So what’s the big deal? If you don’t call a landmark First Amendment unanimous Supreme Court decision with a 32 page smack-down issued by a known liberal Justice a big deal, I’m not sure what else would qualify.

For those who hadn’t heard the back story, a New York State public official (Vullo) who oversaw financial organizations registered in the state had a big idea. Well, her then-boss may have actually had the original idea, but Vullo ran with it. She told various organizations that they needed to cut ties with NRA or she would arrange certain “problems” for them. However, if they did what she asked, those “problems” would simply go away. Sounds like a Sopranos episode, doesn’t it? At least Tony Soprano didn’t use official state stationary like Vullo did.

Because NRA had an opinion that flies in the face of anti-gun New Yorkers, they felt NRA needed to be shut out. Imagine getting a phone call one morning that your bank is closing your account because you used your debit card to buy ammo. Think about your car insurance company sending you a note that they tracked your car to a gun club, so you must have been transporting “dangerous goods” and your insurance has been dropped. Worse yet, what would happen if your child was taken away and put into foster care because you were found to be a CCW license holder. Those of us who shake our heads and say, “naw Todd, that ain’t ever happening to me.” I’m telling you it did happen to NRA. It was so egregious that the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) might have said, “hold my beer”. Even though ACLU is not friendly to gun owners, the boneheaded move by the State of New York’s representative – backed by public social media comments by her boss, then-Governor Cuomo – triggered a clear response. If New York got away with this, who knows where this could lead.

Let’s just say New York decided that dog owners needed to go. They make messes, bite people, and bark a lot. If they could narrow in on financial records concerning buyers of dog food, they could politely let banks, credit card companies and insurance providers know they need to drop dog owners in order to decrease the interest in owning a dog…or they could have “problems”. Now you’re going to say that’s never going to happen because the American Veterinary Medical Association says there’s 62 million of Man’s best friends in America. Now it’s my turn to say “hold my beer”. According to The Trace, one of the most anti-gun groups in the country, an estimated 377.9 million guns are in circulation across America today. Even with this incredible number, New York still went after NRA with this insidious plot.

Now the case has been remanded down to the lower courts for re-litigation. New Yorkers pay an extraordinary amount of taxes, and their bills are only going to rise after the courts are done penalizing the State. To quote my dear mother who dabbled in New York politics for a few decades, “who do they think they are!”

I’m not knocking any other Second Amendment organization but there’s one out there that has been very successful in providing self-defense firearm training and “self-defense liability insurance” for as little as $47 a month. However, there have been a few instances where they declined to provide coverage for a member because they didn’t do something perfectly during the most terrifying seconds of their lives.

Unless you have taken the time and treasure to develop your skills, even stepping one foot forward toward cover can make you an attacker in the eyes of an anti-gun District Attorney. Did you improve your gun by adding a red dot and match barrel? Add a larger magazine capacity? You may be asked if those updates were done to improve your aim when shooting people, or if they helped you shoot more people in less time. I agree it’s ridiculous, and your attorney is going to stand on their heads screaming “objection!” but the 12 people in your jury will have heard those words. You will never get that smoke back into the fire; it’s going to be in the air and it’s going to smell bad.

A different way may be to hire an attorney on a monthly low-price retainer. While I attended the NRA Annual Meetings in Dallas last month, I met with four different self-defense law firms who provide comparable services.

The common thread among all four is that they provide coverage regardless of the situation. In some cases there may be a problem with the incident, but as a covered person who has retained an attorney, they will defend you. While each of the firms have similarities, they all seemed to point in different directions.

Firearms Legal Protection ( seems to have the low-cost category covered. Starting at $9.95 a month, they can provide legal services for a variety of situations. They have a 24/7 emergency phone line and have Texas attorneys. While that doesn’t seem to cover Pennsylvania, all four firms are able to provide services through a cooperative method to permit out-of-state attorneys represent their in-state clients.

CCW Safe ( is a little more at $27 a month for membership. They have a very slick and organized presence. Based in Oklahoma City, they have a lot of experience in this field. However, as you can find in their website, they have a lot of information that isn’t easily understood, and a number of limitations if you require their services. They also arrange for other attorneys in your home state if the situation is not based in Oklahoma.

Armed Citizen’s Legal Defense Network ( made it very clear that they are the ones that have money in the bank, ready to defend you when need it. He told me a sum of money that is plausible but I won’t repeat it here. They charge $150 a year for their membership.

Attorneys on Retainer ( was a bit different. Based in Arizona, they charge $35 a month. Their criteria for coverage is simple; you are charged with or reasonably concerned about being charged with a crime, the self-defense related incident arises out of conduct that occurred entirely after you become a member of their organization, and yo ucan reasonably assert in good faith that you acted in self-defense or in the defense of others.

There are other attorneys based in Pennsylvania who have an incredible history of winning Second-Amendment-related cases in this state. Perhaps they need to consider jumping aboard the Second Amendment canoe and help us paddle through the storms. I hope they do!

I’m not going to tell you what I plan on doing myself as you need to make up your own mind. None of the four are paying me or Keystone to discuss their company’s offerings. You need to decide if this or another method is best for you.

COMING SOON – Know this guy? Stay tuned.

By the way, once again please tell your shooting buddies to make sure they are registered to vote in the General Election in November. As we found out in the last U.S. Senate race, every vote matters. If 150,000 gun owners voted for someone other than the now-junior Senator from our state, the election outcome would have been quite different.

Todd Ellis – President