The subject of personal defense and firearms tends to be a very "hot button" topic these days, but it is a subject that we take very seriously and we would like to share how it affects our VanTramping lifestyle. I hope it is of some value to you, our friends.
For Heidi and I, the decision to buy and carry firearms was based on a couple basic concepts. We never walk in fear, but from personal experience over the years as well as being aware of current trends in crime, being more able to protect each other is a solid reason. The fact that we enjoy shooting and feel like guns are a pretty safe investment also helped us decide.
We both have our CPLs and now carry the above Beretta PX4s pretty regularly. Heidi's is the 9MM on top, mine is chambered in .40 S&W. We recently joined the local indoor range and took a class to improve our shooting, both were good decisions.
Carrying concealed from state to state is one aspect that many consider complicated. Figuring out which states have reciprocity with Washington was not difficult. See here: Reciprocity maps If you know your route or have an idea, it is easy to figure out how to handle each state and their laws for dealing with carry or transport of firearms & ammo.
The 12 Gauge Mossberg is setup for home defense in it's current form, but is soon to gain an extra barrel with more length so it can optionally be used for hunting nummy tasting grouse and other game birds.
The air rifle, made by Beeman, is more for plinking and target shooting for now. It is capable of use for small game, but so far, unless there is some extreme need, that won't happen. I like furry little critters too much. All of our firearms fit easily in Taj and have their own specific locations.
To end this post, I will say that one of the things that we value most in this VanTramping lifestyle involves the pursuit of self sufficiency. Having the tools to defend yourself, without relying on Law Enforcement, (who likely won't be in the area when you most need them), is just one more step toward that goal.