Securing Your Weapon When It Counts

Gunslinger Research & James Gray, CEO TriggerSafe LLC

After a long, exhausting callout, a walk back to the Bearcat, rifle slung. A successful callout, spirits are high as the SWAT officer starts climbing in. The slung AR-15 unexpectedly discharges. It is unknown whether the rifle was not put on safe, or the safety was disengaged by gear, but the trigger was depressed by a flash-bang spoon. It is situations like this one that are preventable using the innovative TriggerSafe™. Gunslinger Research was fortunate to speak with CEO and Owner of TriggerSafe LLC James Gray to discuss the climate, situations, and applications of this unique and innovative device.

Over 18 years and 1500 ERT operations led to the development of the TriggerSafe™.

The landscape of modern policing is changing, with higher accountability at the forefront of most police agencies’ agendas.  While the political climate continues to change, the criminal element is changing as well.  Criminals are increasingly well armed, well-funded, well trained, and more inclined to use extreme violence towards law enforcement.  Based on these changes, the patrol carbine was introduced, and higher levels of body armour is being made available to patrol officers and specialized units.  Fewer and fewer police agencies are willing to send patrol officers out with just a pistol and a baton, and patrol carbines are being considered standard equipment.

There has been an inherent reluctance from the public and from senior police administrators to equip front line patrols with carbines, and within that battle, was the battle for which patrol carbine would become the majority choice.  The AR-15, a civilian variant of the M-16 and C7 that the US and Canadian militaries were using, won out and became the iconic police patrol rifle.

Like any weapon system introduced to the police, military or other lawful occupations; the AR-15’s introduction has not been painless.  Many parallels can be drawn between the roll out of the AR-15 and that of semi-automatic pistols.  The introduction of Level 3 retention holsters greatly decreased the likelihood of negligent discharges and greatly improved weapon retention.  There have been no similar advancements for retention and prevention of negligent discharges for patrol carbines. The end result is a very low number of negligent discharges with pistols, but the numbers of negligent discharges of patrol carbines is much higher when factoring in the amount of time both platforms are carried. The longer a patrol carbine is carried, the more fatigued the operator is, and the more likely a negligent discharge will occur.

The TriggerSafe™ is proudly made in the USA, from durable injection molded Nylon 66.

The increased rates of negligent discharges with patrol carbines is directly related to how a patrol carbine is carried.  A pistol in a quality holster is safe, as the trigger is covered and the pistol is secured with multiple retention devices. This is known as positive control. An AR-15 is allowed to hang from the body using some form of sling, and moves with and against the body.  This movement can lead to safety levers being bumped, or a negligent discharge due to the trigger impacting other gear on the vest or belt of the person using it. A slung rifle is thus not positively controlled by the operator. Either the operator keeps hands on at all times, or the risk level increases.  It was this reality, and the acceptance that no amount of static range training can eliminate the necessity of positive weapon control during all policing tasks, that led to the development of the TriggerSafe™.

Indianapolis SWAT utilize TriggerSafe™ during warrant service while handcuffing personnel. Once the suspect is on the ground and prone the cuffing officer will place a TriggerSafe™ on his or her weapon and sling the rifle in a climber’s or sweep carry. Once the task is completed the TriggerSafe™ goes back into a pouch or pocket until needed.

TriggerSafe™ was designed to simply and effectively cover the trigger housing of the AR15 platform. The device simply press-fits over the trigger guard and snaps into place. The device secures and protects the trigger until removed by hand or with the trigger finger. While TriggerSafe™ was never intended for an operational environment where you have positive control of the weapon, it can be removed from a loaded weapon in less than a second. Operational applications of the TriggerSafe™ include: handcuffing, report, or any task which creates an environment where a negligent discharge or prolonged loss of positive weapon control may occur. Other applications of the device include: vehicle operations, urban patrol or other situations where additional weapon control may be required. For military personnel, the device would be ideal for air or armour crews who require additional weapon control within the confines of armoured vehicles or transport aircraft.

For more information visit TriggerSafe™ can be purchased directly from the website. For additional information or business inquiries please contact James Gray at

James Gray

CEO & Owner, TriggerSafe LLC

James is a 26-year veteran of the Indianapolis Metro Police Department, having spent the majority of that time on the street. He is also an 18.5-year member of SWAT having recently retired from the team in April of 2015. He is currently assigned to the Firearms Range within the Training Division. Throughout his career he has been involved in numerous critical incidents including three lethal police action shootings. James is a state certified general and firearms instructor. James was also a Deputy U.S. Marshal in Washington D.C. for two years prior to IMPD. He has attended numerous schools including firearms, explosive breaching, SWAT, and executive protection. James has a B.S. degree from Indiana University. He is currently travelling around the country speaking on Officer Involved Shootings for Dolan Consulting Group and will be a presenter at the 2017 I.A.C.P in Philadelphia. He was recently interviewed by Brian Willis of the Excellence in Training Academy.

 TriggerSafe™ is a registered trademark of TriggerSafe LLC. All images used with permission from


Categories: Reviews & Releases

1 reply

  1. I wanted to thank Gunslinger Research for their article and insight into our product Triggersafe. The opening paragraph that described an AD/ND is a true story and the genesis for Triggersafe. If no one was hurt, everyone usually wants to keep an AD/ND hush/hush. I believe we should critically debrief those incidents as much as an operation.
    As we developed the Triggersafe we were met with two distinct types of reactions, the “This is my safety (while wiggling their trigger finger in the air), and “Why didn’t anyone think of this before” reaction. What was interesting was that as we did more market research we found that the former group tended to be those that shot on the range some, but didn’t really take their training as seriously and the latter group tended to be those that took training serious or had actual operational experience.
    Working with a loaded weapon slung on you for hours at a time tends to expose any flaws and exposes you to many different experiences with the weapon system. As a professional or a person serious about their training, you know their are times when you don’t have actual control of your weapon. Just laying the weapon down on a bench and walking two feet away leaves the weapon open to problems. Everyone has seen someone else , who didn’t know any better walk up and put their hands on the rifle. There are hundreds of instances where a Triggersafe thrown on a loaded weapon might prevent an AD/ND.
    We always think we are in control…… right up until we are not.
    If anyone has any questions, thoughts or uses for the Triggersafe, I would love to hear them. I am still learning, like most of us that use a weapon for a living. I am smart enough to know that no matter the previous experience, I must continue to learn to get better.
    Thanks for your time, continue to train and stay safe everyone.

    James Gray / CEO Triggersafe

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