Personal CCW Insurance
by Todd Burke
This is an important subject with important information. With the level of turmoil in our world today, I suggest you research and understand this subject, and I want to help. Please note that what I share with you today is different from what I believed and promoted only three years ago! Whether you carry a firearm or not, having personal use-of-force or “CCW” insurance is a subject you should burn some glucose on and consider.
Culture and Beliefs Turned Upside-Down: What is Happening Today?
Agents in government and members of our judicial system are perpetrating unlawful and malicious actions against law-abiding citizens. Two recent and well-publicized examples include:
- Mark and Patricia McCloskey, June 28, 2020, St. Louis, MO. The initial prosecution was by St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner. President Trump and Missouri Governor Parson both went on the record declaring Gardner’s actions as wrong. Missouri’s Attorney General Eric Schmitt filed a legal brief in support of dismissing the case, writing that prosecuting the McCloskeys is a violation of their right to bear arms, and their right to defend their property under Missouri’s “castle doctrine” law. But prosecution continues.
- Kyle Rittenhouse, August 25, 2020, Kenosha, WI.
These two incidents show that law-abiding citizens can act reasonably, in good faith, and according to state and Constitutional law yet still be arrested, imprisoned, and prosecuted…or should we say persecuted? Good people are increasingly finding themselves involved in incidents, which may or may not involve firearms, creating a need for legal assistance and representation in the face of unlawful and malicious arrest, imprisonment, and prosecution. Note that as of today, the McCloskey and Rittenhouse incidents are still pending in court and no final disposition has yet been made.
Statistics and Facts.
- In 2019 there were approximately 15,300 shooting deaths in America. (cbs.com)
- In 2019 there were approximately 29,500 shooting injuries in America. (cbs.com)
- More than 15 MILLION people are licensed to carry, but this does not account for those who lawfully carry without a permit or training (Crime Prevention Research Center)
- Each year, there are over 40 MILLION lawsuits filed in America. (onelegal.com)
Social Considerations and Aggravating Circumstances.
- “Defund the police” movements
- The current mass exodus of police officers in record numbers. Read the article “Police Departments on the Brink.”
- Autonomous zones, encampments, or take-over areas such as Portland, Seattle, Minneapolis, Nashville, Asheville, and the University of Missouri-Columbia (2015-16). Remember the thug enabling UMC media professor Melissa Click?
- Malicious and politically motivated prosecutors and politicians such as Kim Gardner in St. Louis
- Local governments ignoring or supporting criminal assaults and rioting by calling it “protesting” or a “summer of love” (Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan, 6-11-2020)
- The media supports dissent and actively conducts fear campaigns. Whether it is Covid, politics and the elections, the weather, murder hornets or flying monkeys…honest journalism is gone and evil continues to be infused in the mainstream.
What I Used to Believe.
In the Fall 2017 edition of The Shooting Times, Dale Roberts and I addressed the common question of “Do I Need CCW Insurance?” We shared information, links, and suggestions with you. Here is a quick review, and these points remain valid today:
- You are legally justified to use deadly force if you are in imminent fear for your life or the life of another, AND you believe the force you are about to use is necessary to stop the criminal’s life-threatening behavior. (RSMo. 563.031.2)
- Missouri statutes state that the appropriate use of force in self-defense is an absolute bar to both criminal prosecution and civil liability. “Notwithstanding the provisions of section 563.016, a person who uses force as described in sections (Use of Force in Defense of Persons) 563.031, (Use of Force in Defense of Property) 563.041, (Law Enforcement Officer’s Use of Force in Making an Arrest) 563.046, (Private Person’s Use of Force in Making an Arrest) 563.051, (Use of Force to Prevent Escape from Confinement) 563.056, and (Use of Force by Persons with Responsibility for Care, Discipline or Safety of Others) 563.061 is justified in using such force and such in fact shall be an absolute defense to criminal prosecution or civil liability.”
In other words, once the court determines you have justifiably used force in self-defense, then all prosecution must halt, and you are immune from civil liability. This does not mean that you ‘cannot be sued.’ Anyone with the filing fee can file a suit against you. But under the example above, that lawsuit will be promptly “thrown out.” The state law requires it. In addition, you have the right to seek reimbursement of your attorney fees. Knowing that they might have to pay your attorney’s fees for you keeps most folks from filing frivolous lawsuits.
- If you have homeowner’s or renter’s insurance, your policy may offer you some protection. Look for the “wrongful acts” clause in your homeowner’s policy, and check for “intentional acts,” “self-defense,” or “reasonable force” clauses. It may only apply to what happens at home. Many people do not know what their policy covers…do you?
