Rude Awakening at the Gun Shop | Texas

The following is a video transcript.

You’ve recently had your eye on a new handgun, but it’s been a few years since your last firearms purchase. You go to your local gun store ready to make your purchase. You fill out the Form 4473, and the store clerk takes your ID to run the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).

Of course, you know the background check is just a formality because you’ve never been in trouble in your life. Imagine your shock when the clerk returns to tell you that your purchase is being denied because the NICS system shows that you’re a convicted felon.

You come to find out that somebody used your name and identifying information when they were arrested and convicted of a felony offense.

You can’t buy a firearm. You cannot obtain or renew your handgun license. Worst of all, now you’re worried that if a police officer stops you for speeding, he’s going to arrest you for felon in possession of a firearm when he finds your handgun.

Unfortunately, this is happening more and more in today’s society.

What can you do to protect yourself if you find that someone has used your identity while committing a criminal offense?

Many states have recognized that this is an increasing problem for law-abiding citizens and have passed legislation to combat it.

Some states have laws on the books. Others have an administrative process whereby a person can obtain documentation that will verify the person does not have a criminal history and is the victim of mistaken or stolen identity. This documentation will usually come from the state’s principle or chief law enforcement agency.

In states without a formal procedure, things can get a bit trickier. You want to get with an attorney to prepare and assemble documentation you can carry with you to hopefully convince law enforcement that you are not the criminal who has been falsely using your name and identity.

Unfortunately, this takes time and can be technically and legally daunting, but knowing there may be a process to resolve these issues can keep you ahead of the game.

With Gunowner Identity Theft Coverage, an Independent Program Attorney will help you with the legal maneuvers that are essential after your identity is stolen.

They will assist you with the laws and processes available in your state, and take whatever steps are legally available to prove you are not the criminal who has been running around with your ID.

Don’t stare down the barrel of your stolen identity without Texas LawShield by your side. Call and add Gunowner Identity Theft Coverage today.

If you have any questions about how a stolen identity could affect you, call Texas LawShield and ask to speak to a Member Services representative.

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Rude Awakening at the Gun Shop | U.S.

The following is a video transcript.

You’ve recently had your eye on a new handgun, but it’s been a few years since your last firearms purchase. You go to your local gun store ready to make your purchase. You fill out the Form 4473, and the store clerk takes your ID to run the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).

Of course, you know the background check is just a formality because you’ve never been in trouble in your life. Imagine your shock when the clerk returns to tell you that your purchase is being denied because the NICS system shows that you’re a convicted felon.

You come to find out that somebody used your name and identifying information when they were arrested and convicted of a felony offense.

You can’t buy a firearm. You cannot obtain or renew your handgun license. Worst of all, now you’re worried that if a police officer stops you for speeding, he’s going to arrest you for felon in possession of a firearm when he finds your handgun.

Unfortunately, this is happening more and more in today’s society.

What can you do to protect yourself if you find that someone has used your identity while committing a criminal offense?

Many states have recognized that this is an increasing problem for law-abiding citizens and have passed legislation to combat it.

Some states have laws on the books. Others have an administrative process whereby a person can obtain documentation that will verify the person does not have a criminal history and is the victim of mistaken or stolen identity. This documentation will usually come from the state’s principle or chief law enforcement agency.

In states without a formal procedure, things can get a bit trickier. You want to get with an attorney to prepare and assemble documentation you can carry with you to hopefully convince law enforcement that you are not the criminal who has been falsely using your name and identity.

Unfortunately, this takes time and can be technically and legally daunting, but knowing there may be a process to resolve these issues can keep you ahead of the game.

With Gunowner Identity Theft Coverage, an Independent Program Attorney will help you with the legal maneuvers that are essential after your identity is stolen.

They will assist you with the laws and processes available in your state, and take whatever steps are legally available to prove you are not the criminal who has been running around with your ID.

Don’t stare down the barrel of your stolen identity without U.S. LawShield by your side. Call and add Gunowner Identity Theft Coverage today.

If you have any questions about how a stolen identity could affect you, call U.S. LawShield and ask to speak to a Member Services representative.

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How NOT to Fire Off the New Year | Texas

The following is a video transcript.

New Year’s Eve is right around the corner, but there are a few things that don’t mix: drinking, driving, fireworks, and firearms. We often hear of people firing their guns off in the air to celebrate the New Year. This is a very dangerous activity that can result in serious bodily injury, or death, and can land you in jail.

