Americans are getting serious about armed security. At least in my region, and probably in other places, new security jobs are opening up as factories return to the States and some industries enjoy a growth phase. Awakened by recent events, civilians are stepping up to the plate as volunteers for church security teams and some locales are training schoolteachers in the art of armed security.
Answering the call to keep work, church, and school sites safe takes many forms. It takes a spectrum of skills to provide a complete security team. Those who work or volunteer for armed security and emergency medical intervention could face a higher level of risk as they are often the first human line of defense encountered by a would-be assailant. It makes sense that they should be equipped with protective as well as the customary pistol and/or less-lethal defensive gear.
T3 (Trident Technical/Tactical) Gear of California has come up with an Active Shooter Response Kit for this dedicated, and thankfully not so rare, subgroup of society. The company sent a copy of their Gen 2 version of the kit for review. Here’s a kit that, in my view, outshines many others on the market. From the perspective of a civilian instructor and practitioner who works with area church and workplace security planning, I’ll also offer a couple suggestions for improvement, with due respect to the former elite warriors who build the product.
What’s in the kit
T3’s Gen 2 Active Shooter Response Kit has six components. There’s a plate carrier, a tourniquet pouch, two ballistic plates, and a carry bag. Let’s look at these in reverse order—
Here’s a nod to portability and dust-free storage. This zip-up nylon bag has web carry handles, and loop material on the outside. The loop material makes it easy to label in a locker area or closet as an emergency kit, or perhaps Joe’s kit as opposed to Julie’s.
This is a basic bag, not meant for rough or dual duty. It took some pushing and shoving to get the carrier, laden with plates, two 30-round mags, and a tourniquet, inside so the zipper would close. While it’s not likely to stand up to heavy use, the bag offers good protection from dust, while being something of a pet hair magnet in its own right. The fabric texture and black color are good at showing what the bag is protecting the stored gear from.
Two matching, curved Level IV (rifle rated) plates, Hesco 4400 brand to be exact, are included in the kit. They’re 10 inches wide and 12 inches tall, 0.93 inches thick, and weigh 7.5 pounds each. They’re not the lightest in their class, but not the heaviest, either.
T3 obviously takes protection seriously, selecting plates that’ll stop a .308 round. That’s stouter than needed for the typical rifle attack on civilians, but they chose to invest value where it can do the most good.
Inside one of the three kangaroo-style openings on the vest front is a flat pouch, like a soft taco shell that seals with Velcro. On one end is a bright red loop of fabric. The tourniquet of choice goes in the pouch and, with the loop pointing up in storage, pulling it out is fast and smooth. I used an SOF tourniquet in this test, and it fit into the pouch with room to spare.
Finally, the visible star of the show, the T3 Gen 2 Active Shooter plate carrier. It’s constructed of 500 denier Cordura. The shoulder straps are adjustable and padded. MOLLE front and back insures the ability to load it down with extra gear. Wide swatches of loop material front and back provide for customization with labels or patches. Two mag pouches with taut shock cord covers accommodate two 30-round magazines. Mesh lining contributes to comfort, though it’s nearly impossible not to sweat under any plate carrier.
The rig is amazingly adjustable. In addition to the ability to adjust the shoulder straps, each side has a generous complement of webbing threaded between the plastic, male/female buckle ends. I do feel the setup is slightly overbuilt here; the buckles are so big that, once I adjusted the webbing for my size 8 self, the rig was buckle-to-buckle with no expanse of webbing at the sides. Anyone smaller than myself would have a hard time getting the carrier tight enough to not shift around. On the other hand, it would fit a large person wearing a coat with no problem.
Properly adjusted, the carrier fits snugly and could be concealed under a roomy coat, but is really made to wear visibly. For this reason, it’ll be categorized as emergency, not daily carry, gear for some venues.
An attractive choice for the paid or volunteer guard
The T3 Gen 2 Active Shooter Kit is available in the usual colors of the tactical palette by special order. Standard black is ready anytime. The price, including plates, is $349—less than what many Level IV plates alone cost.
This portable setup is ideal for the security guard who’s outfitting him or herself and wants excellent and expandable protection at an economical price. It’s a good choice for a group purchase for a volunteer security force, as it’ll adjust to a wide range of body sizes and the bag can clearly indicate which carrier belongs to whom when stored together.
With the Active Shooter Response Kit, T3 has brought in-depth knowledge of security supply needs to the civilian sector. Those serious about their plan and gear should take a look.