News/Q&A Show: Jan. 14, 2021

Welcome to this episode of our ONLY open-access content, our weekly News/Q&A Show. A transcript of the show is (or soon will be) available below my signature, for those who prefer to read rather than view. Also, Law of Self Defense Members can access the show in audio form in the members-only Law of Self Defense Podcast.

NEW: We’ve launched an open-access podcast for these weekly News/Q&A Shows ONLY, on the following services:

In today’s News/Q&A Show for January 14, 2020 we touched on a broad range of questions submitted for the show, as well as questions submitted live, including:



  • Is wearing a body camera a good idea? Can it help me, be used against me?
  • Thoughts on the new XInsurance “self-defense insurance” program?
  • How to evaluate a state-specific or law firm-specific self-defense prepaid legal services program?
  • How subjective is the element of Imminence in a claim of self-defense?
  • Do Law of Self Defense legal services extend internationally?

Be sure to mark your calendar to never miss a News/Q&A Show–they air LIVE every Thursday, at 4pM ET of the Law of Self Defense Members Dashboard, our Facebook page, and our Youtube channel, and playback recordings are available on each of those platforms.

A transcript of the show is available below my signature, for those who prefer to read rather than view. Also, Law of Self Defense Members can access the show in audio form in the members-only Law of Self Defense Podcast.

CCW Safe:  Our Sponsor

Now before we jump into the substance of today’s content, I do, of course, need to mention today’s sponsor, CCW Safe, a provider of legal service memberships, what many people mistakenly call self-defense insurance. They in effect promise to pay their member’s legal expenses if their member is involved in a use of force event.

And those expenses start big and get bigger, fast, folks. For example, imagine a case where you were threatened, you displayed your gun, you didn’t fire a shot didn’t hurt anybody—and now you find yourself charged with aggravated assault with a firearm, typically a 10-year felony.

If you’re charged with aggravated assault with a firearm, you’re looking at a retainer to your lead counsel on the order of $30,000 to $50,000. And that’s just for pre-trial work, folks, that’s not for going to trial. If it’s a killing case, where you’re charged with manslaughter or murder, you’re easily looking at $100,000 or $200,000 pre-trial expense, and just multiply that for the trial.

So, if you don’t have that kind of money stuffed in your mattress just in case you’re compelled to defend yourself and your family, it can be useful to have a financial partner standing behind you to make sure you have the resources you need to fight the legal battle, the way you want it fought—as if your life depended on it. Because, really, it does.  And that’s what CCW Safe offers to do.

There are several companies out there that offer similar services. I’ve looked at all of them, as you might imagine, and I found that CCW Safe is the best fit for me personally.  I’m a member of CCW Safe, my wife Emily is a member of CCW Safe.

One of the biggest reasons I favored CCW Safe over other similar offerings is that many of those others simply don’t provide the level resources you need for an adequate legal defense. If you’re looking at a “self-defense insurance” offer that caps out at $150,000 or $250,000, that’s simply not enough for a murder or manslaughter trial if you’ve killed someone in self-defense, as I’ve already discussed. In contrast, CCW Safe promises to pay what the defense costs, period, with no such cap.

And what if you lose a trial and you have to appeal. CCW Safe covers you on appeals again, with no cap. These other companies often say well, we’ll cover you up to the limit of the cap on an appeal. But of course, you’ll have spent all that money at the trial itself. So effectively, there is no coverage for an appeal.

So be aware if your plan that you’re looking at or already have has that kind of cap. I know $250,000 sounds like a lot of money, folks, and it is a lot of money, but not in the context of a criminal defense in the murder or manslaughter case. Read the fine print, folks, and understand what you’re getting—and not getting—from any such offering you’re considering.

Having said that CCW Safe is the best fit for me, whether they are the best fit for you is something only you can decide. But I do encourage you to take a look at what they have to offer by clicking the image or link below:

And if you do decide to become a member of CCW Safe, you can save 10% off your membership at that URL, using the discount code LOSD10.

Enjoy the show!


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

Law of Self Defense Platinum Protection Program

IMPORTANT:  We encourage civil and reasoned debate among Members in the comments.  That said, comments reflect the legal opinions of those who authored them only, and no comment should be assumed to reflect the legal opinion of, or be assumed to be shared by, Attorney Andrew F. Branca, except those authored by Attorney Branca.  Law of Self Defense LLC does not systemically moderate comments for legal correctness, and we suggest that all comments be viewed with an appropriately critical eye and a grain of salt.

Nothing in this content constitutes legal advice. Nothing in this content establishes an attorney-client relationship, nor confidentiality. If you are in immediate need of legal advice, retain a licensed, competent attorney in the relevant jurisdiction.

Law of Self Defense © 2021

All rights reserved.


Welcome. Welcome, everybody to today’s Law of Self Defense News/Q&A Show. Come on in Make yourselves comfortable. If you’re watching this live on social media, feel free to leave a comment city and state is helpful. click that thumbs up or like button on Facebook, whatever Google might require, or any other live social media may be watching on that’s always appreciated, helps fool the algorithm into spreading word of Law of Self Defense and our community broader. Clearly, they don’t like to do it voluntarily. So, we do what we can to trick them into making the broader world more aware of law, self defense and what we do.

For those who may not know I am Attorney Andrew Branca for Law of Self Defense. Thank you. Thank you very, very much.

That’s always appreciated. I should mention, this is the only piece of open access content we produce each week this Thursday, Law of Self Defense News/Q&A Show that we do live every Thursday at 4pm.

We do a lot of other content every week. But most of that other content is limited to our Law of Self Defense Members. I’ll talk more about that in a moment. And of course, Law of Self Defense is a very focused law practice, we’re focused exclusively on use of force law. That’s the entire focus of our practice, meaning defense of self, defense of others, defense of property, we don’t have a generalized criminal defense practice, we don’t do DWI, or shoplifting or anything like that only use of force law.

And in this weekly show, our only open access show, we focus on news events involving use of force that have been in the news in the last week or so. And we take questions both questions that were sent to us beforehand, from our members, from non members who emailed to us. Anybody can always email us questions for our consideration at, as well as questions that all of you who are listening live, those of you who are listening live, can submit live during today’s show in the comments of whatever social media or membership page you’re viewing this show on.