Discharging Firearms

You are not allowed to recklessly discharge a firearm in city limits. In some circumstances, this could even be considered deadly conduct. Gun safety rules should always be strictly observed. That means never displaying or discharging your gun in an inappropriate, reckless, or unsafe manner.

Fireworks

What about fireworks? Many cities in Texas regulate the use of fireworks within city ordinances. For example, Fort Worth, Texas has an ordinance imposing a $2,000 fine for discharging fireworks within the incorporated city limits. Keep in mind if you are permitted to shoot off fireworks in your locality, that does not mean you can or should discharge your firearm.

Intoxication

Of course, it goes without saying, the operation of a motor vehicle while intoxicated is a crime. You should not drink and drive. Similarly, carrying a handgun under the authority of your LTC while intoxicated is a crime. If you do too much celebrating over the holiday, do not drive, and do not carry your firearm. But even when we are careful, accidents and injuries do happen.

Helping Others

Whether it’s fireworks or some other accident, a common question we get asked is, what happens if I see someone who needs medical assistance? Can I help them? And will I be liable if I accidentally injure them while rendering aid?

While you are not typically required to perform first aid, Texas law protects you when administering emergency or life-saving treatment to someone in need. This protection is commonly called the Good Samaritan Law.

Whether it is a firework mishap, a car accident, or some other injury, the Good Samaritan Law states that you will not be civilly liable if you administer emergency care in good faith, and are not willfully or wantonly negligent.

We wish you and yours a happy New Year. If you have any questions about any of these topics, call Texas LawShield and ask to speak to your Independent Program Attorney.

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How NOT to Fire Off the New Year | Ohio

The following is a video transcript.

U.S. LawShield members in Ohio, I am Wilkes Ellsworth, Independent Program Attorney in Ohio, here to talk to you about another holiday-themed topic that most, if not all of you, already know, but may not think about when you’re caught up in the fun of New Year’s Eve celebrations.

Let’s talk guns, alcohol, and fireworks. I don’t need to tell you that guns and booze don’t mix. They are a bad idea in the general sense of course, but are also a very bad combination when looking at the respective criminal and civil penalties or liabilities one might face should he or she choose to combine the two.

Firearms and Alcohol

What do we all like to do on New Year’s Eve? We go out to a party or a bar. Many might have some cocktails or beers. No harm, right? Well, while we can take our firearms into bars and restaurants normally, we never want to do so if we are drinking alcohol.

Ohio law comes down hard on individuals, even those with permits to carry concealed firearms, if they have consumed any alcohol whatsoever.

Firearms and Fireworks

Please do not incorporate your firearms into your celebrations at home. If you are lighting off fireworks and discharging your guns in the air, there is going to be a problem. In addition to potentially being charged with discharging your firearms in city limits, those rounds have to come down somewhere. I have personally seen people charged with criminal acts related to hitting strangers with rounds fired in the air.

Furthermore, the negligence involved would subject you to civil liabilities as well, which could amount to large monetary losses depending on the severity of the damage to a person or their property. As a quick aside, fireworks are legal in Ohio to buy and to own, but they are not legal to set off. This is likely to be changed based on new legislation soon, but right now you have to take them out of the state within 48 hours of purchasing them.

Until 2015, you actually had to sign a document promising to do just that. That is no longer required. The reality is this is not strictly enforced and you probably already know this, but it’s food for thought. And remember, you cannot sell them without a license, so don’t set up a little side business around the holidays to make some extra money by selling fireworks.

Let’s say you are setting off those fireworks and someone gets injured. You are protected in Ohio under Revised Code 2305.23 if you render aid to a person in distress. You cannot be sued by that person. I know that’s crazy to think that you could be, but it does happen. That person could decide what you did to help them actually caused them further harm. As long as you were not willful or wanton or grossly negligent, or asking for something in return, you will be protected.

Now, if you cause the injury through some action of your own, then under Ohio law you would likely be responsible to provide aid to the person. Generally, you are not under any obligation to come to someone’s aid, but in Ohio, one of the exceptions kicks in if you cause the person’s distress.

To sum up, go out and have a great time. Just do not mix your guns with booze or fireworks displays, and you should be just fine.

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How NOT to Fire Off the New Year | Georgia

The following is a video transcript.

When ringing in the New Year, the types of celebrations that we enjoy include alcohol, fireworks, and sometimes even firearms. It’s important to remember certain safety rules and the law when we’re dealing with drinking, guns, fireworks, and shooting.

