QOTW: Can Use Of Illegally Carried Gun Harm Claim Of Self-Defense?

Hey folks,

This week’s Law of Self Defense: Question of the Week comes from “William Strunk, Jr.” ‏(@cdrusnret), who asked:

If a gun carried illegally is used in valid self-defense, does the illegal carry have a bearing on the claim of self-defense?

This being the law, the answer is naturally both “yes” and “no”. So, let’s step through the analysis.

To read the whole post, head over to Ammoland.com:

Can Use Of Illegally Carried Gun Harm Claim Of Self-Defense?

–Andrew, @LawSelfDefense


Andrew F. Branca is an MA lawyer and the author of the seminal book “The Law of Self Defense, 2nd Edition,” available at the Law of Self Defense blog, Amazon.com (paperback and Kindle), Barnes & Noble (paperback and Nook), and elsewhere. In addition to the book, Andrew also conducts Law of Self Defense Seminars all around the country. Seminars for 2014 are currently being scheduled, if you’d like to see one held in your area fill out the comment box on the LOSD Seminar review page, where you can also see reviews of recently completed seminars in New Hampshire, Maine, Texas, Massachusetts, Ohio, Virginia, Florida, South Carolina, Georgia, and elsewhere. Andrew is also a contributing author on self defense law topics to Combat Handguns, Ammoland.com, Legal Insurrection, and others. You can follow Andrew on Twitter at @LawSelfDefense and using #LOSD2, on Facebook, and at his blog, The Law of Self Defense.

QOTW: Should I Really ‘Say Nothing’ To Police Without My Lawyer?

Hey folks,

This week’s Law of Self Defense: Question of the Week comes from a submitter who asked that they not be identified:

I’ve been told to say nothing to the police after a defensive use of force except, “I’ll cooperate but only after I talk with my lawyer.” Is this your recommendation?

As is often the case with the law, the real world is a bit more complicated than this overly simplistic strategy suggests. So let’s take a look at some of the real world dynamics that will likely influence how you interact with the police after a defensive use of force.

For the whole post, head over to Ammoland.com:

Should I Really ‘Say Nothing’ To Police Without My Lawyer?

–Andrew, @LawSelfDefense


Andrew F. Branca is an MA lawyer and the author of the seminal book “The Law of Self Defense, 2nd Edition,” available at the Law of Self Defense blog, Amazon.com (paperback and Kindle), Barnes & Noble (paperback and Nook), and elsewhere. In addition to the book, Andrew also conducts Law of Self Defense Seminars all around the country. Seminars for 2014 are currently being scheduled, if you’d like to see one held in your area fill out the comment box on the LOSD Seminar review page, where you can also see reviews of recently completed seminars in New Hampshire, Maine, Texas, Massachusetts, Ohio, Virginia, Florida, South Carolina, Georgia, and elsewhere. Andrew is also a contributing author on self defense law topics to Combat Handguns, Ammoland.com, Legal Insurrection, and others. You can follow Andrew on Twitter at @LawSelfDefense and using #LOSD2, on Facebook, and at his blog, The Law of Self Defense.

QOTW: With No Safe Retreat, What Actions Are My Best Legal Defense

Hey folks,

This week’s Law of Self Defense: Question of the Week comes from “Alec Atchison” (@PatsPokesNSox):

If I’m somewhere that I have a duty to retreat, but no safe avenue of retreat is possible, what actions can I take to put myself on the best legal ground?

This is a great question because although it seems simple on its face it raises a number of interesting issues.

For the entire post, head over to Ammoland.com:

With No Safe Retreat, What Actions Are My Best Legal Defense

–Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

Andrew F. Branca is an MA lawyer and the author of the seminal book “The Law of Self Defense, 2nd Edition,” available at the Law of Self Defense blog, Amazon.com (paperback and Kindle), Barnes & Noble (paperback and Nook), and elsewhere. In addition to the book, Andrew also conducts Law of Self Defense Seminars all around the country. Seminars for 2014 are currently being scheduled, if you’d like to see one held in your area fill out the comment box on the LOSD Seminar review page, where you can also see reviews of recently completed seminars in New Hampshire, Maine, Texas, Massachusetts, Ohio, Virginia, Florida, South Carolina, Georgia, and elsewhere. Andrew is also a contributing author on self defense law topics to Combat Handguns, Ammoland.com, Legal Insurrection, and others. You can follow Andrew on Twitter at @LawSelfDefense and using #LOSD2, on Facebook, and at his blog, The Law of Self Defense.

