October 2, 2023

So, you think buying a gun to protect yourself and your family is a good idea; but you haven’t had any professional training? Please think twice before you do.

Getting professional training and education in the Laws of your state, county, and city ordinances is of the utmost importance.  In some states or jurisdictions, the mere showing a gun is deadly force when it’s not warranted. Two things may happen: first you are arrested for assault with a deadly weapon; which, if convicted, carries 7 to 25 years in prison; or second you are giving the other party, fear of great bodily harm, or death. Now they have the right to defend themselves and you could get shot. Don’t escalate the situation.

When you claim self-defense, you make the local prosecutor’s job very easy as all he has to prove is one of the five elements to convict you.

1. Innocence – first you must legally be in that physical location and you are not committing a crime. To prove innocence, you cannot be the aggressor.  Do not pour fuel on the fire, like in a road rage incident, you engage in tailgating, etc., you did nothing to remove yourself from the situation.  Don’t be the aggressor. You cannot start an altercation and then plead self-defense.

2. Imminence – it must be happening in real time, now. The threat of great bodily harm or death. Don’t go outside and argue, then go inside your home to arm yourself; then go back outside to continue the heated conversation, stay indoors where you are safe and call the police if you feel threatened.  Let them handle it. While waiting for the police to respond they break into your home and threaten you with great bodily harm or death and they have the means to do so you may be able to use deadly force in fear of your life, depending on the laws in your state and jurisdiction.  These laws will be taught in professional firearms training.

3. Avoidance – the best fight is the one that was never fought. Leave the area if possible and safe to do so.  Leaving the scene will help dissipate the anger, save your wallet, reputation and possible conviction.

4. Proportionality – you must use the right tool at the right time. You can’t justify using a grenade to end a verbal altercation. You will get over a bruised ego. Let it go.

5. Reasonableness – would a reasonable person take the same action in the same situation?

If your assailant is shot and lives, you may be looking at 15 years to life. If that person dies, you are looking at 25 years to life in prison.  Your trial costs start at approximately $10,000 for a retainer and can go up to $1M or more if you go to trial. Is it really worth it?

Buying liability insurance is recommended if you follow the law.  If you violate the law, having liability insurance will not alter the facts in your case or grant you an exemption. No one knows how the jury will vote.  Don’t roll the dice.

Get professionally trained in how to store, maintain and use a weapon for defense.  And under what circumstances a self-defense plea is appropriate. Do not substitute life for property.