Firework Usage

As of July 1, 2018, changes were made that allow residents and visitors to use certain types of fireworks in Georgia between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 11:59 p.m. every day. However, regardless of local legislation, the use of fireworks is legal until 11:59 p.m. statewide around certain holidays. On New Year’s Eve, that time is extended from 10:00 a.m. until 1:00 a.m. the following morning, January 1st.  We like to drink on New Year’s Eve, and we like to use fireworks, but you cannot use fireworks and be under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the same time.

New Year’s Eve and Firearms

In addressing firearms themselves, it’s important to remember a couple of very important laws. While it is unlawful to use a firearm while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you can use it in defense of life, health, or property. Also remember that there are certain restrictions on discharging a firearm within 50 yards of a public highway.

Even though it says highway, it means every public road, street, or highway in the State. It shall be unlawful for any person without legal justification, meaning you can still discharge a firearm to defend yourself or others within 50 yards of a public highway. So, you cannot discharge a firearm on the street, under the influence, on New Year’s Eve.

What happens if your firearm or your fireworks injure someone, or you come upon someone who is injured? Remember, we do have a Good Samaritan Law in Georgia that encourages individuals to help others in public when they need assistance. To qualify for protection from liability under the Good Samaritan statute, your attempts to render aid must be reasonable under the circumstances, and you must receive no compensation for your attempts to render aid.

So, drink responsibly, be responsible and safe with your firearms, be responsible and safe with your fireworks, and have a happy New Year.

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How NOT to Fire Off the New Year | Oklahoma

The following is a video transcript.

I’m coming to talk to you today about going to parties, festivities, and events between Christmas and the New Year. How should you drink socially, have your guns, and how should you shoot fireworks? These are problems.

It is against the law in the State of Oklahoma to consume alcohol to the point where you are under the influence and, at the same time, handle your firearms. Even on your private property, you are not allowed to do so.

It is against the law. That’s pretty simple.

What about shooting fireworks? Shooting your fireworks in most major metropolitan areas is against the law. Also, you could get in trouble for shooting and possessing fireworks in the city limits of Oklahoma City, Lawton, Muskogee, Tulsa, and all the major metropolitan areas in the State of Oklahoma.

Do you have an obligation to help a stranger who is injured, either from being hurt by fireworks or receiving a gunshot wound? The answer is no. You have no obligation to come to the aid of a stranger who has been injured either from gunshot wounds or by fireworks or any other accident. However, the Good Samaritan Act in the State of Oklahoma will immunize the Good Samaritan who does come to the aid of a stranger who is injured.

What if you cause the injury?

First thing, call 911. Call an ambulance. Try to mitigate the injury as best you can. Second off, if this injury that you caused was related to self-defense or some action which could be either perceived as self-defense or articulated as self-defense, using any legal weapons, call U.S. LawShield.

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How NOT to Fire Off the New Year | Colorado

The following is a video transcript.

Doug Richards for U.S. LawShield of Colorado. I want to talk to you today about our holiday season and how a lot of times folks end up with a couple of cocktails, and they’ve got their firearm on them, or they make the terrible decision of shooting their gun off in the air in celebration of the holiday. Let’s examine that a little bit.

In Colorado, there is no law that says it is illegal to possess a drink in one hand like a beer, a cocktail, or a glass of wine, and your firearm in the other hand. While you can have a gun in one hand and your cocktail in the other hand, it is a bad idea because Colorado does not have any per se or a legal limit that says that you are therefore intoxicated or impaired, and in possession of a firearm. It is different than driving. In Colorado, there are actually two different standards for impairment in relation to your ability to drive.

There is no such standard in Colorado with regards to firearms, which means that the determination of your level of impairment or intoxication is 100% subjective to the police officer who is making the decision to arrest you for being unlawfully in possession of a firearm while you’re intoxicated.

Now, if you decide to go outside while you are drinking and firing your gun off in the air, you most certainly will attract the attention of law enforcement. They may come with their guns drawn. What was turning into a fun celebration for you can turn deadly if the police think that you are a danger to them. At the very best, you could be facing a charge of discharging a firearm within the city limits. Obviously, you would run the risk of losing your CCW privileges, so it’s just not worth it.

In terms of fireworks, if you are intoxicated and decide to fire off a firework instead of your gun, I don’t recommend it because you could be either negligent, or reckless in the way that you are lighting these fireworks, or where you are letting them off. If somebody gets hurt, or God forbid somebody gets killed because of your conduct, that could come back to you in either civil or criminal penalties depending on the facts and whether or not your conduct was indeed reckless, or negligent, and certainly the intoxication would not help.

If you’ve got any questions about this, or anything else please feel free to give me a call at my office. I am always happy to talk to U.S. LawShield Members.

