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Attorney Andrew Branca

Legal Presumptions in Defense of Home

Today’s post is prompted by a news story about a recent shooting in an ex-burb of Baltimore in which a homeowner shot and killed a man attempting to unlawfully and forcibly enter the home. Authorities are now deciding whether to prosecute the homeowner. Notably, Maryland lacks any legal presumption of reasonableness in the context of defense of dwelling, legal presumptions that many states have enacted, so this case provides an opportunity to explore what legal …

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Is NRA “Armed Citizen” Modeling Criminal Conduct?

This post is prompted by several stories published recently by the NRA’s “Armed Citizen” column that appear to model what is actually criminal conduct, as the Armed Citizen stories do far too often. If you’re learning self-defense law from the Armed Citizen column, you’re learning how to make yourself easy to convict.  Earlier this week, I was prompted to click over to the NRA’s web page for their “Armed Citizen” content, and I was …

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Calling the Shots: July 24, 2019

Hey folks, In this episode of Calling the Shots we covered self-defense “insurance.” NEW! Law of Self Defense LEVEL 1 Class: LIVE ONLINE! For those of you who’d like a deeper understanding of how the Law of Self Defense works in the real world, you might consider joining our full-day Law of Self Defense LEVEL 1 Class, on Saturday, August 24, taught live by me, and streamed online to you in the convenience of your …

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Report: Crowbar & Hammer Attack Justifies Police Shooting

Today’s post is prompted by a report out of the San Bernardino District Attorneys Office regarding a police officer shooting of a suspect who attacked with a crowbar and a hammer. The report does a reasonably good job of stepping through the five elements of self-defense much as we teach them at Law of Self Defense, so I thought it worth sharing.  This is going to be a very short post in terms of …

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NRA Carry Guard: Not with a bang, but with a whimper

This past weekend I received a text from a legal colleague that simply read “RIP Carry Guard.” The NRA launched Carry Guard in 2017 as a hybrid self-defense training and self-defense “insurance” program. It now appears the long-troubled “insurance” facet has, for perfectly predictable reasons, been shuttered completely, and the training facet appears to be questionable, as well. Interested in learning what went wrong, and taking another step along your journey to being hard to …

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One Shot Too Many

Today’s post takes a look at a shooting in Alaska this past Thursday in which what had initially looked like a possibly credible case of self-defense instead turned into a chargesof first-degree murder after the purported defender fired one round too many. In further questionable decision-making, the defender also refused to drop his firearm when ordered to do so by police, getting himself shot as a result.  Richard Sears, the Alaska man charged with …

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Stun Gun Used Offensively Charged as Deadly Weapon

Today’s post is about a Florida man who has been criminally charged for using a hand-held stun gun in claimed self-defense. The interesting facet of this case is the nature of the criminal charge: aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Wait a minute, a stun gun as a deadly weapon? I’ve written from time to time about the possibility that weapons we typically consider non-deadly in nature, such as OC or pepper spray, may be …

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VIDEO: Home Defense, Done Right

Today’s post is about South Carolina resident Antwain Moton, who successfully and lawfully defended his home against an intruder this past Sunday night. There are two facets of this case that are particularly notable. First, the remarkable degree to which Mr. Moton did it right. So many of the cases we cover at Law of Self Defense involve people who simply did it wrong that it’s a genuine pleasure when a defender’s conduct actually dots …

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VIDEO: “I Can’t Breath”: Eric Garner’s Death by Obesity, Morbidity, and Poor Judgment

Five years ago, on this exact date, Eric Garner died while violently resisting lawful arrest for a petty crime. Yesterday the Department of Justice announced that there would be no civil rights charges against the police officer most associated with that arrest (although numerous officers were involved). This perfectly reasonable decision by the DOJ—consistent with similar conclusions drawn by every other official review of this case, including that of a grand jury—has predictably led to …

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Fake News: CA Changes Police Force Law

Today’s post addresses California bill AB 392, a bill that addresses when police officers are justified in using deadly force, and which has been much in the press the last few months. The concern among many has been that AB 392 will strip away the ability of officers to rely on a reasonable perception of a threat, and require that the threat against which they defend themselves be actual. To illustrate, today an officer could …

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