We carry, in a sense, as a form of insurance. The vast majority of us don’t want to shoot anyone—we’re much less likely to than even law enforcement officers—but the fact is that the unthinkable can happen.
And we want to be ready.
So in addition to the training, selecting the right firearm for you, buying the perfect holster, and all else that goes into carrying a concealed handgun, there’s another question to consider: do you need an attorney on speed dial?
It’s an important question. Regardless of how you feel about George Zimmerman and the shooting of Trayvon Martin, the fact remains that –right or wrong—the latter is dead and the former faced over a million dollars in legal fees. This is a nightmarish situation—more so if you’re justified in a self-defense shooting. Viewed from that angle, an attorney on call, if not on retainer, makes a lot of sense.
There are a couple of options for you. The first and most obvious is to find an attorney in your area and working something out with them. It’s the simplest and most direct approach, however you need to make sure to find an attorney who is sympathetic to your situation, effective in the courtroom, and familiar with the many legal issues which accompany concealed carry. There are some great online guides for finding such an attorney, so take a look and educate yourself.
Secondly, pre-paid legal insurance is a growing industry in this country. There are many different plans and approaches, but in general for a monthly fee you get access to a lawyer or team of lawyers, and some level of legal coverage. It’s essentially a budget-friendly form of a retainer, and it offers advantages in all aspects of your personal and professional life. CCW folks should probably consider selecting a plan that specializes in self defense cases and the many, many legal issues and challenges around concealed carry law.
Regardless of what you decide, it’s important to at least consider the question in advance. A good attorney can supplement your own research and understanding of your state’s CCW and self-defense laws. Given that such laws are subject to changes, expert help in interpreting them is exceptionally useful. And—like your CCW itself—knowing that you have some legal protection is another step toward peace of mind.
So take some time to think it over. I sincerely hope none of us ever have to use a weapon in self defense, but should disaster strike I hope it goes as well as it can, both during the incident and in the aftermath.
Stay safe out there.