Beretta Blog

Sara Ahrens

Sara Ahrens is a Police Sergeant in Illinois with 17 years of experience. She is an avid hunter and pro-staffer for Pròis Hunting and Field Apparel for women. Sara participated in the third season of the History Channel’s Top Shot and has appeared on several episodes of the Outdoor Channel’s Shooting Gallery.

Recent Posts

Stun Guns and Electronic Control Devices for Self Defense

Posted by Sara Ahrens on Jul 31, 2014 1:02:00 PM

DSC_0181Some people choose to carry less than lethal tools for self-defense. Two less than lethal tools, which are legally available to citizens in certain states, include electronic control devices and stun guns. Some products combine the two devices in one. People use a variety of terms interchangeably to describe these devices but they are quite different. To make an informed decision on whether or not to carry one of these devices, you must first understand what they are and what they do - and more importantly - don't do. 

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Topics: Concealed Carry, Self Defense

Justifying Deadly Force - 7 Areas Courts May Examine (Self Defense Tips)

Posted by Sara Ahrens on May 13, 2014 11:07:00 AM


“When am I justified to use deadly force?”

This question, or any of the thousands of variations of it, is probably the most common question asked of police use-of-force trainers and concealed carry instructors. Whether asked outright, or hinted at through a variety of ‘what if’ and hypothetical questions, the intent is always the same – to lock the instructor into a concrete response, which the student believes he or she can depend on later. Many people seek to know exactly when, and under what circumstances, they will be safe from criminal and civil prosecution if they use deadly force. This game poses grave danger to all who participate. Whether teaching police officers or civilians, I never play this game because no one wins.

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Topics: Concealed Carry, Gun Rights, Self Defense

Home Defense and Castle Doctrine - Know Your State Laws

Posted by Sara Ahrens on May 2, 2014 10:46:00 AM

Is Your House Your Castle…Legally?


It seems like every day there are examples of citizens using deadly force.  Today is no exception. Not long ago, in the middle of a dark Texas night, a child alerted a father to the presence of a stranger in another child’s bedroom. This child happened to be a teenage girl, and the stranger was a teenage boy. The father responded to the bedroom with a firearm. The media reports that the homeowner confronted the intruder and his daughter. She denied being acquainted with the boy. The homeowner then alleged that the boy reached for something. Fearing for his life, the father shot and killed the boy, who turned out to be unarmed.

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Topics: Gun Rights, Self Defense

Self Defense After Self Defense

Posted by Sara Ahrens on Mar 10, 2014 8:15:00 AM


With the passage of Illinois’ concealed carry law, all fifty states now offer their citizens some sort of opportunity to legally carry a concealed firearm. The intent of these laws is to allow citizens to protect themselves in life-threatening situations. Illinois’ law requires sixteen hours of training and/or approved experience to secure this right to self-defense through concealed carry. Having prepared curriculum for this training, I find there is one component of self-defense that is negligibly covered: articulation.

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Topics: Concealed Carry, Self Defense

10 Self Defense Tips to Defend Yourself from an Attacker

Posted by Sara Ahrens on Mar 6, 2014 11:35:00 AM


I was outside of town last weekend, bicycling on an old railroad bed that’s been turned into a trail. It was just about dusk when I rode up on a young woman standing in the middle of the trail. Her back was to me. Though she had her headphones on, I could hear her music. She was too busy texting to see me coming. I could tell by how little she was wearing that she wasn’t concealing a handgun. When she did finally notice me, she almost fell over with fright.

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Topics: Concealed Carry, Self Defense

Putting Guns Where They’d Least Expect Them

Posted by Sara Ahrens on Feb 11, 2014 12:31:00 PM

Photo by Mike Ahrens

The firearms industry has been very responsive to the concealed carry boom. Fortunately, this boom is taking into account the presence of women. The development of smaller firearms for personal defense makes it easier for women to carry firearms and ensures that those guns are more easily concealed.  Holster manufacturers have expanded their variety of holster options, which allows women to carry firearms concealed in places that might make you blush! New concealment holsters now make it possible forwomen who wear fitted clothing to carry firearms undetected.

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Topics: Concealed Carry

Holster Selection - Not As Easy As Some May Think

Posted by Sara Ahrens on Jan 9, 2014 8:30:00 AM

Holster-Blog-ThumbWhen it comes to the process of making a firearm purchase, I find choosing a firearm is sometimes the easiest decision. Choosing the right holster, however, is a decision that some shooters make in haste...if they make the decision at all.  It is not uncommon for shooters to reuse, recycle and renew a holster in their collection to accommodate a new firearm and that is a dangerous practice. Choosing the right holster is at least as important a decision as choosing the right firearm, if not more. It is such an important decision that it should be made before the final decision on the firearm is made. The process for selecting an appropriate holster is one of research, deliberation, and prioritization. 

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Topics: Concealed Carry

Are You Insane? Firearms Training and Use of Force

Posted by Sara Ahrens on Jan 2, 2014 8:00:00 AM

(The answer is: "Not if you are prepared to implement a ‘Plan B’")

There is an old adage in training that says training caters to the ‘lowest common denominator.’ This is especially true if a training session consists of shooters with a mixture of experience levels. A firearms training session tends to move at a pace that accommodates the weakest students in the class.DSC_0118

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Topics: Concealed Carry, Self Defense

Lead Poisoning Symptoms and Strategies to Minimize Contamination

Posted by Sara Ahrens on Nov 7, 2013 7:30:00 AM


Shooters are at great risk for lead poisoning, yet many shooters either minimize, or are unaware of the risks associated with their exposure. The physical symptoms of lead poisoning, which act as a warning, are often overlooked because they mimic other, more common ailments. Additionally, these symptoms surface over time, masking a proper diagnosis.  If a shooter experiences any of the following symptoms listed, they should consider lead poisoning as a potential cause and seek testing and treatment.  

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Topics: Firearms Safety, Other

Impossible Expectations – Part 3

Posted by Sara Ahrens on Oct 14, 2013 8:01:00 AM


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Topics: Concealed Carry, Gun Rights, Self Defense