My Gun Story: The Gun Enthusiast

During the week, Bryan Ciyou is a downtown attorney who specializes in gun law. On weekends, he’s a tactical shooter—an expensive hobby.

My first gun was a Walther PPKS. It was the gun James Bond used, and I think I bought it the day I became legally eligible to have one. I liked it because it looked cool. But with guns, you learn some of them are paperweights—they don’t function well. That was one of them.

My favorite today is the SIG P220. It’s a semiautomatic .45, and it’s very simple to operate. I’m a safety freak, and it’s unlikely to jam or allow for user error. But for the purpose of variety, trying different kinds of guns is fun. Some collectors I know have 1,000 of them, but I tend to focus on quality. I have about 10. Mechanically, they’re like watches or cars—relatively complex machines that are interesting and involve good engineering to work time after time.

I just started shooting at the Indiana Gun Club in Geist, which is shotgun-only. And I’ve done tactical, SWAT-style shooting around the country. That’s a pressure situation: It’s timed, and you’re shooting around trashcans and falling to the ground. It’s amazing that police and bad guys sometimes have shootouts where 30 or 40 rounds are discharged, and no bystanders get hit. Shooting and moving is tough to do.

I’d like to have a Barrett .50 caliber, which is the military standard weapon. You can shoot distances up to a mile with it. But it’s more than $10,000, and if you’re going to spend that much, you’re probably going to want an optic, which can be $4,000. Then it’s $5 a shot for ammunition. Once you have more than one gun, it’s really just a hobby.

I’m in the middle of the gun-rights debate. We’re not going to take all the guns away. It’s simplistic to point to one thing—guns—and say that’s the problem. But I’m a law-and-order guy. Arming everybody isn’t a good thing, either. There are tens of thousands of gun laws in any given state, so I got into this to educate.


0215_COVER-cropIndianapolis is coming off one of its deadliest years ever. Under the Gun, from our February 2015 issue, offers a grim look at the violence killing our city.