Six Un-Armed Off-Duty Police Inside Bar during Thousand Oaks Shooting

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Six Un-Armed Off-Duty Police Inside Bar during Thousand Oaks Shooting

Thousand Oaks, California-( Tragedy struck at a college country night at Borderline Bar and Grill located in Thousand Oaks, California 40 miles northwest of Los Angeles.

Ian David Long walked into the crowded Southern California bar dressed in black and opened fired on the revelers with his .45 caliber Glock 21 pistol. The 28-year-old Marine vet killed 12 people. There have been reports he used smoke bombs to sow chaos in the panicked crowd.

Long was thought to be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder stemming from his deployment from his deployment in Afghanistan between 2010 and 2011.

Shocked bar patrons dialed 911 and two on-duty police officers were on the scene within three minutes, but the carnage was far from done. Long shot and killed Ventura County Sgt. Ron Helus, who was one year away from retirement after serving on the force for 29-years. His body was dragged out of the line of fire by another patrol officer.

Shortly after the firefight, Long turned the gun on himself and committed suicide bringing the horrific event to an end.

Sgt Helus was the first on-duty police officer on the scene, but there were six off-duty cops from multiple agencies at the bar when the shooting started. None of the law enforcement officers who were at the bar were armed at the time of the shooting.

As of this writing, it is unknown to why these officers were not armed. State law cannot prevent an off-duty police officer from carrying a gun due to the Law Enforcement Safety Act of 2000, but these officer’s agencies can enact policies about carrying a firearm off-duty. AmmoLand does not yet know these officer’s agencies.

When Long began his rampage, he was also the only one armed in the bar. California has some of the most restrictive concealed carry laws in the country. It is a “may issue” state.

In most California jurisdictions, a person who wants a concealed carry permit must demonstrate a significant and direct risk to their lives before the local law enforcement agency will approve a permit clearing the way for one to be issued. Ventura County where the shooting took place is one of these counties. Ultimately, the local head of law enforcement gets to decide who has the right to protect themselves with a gun and who doesn’t.

Long also has a history with the police. In April police responded to his apartment when a neighbor, Tom Hanson, called police after hearing loud banging coming from Long’s apartment.

“I didn’t know if he was hurting himself,” Tom Hanson told reporters.

Police reported him acting irrationally in an irate manner. A mental health professional examined him and felt he did not meet the criteria for involuntary commitment to a mental health facility for a psychiatric evaluation. “Everything seemed to go back to normal after that,” Hanson said.

Involuntary commitments have declined at a steady rate since 1975. Social scientists believe the decline was due to the change of public opinion on mental health institutions. They tie the changing perceptions on involuntary commitment due to the impact of the ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’ movie that was based on the book of the same name.

Many psychiatrists have urged politicians to reform the mental health system, but politicians have refused to act as it is easier to blame a tool than to get to the real root of the problems.

As of now, police have not released any motives in the attack. Although attackers did assault Long in 2015 in another Thousand Oaks bar, police have not concluded if that played a role in this attack.

About John CrumpJohn Crump

John is a NRA instructor and a constitutional activist. He is the former CEO of Veritas Firearms, LLC and is the co-host of The Patriot News Podcast which can be found at John has written extensively on the patriot movement including 3%’ers, Oath Keepers, and Militias. In addition to the Patriot movement, John has written about firearms, interviewed people of all walks of life, and on the Constitution. John lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and sons and is currently working on a book on leftist deplatforming methods and can be followed on Twitter at @crumpyss, on Facebook at realjohncrump, or at

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Im a cop here in California and i have no problem calling out that establishment. The question keeps coming up, “why didnt those off-duty cops have their guns?” Thats because the establishment refused to let those cops carry their weapons inside even after identifying themselves. Its a false sense of security. They felt metal detectors and unarmed security would do the trick. Unfortunately another bar, in santa clarita, has chosen to follow suit. They have a “borderline” country night and like borderline, they adopted the same security policy. They refuse to allow off duty cops have their weapons on them.… Read more »

Just saying

I’m a cop in California and I carry 90% of the time. That 10% that I don’t is because that business has a no gun zone policy (a.k.a victim zone) so I avoid at the places that restrict firearms. California has very strict gun laws but they don’t seem to stop the criminals at all!!! Lol if anything I’ve noticed it motivates them more.


