By Marc J. Victor
As a criminal defense attorney, I have been representing people charged with gun related criminal offenses for well over twenty years. During that time, I have been lead counsel in several hundred gun related criminal offenses including 1st-degree murder, drive-by shootings, aggravated assault, disorderly conduct, unlawful discharge and many more serious felony level offenses. I have represented people in countless misconduct with weapons and prohibited possessor criminal charges as well. In short, I have represented more people than I could possibly count in serious gun related criminal cases in both state and federal courts. There are few ways a person can get into big trouble more quickly than to misuse a firearm.
The decision to keep and bear arms is a serious one. It is also a decision that necessarily comes with great responsibility. All gun owners are required to know and follow the law. As you have heard many times, ignorance of the law is no excuse. Especially in cases involving firearms, you would be well served to study the law, and to think about its application before carrying, or even owning, a firearm.
This article is no substitute for studying the law regarding firearms and self-defense. Reading this article will not teach you everything you need to know about carrying or using a firearm; far from it. I recommend that all gun owners take an initial comprehensive gun safety class as well as a refresher class on a regular basis from a qualified instructor. Carrying a firearm is a huge responsibility. There is no room for error. I have seen many lives changed forever based on an erroneous split second decision or an honest mistake.
This article is written to offer you some information based on my many years of personal experience representing people charged with gun related crimes. You are not likely to get this information in most firearms classes. If after reading it you become extremely conservative about pulling out your firearm, I have accomplished my purpose. As I often say at the countless legal seminars, I have presented at, “Don’t be an idiot with a gun.” I urge you to be a responsible gun owner and think carefully before you act. Your very freedom could well depend on it.