Carry Insurance: Is it Really Worth the Cost?

By Jay D. Hunt, Ph.D.

If you’re like most members of the LSA, you probably obtained your Louisiana Concealed Handgun Permit shortly after the law was changed and we became a “shall issue” state. Before our law was changed for someone who was hurt in a truck accident on the highway, any of us had permits issued by other states, most notably Florida. And, like most of our members, you probably walked around carrying that concealed handgun without any real consideration of what might happen if, God forbid, you ever had to use that handgun to protect your life or the lives of those around you. I know I did.

However, something changed for me recently. Someone I know (we’ll call him Bob) used his concealed handgun after a road rage incident caused another driver to stop his vehicle in front of Bob’s vehicle. The other person got out of his vehicle and smashed his fist into the hood of Bob’s truck. Bob wounded the other person with his handgun. Someone called 911, and the local police arrived…and arrested Bob. The wounded man was transported to the hospital and was arrested later. Bob has been arraigned and charged with aggravated battery and aggravated assault with a firearm and will face felony charges. The other guy was charged with disturbing the peace, criminal damage and obstruction of the public passage. Bob is retired and is not wealthy so he may be facing financial ruin and, if convicted of a felony, loss of his right to own firearms. Get an experienced attorney in Ft Lauderdale area filing for bankruptcy in case of financial trouble.

What kind of financial burden is associated with defending oneself from felony charges? The Death Penalty Information Center (1701 K St NW, Suite 205, Washington, DC 20006) has published the following information:

For a Non-Capital Case (no murder charges), the average cost to the defendant is $217,400.
For a Capital Case, the average cost to the defendant is $459,600.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t have that kind of money to toss away on defending myself from charges related to the use of my firearm!

I decided that I needed to make sure that I did not put my family in a financial crisis if I use my concealed handgun. As an officer of the LSA, I used my position to research concealed carry insurance options and negotiated a deal with US LawShield to the advantage of both our members and the LSA. I urge you to do your own research and consider the following.

ZEALOUS LEGAL REPRESENTATION:US LawShield Independent Program Attorneys (view more) will represent you in any legal proceeding–criminal or civil–should you ever need to use a firearm or other legal weapon to protect yourself, your life, or your property. Legal defense will be provided for all police investigations, pretrial proceedings, and both criminal and civil trials. There is no limit on the number of hours devoted to your defense.

24/7/365 ATTORNEY-ANSWERED EMERGENCY HOTLINE: The 24/7/365 Attorney-Answered Emergency Hotline is available exclusively to Members of US LawShield. The hotline will always be answered by a US LawShield Independent Program Attorney. Your conversations on fighting against car jacking charge are always fully confidential. Members will receive their Member ID Card with the Emergency Hotline Number printed right on the back, so you’re always able to reach them.

NON-EMERGENCY ACCESS TO INDEPENDENT PROGRAM ATTORNEYS: For non-emergency legal questions, call the non-emergency Member Services number and they will get you connected with a local Independent Program Attorney during normal business hours.

COVERAGE OPTIONS: Even if you don’t have a state-issued handgun carry permit, their Program covers you everywhere in your membership state where you can legally possess a firearm without a license. The program also covers the use of all other legal weapons. Multi-State coverage is available as an add-on so US LawShield can protect you wherever you go.

WHAT’S NOT COVERED: While their services are extensive, the program does not cover expert witness fees, governmental fees of any type, identity theft, stolen firearms, investigator fees, or bail bonds. In Texas, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania, however, members do have the option to purchase Bail Bond and Expert Witness add-on coverage.

            If you’re interested in obtaining carry insurance, check out US LawShield. Coverage for an adult is $131.40 per year (or $10.95 per month). The cost for two adults is $240.00 per year (or $21.90 per month). If you use the code LSAGUN when you sign up, you’ll receive two months of free coverage!

Nyala with a Handgun in Mozambique

Poen Van Zyl of Zambeze Delta Safaris was standing 15 feet above me atop a vegetation-strewn termite mound surveying the abandoned garden through a well used pair of binoculars.  The local tribesmen that call the famed Coutada 11 of Mozambique home practice slash and burn farming, clearing enormous areas in the forest and then abandoning those areas after one or two years of use.  The forest was quickly reclaiming the area with vegetation, and the constant hum of tens of thousands of bees signaled that many of the plants in the area were flowering.  It was mid-July and the weather had been unseasonably cool and wet, but had turned warm and humid, typical for winter in costal Mozambique.

In addition to bees, the local antelope also visit these abandoned gardens. We were looking for an old mature bull Nyala that Poen knew frequented this particular garden.   The unmistakable trumpet of an elephant rang out and Will Fawcett and I locked eyes. In addition to being a friend, Will is a professional hunter with Numzaan Safaris in South Africa and joined me as an observer on this safari in Mozambique. The details of this adventure had been made at the 2016 Safari Club International (SCI) Convention in Las Vegas. The plan had been for Will and me to hunt in Mozambique for two weeks, then fly back from Beira, Mozambique to Johannesburg, drive down to the Freestate to pick up a couple of species I had missed on my first safari to R.S.A. in 2014, and then finish the trip with a couple of days in Limpopo.

