Self Defense: Are gun owners protected legally?


WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - After a Good Samaritan shot and wounded the gunman who killed 26 people at a Texas church many gun owners are asking if they had to use deadly force would they be covered legally.

Some believe conceal carry insurance should go hand-in-hand with having a license to carry.

"A lot of people haven't heard of anything like this although they've been around for years but we've been getting quite a few phone calls about different ones," said Chris Reitsma, owner, and instructor at Point Blank CHL in Wichita Falls. 

After hours in a classroom and on the gun range his students are then able to send off an application to get their license to carry.

While having their certification may seem like all the insurance they need, many say it is not.

"Physically you are carrying a gun to protect yourself so you have that covered, but they don't think about the other protections they need such as legal protection," said Reitsma.

That is where conceal carry insurance or a firearm legal defense service plan comes in to play.

"It's a great thing to have regardless if you use deadly force or self-defense," he said. "People don't understand that even though you acted within your rights under the law you still have to go through the legal process."

He said that goes for any civil or criminal case filed against the gun owner.

"You pay your yearly membership fee, and if you are involved in a use of force or self-defense situation you are covered," he said. "You have an attorney and they handle your case from beginning 'till end."

That includes attorney fees, even if the case goes to trial. He also said some offer coverage for expert witnesses and bail bond assistance.

All you have to do is pay the fee for the service which is about $130 a year.

Reitsma said a lot of his students sign up for it immediately after getting their license to carry.

"I would never be without it myself," he said.

Another concern the Texas church shooting has brought to the forefront is church security and discussions about the state law put into effect in September which made it legal for churches to have armed volunteer guards.

On November 25, Point Blank CHL is holding a license to carry course just for church security team where they will learn about the law, what to do in a crisis situation and how to put a system in place.

So far around 20 people from Wichita Falls, Windthorst and even the Fort Worth area have signed up.

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