Just as it is a sure bet that there will never be another 911 type hijacking in the U.S., the best way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. California’s gun laws and others like it simply make it easy for the bad guy to rack up a high body count.. How many times must this be PROVEN before people take responsibility and carry ANYWAY. Anybody, ANYBODY who promotes disarming the public is either a misguided fool or is just plain evil. I know that will step on some toes of some… Read more »

Jimmy Headstream

Proven true again! It takes a good guy “WITH” a gun to stop a bad guy with a gun every time!!! Sad but proven once again! Six very good guys (off duty LEO’s) without their guns unable to stop shooter! Not a lot different from Fort Hood Texas – we train our people to use weapons to protect and defend us then remove their right to carry making them just as exposed to danger as every other unarmed person! Sad!

Micheal Dorer

You are so awesome! I don’t believe I’ve truly read anything like that before. So wonderful to find somebody with some genuine thoughts on this subject matter. Really.. thanks for starting this up. This web site is something that’s needed on the internet, someone with a bit of originality.

willy d

@ChrisMallory; When are you scheduling your surgery/ the one to have the tube cut/ that connects your A_S to your EYE that gives you such a SHITTY OUT LOOK ON LIFE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

H. Spires

In my career as a Correctional Officer I saw a lot of bad people that I would not want to meet out of the confines of a prison. There are just as many if not more walking the streets of America every day. I never leave home without protection. I might go down but I will go down fighting if it is necessary. I saw a mother that lost her son in this shooting crying and telling people not to send her their condolences or prayers. She wanted all guns confiscated and made illegal. I wonder what would have happened… Read more »


She would have been thankful to that person for saving her son and all the others as well. I’m alive as well as my daughter because I had my husband’s weapon and knew how to use it!


California establishments (bars, public venues like sporting events, concerts, etc) can and almost always do have a no-firearms-in-their-businesses policy, even if the off-duty officers will not be drinking. California enabled this right for private businesses, even if the officer has a CCW. In addition, most departments have a no drinking while armed policy.

Scotty Gunn

The very strict gun laws in California were there to keep everyone safe, so no need to carry off duty. /sarcasm

John Charles

Except they obviously don’t

willy d

@Jimmy; You are right Ft. Hood all military training plus the restrictions of personal weapons have to be secured at the armory has been in effect since I was in the service in the late 60’s to present, my son is still in and he says it is still in effect today, same falls true for police in certain locations when off duty how sad! @JDC; Thanks for your service from another Vet, I didn’t make a career of the military, I was Army Infantry, and know about cold meals and missing what other people got to see and do… Read more »


JDCThank you for your service and your dedication to freedomFolks today don’t know how to appreciate what you had to go through back in the “old days “some of us do ,appreciate it /watch your six/1776

Big Jim

Bartenders should have a shotgun behind the bar just like in the Ol’ West.


LMAO OK it’s true this is the old west cowboys Indians Mexicans people from back east you name it strapdown cause theres a lot of varmints out there partner


As I tell every anti-gun zealot I meet, the only deterent against a terrorist with a gun is a response of equal or greater force. It’s been that way from the beginning of time. Gun free zones are an invitation for slaughter and since only the law abiding
follow the laws this is what you get. Liberals want to disarm the criminally insane by disarming the lawful. Had someone been armed this wouldn’t have made the local news. Citizens are safer when criminals don’t know who’s armed.

willy d

Blame the ACLU we used to have a system for mental problems, but the ACLU got in there and said the treatment was horrible and the patience had all kinds of rights so they cut them loose, the states were forced to shut down most of systems, so now you have independent shrinks doing the check-ups and with Doctor Patient clauses they don’t want to step on any bodies rights, so they say there is no problem!!!!!! Most bars and states have laws in place about carry and drinking, it is like government buildings, court houses, post offices, and police… Read more »

