Having a Personal Gun Law Strategy for you and your family may be the most important part of gun ownership for any gun owner!
From my perspective after practicing law for over 30 years with a specialty in Gun Law, I can absolutely say this should happen before you every buy or shoot a gun. It’s that important. It is your guide and your roadmap for what you need to do to protect you and your family today and into the future. And like any good strategy, it changes, it gets modified, it is a living breathing plan that fits into your life. So what is a Gun Law Strategy?
It is simply a well thought out (and discussed) personalized plan of actions (or inaction’s) for how every individual in your family with access to a firearm (or even potential access), will be considered to ensure the safety of your family. And it does it within the guidelines of the law. Unlike other plans that are only focused on how to store firearms or a safety course, this focuses on all the same issues PLUS incorporates the legal aspect into your decisions. Without understanding and complying with the legal issues, the best gun plan can still end with people getting hurt (physically and financially) and landing in jail. When you have the safety surrounded by the law then you can truly have “Peace of Mind”…which is the central purpose of a Gun Law Strategy.
A Gun Law Strategy has several key aspects. Some of them we have talked about in the previous four sections above. But here are some additional areas and responsibilities each gun owner should consider…
- Responsibility to ensure that your firearms do not fall into criminal hands due to carelessness or neglect
- Responsibility to ensure that a child does not get a hold of your firearm, resulting in a tragedy.
- Responsibility to ensure that when you are handling guns, your actions are safe for all around you.
- And finally, it is your responsibility to understand the laws regarding use of deadly force in self-defense and to be aware of what happens within the legal system when a citizen uses deadly force in self-defense.
The need to understand the legal system and the laws regarding use of deadly force is the key to making sure you sleep in your own bed the night after an act of self-defense instead of sleeping on a jail cot. There are a number of considerations for you to discuss with an attorney when developing a Gun Law Strategic Plan. Some of these include…
- Self-Defense if very expensive…whether you are criminally charged or not. The civil side of self-defense often times can cost much more than the criminal defense…especially if you are innocent. Understanding these legal costs from all areas is important to have as part of your plan before you pull the trigger.
- When will you make the decision to shoot…what does that scenario look like for you and your family? Understanding this before you pull the trigger is a critical component of your plan.
- Legal definitions around such topics as “imminent danger” vs. “perceived danger” are critical to understand as you plan for your decisions. This should be part of your overall plan so you can execute your plan and not always keep wondering.
- If you fire a gun, what do you do next? This isn’t left to chance or circumstances but is very well discussed and laid out for you so you know how to execute your plan after the gun is fired.
- Who to call and how to handle the post-shoot situation…even if you don’t shoot someone. You need to know what to do if your gun is discharged during any confrontation.
When you combine these elements with the Top 4 elements you can see why it is so important for every gun owner (family or not) have a Gun Law Strategy. For the gun owners I know, this isn’t an option, it is the starting point before all the fun of target practice, hunting, or anything else…I hope it is equally important for you as well.