U.S. LawShield

Veteran Firearms Writer Gains Knowledge at U.S. LawShield Writer’s Symposium

by Ace Luciano

As an outdoor and firearm writer, I was invited to attend the U.S. LawShield Writer’s Symposium. There are many who would consider me an “expert “in firearms and all things relating to them- including the legalities surrounding their ownership and use. 

One might especially assume my legal knowledge is at least “better than average” based on the fact that over the past 18 years, I have had over 175 Attorney clients, including many who specialize in criminal defense and several who were regarded as some of the best constitutional litigators in the nation.

I recently found out that there was not only much that I didn’t know, but that there were things that I was dead wrong about. 

A few weeks ago, I was invited to attend and writers conference in Houston, Texas, hosted by U.S. LawShield. U.S. LawShield is one of several companies in the nation whose purpose is to protect their customers from the legal consequences of advocating and exercising their right to self-defense.

One of the first things I learned was that their program is not just a “firearm use insurance” policy, but, rather, protection of you, your rights, your freedom and your financial well-being in any case of self-defense. 

Defending yourself against a criminal charge is EXPENSIVE

One of the things that made a large impact was the actual cost of defending yourself in court. Some of the numbers, even for a rather straightforward/minor charge touched the high 5-figure range. 

In the case of multiple charges or a federal charge, well, let’s just say that I don’t know many folks that can afford to more than triple their mortgage payment to avoid going to jail or to pay out 6 or 7- figure settlements! 

U.S. LawShield Attorney Hours

Take a look at the statistics for the approximate attorney hours to complete an average case.
1,000 hours for a murder charge. Almost 200 hours for “animal cruelty.“ (Need to use your concealed weapon to protect yourself or someone else from an aggressive dog? Be prepared for one of these charges!) 

Even a relatively minor charge of discharging a firearm can take 100 hours. That could easily exceed the $15,000-$20,000 range and higher. 

U.S. LawShield covers 100% of your attorney fees for both civil and criminal cases with no cap and no deductible on any covered incident.

Traveling Legally with firearms

Another thing I learned was that, while there are laws to protect persons traveling through various states and cities with their firearms, there are at least several of those states and municipalities that find ways around those laws in order to prevent, or at least make difficult, private ownership of firearms by the average U.S. Citizen, and many of those places hand down some very serious charges that are difficult and expensive to defend. 

A provision of the federal law known as the Firearms Owners’ Protection Act, or FOPA, protects those who are transporting firearms for lawful purposes from local restrictions which would otherwise prohibit passage.
From the NRA website:
“Under FOPA, notwithstanding any state or local law, a person is entitled to transport a firearm from any place where he or she may lawfully possess and carry such firearm to any other place where he or she may lawfully possess and carry it, if the firearm is unloaded and locked out of reach. In vehicles without a trunk, the unloaded firearm must be in a locked container other than the glove compartment or console. Ammunition that is either locked out of reach in the trunk or in a locked container other than the glove compartment or console is also covered.

U.S. LawShield members can call a toll-free number and speak with an attorney in any state. This is invaluable if you are going to be traveling with your firearm.

Some state and local governments treat FOPA as an affirmative defense

Travelers should be aware that some state and local governments treat this federal provision as an affirmative defense” that may only be raised after an arrest. All travelers in areas with restrictive laws would be well advised to have copies of any applicable firearm licenses or permits, as well as copies or printouts from the relevant jurisdictionsofficial publications or websites documenting pertinent provisions of law (including FOPA itself) or reciprocity information.  In the event of an unexpected or extended delay, travelers should make every effort not to handle any luggage containing firearms unnecessarily and to secure it in a location where they do not have ready access to it.”

An entire presentation was given on the state of New Jersey and how bad it can be even when you’re federally protected by FOPA. One of the standout examples was regarding someone that missed a connecting flight and took their bags to the hotel, one of which had his firearm. When he returned the next day and declared his unloaded and locked firearm, he was promptly arrested and subject to a lengthy and expensive legal battle that would have caused him substantial financial hardship. According to U.S. LawShield Independent Program Attorney for New Jersey, Evan Nappen, if you want to travel with your firearm, “Don’t come to New Jersey.”

Your social media is an asset- to the PROSECUTOR

What you post on social media can be a huge liability to your case. Posts that you publish in jest can be taken out of context. Simple phrases like “I would KILL someone if they did that to me,” racial/ethnic slurs, and even comedic posts that make fun of or minimize violence and violent acts can and, likely, WILL be found by the team that will be assembled to prosecute you. Stickers or signs on your door like, “We don’t dial 911” will be used to give a false narrative to your mindset-even if it isn’t true. The best advice- don’t post or say things like that on your page. If you have, go back NOW and clean them up.

What do do after you’ve discharged a weapon

Finally, there was a valuable presentation on “what to do after the bang.” 

The shortest answer is, “don’t speak to police and CALL AN ATTORNEY.“

You may think you’re being helpful and have “done nothing wrong,“ but even the smallest misstep can mean many hours of trial and thousands of dollars in legal fees. Your best course of action is to politely tell police that you want to be the most helpful you can to them, but that you are waiting on your counsel to call/arrive before you make any statements, and that you are grateful for and understanding of the job that they do.

Watch a video from U.S. LawShield on making a 911 call after a self-defense incident. Click Here

Watch a video from U.S. LawShield about what to do once the police arrive. Click Here

About the Author:

This Post Was Authored by Ace Luciano.

Who is Ace Luciano? 

That depends on whom you ask. 

Ask anyone in the outdoor or gun world, and they’ll tell you that Ace is a 2A proponent, a big game hunter, author, adventurer and super-duper friendly guy that has a great deal of sales knowledge that seems to be everywhere and knows everyone. 

Ask someone in the “corporate world” and they might tell you that Ace is the guy that smashes and sets sales records that may have stood for decades-regardless of the industry…but there is so much more. 

Hunter. Fisherman. Outdoorsman. Black Belt. “Gun Guy,” Youth Mentor. Writer. Best-selling author. Entrepreneur. Sales Executive. Marketing Expert. Seminar speaker. Fundraising Professional. These phrases and more have all been used to describe this dynamic outdoor and gun world personality and all around “good-guy.” A self-described “jack of many trades” and a Master of several, Ace is often described as “that guy…”

As in, “You know… THAT GUY….” 

Finally, as a 30 plus year student of martial arts, personal defense and firearms and firearms defensive use, Ace’s knowledge spans a broad area- including guns, self defense and the law. 


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