But even with the above measures currently written as law, egregious and unbelievable actions are being taken against people who appear to be acting lawfully and within reasonable bounds. Three years ago, I believed that acting reasonably and in good faith, knowing the law, training frequently, and actively assessing my environment to avoid trouble was enough. I did not believe that I needed specialized insurance. I now realize I was wrong. My perspectives and beliefs have changed.
Life Insurance vs. Life Assurance.
Dealing with an emergency, particularly a threat to our lives, must be something we address in advance and prepare for. My services to you are mostly in helping you prepare for what to do before you are forced to take “the final exam.” This life assurance process includes activities such as:
- Learning situational awareness and how to perform threat assessment.
- Training and preparation based upon correctly perceived needs; respond appropriately.
- Developing mental and physical skill sets and being able to perform necessary skills.
- Evaluating and obtaining the correct tools and hardware for the job.
- On-going evaluation and adjustment based upon performance and needs, learning that “we don’t know what we don’t know.”
As a companion to these skills and abilities, we also need life insurance. This means having resources in place after “the final exam” has happened, realizing there remain significant repercussions to be dealt with. This is more than just surviving or avoiding being killed. This means emotional, physical, mental, social, and spiritual well-being, and may include:
- Commercial insurance to deal with the loss of “stuff” such as after an accident or fire.
- Social support of friends, family, and clergy who will protect and support me in a safe place and help me avoid daily scrutiny and stalking by the media.
- CCW or use-of-force insurance that is specific to addressing threats such as those we outlined at the beginning from St. Louis and Kenosha.
Seeing the injustices that some in authority are inflicting upon citizens and communities, the increased chance of having to defend yourself or someone else, along with the increased chance of being arrested or sued has led me to believe that CCW insurance is a necessary tool in my kit.
Introducing The Firm I Recommend: Legal Shield
In the past three years I have had memberships with three different companies. All offer benefits, but I have found one is “best in class” and provides the best and most comprehensive services for the best price. Legal Shield is not just insurance. Membership means you actually have an identified attorney on retainer. In fact, not only am I a member, but I feel so strongly about including this protection for my family that I have also become an associate for this company that features:
- 48 years in business with over 4 million members.
- 39 law firms in the United States and Canada.
- When you join, you will have a network attorney identified to you in advance.
- Team attorneys have an average of 22 years of experience.
- Your membership prepays for services which means your attorney’s focus is on serving you, not billing for hours; they are paid by the company.
- You can speak with an attorney on an unlimited number of personal legal issues for advice. Attorneys return calls in 4 hours or less and are on-call for emergencies 24/7. Important note: unlike other companies, when you call Legal Shield, you will speak with an attorney. This means ALL of your conversations are protected by the attorney-client privilege.
- A+ rating by the Better Business Bureau
- An app on your phone makes access and contact easy.
For your membership fee of less than $40 each month, examples of covered firearms-related issues include:
- Home intrusion and self-defense
- Sport, hunting, and accidental discharges
- Preparation and trial defense
- Setting up an NFA firearms trust
- Coverage in ALL 50 STATES (other companies charge extra for states other than your place of residence)
- Coverage includes your spouse and minor children also for no additional charge
Services are not limited to firearms and self-defense issues. A full complement of additional legal services is offered as part of the plan (not offered by other companies):
- Personal estate planning and real estate issues
- Consumer finance, billing or debt disputes, arguments with contractors, IRS issues
- Traffic accidents and traffic tickets
- Workplace discrimination, sexual harassment or unemployment claims
- Family law, divorce, child custody and adoption
- Civil suits and trials
Access to information about your membership benefits, as well as instant contact information to your personal attorney, can be kept on your phone with a downloadable app. Here is a picture of my phone with tabs that allow me to call for assistance from my law firm, began the process of writing a will, submitting a legal question, submit a document or traffic ticket to be reviewed, or open other legal document forms.
If you already have a firearms plan with another company and wish to keep it, but you want the additional non-firearms services Legal Shield offers, you may purchase the Basic Legal Shield plan for $24.95/month. If you do not carry a firearm or firearms are not a part of your tool kit, the Basic Legal Shield plan is a great option. To include legal protection as a firearms owner, add $12.95 which makes your premium $37.90/month.
If you would like to become a member it would be my pleasure to sponsor and enroll you. The application for Legal Shield is two pages and I can meet you in person and fill this out together, or I can e-mail attach it to you and we can discuss it by phone. I will then forward your application to Legal Shield to begin your plan and benefits.
Stay safe, prepare and remain vigilant, continue to train, and be well.