Will and I smiled at one another nervously.  Elephants in the area could spell trouble and that elephant sounded close.  The elephants in Mozambique are survivors of several civil wars and are not particularly fond of humans.  In fact, one could say they are downright aggressive.  I imagined a scenario in which we found the old bull about the same time that the elephants ambled into the garden.  I tend to have that kind of luck.  To compound the problem, I was the only person with a firearm, and it was a revolver.  I had absolutely no interest in trying to turn an angry charge with a revolver.

Poen looked down and waved Will up.  Will labored up the termite mound and then Poen and he whispered and pointed while they formed a plan.    From the ground out of earshot, I took the planning as a good sign.  Perhaps the old bull was in the garden.  After an eternity while I watched the afternoon sun inexorably dip toward the western horizon, Will and Poen came down to my level and laid out the plan.  There were five bulls in the garden.  The closest one was immature and alone.  Several dozen yards deeper into the garden were three mature, but young bulls.  All three of them were shooters, but none of them were the “proper” bull.  The old man we were after was about 150 or so yards from us, close to the edge of the garden where it disappears into the forest.  To compound our problems, the elephants were close and would not tolerate our presence in the garden and the sun was very low in the western sky.  “Perfect,” I thought.

As quietly as possible, we began to move toward the old bull trying desperately to skirt around the younger bulls as not to alert the old bull to our presence.  Luckily, baboons frequent these gardens as well, and the noise that stalking hunters make pales in comparison to the noise a troop of hungry baboons can produce.  Despite our best efforts, the immature bull spotted us and sounded the alarm.  The older group of three bulls began to move away from our location and, unfortunately, we had lost sight of the oldest bull as we began the stalk.  With faith as our only indication that the old bull was still in the area, we stuck to our plan and moved forward.  Suddenly, Poen’s tracker, Gotchi (pronounced goat-chee and meaning piglet in Zulu) froze.  Through years of hunting as a pair, Gotchi and Poen communicated with no words exchanged.  Gotchi set up my shooting sticks and Poen slid to a position just to the right of them.

“Can you see him?”

“No.  How far?”

Poen’s tone was urgent.  “He’s right there.  No more than 70-80 yards.”  The big old bull turned his head and the motion caught my eye.  His old gray coat blended in perfectly with the surroundings.

“Got him.”  I put the Freedom Arms Model 83 chambered in .454 Casull onto the cradle in the shooting sticks and looked through the scope.  I had set the scope on it’s lowest power knowing through hard experience that spot and stalk hunting with a pistol is nigh on impossible with anything but the lowest power settings. I kept both eyes open and looked past the scope at the bull, aligning the pistol with him as to have any chance of seeing him through the scope.  The crosshairs settled on his left shoulder, but he was facing away and the angle was severe.  This was not a good shot and certainly not one I was going to take.

“Do you have a clear shot?”

“Not yet.”

“Okay.  Don’t rush it.  He’ll turn if you give him a chance.”

Time ticked by as the sun marched further to the west.  I kept the pistol aimed at the bull but kept both eyes open as not to get eye strain waiting on him to turn.  Clearly, he was not concerned by the closeness of the elephants or the setting sun.  Neither was he concerned about the long walk we would have through the forest to get to the clearing where we had left Poen’s truck an hour before.

Finally, the old bull turned presenting me with an excellent slightly angled shot on his left shoulder.  I cocked the single action pistol, aligned the crosshairs, settled my breath, and began to squeeze the trigger.  The recoil from the .454 Casull is substantial, and one can easily jerk the trigger in anticipation of the crushing recoil that follows the shot.  The only cure for this is practice, and a lot of it.  The revolver roared to life and I heard the unmistakable smack of the Hornady 300 grain XTP-MAG as it connected.  He trotted a few yards away, and I was able to put a second shot into his right shoulder.  After receiving the second shot, he tried to escape to the relative safety of the invading forest, but fortunately, did not make it.

As we were taking the photos of this magnificent trophy, I heard a strange noise from the edge of the garden.  “What was that?”

Poen looked up from the camera.  “That is the rumbling of an elephant’s stomach!”

He measured 74 1/8” and ranked number 6 with a handgun in the SCI Record Book.  To say I had amazing success in Mozambique would be a vast understatement. In Coutada 11, I harvested seven SCI Top-10 species with handguns (Common Nyala, number 6; Lichtenstein Hartebeest, number 7; Chobe Bushbuck, number 7; Natal Red Duiker, number 6; and Blue Duiker, number 5, as well as the new potential number 18 overall Livingstone Suni, which should rank number 5 with a handgun when certified by a SCI master measurer.