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How NOT to Fire Off the New Year | Virginia

The following is a video transcript.

New Year’s Eve is right around the corner. As we celebrate this special time of year, there are a few things to keep in mind that do not mix: drinking, driving, fireworks, and firearms.

Celebrating with Firearms

We often hear of people firing their guns off in the air to celebrate the New Year. Do not do this. I repeat, do not do this. This is very dangerous activity that can result in either serious bodily injury or death and land you in jail. Virginia law criminalizes the reckless handling of a firearm, and many counties and cities have local laws that make it illegal to willfully discharge a firearm within their jurisdiction, subject to certain exceptions like self-defense.

Firearm safety should always be strictly observed. Never display or discharge your firearm in a reckless or unsafe manner.

Celebrating New Year’s Eve with Fireworks

What about fireworks? Certain fireworks are legal in Virginia, according to state law, such as sparklers, fountains, pharos, serpents, pinwheels, and whirligigs. However, Virginia counties and cities have the authority to ban fireworks completely and many of them do.

New Year’s Eve and Alcohol

What about alcohol? It goes without saying that operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated is a criminal offense. Similarly, carrying a concealed handgun with a concealed handgun permit (CHP) while intoxicated is also a crime.

Helping Others

If you do too much celebrating over the holiday, do not drive and do not carry your firearm. Unfortunately, accidents do happen, and in some instances there are injuries. Whether it is fireworks or some other accident, common questions we get asked include, what happens if I see someone who needs medical assistance? Will I be civilly liable if I accidentally injure them while rendering aid? While you are not typically required to perform first aid, Virginia law protects you when administering emergency or life-saving treatment to someone in need. This protection is commonly called the Good Samaritan Law.

Whether it is a firework mishap, car accident, or some other type of injury, the Good Samaritan Law states that you will not be civilly liable if you administer emergency care in good faith, reasonably and without compensation.

We wish you and yours a Happy New Year. Call U.S. LawShield and ask to speak to your Independent Program Attorney if you have any questions about any of these topics.

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Brand-New Gunowner Identity Theft Workshops for Texas Members

Texas LawShield members, we are proud to announce that you are invited to our brand-new Gunowner Identity Theft Workshops. At these exclusive events, you will find out what you need to know if you ever face the nightmare of your gun or identity being stolen or compromised.

Since a gun is stolen from responsible gunowners like you every 52 seconds, attending a Gunowner Identity Theft Workshop will be the most important Texas LawShield event you can ever attend. Don’t miss out on your chance to get the confidence you want and the information you need to safeguard your future, finances, and freedom – right in your very backyard.

Space is limited, so check out the full list of events happening in Texas below to reserve your seat today:

  • December 13th | Gunowner Identity Theft Workshop
  • December 18th | Gunowner Identity Theft Workshop
  • December 19th | Gunowner Identity Theft Workshop
  • December 20th | Gunowner Identity Theft Workshop
  • December 27th | Gunowner Identity Theft Workshop
  • December 28th | Gunowner Identity Theft Workshop

 

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Florida Night Terrors: Defending Against Criminal Mischief

The following is a video transcript.

It is that time of year again. Halloween costumes and candy are hitting the store shelves and neighbors are breaking out the spooky decorations. This is a fun time of year for many of us, but unfortunately for some, instead of treats, we only get tricks in the form of smashed pumpkins, stolen property, or damaged Halloween decorations.

What are we legally allowed to do to stop these tricks? Your carved jack-o’-lanterns and Halloween decorations are only property, so you are never allowed to use deadly force to protect them even though it might be tempting to do so.

Florida Statute 776.031 allows a person to use or threaten to use non-deadly force to protect their property or expel a trespasser. So, if you see someone taking your decorations or about to smash your pumpkin, the only thing you can do is use or threaten to use non-deadly force to stop them or expel them from your property.

If you are out trick-or-treating for candy, remember to be aware of your surroundings at all times. If you are a CWFL holder, then you are allowed to carry your firearm concealed while out trick-or-treating. Sorry, but you still cannot open carry your firearm even if it goes with your costume’s theme. Your firearm must be concealed and out of plain sight.

On Halloween, you are allowed to carry your firearm anywhere as you are allowed to carry it on any other night under state and federal law. However, if a house has a posted “No Gun” sign, you must skip that house as any private property owner can restrict you from carrying a firearm on his or her property.

I hope you get all treats and no tricks this Halloween night. But if you have any questions regarding your property or safety on Halloween night or any other firearm related questions, give U.S. LawShield a call and ask to be connected to your Independent Program Attorney.

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