Don Bailey

@Billy d, your comment about the ACLU and the mentally ill is right on point. When legislation was rewritten to meet the liberal view of the ACLU, just about every stated funded mental health facility across the Nation was shut down. That was the starting point of when we had the hoards of homeless and individuals who refused to take their psych. medications because they then had the right to refuse to take them. These same individuals often go into our prison systems to be housed with the general prison population(unless they are violent). This is a sad fall-out for… Read more »

H. Spires

During my time as a Correctional Officer there was a law that enables inmates to come off of their mental health meds so that they could be transferred to general population facilities. Some of them that transferred did ok but some of them had problems. I saw some of the ones that didn’t. They were doing whatever they had to do to get transferred back to !metal institutions to get back on their meds. They became a danger to themselves as well as the others around them.


Hubby worked in state corrections when mental health officials changed the laws and many were released! They were unable to live on the outside as wouldn’t take their meds and needed the counseling. Now they are out there causing and breeding havoc.


The mental health issue looms large here, but keep 2 things in mind: 1. He WAS evaluated by cops and mental health professionals and deemed not to be a danger to himself or others, and, 2. The mental health profession has NO reliable means to predict who will become violent in the future (without a HUGE number of false positives). So, when we start saying we want people evaluated for violence potential, we are often asking for the impossible. Going to a court directly is even worse. The judge has no way to predict future violence either, but will almost… Read more »


Here in Ohio it is a felony for anyone to be armed while under the influence of alcohol, no exception for police officers. Many officers have been charged with this. With a felony on your record you cannot be a police officer. Other places don’t want to hire anyone with a felony as well You might go from a good career to working at McDonald’s and loosing your house. A police officer can also be charged carrying in a government building or any business that has no guns posted. Basically they have the same rights as Joe citizen when off… Read more »

Wild Bill

, It should be a felony in every state for anyone to be armed, drive, or vote while under the influence of libtardedness.

Missouri Retired Cop

A lot of Police Departments have regulations against officers carrying off-duty in liquor establishments. That is the only reason I can think of why they were not armed.


City or county attorneys, administrators (within or outside of the departments) will determine whether a LEO can carry off duty and/or while consuming alcohol. It is based on whether the governing body wants to accept the liability should the LEO become involved in certain actions. If the city/county has been forced to pay out large sums of money in the past for such activity then they may prohibit off duty personnel from carrying while drinking, appearing in a place that serves alcohol or something similar. The people making these determinations do not care about the citizens the officer is trying… Read more »

Timothy Votaw

Would not be surprised if the unarmed officers were a result of some local bureacratic policy. Lessons learned, fools? I doubt it, if so. Shameful, short-sighted, and typical of these jurisdictions.

James Andrews

Exactly… duty cops should still carry, at least some of them.

Don Bailey

You mean as designated drivers as opposed to designated drinkers?


Can’t wait to see the gun control legislation that will effectively eliminate crazy. I may be waiting a long time, but in the meantime a bunch of new laws restricting people from protecting themselves will be enacted.

Tim Esplin

Drinking being more important than your life is such a stupidly funny thing.


The bar is a “Posted Gun Free Zone”. The LEO’s present were off duty and working as Bar Security. The owner of the bar set a” no armed policy” on the security personnel. As a retired LEO, I would never take this type of gig without being armed. A friend who is a LAPD Lt. and lives in Thousand Oaks, provide me with this info.


I guess that wasn’t given much foresight was it?

3jim Macklin

That fact should make that liable for millions foe each person there and 10s of millions for each dead.

Don Bailey

The bar owner needs to be taken to court for this poor decision. I have great empathy for these officers working off-duty to earn extra bucks, but they never should have agreed to accept the job under those conditions. You can only imagine how they feel after this has happened, just because of the bar owner’s stupid policy.


Our agency requires you to carry if you work off duty as security or other related assignments.

David Larsen

What I wanted to know thanks


I’d wager good $ the shooter knew about that policy and chose that particular bar for that reason!

Brian Pritchett

Regardless of the law or rules. As I advised my Lt once when
the brilliant idea of carrying an unloaded sidearm on duty. Hopefully you made a lot of copies of punishment forms for disobedience to policyance . Have a gun or two.