QOTW: Understanding Mixed Verdicts in ‘Loud Music’ Murder Trial

Hey folks,

This week’s Law of Self Defense: Question of the Week comes from, I’m afraid, from just about everybody:

What’ the heck happened with the verdict in the Michael Dunn “loud music” murder trial?

Because I can’t really credit any single person with this one, I’ll be donating this week’s free copy of “The Law of Self Defense, 2nd Edition,” to the non-profit women’s self-defense organization Arming Women Against Rape and Endangerment. (Though I doubt anybody at AWARE would recall, when I was a much younger man I did a bit of volunteer firearms training for them–they’re an entirely volunteer organization. They’re good folks. )

The Five Indictment Charges Against Michael Dunn, And Lessers

Michael Dunn, I’m sure we all know, is the defendant in the “loud music” shooting death of 17-year-old Jordan Davis.

For the whole story, check out my post on Ammoland.com:

Understanding Mixed Verdicts in ‘Loud Music’ Murder Trial

–Andrew, @LawSelfDefense


Andrew F. Branca is an MA lawyer and the author of the seminal book “The Law of Self Defense, 2nd Edition,” available at the Law of Self Defense blog, Amazon.com (paperback and Kindle), Barnes & Noble (paperback and Nook), and elsewhere. In addition to the book, Andrew also conducts Law of Self Defense Seminars all around the country. Seminars for 2014 are currently being scheduled, if you’d like to see one held in your area fill out the comment box on the LOSD Seminar review page, where you can also see reviews of recently completed seminars in New Hampshire, Maine, Texas, Massachusetts, Ohio, Virginia, Florida, South Carolina, Georgia, and elsewhere. Andrew is also a contributing author on self defense law topics to Combat Handguns, Ammoland.com, Legal Insurrection, and others. You can follow Andrew on Twitter at @LawSelfDefense and using #LOSD2, on Facebook, and at his blog, The Law of Self Defense.

QOTW: Will Prior Training In Firearms Be Held Against You After A Self Defense Event?

Hey folks,

This week’s Law of Self Defense: Question of the Week comes from “NHA (@aquinon),” who asks:

“Will prior training in martial arts or firearms be held against you after a SD event?”

This question actually comes in a million flavors. Among the most common I hear is “will taking a tactical shooting class be held against me in court?” and of course “will learning the law of self-defense, either through your book or seminar, be held against me in court?”

For the full-length answer, click on over to Ammoland:

Will Prior Training In Firearms Be Held Against You After A Self Defense Event?

–Andrew, @LawSelfDefense


Andrew F. Branca is an MA lawyer and the author of the seminal book “The Law of Self Defense, 2nd Edition,” available at the Law of Self Defense blog, Amazon.com (paperback and Kindle), Barnes & Noble (paperback and Nook), and elsewhere. In addition to the book, Andrew also conducts Law of Self Defense Seminars all around the country. Seminars for 2014 are currently being scheduled, if you’d like to see one held in your area fill out the comment box on the LOSD Seminar review page, where you can also see reviews of recently completed seminars in New Hampshire, Maine, Texas, Massachusetts, Ohio, Virginia, Florida, South Carolina, Georgia, and elsewhere. Andrew is also a contributing author on self defense law topics to Combat Handguns, Ammoland.com, Legal Insurrection, and others. You can follow Andrew on Twitter at @LawSelfDefense and using #LOSD2, on Facebook, and at his blog, The Law of Self Defense.

