Interesting Surveillance Tool, In Your Range Bag?

By Tamara Shelley | Investigations

Apr 18

An interesting surveillance tool may be as close as your range bag.


I recently was conducting a License to carry class for a family here in Texas. Little did I know I would discover a great surveillance too right there in my bag.

It happened to be chilly that afternoon when we got to the shooting proficiency portion. I usually prefer to use ear plugs rather than ear muffs. The muffs usually give me a headache. However, I chose to use them that day for two reasons. First, I thought it would keep my ears warm while I worked with the students, and I was out of the ear plugs I normally use.

I happen to have a pair of the electronic type that will cancel out the high decibels of the gun shots, but will allow you to hear who you are talking to. Now, being a firearms instructor, I should have known about this a long time ago. I’ve always kept several pair of ear muffs in my bag because some people prefer them to the ear plugs. But this pair of electronic muffs had magically appeared in my bag after a weekend of training. Nobody claimed them so they have just been sitting there waiting for me to discover their magic.


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During my LTC class, I was working with a woman who needed a little more instruction on the range. She had instructed her family to go away and let her do her shooting by herself so she wouldn’t be so nervous. As I put the electronic ear muffs on, an amazing thing happened. I discovered a whole new purpose for these little beauties.

I had to keep looking behind us because I thought her family had come back. They were at least 50 yards away and I could hear them as clearly as if they were directly behind us. In fact, she made the comment that she could hear her neighbors across the pasture sometimes when she was out shooting and wore hers.

I thought back to a few cases where it would have been extremely helpful to hear what a person was saying in a parking lot as I was conducting surveillance on them. Although this particular tool wouldn’t be useful in every case, none of them are. However, if the conditions are right, and you have the opportunity to use them to gain information for your client you may not otherwise have gotten, try it.

Keep in mind that privacy laws of your state must be respected. But if you are following the law, there may be opportunities where this tool could be invaluable. For example, in Texas, if there is no reasonable expectation of privacy, such as in a public place, you could use this. Yes, you would look a little goofy wearing these as you are sitting at a Starbucks, but if you are in your vehicle where it doesn’t matter, you may just hear where the next rendezvous will be or about a business deal you are investigating.

Now if we could just get a company to create the same function in a set that look like music headphones…

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