R L Diehl

Here’s an other one like all the rest, people knew he was loony but nobody did anything about it! But, yeah, let’s make more helpless, defenseless victims by disarming even more law-abiding citizens! As we all know, the proper response to a threat of violence is to immediately disarm. Gutless morons!

Rudy F.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder for some of us warriors is a real monster to battle. The country ship guys out but will do little to really put our the that these guys need. Most people here in America don’t care it’s not a family member or a close friend! The numbers tell it all, under one percent will serve in the military. This careless attitude runs back to the Vietnam War, and it continues to this day. And, yes, I am a Vietnam War veteran. I saw it first hand when I returned to America two years later after I left… Read more »

Heed the Call-up

In my state LEOs are allowed to drink alcohol while carrying. Private citizens can’t CC and drink, but are allowed to drink while OC. The caveat being that one cannot be under the influence and carry. A relative, now former LEO, would not carry if he was going to drink, even though he legally could. It could well be these officers, even if they were allowed, also thought that carrying and drinking is not a good idea. Tragically their decision not to carry, allowed or not, cost many lives. Many believe that the likelihood of something bad happening is so… Read more »

Missouri Born

If only one of the off duty cops was carrying their firearm this may have ended much sooner, how can a cop defend themselves if they run into someone they may put in jail and has a grudge against the cop?
Stupid to put yourself in that type of situation.

Don Bailey

@Missouri Born, Wow, just read your comments and felt your frustration. You must wonder why the six off-duty officers were unarmed. If you and I are frustrated by their actions, then you can imagine how they must now feel after everything was said and done. After all, a certified peace officer is on duty 24/7 and yet they all disarmed themselves. You must wonder if this is a policy of their own department, or if it was their own decision to un-arm themselves. I’ll bet they never put themselves in that same position again. If it is a policy of… Read more »

Dan Fowler

Can’t carry if you are consuming alcohol. That was the first thing my instructor told us at CWP class. We are ALL living under a media magnifying glass in the Y2K. A few decades ago, carry in a bar was OK for off-duty LEOs. They were regarded as very disciplined, trained, controled professionals. Results were the main objective then and that was what mattered to the community. The only thing that matters nowadays is procedure. Sad times when the media can convict you before the facts ever get revealed. This POS knew no one could carry a weapon in a… Read more »

Don Bailey

Fowler, Well said.

Chris Mallory

If citizens are not allowed to be armed, then government employees should not be armed. No special privileges for those among us of such low morals and suspect character that they take government employment so they can live off the sweat of the citizen’s brow.


Chris Mallory you are a rectal orifice of a maggot. People of low morals and character don’t run towards gunshots. They run away. Now go back to watching your recorded episodes of The View and Cheetos.

Chris Mallory

If you want to live off the sweat of some one else’s brow, then you are scum. All cops are just lying welfare queens. I don’t eat cheetos and have never watched the view.

Government employment should not give special privileges, PERIOD.

Ranger Jeb

IDIOT. If you have never worked for the government, or serve in the military you are a “useful idiot” propagandized by who knows who.

Chris Mallory

I did serve in the military. One enlistment was enough to show me that it was a sucker’s bet. I have spent the rest of my life doing productive work for people who voluntarily pay me for my services. Now jump back to your knees and worship your government thugs.

Heed the Call-up

Chris, do you not voluntarily pay your taxes? Stay on your knees.

Wild Bill

Mallory, a suckers bet? I think that you did not do it right. All one has to do is focus on what they want you to learn and do what they want you to do, and then the military keeps offering opportunities. I went from slick sleeve 12b, to LTC. Got three college degrees cumulating in a doctorate. Set up for my next career. Two federal pensions. Got to see the crappiest parts of the world so that I have something to compare the US to, and a huge appreciation for the Republic of Texas.


EXCUSE ME!!!!! You didn’t really just say that did you? So every single person who puts their life on the line for you has low morals and suspect character? Wow!!! That has to be one of the stupidest statements I’ve ever heard! Our first responders and military do a tough, mostly thankless job. The fact that cretins like you say crap like this is in excusable. By the way, you probably never thought about it but they are also citizens and pay taxes just like the rest of us!