QOTW: Reporting Self Defense with a Gun To Law Enforcement

Hey folks,

This week’s Law of Self Defense: Question of the Week comes from “Alliance Bean (@NerkBuckeye),” who asks:
“What’s your opinion on reporting to law enforcement when drawing your weapon to fend off an attack without witnesses? Any downside?”
This is a great question, one that I’m sure everyone who carries concealed has asked themselves at one point.

To see the full-length answer, click on over to my post on Ammoland.com:

Reporting Self Defense with a Gun To Law Enforcement

–Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

–Andrew, @LawSelfDefense


Andrew F. Branca is an MA lawyer and the author of the seminal book “The Law of Self Defense, 2nd Edition,” available at the Law of Self Defense blog, Amazon.com (paperback and Kindle), Barnes & Noble (paperback and Nook), and elsewhere. In addition to the book, Andrew also conducts Law of Self Defense Seminars all around the country. Seminars for 2014 are currently being scheduled, if you’d like to see one held in your area fill out the comment box on the LOSD Seminar review page, where you can also see reviews of recently completed seminars in New Hampshire, Maine, Texas, Massachusetts, Ohio, Virginia, Florida, South Carolina, Georgia, and elsewhere. Andrew is also a contributing author on self defense law topics to Combat Handguns, Ammoland.com, Legal Insurrection, and others. You can follow Andrew on Twitter at @LawSelfDefense and using #LOSD2, on Facebook, and at his blog, The Law of Self Defense.

LOSD QOTW: Understanding the Castle Doctrine and Stand-Your-Ground

This week’s winner in the “Law of Self Defense Question of the Week” is @bhrondeau, who asks: “Can you explain the difference between the Castle Doctrine and Stand-Your-Ground?”

Much Confusion Around Both Stand-Your-Ground and Castle Doctrine

This is a great question because there is so much confusion around both these terms. Much of the confusion stems from the fact that although both of these terms have a narrow, technically-correct meaning they have also been commonly used to refer to other aspects of self-defense law beyond these core meanings. (In addition, of course, Stand-Your-Ground has been deliberately mischaracterized throughout the media by political activists for their own purposes.)

The Historical Context of Stand-Your-Ground and the Castle Doctrine

First, let’s talk about the core definitions of the Castle Doctrine and Stand-Your-Ground in terms of how they are similar. To provide necessary context, we’ll begin with some history.

America was, of course, a British colony prior to our Revolution, and operated under principles of British law, much of which was based on common law (that is, law developed by practice in courts rather then formed by statutes). Given the length of British history, much of that common law finds its foundations hundreds of years in the past. And it is in that distant past that we encounter the generalized duty to retreat.

For the complete lengthy response to @bhrondeau‘s Question of the Week, check out the full-length post over at Ammoland.com:

Much Confusion Around Both Stand-Your-Ground & Castle Doctrine

For having had his question selected at this week’s Question of the Week, @bhrondeau elected to receive a custom autographed copy of “The Law of Self Defense, 2nd Edition.” It’s on its way, @bhrondeau!

I you’d like to submit your own Question of the Week, and become eligible to win a free book or a snazzy LOSD baseball cap, simply submit your question at Ask Andrew at the Law of Self Defense web site.

–Andrew, @LawSelfDefense


Andrew F. Branca is an MA lawyer and the author of the seminal book “The Law of Self Defense, 2nd Edition,” available at the Law of Self Defense blog (where a custom autograph can be specified, great for gift purchases!), Amazon.com (paperback and Kindle), Barnes & Noble (paperback and Nook), and elsewhere.

In addition to the book, Andrew also conducts Law of Self Defense Seminars all around the country. Seminars for 2014 are currently being scheduled, if you’d like to see one held in your area fill out the comment box on the LOSD Seminar review page, where you can also see reviews of recently completed seminars in New Hampshire, Maine, Texas, Massachusetts, Ohio, Virginia, Florida, South Carolina, Georgia, and elsewhere.

Andrew is also a contributing author on self defense law topics to Combat Handguns, Ammoland.com, Legal Insurrection, and others.

You can follow Andrew on Twitter at @LawSelfDefense, on Facebook, and at his blog, The Law of Self Defense.

