The situation has gone from bad to worse. You've figured out that an intruder has entered your home or has confronted you directly, and to make matters worse this individual has a gun.

This may seem like a contrived fact to many, but according to Dr. Gary Kleck, criminologist at Florida State University, 800,000-2,500,000 crimes are stopped by guns each year.

Arming yourself against a gun-toting attacker is a good idea, as long as you take the necessary steps in educating yourself to prepare for a potential confrontation ahead of time.

Here are a few key steps to take when your attacker has a gun:

1. First, make sure that you are armed! Take a CCW course through a reputable school and practice often. A confident gun owner is more likely to have a triumphant encounter with a criminal than one who only shoots once in a while.

2. Take a defensive shooting course that emphasizes real-world situations and the kind of encounters that you’ll hopefully never face. A sense of confidence develops when you train for defensive situations and you’ll always fall back to the minimum level of training you’ve received.

3. If you are confronted in your home, announce that you are armed and take a defensive position against the armed individual. Don’t stand in the middle of hallways or entrance doors – your silhouette makes you a natural target for the bad guy. Crouch down and use heavy furniture or the corner of a wall to cover your vital zones.

4. If your attacker fails to retreat or makes other threatening moves towards you or your loved ones, and you feel that the individual is out to inflict great bodily injury, you are generally able to apply deadly force and neutralize the threat.

5. If you must inflict injury or cause the death of an armed attacker, contact the police immediately to help you.

The steps above are for general use only. If you decide to arm yourself you’ll want to complete a series of classes and consult the guidance of attorneys who specialize in firearms-related issues. Our hope is that you’ll prepare for this day that will never come.