Chris Mallory

They put their lives on the line for their bloated paychecks, platinum benefits and early retirements. I don’t need or want their protection.


I am a “government employee.”. I have no special privileges at all. I have a state issued CCW. Government Officers of Law are allowed to carry in all states as they are deemed well trained and always “On Duty.”. In my state they are allowed to carry in schools and other gun free zones. I am glad at least someone is allowed to. You should be too.

Chris Mallory

Citizens should be armed, not government employees.

Chris Mallory

It should be citizens carrying weapons, not government employees.

Government employees should not be allowed weapons.


I was a government employee for 34 years. My “special privileges” were to get shot at in two wars, miss the birth of my second child because I was deployed, fighting in one of those with JSOC. I ate cold food when I had time to eat, and lousy coffee that had been on a burner for hours longer than it should have been. That is, if we got alongside another ship to resupply. One of the very first Indian Ocean cruises I made, before we had logistics established, we missed the resupply, due to a hard Suez Canal transit… Read more »


JDC, thank you endlessly for your service. Please rest assured, this Veteran’s Day, that many civilians honor and respect you for your service and sacrifice. Please ignore those who don’t, as the rest of us will continue to support you service members. The selfless sacrifices, as you so greatly described, are what keep this country going forward and ahead of all great nations. God Bless America.

Chris Mallory

You spent your life living off the fruits of someone else’s labors. Nothing but a glorified welfare queen.

JDC aka "the Glorified Welfare Queen" ;-)

Thanks for your thoughts, Mr. Mallory. There is not a lot of discussion to be had with you , and certainly not a civil one. I’ve always thought it interesting that people will say things on line that would get them poked in the nose if they had the courage to say it in person. Guess I join the ranks of other “glorified welfare queens” like George Washington, Teddy Roosevelt, and Dwight David Eisenhower, Arleigh Burke, George Patton and Jim Mattis. I suspect that your one tour in the military was less than satisfactory, and your resulting DD or OTH… Read more »


The crazy types just don’t like country music do they??one good guy armed would confuse this guy enough that he would have either left or been shotPolice officers that don’t carry a firearm 24 hours a day regardless of what somebody says are just stupid admittedly doorstop commonsense would tell yet law doesn’t kick in and kick off on a schedule

Ton E

The shooter isn’t anything but a certified POS.


California law is like many, you may not carry concealed while consuming alcohol. Rules are slightly different for Peace Officers. Seems to be depending upon the dept. I haven’t found what this police dept’s policy was but found this about CA LEO in a different area (NOT the area where the bar killings occurred): “Under state law, a sworn peace officer can carry a gun while off duty, but some departments, including the Sheriff’s Department, the Oceanside Police Department and the Carlsbad Police Department, curtail that right if the off-duty officer is drinking alcohol.” Certainly, having 6 armed cops in… Read more »

Alan G

The Law Enforcement Safety Act does not necessarily allow off duty or retired officers to carry in restricted areas. In State officers, active on and off duty are regulated by state and departmental regulations. For example, a department may restrict any carry when drinking. Others may have BAC limits of .02 or .94. In my last agency, I changed the regulations from no alcohol within 4 hours to .02 to at least allow a glass or two wine or beer when off duty with a legal presumption of sobriety. Prior to the change, they would not risk departmental punishment even… Read more »

dave morgan

Notice the danger of being in a gun free zone…Thanks to commy libturds for the radical laws that are allowing mass murders to happen two-three times a week..


Again and again and again, mass shooting in a GUN-FREE ZONE; this time in a place where even off-duty cops were apparently required to be GUN-FREE. When will the insanity end? When we stand up to the panty-waists and demand the right of self defense EVERYWHERE, that’s when! The “mental health” system of this country is BROKEN and every nut cannot be identified and stopped before they go off because they are good at hiding it, and the “mental health” system is too panty-waist-ed to lock them up even when they are identified (ie Parkland). And by the way, it… Read more »


Evil has no boundaries or respect for the Law. I blame the Lawmakers for getting this Officer killed. Fight fire with Fire. Liberalism is a disease. ‘Think Like a Cop ‘

Pete Faz

As a retired officer ,I go no where unarmed .


