Over the past decade or so we've seen the invention of a new service related to the firearms industry. The need was to have attorneys and the cash to pay for them, when armed citizens are charged with crimes related to their own self-defense. Recent events caused us to look at many of these programs and go over them with a finer tooth comb to show the differences.
We will continue to update this chart as we notice changes in the industry, but bear with us if you notice anything before we do. And, if you see something that has changed, as we assume it will because this is an ever-competitive market, please let us know so we can change it in the chart.
This chart was last updated on January 27th, 2020:
Hard To Read On Your Device? Click Here To Download A PDF Version Of This Chart.
To find out more or read up on the different programs listed, you can do so at the following links, leading to their respective pages:
How much the program costs to be a member, either monthly or yearly. Some programs have different tiers, so make sure you check the coverage you choose. Where multiple tiers are available we have chosen to compare the top tier plan for each provider.
The money given for temporary release if charged with a crime. Please note that traditionally the fee paid to a bondsman is 10% of the value of the bond. So if bail is set at $1,000,000 the fee the bondsman would generally charge is $100,000. In the chart above we have indicated the amount the provider would actually pay out to cover the fee. So for example, if the chart reads $25,000 that would traditionally cover a bond up to $250,000.
Choose Attorney --
Some programs allow you to choose your lawyer, others will assign one to you.
Attorney's Fees --
How much money, both civil and criminal, the program covers.
Civil Damages --
Money paid to the plaintiff in the event a civil lawsuit is filed and one were to lose that lawsuit and be asked to pay out damages.
Any Legal Weapon --
If you don't have access to your gun, but can get to a fry pan and use that for self-defense, is it covered? Some will, some won't.
Expert Witness --
Sometimes outside opinions, like ballistics experts, etc., are needed to prove a point.
50 State Coverage --
Can you be covered in all 50 states? Note that many of these providers may not offer their product to residents of a certain state but will still cover a member when traveling through that same state.
Ongoing training --
What, if any, additional training materials are included.
Available Nationwide --
Some states have passed legislation that prevents many of these providers from offering their services to people who live in that state. Above we have indicated the number of states where membership is offered or when only a few states are excluded we have tried to specify which states.
24/7 Hotline --
Is someone there for you at 2 am Christmas morning?
Spousal/family coverage --
Are your family members included in your plan?
Will the company give you money straight away or is it reimbursement based? Reimbursement programs will only pay you after the case has been decided in court and then only if you are found innocent.
Post-Incident Firearm Confiscation --
After a self-defense incident, if your firearm is confiscated will this provider pay to relace that firearm?
Lower Tiers --
Are there any cheaper options if you can only afford so much?
Attorney Access --
If you have a question, can you reach someone to answer it for you outside of there being a specific incident?
That about does it. Keep in mind that we'll be monitoring this and updating it whenever we hear of a change. Have a question or see a correction we need to make? Click here to contact us.