When you are a licensed private investigator and former Federal agent, you can choose whether or not you want to carry a gun.
Thomas G. Martin describes his reasons for not carrying a gun, and a horrible incident in which an agent was shot by undercover operatives.
A transcript of the video follows:
The nice thing about being in private investigation, is that you can choose, as a former [Federal] agent, to carry a gun or not carry a gun. I made the call early on, that, do I really want to take cases where I put myself, or my clients, or my investigators in jeopardy?
So if the case generally needs a bodyguard or a gun, then we turn that over to somebody else that wants to do that kind of work.
In my first life, I was involved in seeing a number of people in different shootouts and different settings. And I always think back to a day in July of 1971, when we got the call that one of our officers was down… 1099.
And how ironic that the best [marksman] that I’ve ever seen, ever, at the FBI Academy or any firing range, was the gentleman that got shot in the back by 3 people that were posing as dope peddlers.
Fortunately he lived, but the sad part about it is that he was in a wheelchair for a good part of his life. He’s regained a little bit – but sometimes we take for granted what the law enforcement community is doing and the dangers that are out there, for what it comes to [in] some lines of work, a very small amount of pay.
Many of us in the office knew this agent, and we’re still in touch with him today, and he’s doing well, and his kids have all grown up now. We generally think about him a lot when we have these cases, and we’re putting ourselves or somebody else in danger.
I don’t want you to think it’s anything like being a Federal agent – that’s dangerous. The private investigation world is not even 100th as dangerous as that, and you can control your environment, where in law enforcement you can’t.