And again, we do the show live every Thursday 4pm Eastern time. So you may want to mark your calendars to make sure you never miss it. And if you can’t make the live show, we do live and recorded playback of the show on our Law of Self Defense Facebook page.

And of course, for our members on their membership dashboard. And I do have a bit of exciting news, we’re doing something a bit new, effective 2021. We’re packaging every week’s Law of Self Defense News/Q&A Show as its own podcast. And we’re making that News/Q&A show podcast available on Spotify, Pandora, and Apple Podcasts.

Now this is different than our long-existing Law of Self Defense Podcast, which is members-only. So, if you’re a Law of Self Defense Member, you’ll know that you get all of our content just about every day in video form, text form, and as a members-only podcast, you’ll continue to get that plus, that will include this News/Q&A Show, as well.

But for those of you who are not yet members, and we’re still trying to talk you into joining the Law of Self Defense community, we’re making just the weekly News/Q&A Show, our normal open access content available to all of you as a podcast as well. And again, that’s on Spotify, Pandora, and Apple Podcasts, whichever one of those you use, just search for “Law of Self Defense,” and we’ll pop right up.

Now, as I mentioned, obviously, the Law of Self Defense Members get much more than just the News/Q&A Show they get all the other content we do which we produce on a nearly daily basis. Just about every day, we do a video, blog post, and podcast on some use of force event or legal doctrine that’s relevant to us being able to defend ourselves and our families most effectively. And our goal with all of this at Law of Self Defense is to make it actionable for you. So we do it all in plain English. We want to help make you as hard to convict as you are hard to kill. Because obviously that’s pretty important. The top priority has to be the physical fight, but you don’t want to win the physical fight only to end up spending the rest of your life in prison.

So I’d like to share with all of you now some of the members-only content we’ve produced over the last week just last few days so you can get a sense of what our members get that the members don’t have access to.

We did a post earlier this week about a shooting in a gun store in Illinois, where the gun owner happened to still be in his closed shop at 10pm. At night, when it was invaded by the news is vague for five robbers. burglars really. And unfortunately for the burglars, the gun store owner was prepared for such an eventuality. He shot one of the robbers dead. Two more of the robbers were picked up after the fact they’ve both been charged with felony murder for the death of their accomplice. And presumably when the others are picked up. If the others are picked up of the robbers, they’ll also be charged with felony murder. So a very good outcome for the gun store owner tragic, of course, that it had to come to this in the first place. But that wasn’t the gun store owners choice. And in this content here we talk of course about the doctrine of felony murder, the concept of the forcible felony, and the rather unique utility of a firearm for self defense when you find yourself in a disparity of force, disparity of numbers situation.

We also did a post on of course, the Capitol Hill shooting of Ashley Babbitt. This is about a 45 minute video slash podcast over 5000 words of written legal analysis, detailed legal analysis, applying the 5 Elements of Self-Defense Law framework that we use here at law, self defense.

And by the way, if you’re not familiar with that five elements of self defense framework, I would encourage you to take advantage of the opportunity to download our free infographic on those five elements of self defense. These are the building blocks of any defensive self defense of others. legal argument anywhere in the US it applies in all 50 states we make this infographic available for free doesn’t cost a penny, you can get it by pointing your browser to law, self defense comm slash elements. And again, it’s free, folks, if you don’t understand those five elements, you can’t possibly understand anything about self defense law. You can tget that infographic for free by clicking the image or link below:

And we also did a post this week on whether or not the Capitol Hill protesters might be guilty of felony murder, there’s been talk in the media, of course, the media is not very well informed about these legal doctrines. But nevertheless, there’s been talk in the media about the prospect of the Capitol Hill protesters, collectively being somehow responsible for under the felony murder doctrine, for the death is of, of if nobody else Ashley Babbitt, and we go do a very detailed explanation of how the felony murder doctrine would apply to this kind of scenario.

So that’s the kind of members only content you get when you are a member of law, self defense. The good news is that Law of Self Defense Membership is pretty dirt cheap, folks, it’s only about 30 cents a day to be a Law of Self Defense Member, I think it’s less than 25 cents a day if you sign up for a whole year. So we’re not not talking about a huge amount of money in this respect.

And if you just like to test the waters, you can be a loss of defense member on a trial basis, two weeks for just 99 cents 200% money back guarantee. So it’s a negative risk proposition, folks. So if it’s at all of interest, I would encourage you to take advantage of that opportunity. You can learn more about that by clicking the image or link below:


Before we dive into the substance of today’s show, of course, I am obliged to mention our sponsor, which is CCW Safe.

CCW Safe:  Our Sponsor

Now before we jump into the substance of today’s content, I do, of course, need to mention today’s sponsor, CCW Safe, a provider of legal service memberships, what many people mistakenly call self-defense insurance. CCW Safe in effect promises to pay their member’s legal expenses if their member is involved in a use of force event.

And those expenses start big and get bigger, fast, folks. For example, imagine a case where you were threatened, you displayed your gun, you didn’t fire a shot didn’t hurt anybody—and now you find yourself charged with aggravated assault with a firearm, typically a 10-year felony.

If you’re charged with aggravated assault with a firearm, you’re looking at a retainer to your lead counsel on the order of $30,000 to $50,000. And that’s just for pre-trial work, folks, that’s not for going to trial. If it’s a killing case, where you’re charged with manslaughter or murder, you’re easily looking at $100,000 or $200,000 pre-trial expense, and just multiply that for the trial.

If you don’t have that kind of money stuffed in your mattress just in case you’re compelled to defend yourself or your family, it can be useful to have a financial partner standing behind you to make sure you have the resources you need to fight the legal battle, the way you want it fought—as if your life depended on it. Because, really, it does.  And that’s what CCW Safe offers to do.

There are several companies out there that offer similar services. I’ve looked at all of them, as you might imagine, and I found that CCW Safe is the best fit for me personally.  I’m a member of CCW Safe, my wife Emily is a member of CCW Safe.

