Network Reaches a Major Goal
by Marty Hayes, J.D.
I am pleased to report that our Legal Defense Fund has exceeded the One Half of a Million Dollars goal! This is huge, folks. A half-million dollar Legal Defense Fund was our goal when we began. I aimed for that amount because it was my expectation that once we reached that milestone, we could count on fully funding the legal defense of any member needing our assistance after a self-defense incident.
Most of the insurance backed programs put an arbitrary limit on the amount of reimbursement they will allow after an acquittal.
For example, the United States Concealed Carry Association will only reimburse either 25k, 50k or 100k of legal expenses, and that is after the acquittal. You have to win the fight in court first, then request reimbursement. Do you have that much money lying around to spend on attorney’s fees? The Network does have that much money to pay for your self-defense legal fight if you are a member. And we pay it to your attorney up front, so you have the best chance of walking out of court a free man or free woman.
Additionally, with reaching this goal, we now are facing a new decision. We can keep growing the Legal Defense Fund, or we could add a bail assistance program. As you know, if you are arrested for a serious crime after an act of self defense, you will be given a bail hearing, and the judge will decide if you are trustworthy enough to be released on your own personal recognizance or he or she will set a bail amount. Bail can either be a cash bail, meaning that you must come up with the cash (see the Larry Hickey story linked on the front page of our website) or you could post bail by hiring a bail bondsman. To hire a bail bondsman, you pay 10% of the bail amount out of pocket ($10k for a $100k bail amount).
Legal Education Seminars
Occasionally an opportunity to train in the legal arena arises that deserves special attention. We have three such opportunities coming up in 2015, which Network affiliated instructors are either coordinating or teaching. The first is the Massad Ayoob Group’s Use of Deadly Force Instructor certification course, taught by Massad Ayoob and myself.
Some years ago, I teamed up with Massad Ayoob to offer a similar course at The Firearms Academy of Seattle, but it has been at least a decade since we have done one. So, we figured with the increased attention concealed carry has gained over the years and the proliferation of people teaching the subject matter that it was time to offer the training again. The dates for this year’s course, held at the Firearms Academy of Seattle are July 27-31, 2015.
This is a week long seminar, which will prepare the student to both teach the subject matter and to testify in court as a material witness to the material the instructor taught to his or her students OR in some cases, to testify as an expert in court. The course will be held either at the headquarters of the Firearms Academy of Seattle, near Onalaska WA, or at a larger meeting room in nearby Centralia or Chehalis, WA. For those flying in to take the course, we strongly recommend flying into Portland International Airport (PDX), renting a car and driving to Chehalis/Centralia. There are reasonable motel rates in these two cities, and it is a nice 25 minute drive out into the country to the headquarters of The Firearms Academy of Seattle.
Firearms Academy has a classroom which can seat 36 people comfortably, and while we do not expect to exceed that number of students, if we do, we will move the location to a conference center at one of the hotels in Centralia or Chehalis.
The instructor certification course is limited to people who hold instructor credentials from a recognized firearms instructor program (such as the NRA or one of the professional schools) and also to members of the Armed Citizens’ Legal Defense Network, whether those members teach or not. It never hurts to have an instructor credential behind your name if you have to justify your actions in court, as being an instructor is one of the pre-requisites to being considered an expert in a subject matter. We welcome all members to consider attending the course, and especially those teaching the discipline. More information can be found at http://firearmsacademy.com/guest-instructors/109-udfi.
As you read in this journal’s lead article, Andrew Branca, one of our Network Affiliated Attorneys is holding his Law of Self-Defense legal seminar across the nation. I attended an abbreviated version of the course last February and can recommend it highly. You can see if Andrew is teaching the course locally by visiting his website http://lawofselfdefense.com and if your state is not on his seminar schedule, you might consider contacting him directly and hosting one of his courses. It is well worth the effort.
J.B. and Glenda Herren, two of our Pacific Northwest Network Affiliated Instructors, are coordinating a six-day (48 hours of presentations) All Star Legal Conference. For this unique training course, they are gathering some of the top names in the self-defense legal community together to discuss both the different aspects of the law of self defense, but also some gun rights issues. On tap to teach at their November conference are Massad Ayoob, Mitch Vilos, James Fleming, Alan Gottlieb and myself.
I am looking forward to rolling out a couple of new lectures I am starting to give around the country, Court-Proofing Self Defense and Training to Solve Problem Two as much as I am looking forward to listening to the different speakers and getting a chance to pick their brains. There will be over 100 years of legal experience teaching at the six-day conference. See http://www.fridayharborgunrunners.com/ecProduct_165_60 for further information.