QOTW: Confusion Around Both Stand-Your-Ground & Castle Doctrine

Hey folks,

This is a great question because there is so much confusion around both these terms.

Much of the confusion stems from the fact that although both of these terms have a narrow, technically-correct meaning they have also been commonly used to refer to other aspects of self-defense law beyond these core meanings.

In addition, of course, Stand-Your-Ground has been deliberately mischaracterized throughout the media by political activists for their own purposes.

For my full-length post in response to this question, click on over to Ammoland.com:

Much Confusion Around Both Stand-Your-Ground & Castle Doctrine

–Andrew, @LawSelfDefense


Andrew F. Branca is an MA lawyer and the author of the seminal book “The Law of Self Defense, 2nd Edition,” available at the Law of Self Defense blog, Amazon.com (paperback and Kindle), Barnes & Noble (paperback and Nook), and elsewhere. In addition to the book, Andrew also conducts Law of Self Defense Seminars all around the country. Seminars for 2014 are currently being scheduled, if you’d like to see one held in your area fill out the comment box on the LOSD Seminar review page, where you can also see reviews of recently completed seminars in New Hampshire, Maine, Texas, Massachusetts, Ohio, Virginia, Florida, South Carolina, Georgia, and elsewhere. Andrew is also a contributing author on self defense law topics to Combat Handguns, Ammoland.com, Legal Insurrection, and others. You can follow Andrew on Twitter at @LawSelfDefense and using #LOSD2, on Facebook, and at his blog, The Law of Self Defense.

LOSD QOTW: "Legal issues around weapons retention?" Winner: Jeannie L.

Hey folks,

As mentioned last week, I’ve been invited by Fredy Riehl to do a weekly, “Law of Self Defense: Question of the Week” feature for Ammoland.com, where Fredy is the editor of shooting sport news.

Really good questions rolled in all week via Twitter, Facebook, and email, as well as some in-person suggestions. As they say, however, there can be only one winner, and this week that winner is Jeannie L., who asked about the legal issues around weapons retention.

The result is a 1,000+ word analysis of the interface between the intertwined tactical and legal issues around weapons retention, to appear live over at Ammoland.com as soon as Fredy can free up a moment from the SHOT show in Las Vegas. Check over there periodically to see if it’s up yet.

As the winner of this week’s Law of Self Defense QOTW, Jeannie wins a free autographed copy of “The Law of Self Defense, 2nd Edition.”

Because Jeanie L’.s tweet was selected as this week’s “Law of Self Defense: QOTW,” she is being sent a free autographed copy of “The Law of Self Defense, 2nd Edition”.

If you’d like to submit your own question for consideration as a “Law of Self Defense QOTW,” simply tweet or DM it to me @LawSelfDefense (no “of”), contact me in a comment to this blog post, or via Facebook or whatever works best.  If your question is selected, you too will receive a free autographed copy of “The Law of Self Defense”.

For the rest of you whose questions were not selected, you can also obtain a copy of “The Law of Self Defense, 2nd Edition,” using any of the order methods described below.  Maybe even two copies. 🙂

–Andrew, @LawSelfDefense


Andrew F. Branca is an MA lawyer and the author of the seminal book “The Law of Self Defense, 2nd Edition,” available at the Law of Self Defense blog, Amazon.com (paperback and Kindle), Barnes & Noble (paperback and Nook), and elsewhere.

In addition to the book, Andrew also conducts Law of Self Defense Seminars all around the country. Seminars for 2014 are currently being scheduled, if you’d like to see one held in your area fill out the comment box on the LOSD Seminar review page, where you can also see reviews of recently completed seminars in New Hampshire, Maine, Texas, Massachusetts, Ohio, Virginia, Florida, South Carolina, Georgia, and elsewhere.

Andrew is also a contributing author on self defense law topics to Combat Handguns, Ammoland.com, Legal Insurrection, and others.

You can follow Andrew on Twitter at @LawSelfDefense and using #LOSD2, on Facebook, and at his blog, The Law of Self Defense.