One of the biggest reasons I favored CCW Safe over other similar offerings is that many of those others simply don’t provide the level resources you need for an adequate legal defense. If you’re looking at a “self-defense insurance” offer that caps out at $150,000 or $250,000, that’s simply not enough for a murder or manslaughter trial if you’ve killed someone in self-defense, as I’ve already discussed. In contrast, CCW Safe promises to pay what the defense costs, period, with no such cap.  Read the fine print, folks, and understand what you’re getting—and not getting—from any such offering you’re considering.

Having said that CCW Safe is the best fit for me, whether they are the best fit for you is something only you can decide. But I do encourage you to take a look at what they have to offer by clicking the image or link below:

And if you do decide to become a member of CCW Safe, you can save 10% off your membership at that URL, using the discount code LOSD10.

Okay, folks, so normally, the News/Q&A Show follows a sequence where we do first news, self defense events in the news, and then we do the Q&A. But in fact, we had some really good questions come in this week, particularly on a couple of new “self-defense insurance” offerings that are out there that people have been asking me about for several weeks. And the news is of more ambiguous interest. So I’d like to prioritize the questions over the news.

So instead of doing news first, and then Q&A, we’ll do Q&A first, and then the news.

Law of Self Defense Content Enables Probation Rather than Prison

Except I’d like to share some personal news, a message I just got today by a fellow attorney, a member of the bar of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, he said I was free to use his name, so I’ll do that. It’s attorney Kevin J. Kelly.

And he’s in the North Hampton area of Massachusetts, although, of course, he could practice anywhere. And the message I got from him today was that he had a case where he, the client self-defense case, what he describe, Attorney Kelly describes as a weak, very weak self-defense case.

And so his client obviously is not in a great place from a legal defense perspective. But Attorney Kelly got the trial judge to award probation, in this case, instead of prison time, on the condition that the client first complete the Law of Self Defense Level 1 Core Class, and the Law of Self Defense Massachusetts Supplement, state-specific supplement course.

These are courses folks that we offer. And the core class applies everywhere. And then we have state-specific supplements for each of the 50 states. You can learn more about these at  We have them available as DVDs. As online stream courses, they’re their certificate winning courses, if you pass the final exam, they are exam-based certificates.

But nevertheless, this attorney had his client with what he described as a weak self-defense case, end up getting probation instead of prison time on the condition that he take, complete, successfully complete the Law of Self Defense Level 1 Core Class law, and the Law of Self Defense Massachusetts Supplement.

This makes our Law of Self Defense content, not just great content for the layman, for police officers, not just Continuing Legal Education content for lawyers and judges in more than 35 states, but also an official condition of probation acceptable to the North Hampton District Court in Massachusetts. And Attorney Kelly also tells me that completion of these courses are likely to help his client in his concealed carry permit revocation hearing that’s coming up.

So I’m very pleased to know that this is this is the first time to my knowledge this has happened. But I’m pleased to know that our laws self defense content is helpful to people not just ideally it would be helpful before they get in trouble in the first place so they can avoid finding themselves in a legal jam. But worst case scenario, if they’re already in the legal jam, it’s nice to know that the content can also help them with the outcome of that legal process. Thanks to Attorney Kelly for bringing that to my attention. And I have to say that’s awesome work by that counselor. So if you’re in Massachusetts and you’re looking for legal counsel, on either self defense or second amendment issues, I would strongly encourage you to take a look at Attorney Kevin J. Kelly.  Why? Because he sure did good work in this case.


Excited Utterance and Statement Against Interest as Hearsay Exceptions

Okay, folks, let’s jump into the questions that we have lined up for today. And I have a bunch of slides I prepared just for this purpose. A couple of questions I’m going to knock out real quick. So one of them came from Scott M., a Platinum member. I’ve mentioned this question before, because I’ve been delayed in getting response to Scott. He’s asking about the legal doctrines of an excited utterance and statement against interest with regard to a hearsay statement.

So normally, hearsay is an out of court statement being offered for evidence in a trial, for purposes of proving the truth of the statement, you can think of it as kind of gossip, one person says, one person testifying and trial. Well, how do you know that to be true? Well, I know it because my buddy Tom told me that he heard someone say something.

We don’t like that kind of evidence in court, because there’s no way to cross examined and impeach the person who originally made the statement. They’re not in court, the person in court is someone who heard the statement secondhand. So there’s a certain inherent lack of credibility to those out of court statements were the person who actually made the statements not testifying in court.  So as a general principle, hearsay evidence is not admissible.

But there are a ton of exceptions to that hearsay rule. And two of them are the excited utterance and statements of interest, both of which happened with some frequency in use of force events. So these are ways where a defender, for example, might be successful in winning the fight and then blurt something out. that normally would not be admissible in court unless he takes the witness stand, which he likely will not do, but may become admissible despite the fact that the person who said it the defendant isn’t taking the witness stand, because it qualifies as an excited utterance or a statement against interest.

And I started preparing my answer for Scott for this show. But the truth is hearsay is so hearsay and the exceptions to it gets so complicated, and the only way to really understand them is with lots of hypothetical examples or real world examples. It became so time consuming, I could see it would not fit within the scope of a News/Q&A Show.

So sorry about that, Scott, but I will be doing a members-only blog post on those topics so I can cover them comprehensively for the membership. Obviously Scott’s a Platinum-level member so he’ll get access to that post. That might go up as early as tomorrow. Scott.

Is Person Standing Beside Ashli Babbit Subject to Felony Murder?

I also got an email question from Jim. Jim says he saw someone interviewed on the news media, who said he was standing right next to Ashli Babbit. Ashli Babbit was the woman who was shot and killed by Capitol Police during the Capitol Hill protests last week. He says he was standing right next to Ashley Babbitt when she was shot.  Has he just opened himself up to a charge of felony murder?

Well, we did a very lengthy blog post this week on how felony murder applies to this case. So I can’t replicate all of that here today. Obviously, I would encourage our members to go look at that blog post and learn about that.

But the short answer is you’re not guilty of felony murder just because you happen to be standing next to someone who got murdered. While a felony was in progress, there generally needs to be some nexus between your presence and the felony. So you were an accessory or you were facilitating.

Obviously, if you’re just standing in the convenience store in line waiting to buy something and an armed robbery occurs and someone’s killed, the people come in in the armed robbery, including any accessories or facilitators may be liable for felony murder. But you wouldn’t be, you just happen to be there and merely being physically present is not enough.

