With gun sales soaring, a West Chester Township trustee is banking that there will be a market for those who may need legal protection for armed self defense.George Lang, a West Chester trustee, and defense attorney Sean Maloney of Liberty Township came up with the idea of offering self-defense membership plans 2 1/2 years ago, before launching Second Call Defense in late February.
Lang and other investors have spent $200,000 in legal fees to make their dream a reality. They have 500 members from Washington state to Florida, and hope hope to have to 100,000 members in two years.
Maloney says their program, which is backed by the NRA Endorsed Insurance Program, is the only one in the United States that provides comprehensive legal and financial resources for armed self defense.
Unlike self-defense coverage offered by the NRA, which doesn’t provide financial assistance until after the court process is over, Second Call Defense provides immediate help by providing money for bail and an attorney retainer. With that help, Maloney claims court appearances can be avoided.
“We knew that if a law-abiding citizen properly uses a firearm in self-defense and they have immediate representation, then the case is going to end right there,” Maloney said. “If you don’t have that representation, anything can happen.”
Second Call Defense provides five levels of coverage that range from $8.95 up to $35.95 a month. Besides offering bail and money for an attorney’s retainer, all levels offer a 24/7 emergency legal hotline, a local attorney referral, accidental shooting protection and criminal defense reimbursement.
Certain levels of coverage also provide compensation while in court, psychological support, on-site gun/legal training and civil suit defense protection.
To help avoid providing a criminal with legal support, Lang and his partners set up a foundation made up of investigators to determine if their clients’ shootings are criminal, accidental or in self-defense.
Regardless, the membership plan will automatically provide money for bail and for the retainer.
“When we first approached the NRA, their big concern was about protecting someone who uses their gun in a criminal fashion,” Lang said. “We had to think long and hard. This probably added six months to our launch date. We are not going to protect a criminal.”
Butler County Prosecutor Michael T. Gmoser said that he takes self defense cases very seriously and looks at them carefully.
“In a self-defense case, you have to consider who the aggressor is, which may change,” Gmoser said. “You can be the aggressor initially, but end up being aggressed upon by the person you initiated the confrontation with.”
Gmoser also believes there are many misconceptions about the public’s rights for self defense. For instance, a homeowner who uses deadly force when they don’t appear be in real danger from an intruder could face murder charges.
“The Castle Doctrine does not give you carte blanche to execute someone who trespasses into your house,” Gmoser said.
“If you are able to disable the assailant and they are no longer a threat and you just decide to shoot them because you reason that you can kill someone who enters your house, you will be prosecuted for murder if that person dies.”
For information, call 513-463-0075 or visit secondcalldefense.org.
Basic: $8.95 per month. Includes member newsletter, self defense news, 24/7 emergency legal hotline, local attorney referral, up to $2,000 immediate attorney retainer, up to $1,000 immediate cash for bond up to $10,000, accidental shooting protection of $10,000 and criminal defense reimbursement of $10,000.
Advocate: $14.95. Includes $3,000 immediate attorney retainer, up to $2,500 immediate cash for bond up to $25,000, accidental shooting protection of $25,000, criminal defense reimbursement of $25,000, civil suit defense protection of $100,000 and civil damages protection of $25,000.
Defender: $19.95. Includes $5,000 immediate attorney retainer, up to $5,000 immediate cash for bond up to $50,000, accidental shooting protection of $50,000, criminal defense reimbursement of $50,000, civil suit defense protection of $250,000 and civil damages protection of $50,000, as well as online classes, $250 compensation per day while in court and 10 sessions of psychological support.
Protector: $29.95. Includes $7,500 immediate attorney retainer, up to $10,000 immediate cash for bond up to $100,000, accidental shooting protection of $100,000, criminal defense reimbursement of $50,000, civil suit defense protection of $500,000 and civil damages protection of $100,000, as well as online classes, $375 compensation per day while in court and 20 sessions of psychological support.
Ultimate: $35.95. Includes $10,000 immediate attorney retainer, up to $25,000 immediate cash for bond up to $250,000, accidental shooting protection of $250,000, criminal defense reimbursement of $50,000, unlimited civil suit defense protection and civil damages protection of $250,000, as well as online classes, on-site training, $500 compensation per day while in court and 40 sessions of psychological support.