Law of Self Defense News/Q&A Show: August 19, 2021

Welcome to this episode of our ONLY open-access content, our weekly News/Q&A Show. A transcript of the show is available at the Law of Self Defense Blog (, with links to all relevant content mentioned.

In today’s News/Q&A Show for August 19, 2021 we touched on a broad range of questions submitted for the show, as well as questions submitted live, including:


State files two new motions in Rittenhouse case: to get donor names, and use new video (8/18/2021)

Evidence that goes to an unlawful state of mind—e.g., “We don’t call 911!,” or a Punisher back plate on your Glock—certainly CAN be used against you in court, as illustrated in this news story of this motion by the Rittenhouse prosecutor.


  • Legal implications of using a binary trigger on personal defensive weapon.
  • Greater clarity of legal doctrine of “curtilage” in context of use-of-force law.
  • Why absence of “self-defense insurance” for law-abiding citizens only 19 years of age?
  • Legal boundary between “use” of force versus mere “threat” of force (e.g., “defensive display”).

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You carry a gun so you’re hard to kill.

Know the law so you’re hard to convict.

Stay safe!


Attorney Andrew F. Branca
Law of Self Defense LLC

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4 thoughts on “Law of Self Defense News/Q&A Show: August 19, 2021”

  1. Seems like the the words “castle doctrine” mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people. New York is supposed to be a “castle doctrine” state, but New York’s “castle doctrine” does not relieve a person in his own dwelling of the existing duty to retreat before using deadly force in self defense if he was the initial aggressor.

  2. On the question of binary triggers: it seems to me that this greatly increases the risk of putting a bullet down range that wasn’t intended with all the legal risks that follow with that second round.

  3. People v Tomlins 213 NY 240 (1914). A pretty good description of the castle doctrine and why it releaves a person in his own dwelling from the duty to retreat so the killing of another in self defense in a sudden affray or on chance medely can be excused from felony on the grounds of a necessary unlawful use of force in self defense.

    Keep in mind that this case deals with an excusable homicide in self defense (a felony offense) within a dwelling, rather than a justified homicide in self defense (no offense at all) within a dwelling.

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