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Stay Off of the Watchlist – Gifts for Veterans that Aren’t Illegal

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December 1, 2023
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Laws change so often that sometimes it’s hard to discern what will and will not result in a visit from the Feds, and during a time of year dedicated to giving gifts this can seem especially daunting. As a way to help, here is a list of alternative gifts for the veteran in your life. 

Smoke Grenades

Typically used to hide your movements or to signal for incoming aircraft, the smoke grenade can, used well, and be a very versatile tool in the bag for dozens of purposes. There have been instances where the improper use of a smoke grenade has caused fires, which has led to some controls.

Recently the ATF restricted the over-the-counter sale of these devices, citing need and safety concerns. Luckily, a safe and nontoxic alternative exists as an Atmospheric Aerosol, essentially a civilian replacement using different chemical reactions to create their effects. One company that produces these devices is Enola Gaye, which has a variety of color options.

Support Brace Stock Alternatives?

The Support Brace is a type of stock for an AR platform firearm which allows persons with disabilities to use these firearms more effectively. Once again, the ATF has it out for these devices, and so we look to an alternative.

What can you replace them with? Literally any collapsible stock. I may be biased as a long-armed guy, but Troy Industries PDW or a MagPul folder do just fine in making the transport size more manageable. Besides, solid training is far better than cheap plastic tricks.


Nope. Just nope. We all love making things go boom, but some of us make things go boom badly, and therefore lose parts, so making things go boom is mostly illegal. There are some specific exceptions, like stump removal and the like, but best to stick with something that won’t take bits off of your loved ones. However, there are certain companies, like Tannerite, that sell mixes for shot-indicators that you can look into, but as with all things know the laws, and put safety first. 

New Year's Eve is coming, and there is bound to be a fireworks display that will scratch that particular itch for a while. Tickets to that and a six pack seem far cheaper than a hospital visit, or a court date.

Grunt Style Hoodies

Okay, so this one seems sponsored, and also not illegal per se, but there are some with irreverent sayings that are sure to make the veteran in your life laugh, or get them kicked out of the PTA. Rest assured, I receive no commission from sales or anything, so with a straight face and clear conscience I can say my woobie hoodie has gotten me through some cold days. Instead of getting them a regular hoodie their partner will steal, get them a hoodie it's obvious their partner stole so everyone knows what they did. Will the shame of their theft stop them? No. Can we dream it might? Also no.

No mention of any product in this writing should be considered anything other than an unpaid personal endorsement by the author alone. Again, don’t do anything illegal and know the laws before you buy something.

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