Is wearing a body camera a good idea? Can it help me, be used against me?

I got a question from Ron h via email, he says he’s getting a audio video recording body camera where he lives, it’s permissible to make a audio recording at least have someone else without their permission. So he can I guess just walk around making recordings with his body camera. And essentially what he’s asking is, if that’s a good idea, to have this recording, and should he make it available to police or should he wait give it to his lawyer and wait for his lawyer to decide to disclose it? If he’s involved in the use of force event presumably.

And the fact is if the if you’re involved in the use of force event, especially like a felony level two use of force event and the police have reason to arrest you and almost certainly will have reason to arrest you. They’re going to seize that cameras evidence so they’re going to have it whether you want them to have it or not. You don’t have any right to deny to them if it’s likely evidence of what they have probable cause to believe was a crime.

Now, whether the video will help you or not, that’s not a function of video or audio, that’s a function of you, that’s a function of your conduct. If your conduct was within the legal boundaries, then the video will tend to reinforce that. If your conduct was not within the legal boundaries, well, then the video and audio are going to be incriminating.

So the important thing is less to be focused on the video and audio and more to be focused on Do you know where the legal boundaries are? And are you prepared to stay within them, even under the stress of a presumably life threatening attack? So these videos can help or hurt depending upon your own conduct? That’s really the answer to that question.

Okay, so those are the quick questions. Now, I want to get into these questions that came up in the context of a couple of new, “self-defense insurance” programs that came up.

Thoughts on the new XInsurance “self-defense insurance” program?

Now, as you all know, I said at the very beginning, I’ll say it again. For those who may have come in late a sponsor of this program is, let’s see, why isn’t that coming up? a sponsor of this program is a provider of legal service membership. So many people mistakenly call “self-defense insurance.” And that company is CCW Safe, I put it up here again, so you can see the link to them for more information.

I’m personally a member of CCW safe, I think they’re a good organization for this purpose. And of course, there are sponsors. So that may introduce some apparent bias in terms of my commentary on the other companies that do similar things that I’m about to talk about.

But I’ll tell you upfront also that CCW Safe is not the only such organization I encourage people to take a look at there are other good organizations, they they’re different. They don’t do things quite exactly the same as CCW Safe. And that’s why I say CCW Safe may not be the best fit for everybody. None of these organizations are the perfect fit for everybody. So you have to look at each and decide what’s the best fit for you.

Another organization I think the world of is the Armed Citizens Legal Defense Network. ACLDN, if you Google that they’ll pop right up Marty Hayes, Gila Hayes, fantastic board of advisors, Tom Givens, John Farnam, Mas Ayoob, Dennis Tueller, unbelievably world class board.

For my personal purposes, CCW Safe proved to be the better fit. But for many of you ACLDN might be the better fit. Only you can make that decision. I mentioned this just so it’s clear that it’s not like I’m locked in solely to recommending CCW Safe, there are other good offers out there.

Now, a relatively new entrant into this space is a company called XIinsurance. Those of you who watch what I think is a great show the Armed America Radio show hosted by Mark Walters, I like Mark, he’s a friend of mine, I think he does great work with that show. I’ve been a guest on our frequently, Armed America Radio, I would encourage you to take a listen to it.

And one of their new sponsors is this XInsurance. So I don’t know a ton about them. I just looked at what’s really available on their website in terms of information, and they have a downloadable brochure.  [AFB: I’ve added an embed of the brochure above this transcript.]

But I’ve been repeatedly asked about XInsurance, and my thoughts on it. So I’m taking this opportunity to share that with you. Here’s an image pulled from their brochure that you can get from the website. I’m sure if you Google XInsurance, it’ll pop right up.

“XInsurance true peace of mind powered by evolution insurance brokers.”

So it would appear based on this, they actually have an insurance backer, which can be a good thing. It provides a pool of resources that might not otherwise be available. And in this context, they offer what they call” self defense and firearms liability coverage. “Which sounds good. It sounds like, you know, “self-defense insurance,” which is a good thing if you don’t have a ton of money packed in a mattress, it would be nice to have a financial partner standing behind you to fight the legal fight the way you want to fought and those legal fights are really expensive.

And then they have this portion in their brochure. And frankly, to my mind, that raises almost as many questions as an answer.

So, bond payment, that’s good, bond can be really expensive. So if you can have someone help back your bond, that’s good.

Civil suit defense, that’s good, too. My focus is always on criminal defense. I prioritize keeping you out of prison more than I do the legal rather than the civil legal issues. But you know, nobody wants to get sued and lose your house in business. So civil suit defenses good.

Back up to the top of this list, they have this firearms liability and legal liability. And I don’t really know what they mean by that. It’s very confusing to me, because presumably it’s all legal liability. I don’t know what they mean by firearms liability, does it mean violating a condition Have your concealed carry permit? Which, I mean, frankly, I, I don’t really care about that. I mean, just don’t do that. It’s very straightforward.

Legal liability, like accidental discharge. Well, is that, I would think that would be civil defense, but they talk about civil defense here, or would it be criminal defense, but then they talk about legal defense here.

But of course, both criminal and civil aren’t, it just makes me feel like the whole thing was not actually written by someone who has legal expertise, because I, as an attorney, with some expertise in this area, find all this terminology really rather ambiguous.

But most importantly, we get to this legal defense. So I’m going to presume that this means the “self-defense insurance” portion of the available coverages. And by the way, there’s no mention here about price, apparently, they want you to contact them for a quote, it’s like an individualized quote, system. Nothing wrong with that. That’s how we do it right for home owners insurance, and auto insurance and medical insurance, lots of stuff. But because there’s no issue of cost here, I can’t really do kind of a cost benefit analysis comparison to other competitive programs. So I’m just looking at the benefits portion, not the cost portion, I’m going to presume that the cost is comparable to what other companies charge.

So let’s focus in on this legal defense portion, because this is the one that, frankly, really troubled me. So I’ll zoom into it here. Hopefully, you can all read this. And it says “legal defense is provided up until a court of competent jurisdiction enters a finding of guilt, at which time no further coverage is available.”

