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The Law of Self Defense: The Indispensable Guide to the Armed Citizen Paperback – April 26, 2016
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About the Author
Andrew F. Branca is an attorney and the internationally recognized expert on self-defense law. Andrew consults on criminal cases nationally and teaches self-defense law to police, tactical instructors, and civilians. Andrew regularly provides legal expertise for news outlets such as the Wall Street Journal and NPR, and was a featured speaker at the 2014 NRA Annual Meeting. Andrew has shot competitively since his youth, and is a multi-division Master-class competitor in the International Defensive Pistol Association (IDPA). He is an NRA certified firearms instructor, and a life-long absolutist for the Second Amendment.
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The author presents a very sobering view of how the legal system works for those who choose to defend themselves in a violent encounter. Yes, you may have killed the bad guy, and you may feel that you are right, but if the legal system choses to pursue your actions, you will have two outcomes; the price tag of your legal defense and your freedom, or, 20 years to life in prison. On several occasions, while reading, I thought that death or serious bodily injury might actually be a good option given the real possibility of jail for the rest of my life, a fate that might be assigned by a gun hostile jury or some real error I made in the deadly encounter.
For all of those folks with high capacity magazines, heed this warning. Every single shot you fire in self-defense will be evaualted by the DA. As the author pointed out, there was a case where a subject fired 6 shots. Three were deemed self-defense, while the last 3 were considered attempted murder. The defender was convicted on the 3 "bad" shots and got a life sentence plus 90 years. So, a magazine with 20 rounds is a joke. If you shoot 20 rounds in a self defense case, you are in for a world of trouble with the justice system.
Lastly, know your state laws. The author goes to great length to compare differences in state law for self-defense. Infact, the last third of this book, is a comprehensive digest of every state law for a meriad of serif-defense issues.
This book is a must read for all gun owners.
The purpose of this book, in my opinion, is to form a proper mental attitude for a self-defense situation. This book really makes you think about the "un-locks" you might have in order to draw a weapon and use it.
I found it easy to read, entertaining and informative. I am a lawyer (but no experience with this area of law at all since law school years ago), and think it is well-suited to the general reader, as well as to lawyers or others more familiar with legal concepts and approaches - the author doesn't over-simplfy conplex concepts, but also makes the subject matter easily approachable.
I also very much appreciate that the author maintains a website with up-to-date law revisions and new case law, as well as providing commentary on recent news stories / reports of defensive (or, regrettably, not) firearms use.
There were a few instances of material / concepts that were substantially repeated only a paragraph or two away from previous, similar instances (*not* in the chapter summaries that are provided after each chapter) that a better job of editing might have addressed, but that did not, IMHO, detract from the overall value of the information presented or the style in which it was presented and explained.
I think this book is an incredibly valuable resource for anyone who owns a firearm that might be used in a self-defense situation, and without hesitation would recommend it to the responsible firearm owner.
It is impossible to write a book that is thorough and explicit on the laws of concealed carry in all jurisdictions. That said, this book does a very fine job of approaching this task with the ever present caveat that laws in all jurisdictions are fluid things. The bulk of the book explores fundamental legal principles involved in deadly force applications, along with case law discussions applicable to specific historic instances in which deadly force was used.
I honestly did not expect that this book would be so captivating. It is well written, in an informal language, that makes it very easy to comprehend and very difficult to put down once one has begun reading it.
I will probably re-read this book at least once a year to remind myself about what it might mean for me and my loved if I pull that trigger. The morass that is the US legal system (criminal and civil), the politicization of 2nd Amendment issues and the uncertainty of unpredictable jury decisions means anyone who owns a weapon for self-defense needs to be certain in their decision to pull the trigger and fully prepared long before the beginning of all the events that will follow on that decision.