It blows my mind that not one of those off duty cops had a weapon. They should all lose their jobs. All the cops I know here in Florida wouldn’t be caught dead without their gun when off duty. Every one of them have said you really aren’t ever off duty, it’s just the same as we carry to protect ourselves and loved ones. They are protecting themselves and those they serve. Of course those cops out there don’t believe in concealed carry so they probably don’t want their officers to be armed when they are off duty either. If… Read more »


Keywords here were “wouldn’t be caught dead “thank God for Florida stand your ground law and the ability to still use our second amendment as communists close in on our Second Amendment rightsThis is the biggest fight of freedom’s lifeAmerican stand up to the illegals/ fraud voting here in Florida has gone rampant

franklin peterson

You can’t have a drink when you carry. Easy to judge from a post.

Just saying

the bar had a no gun policy. It doesn’t matter if your a cop, they simply won’t let you in.

Thomas Lash

Could the shooter been under mind control he’s from the military and has the training. This attack was involving many of the witnesses from the HWY 91 festival where many believe there were multiple shooters and political connections. These events keep coming and police and FBI investigations are seriously flawed. One side wants to disarm the other side wants to arm everyone I have a feeling it’s going to trigger a civil rights uprising sooner than later.

Dr. Strangelove

Many responsible gun owners won’t carry while they are drinking. Like the designated driver, what about a designated carrier?

Jim Macklin

Kansas law might be of interest. Having a glass of wine with Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner out. KSA 21-6332. Possession of a firearm under the influence. (a) Possession of a firearm under the influence is knowingly possessing or carrying a loaded firearm on or about such person, or within such person’s immediate access and control while in a vehicle, while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or both, to such a degree as to render such person incapable of safely operating a firearm. (b) Possession of a firearm under the influence is a class A nonperson misdemeanor. (c) This… Read more »


Sounds good in theory but what ever happened to responsible drinker’s?We just seem to have to go overboard on everything don’t we?maybe that’s part of America’s problem

Jim Macklin

The killer was a graduate, combat experience Marine. What ever was wrong with his mind, he knew that officers would soon be arriving. His experience would have taught him to watch the door. It is even possible that he had previous contact with Deputy Sgt Helus and knew his patrol schedule. It might not have been an accident. But clearly, California attitudes and laws about guns and safety are not safe. Reports are that the door screener who was unarmed and was there to keep under age girls and boys out and not defend anybody. Inside the club, six officers… Read more »


I live in Michigan and based on what a few police officer friends have told me here, they are “required” to carry when off duty. Either way I am saddened by this loss of life.

Gary P. Jones

I worked in Law enforcement in Florida for over 36 full years. I retired as a Captain. I’ve written two (2) non-fiction (True Crime) books and now I also do a monthly newsletter. It can be found via my web site at: I was very interested in the claim that “Six Un-Armed Off-Duty Police (were) Inside Bar during Thousand Oaks Shooting.” I’m not doubting your reporting, though, but I find it very disturbing that I have not seen this same claim mentioned in any other media source (which doesn’t surprise me, I might add). I would like to learn… Read more »

Greg K

Finally, someone ferreted this out. I heard it yesterday on Headline news. Consider this; The Deputy that responded first took only 3 minutes to arrive. He was a certified weapons trainer and a SWAT member. Let’s face it, this brave officer was one of the best that could have been sent in…It saddens my heart that he lost his life to a disillusioned puke. However it illuminates a bigger reality. 3 minutes is about the time of a good rock, blues or country song, but if you just stop for 3 minutes and watch the clock, it’s an eternity. If… Read more »

Warren Ducote


Dave Morgan

Above goes to show how dangerous being in a gun free zone can be…Those six off dutys wood probably lose their jobs if caught CC…Thank our commy libturds for that..

Ben B.

You’re very likely correct. At a minimum, he’d have been distracted and changed his plans, even if he didn’t completely stop. It seems like most of these incidents continue until something or someone changes the murderous thug’s focus, and he offs himself. The earlier that happens, the better. More armed resistance obviously gets this done faster. I’m sure he was absolutely conscious of the FACT that this bar was going to be gun free, except for his…