Well, there’s nothing wrong with that. But that’s not the best option out there. CCW Safe, for example, they’ll cover your legal expenses through the trial. And if you’re convicted, and then want to appeal your conviction, they continue to cover your appeal. And if you lose the appeal, and you want to appeal again, they’ll cover that appeal as well. They don’t cut you off at the moment of a guilty finding, CCW Safe doesn’t, so the fact that these people do well, that’s not exactly a competitive advantage for them compared to what compared to the extent that CCW Safe is willing to go for their members.

But even more disturbing than this condition was the rest of that sentence, which is that not only will they cut off coverage upon the finding of guilt, but then they will seek reimbursement from you.  This means for the cost of the legal defense, so they paid for your legal defense.

But if you get hit with a guilty verdict, and folks, innocent people get convicted, appeals do reverse convictions. So we know some convictions are bad, that could happen to you.

That’s one of the reasons I like CCW Safe being willing to pay for appeals because the trial might have gone bad. But that may not be the merits of the case, we may not find out the merits of the case until we get to the appeal, the trial judge may have made wrong decisions on evidence, for example, may have missed instructed the jury when it gave the jury instructions, these are all things that are that are evaluated and determined only on appeal. So CCW Safe covers you for the appeal.

This company not only doesn’t cover you for the appeal, but once you’re found guilty, even if the guilty verdict was arguably incorrect based of trial errors that will be reversed on appeal, once you’re found guilty, they want their money back.

Again, there’s nothing evil about that. But it’s, you know, CCW Safe doesn’t do that. So, I’m not exactly sure why this would be advantageous compared to CCW Safe.

How to evaluate a state-specific or law firm-specific self-defense prepaid legal services program?

I also got asked about a New York specific program. So many of you may know that there are some states that have prohibited the usual, quote unquote, self defense insurance programs, they’ve prohibited CCW Safe, they’ve prohibited USCCA. They’ve prohibited ACLDN, the kind of traditional players in this space, and one of the states is New York.

So New York decided to call all of this “murder insurance” and tell people they can’t offer it. And that creates a vacuum. Obviously, people still want some kind of protection if they can get it. And one way they can get it is to get it directly through, in this case, a New York specific law firm, because the law firms basically offering pre-paid legal services. Not an insurance like product. The lawyers aren’t paying anybody. They’re simply providing their own services. They’re not paying for someone else’s services. And that’s permissible.

We have the same thing with the Law of Self Defense Platinum Protection Program.

So the Platinum Protection Program is the only way to guarantee that I would personally be available to consult in your case, we only do legal consults. Now for members of our Platinum Protection Program, these are the Platinum-level members of the Law of Self Defense Membership. I don’t want to spend a lot of time I’m not doing a commercial for this year. But if you’d like to learn more about it at, you can do that.

The only reason I mentioned it now is just like any other prepaid legal service, we can offer this in all 50 states. So it doesn’t matter if you’re in California or New York, or Washington or one of those states that has prohibited these the other reimbursement type programs or payment type, “self-defense insurance” programs.

So this New York entity, and I want to make clear my comments on their offer for this kind of service has nothing to do with their legal qualifications as attorneys, I don’t know anything about them as attorneys, or, or, or anything else. And I’m not suggesting they’re doing anything wrong by making their offer. But when I’m using this as an example of how and why I respond to people the way they do when they asked me about these kinds of services that are being offered.

So this particular organization, and these may be the best self defense lawyers in New York, I have no idea. But this particular one is called New York TAC Defense.

We protect you so you can protect your family. You get the idea here, sign up today, they appeared to me to be very much modeled on the USCCA offer. In fact, they I’ve seen on their website, the USCCA logo. So it seems to me likely that they were participating attorneys with the USCCA program, until USCCA was told they can offer their program anymore. And it looks to me like they have this law firm is now basically kind of replicated the terms of USCCA. I don’t know that to be a fact. But based on kind of the pricing here seems similar to me for USCCA plan.

It’s a prepaid legal services plan, which is why it’s still permissible in New York. And when I look at the kind of Summary of Benefits that they offer, it looks very similar to what USCCA offers in terms of caps, and so forth.

So let’s dive into some of these in particular I want to focus in, because I know this slide is probably hard to read. So I’ll focus in on some of these that really caught my eye. And these are the things that tend to catch my eye when I’m evaluating one of these programs.

So one of them was up to 250,000 of premiere criminal defense representation.

Well, you know, every attorney says their representation is premier. So that’s just hyperbole. But $250,000 of criminal defense representation for any act of self defense involving a legally possessed weapon, so that part’s good. any weapon, CCW Safe has the same broad characterization, CCW Safe covers.

And I believe XInsurance, by the way, is only for gun self defense. I forgot to mention that. You’ll want to read their brochure carefully if you’re looking at that. But if if it’s only guns, then if you defend yourself with a knife or you defend yourself with your bare hands, you may not qualify for that coverage. So I would look at that carefully.

But here they say and the legally possessed weapon. Of course, it’s in New York. So not all that many people, at least in the large population centers, have a concealed carry permit. So it probably wouldn’t be gun, but I guess an upstate they have concealed carry permits, at least are more liberal issuing those permits. So it could be.

But the problem here for me is the $250,000. Now this is the same cap, I believe the last time I looked at USCCA, their most whatever they call their ultimate offer their ultimate program, the cap was $250,000 for criminal defense.

And folks, that’s more than enough money If you’ve been charged with say, an aggravated assault or maybe an aggravated battery. But if you’ve killed someone in self defense, and you’re charged with manslaughter or murder, $250,000 is not enough money, folks. You’ll burn through almost all of that maybe all of that in pre-trial proceedings before you ever get to trial. And if they cap you to 50 Well, you got to the trial, but now what are you gonna do? They’re not paying anymore, you’ve got to pay them or get yourself another attorney or get a no. Get a public defender to represent you, but they’re capped at 250. And that’s not enough for a killing offense.

So I, just on that alone, I couldn’t recommend this program. For the same reason I can’t recommend USCCA because I just think the coverage is inadequate. And you don’t know whether you’re going to be, you know, if your self defense event will involve the other person dying or not. Now, some of that, that’s largely a function of what the other person does, right, what the aggressor does, determines to a large extent whether or not they end up dying in the course of the confrontation.

