We’re not sure how to feel about this one. The Star Telegram reports that companies are starting to offer “gun insurance” following the aftermath of the Zimmerman trial, and not gun insurance in the traditional sense of the word. Companies like Texas Law Shield have started providing legal representation for gun owners who act in self-defense.
The structure is fairly simple, members of the insurance block pay a base monthly fee of $11 to advise them during police investigations and represent them at trial. Texas Law Shield, and others, provide a 24-hour hotline to assist more than 70,000 members when they have questions about self-defense laws.
“People who have seen what happened to Zimmerman began to consider their own circumstances and asked how would their life be affected if something like that happened to them,” said attorney Edwin Walker, co-founder of Texas Law Shield.
Other companies opt to provide coverage in the form of settlement claims that may arise from self-defense gun use. USCCA, for example, offers a platinum level coverage plan that provides $500,000 and currently has 60,000 members.
“If someone’s carrying a firearm and they have to display or discharge their weapon and it is reported to police, they should anticipate charges being brought,” a spokesperson for USCCA said. “If you make a decision to carry a weapon, you should consider taking out one of these types of policies.”
The plan works, according to an interview with Darrell Schooler via Star Telegram:
Schooler, 47, of Fort Worth, was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon after shooting at a man outside a Fort Worth nightclub on Aug. 6, 2011, Tarrant County district clerk records said. Schooler was released after posting a $7,500 bond, according to Tarrant County jail records.
His attacker hit his car window three times with his fist and the butt of his gun before Schooler pulled his weapon and fired, shattering the car window. The man was surprised by the flying glass and shot himself in the arm, Schooler said. Schooler was no-billed by the grand jury on March 20, 2012, district clerk records show.
Attorneys from Texas Law Shield represented Schooler during the investigation. Representation was free with the exception of Schooler’s monthly premiums.
“This is insurance I thought I’d never have to use,” Schooler said. “Without it, I’d probably be in jail for something I didn’t do. God was with me that day. If I had leaned an inch-and-a-half to the left, I wouldn’t be talking to you now. That’s how close I came to getting my head blown off.”
Darrell Schooler said it took less than two seconds to make the decision to fire his weapon, but it took weeks for him to get out of jail while authorities sorted through the details.
It’s unfortunate that it’s come to this. Gun owners shouldn’t be forced to buy insurance just to own a gun. Self-defense isn’t something that civilians need to second guess. But, if that’s the way mainstream media and anti-gun politicians want to be who can blame these companies for offering protection?