstands April 15, 2014. To subscribe, go to

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