Another one of those benefits I want to focus on is a representation in any civil suit filed against you.

OK, well, I don’t really know what that means. Because I don’t think it means they’re going to represent you for free. Providing a defense in a civil suit is really expensive. So they’re just saying they’ll do it. Well, guess who else they would represent in any civil suit? Anybody else who walks through the door, I mean, that’s what they do for a living, but they’re going to charge them for that service. They’re not saying here, they’re going to do it for free. They’re saying they’ll do it. But they’ll do it for anybody. So you don’t need to be a member for that. If you’re willing to pay them.

Access to experienced Second Amendment attorneys to get quick questions answered.

Again, I don’t really know what that means. There’s lots of experienced Second Amendment attorneys. Just having access, does that mean the access is free? Can you call them every day with the Second Amendment question, without them charging you, it would be nice to have more kind of detail in there.

And then finally, they have this thing 25% discount on all our other services, including wills, corporate formation, real estate closings, and more.

So clearly, they’re a very generalized legal practice. They don’t do just criminal defense, they don’t do just use of force events. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Of course, everybody has to make a living, and they have a diverse set of legal skills, you’d expect them to apply them in a diverse set of areas, again, completely appropriate for any law practice to do.

This almost feels to me more like a kind of a business recruitment funnel, that they’re offering this, you know, what many people are interested in, because they’re concerned about it, to self defense insurance, but really hoping to develop other lines of business off of that offer. So the offer for the self defense, “self-defense insurance” is really, in this a case, self defense prepaid legal services, is really a hook, hoping that they’ll get other lines of business.

Nothing wrong with that, nothing inappropriate about that. But it has a different feel to me than a dedicated, you know, use of force, Legal Services kind of program.

So again, nothing against this organization, they could be awesome. They could be very cost effective. They could especially if you need those other legal services, they could be the best self defense attorneys you can get in New York. I don’t know. They could be.

But just as an example of the kinds of things I look for, when I look at any of these programs, that 250 for legal, defense, criminal, legal defense, whoever it is, is just is not enough. Just so you’re aware, now, maybe it’s good enough for you.

I should also say this is in New York, right? So USCCA is not available. CCW Safe is not available, ACLDN is not available. So maybe in an inadequate cap of $250,000 is better than zero. That could be, if those other programs are not, you know, available to you in New York. So that’s something else to consider as well.


All right, let’s get to the news. now. I’ll do some quick news items. And then I’ll answer questions that you folks have put in the comments. Those of you watching the show live. If you’re watching recording, folks, you can put a question in the comments, but I’m not going to see it because unless you do it in the membership, area of your Law of Self Defense Membership. I do get notification about those questions submitted after the live shows over. But if you’re watching the recorded playback on Facebook, or on YouTube, or on any of the podcasts that we now have on Spotify, Pandora, and Apple Podcasts of the show, I’m not going to see those. So just be aware.

But if you’re watching live right now, you can put your questions in the comments, and I’ll flip through those before we close out the show. We do close out the show no later than the top of the hour. Folks, I do need to keep these to no more than an hour in length. So while you’re thinking about your questions, I’ll pop through some items in the news.

“Stand your ground” gun law’s support is strong enough to override any committee vote, sponsor claims

One good news item is many of you will have known from last week’s show and our membership content on this topic that Ohio just became the 37 stand your ground state in the country. Over the last 20 years or so we’ve had a bunch of states shift from being duty to retreat states to being stand your ground states, we’ve had no state go the other way. And last week, Ohio was yet the most recent example of a state shifting from duty to retreat to stand your ground.

It looks like the next state will be Arkansas, which is one of the few remaining duty to retreat states apparently the Arkansas State Senate the senate panel, the committee required to review this before it goes to the full Senate has passed Arkansas stand your ground legislation. This legislation failed. This. Basically the same legislation failed two years ago, before the same committee, but the last time two years ago, they had a Republican member of the committee who voted against it and lost his seat the next time he was up for reelection. I guess the people of Arkansas did not appreciate that republican state senator voting against standard ground crossing party lines to do that.

So he got voted out a new guy got voted in. And now the a person committee has five republicans on it. And every one of those five republicans is a sponsor of the standard ground bill. So there’s no question it’s coming out of committee. I guess it already has come out of committee. Now it’s going before the full Senate where it’s expected to easily pass in the State Senate. And then it will go to the State House of Representatives where it will also expected to be easily passed.

And the governor of Arkansas is Republican who presumably will sign the bill. Hopefully he’s not a another like the prior Ohio Governor who vetoed standard ground, although he was nominally a Republican. Now they have a new governor in Ohio, who signed the wine who signed the bill, the sandy Granville a week or so ago. But presumably, Republican governor is a Hutchinson Arkansas bill signed a bill if passed, that’ll make Arkansas the 38th standard ground state, leaving an ever shrinking 12 states that remain duty to retreat states.

And what’s it mean to be a duty to retreat state it means that that state will force otherwise innocent victims of violent crime to have to attempt to flee their attacker before they can lawfully defend themselves. That’s what it means to be a duty to retreat state. So congratulations to those 12 you treat your citizens Great.

Firearms Instructor Questions Wisdom of Ohio’s New ‘Stand Your Ground’ Law

Another story in the news that caught my eye in the aftermath of Ohio passing standard ground. Here’s one way to make sure the news media will give you all the love and has to offer, every single time be a firearms instructor who’s against standard ground. If you’re that guy, you’ll be in all the newspapers and all the TV shows and all every one of the left to hate standard ground will show you all the love they have to offer.

Here we have a new story out of and by the way, all these news items I mentioned, I’ll hyperlink in the text version of today’s content over at the law, self defense comm blog. And that, that news and q&a blog content that’s only that is available, also open access, so you don’t need to be a member to access that.

But here they found that the newspapers found a purported firearms instructor, one, Cooper, I didn’t notice first name. Doesn’t really matter who he is. But he says or he’s quoted as saying, as a gun owner as a second amendment person, I believe everybody has the right to defend themselves. Nobody should be a victim. It’s our battle cry. So far, so good.