Meet Melissa DeYoung
When you call the Network (360-978-5200) you will likely be greeted by a cheerful voice on the other end of the line, belonging to Melissa DeYoung. She recently left her profession in the medical billing industry to join the Network team full-time. Melissa had been doing fill-in work for the Network throughout the latter half of 2014 and into the first part of this year. We were delighted in March when she accepted a full-time position with us.
Melissa and her husband have been Network members since our early years, and both are firmly entrenched in the gun culture. Both Melissa and her husband teach for my other business, The Firearms Academy of Seattle. She is also a hunter, mother of an adult son and daughter, and grandmother to a lively little boy. We are very excited to have her helping us grow the Network, and so if you get her on the line, be sure to welcome her to the administrative team.
A New and Disturbing Wrinkle in Flying Armed
When flying back from the NRA Annual Meeting I ran into an American Airlines policy that had me fuming and caused a considerable amount of inconvenience. It seems that they treat people flying with guns in their checked baggage like second class citizens, requiring those of us who are transferring to a different airline, to go retrieve our checked bag between flights, and re-check it at the check in counter of the second airline.
This happened to me recently when flying from Nashville to Portland. I had to race down to baggage claim at LAX, and then hustle up to Alaska Airlines to check (and pay another baggage fee) to get my checked firearm home to Portland. I just about missed the connecting flight. I will make sure that American Airlines never gets another dollar from me, if I have any choice.
When I asked the American Airlines gate agent about the policy, he said it was a liability issue. I guess guns disappear from luggage from time to time, and they don’t want to pay for a gun that came up missing if another airline’s employee stole it. Well, I can understand that, but it seems pretty much like the old saying about “stepping over dollars to pick up pennies.” You see, because of my job, I fly fairly often, and up to now, I have preferred to fly American Airlines.
Now, because of my personal boycott of American Airlines, they will miss several thousand dollars a year of income due to this policy. So be it.
Another Milestone Reached At The NRA Convention!
While we were taking new member signups at the NRA convention, we quietly exceeded 9,000 active members! I mentioned earlier that one of the goals I set for the Network was $500,000 in the Legal Defense Fund. My other goal was 10,000 members, and we are now 90% of the way to reaching that goal. Can we reach it by the end of the year? I hope so.
We are prepared to serve this many members and more, as we have added another full-time administrative assistant to help Gila. We have also started a little advertising, but let me be frank: The quickest way for the Network to grow is for each member to have another shooting buddy or family member join the Network. Just think, if each of the 9,000 members recruited just one new member for the Network between now and the end of the year, the Network’s membership would double! How cool would that be? Remember, that even though the Network is a business, it is also a member organization, and Network membership benefits grow stronger with each and every new member.
More News From The NRA Meeting
Gosh, we sure had a productive three days in Nashville. We took care of a lot of business, and as a result, I expect to have some very exciting news to share with you as the year progresses. For now, my big news is that we have been told that The Best Defense TV program has been renewed for another year. The Best Defense team of Jeff Murray, Michael Bane, Michael Janich, Mike Seeklander and myself will be getting together soon for a production meeting to outline next year’s shows. You can see a quick interview with Michael Bane and Ed Head from the Outdoor Channel, shot at the NRA Annual Meeting at this link http://www.outdoorchannel.com/eventvideo.aspx?id=27777. Scroll down to the bottom of the page for the segment with me, Michael and Ed.
It was also good for my ego when people were walking by the booth, and they stopped and commented that they liked to watch me on The Best Defense. I mean, hundreds of people–I never knew the show was that popular. Many of our visitors also joined the Network based on my appearance on the show, liking the message I was delivering. I am really looking forward to next year when you can expect an even more expanded role for me in The Best Defense’s next season. You will have to watch the show to see what that will be. The show is airing now on the Outdoor Channel. Learn more at http://outdoorchannel.com/the-best-defense.
For me, the most personally gratifying part of the NRA show came when Network members stopped in at our booth to say hi to Vincent, Gila and me. I vividly remember the first NRA meeting we participated in in Phoenix, AZ, in 2009. I was thrilled then when the half a dozen members we met at that show stopped by our booth, but here at Nashville, the number was well over a hundred members just stopping by and thanking us for being there.
I also gave several podcast interviews at the NRA show and was also filmed by Aaron Little, of Tactical Response. Aaron has been a long time instructor for Tactical Response, with Tactical Response being a major recruiter for the Network. It seems that every week when we do the summary, that one or two of our new members are their students and they report that their instructors referred them to us. I wish all of our Network Affiliated Instructors were as successful as they are with promoting the Network.
That will wrap up this month’s message. I always am excited for the future of the Network when I come home from one of these trips, and this one was no exception.
Click here to return to May 2015 Journal to read more.