He also thinks apparently, as stated in the paper, that the standard ground policy, despite being a gun guy, Cooper thinks the policy which removes what’s known as the duty to retreat from a dangerous situation, before using lethal force is a bad idea. It will make people more likely to draw their gun quicker thinking they’re protected from prosecution now.

Will it really, Mr. Cooper? Do normal law abiding people get into fights they don’t need to get into. Because what Mr. Cooper is advocating by saying he’s opposed to stand your ground is he’s advocating that even a defender who’s in control, incontrovertibly, the innocent victim of an unlawful attack, and that unlawful attack is happening right now. And that unlawful attack is deadly force in nature. And that defender acts completely reasonably, and using force to defend themselves and those they have a duty to defend that that person should go to prison for the rest of their lives. If a prosecutor can convince a jury that, well, they should have taken that completely safe avenue of retreat, while they were defending against a life threatening attack.

That’s Mr. Cooper’s position. I don’t know how people like that who purport to be second amendment, self defense advocates can live with themselves. I like to think they simply haven’t thought it through. But in any case, Cooper got himself in the papers for sure. I saw dozens of news media references to Mr. Cooper as a firearms instructor as a quote unquote, gun guy who’s all for the Second Amendment, but wants you to have a legal duty to retreat from an unlawful deadly force attack before you’re privileged to defend yourself against that attack.

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin to be tried separately in George Floyd death case

Another news story, this one about the George Floyd case. The police officer Derek Chauvin, I guess former police officer, the one who is kneeling on Floyd’s neck is is going to be tried separately from the other officers and had looked like they were all going to be tried collectively. But Chauvin is going to get his own trial.

And as a criminal defense attorney, I always want my client to have their own trial. I don’t want my clients trial to be combined with other defendants, because it tends to tends to cause confusion, it tends to blur the line of individual responsibility and liability among the various people involved in the case.

Now, there are cases in which it appears legitimate for multiple defendants to be tried in a single trial. And that’s where essentially all the defendant has done exactly the same thing. So there’s really no distinction between their conduct.

But that’s not true in the George Floyd case. I mean, even if we presume for purposes of discussion, that worst case scenario, Derek Chauvin, brutally and with racist intent, murdered George Floyd by crushing his neck beneath his knee. That doesn’t mean the other officers did that, or even knew that was going on. I mean, is the guy holding Floyd’s feet bearing the same degree of responsibility as the cop who had his knee and Floyd’s neck? I don’t think that’s appropriate. And I don’t think they should be put in the same pool. I don’t think it’s fair to the officer who is holding the feet.

I also think that Chauvin having his own trial is beneficial to him, because it’s more likely he’ll be judged as an individual. And less likely, he’ll be judged as some kind of collective institutional racist representative of the entire police department, or at least that squad of officers who were involved in fluids lawful arrest. So I think it’s better for everyone that the trial is broken up.

Those of you who followed the Freddie Gray case back in, in Baltimore, Maryland, a few years ago, where six officers Baltimore officers were charged with crimes, the series is murder, over the in custody death of Freddie Gray, even though all the evidence clearly pointed to the probable cause of death, being Freddie Gray, standing up in the back of a police van, while it was in motion, falling and breaking his own neck, there was zero evidence that any officer use unlawful force against Freddie Gray.

All those six officers were prosecuted, every single one of them got their own trial. And I think that was appropriate as well. None of them by the way, got convicted. And none of them actually were even found to have found administratively to have acted improperly, every single one of them got their job back.

But it was appropriate for them to be tried separately. I think it’s appropriate here for these officers to be tried separately. I think all of them should be I don’t think it should just be Chauvin and the other three, it should all four should have their own trials.

By the way, it’s interesting how the news article on the story reports the this event so they give kind of a one sentence overview of what happened and the news report says quote, “the killing of Floyd.” well, right there, it’s presumed that he was killed, right?

For those who don’t know, Floyd had immediately prior to arrest taken a three-fold fatal dose of fentanyl, a suicidal level dose of fentanyl. So it’s not at all clear that he was killed as opposed to suicide. In fact, it seems far more likely that he died at the fentanyl overdose and then he died of the knee. So even the premise established with the first four words of the sentence, obviously bias the perception in I presume in the intended way.

But to go back, “The killing of Floyd a black man who died on May 25. While being pinned to the ground under Chauvin, SNI, sparked worldwide protest against systemic racism.”

Well, that’s one way to describe what happened. Here’s another way to describe what happened. I’ll say it’s at least as factually correct and supported by actual evidence, and provides considerably more comprehensive context to what happened. So here’s how I would characterize right that first sentence”

“The death of Floyd, a black man who died on May 25, after taking a three-fold fatal dose of fentanyl, in a presumed attempt to prevent the drug from being found as he was lawfully arrested, sparked worldwide protests by people who imagine this was an example of systemic racism.”

Now, which of those two versions provides a more comprehensive and contextual view of this event? Why is it the small- town lawyer me rather than the professional journalist who’s providing the greater more informative context? Maybe because I’m not a professional propagandist. I don’t have an axe to grind here.

Photos of Kyle Rittenhouse at Wisconsin Bar Surface on Social Media, Police Respond

Okay, another news event. Last one, and then I’ll look at questions in the comments. This is about Kyle Rittenhouse photos of Kyle Rittenhouse and Wisconsin bar surfers on social media. So Kyle’s only 18 years old, he was photographed in a Wisconsin bar having a beer and a Karen, a social justice Karen called the authorities saying hey, you should revoke his bail because, look, he’s underage and drinking.

So the authorities look at it and they say well, no That doesn’t violate his terms of agreement for his bail.

Because under Wisconsin law, if you’re under 21, you can go into a bar and have a drink if you are accompanied by a parent, and Kyle was accompanied by his mother so nothing unlawful happened.

The only reason this is news is it’s part of the orchestrated propaganda campaign against Kyle Rittenhouse to make him look as dirty a human as possible in preparation for you know, setting the battlespace against him the public perception battlespace against them in preparation for his trial.


Okay, folks, let me take a look now at the comments. I look first at the membership comments, although the members rarely have questions on these forums, on part because they they get content all through the week.

Difference Between LOSD Platinum and LOSD Consult Programs?

Oh, Scott here asks, What’s the difference between the Law of Self Defense Platinum program, the law of Self Defense Consult program. Tthe concept program really doesn’t exist anymore, it’s been rolled into the Platinum Program.

Well, I should rephrase that. The Consult program was just my guaranteed legal services. for no additional cost for Consult program members.

We created another level above that, that has the same legal coverage in terms of my services, but also provide, it combines the membership access to our video, text and podcast content as well.

So you have memberships, which is only about 30 cents a day, it’s inexpensive. You have the Consult program separately, which is my guaranteed legal services at no additional cost, separate program.

And then you have the Platinum program which combines both of those, that’s the best way of thinking about it.

If you have a membership, and you have a Consult program, you’re basically a Platinum member, because Platinum is the combination of those two, and you’re probably getting it less expensively.

I don’t believe we’re still offering new Consult programs. If you’re a Consult member, you get to stay. But I don’t think we offer the console program alone any longer.

Okay, let’s take a look at the Facebook, the book of face. And by the way, folks, I should caution everybody, it’s very likely in the near future that my participation on Facebook will be rapidly diminished, tremendously diminished. I’ll continue to do these News/Q&A Shows here every week. But otherwise, I won’t really be on Facebook, as an individual will only be using Facebook for business and promotional purposes.

So if you want to make sure that you keep in the loop and what we’re doing it last off the fence, I would urge you to make sure you’re on our email list, which you can is simple enough to do just go to  and download any of the free content we offer and you’ll be on our email list.

Okay, let’s see in the Facebook comments, see if there’s any questions. What’s my favorite upper court ruling calling out a lower court decision? Too many of them George I’m sorry. I simply couldn’t pick one off the top of my head. That was the most favorite. Let’s see.

And I caution folks I have I have my own strongly held personal political beliefs. But that’s not what we discuss here, in the context of Law of Self Defense.  You find me out in public some time let’s grab a beer. We can talk all the politics you want. But that’s not what we do. Here.

Is the Element of Imminence Subjective?

Wesley asked he’s got a question about the element of Imminence. He says Imminence means that the threat is either actually occurring or immediately about to occur. But what’s that mean? It seems there’s a time element there. That would be subjective for the person defending themselves.

It is subjective. And it’s going to be subjective for all the people deciding whether or not the defender’s subjective perception was objectively reasonable. This is inherent noise in the system.

So if the punch is actually coming at you or the knife is coming at you or the muzzle is falling upon you, that’s clearly imminent. If there’s minutes of delay or hours of delay, that looks a lot less imminent, that’s going to be a much harder sell. So it’s always going to be a judgment call.

Now, the closer, the more narrow in time, you can make it more apparent and obvious.

But the bottom line is, as always, you shouldn’t be using force and self defense unless you really need to and if you really need to the threat is probably imminent. If you have the possibility of safely getting away from the threat, you should always take advantage of that option if it’s available to you before you resort to the use of defensive force.

And in that case, the threat probably is not imminent. If it’s imminent you probably don’t have a chance to escape. So if you have a chance to escape safely, it probably means that It’s not imminent, but yes, there are subjective criteria to this.

Any USCCA Type Programs in Washington State?

Ernie asked if there’s any uscca type options for Washington State, I’m sorry, I don’t know, I don’t. I don’t really cover these insurance programs that closely. I really focus on legal cases and events. I think most of the firearms forums and blogs and if there’s a Washington state specific firearms blog, I’m sure there must be or firearms, you know, internet forum. Those folks would know better than me. Or you might try calling some of the companies already called CCW, safe called armed citizen Legal Defense Network. They may not be able to help you themselves in Washington state that they may be aware of attorneys there who are offering not self defense insurance but prepaid legal services.

I’ll also mention one other thing folks with these law firms that offer prepaid legal services, keep in mind that you’re stuck with them. With other options like CCW Safe, CCW Safe will recommend a criminal defense attorney to you. If you want to choose your own attorney, they’ll permit you to do that subject only to your preferred attorney being interviewed by CCW, safe national trial counselor, Don West.

And folks, that’s a good thing. It’s not a bad thing. If Don West is telling you, Don West is one of George Zimmerman’s attorneys, he’s a world class criminal defense attorney, if Don West tells you that your preferred attorney is not up to the task. I would take that very seriously, folks. If that’s Don’s opinion, I would not retain that attorney. So having Don review your choice is a good thing to have happen.

Whereas if you get one of these firm-specific programs, well, you’re stuck with that firm, whatever attorney they give you, maybe you don’t like that attorney.

Do Law of Self Defense legal services extend internationally?

Finally, Jeffrey asks, If my services extend internationally, they don’t folks. My expertise is limited to the 50 states, the District of Columbia, US territories, Virgin Islands, Guam, stuff like that. I have expertise in outside of the US jurisdiction. However, I don’t know anything about how their self defense laws work, or their criminal process.

Alright folks, we are at the top of the hour so I do have to sign off. Again, I want to respect everybody’s time including my own. So as always, if you carry a gun so that you’re hard to kill, that’s why I carry a gun so I’m hard to kill so my family’s hard to kill. Then you also owe it to yourself to make sure you know the law, so you’re hard to convict.

Alright, folks, until next time, I’m Attorney Andrew Branca for Law of Self Defense. Stay safe.

2 thoughts on “News/Q&A Show: Jan. 14, 2021”

  1. I believe an imminent use of force is a future use of force. It is seperated from the present by time and space, but it is on its way. The imminent use of force is not an immediate use of force, or even an inevitable use of force, but it will become a use of force unless something happens to prevent it. That is all there is to the element of imminence. Whether or not you are justified in using force to defend yourself from an imminent use of force depends upon other elements of self defense, including the element of necissity. When the imminent use of force is seperated from the present by enough time and space that you are not in immediate danger of irreparable injury, then the use of force is not imminent enough to necissate the use of protective force, even though it is an imminent use of force as a matter of fact.

  2. Hi Andrew,
    Thanks for answering my question on Felony Murder. The guy I saw on MSN being interviewed had been arrested by the DOJ for breaking into the Capitol and I believe he was seen on the video of the shooting. He also made the statement something like “we tried to pull her back” which to me would indicate that he was part of the mob trying to breach the barricade. I had watched the video on Felony Murder and that was the reason for my question

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