Training for the Armed Citizen

by Marty Hayes, J.D.

Recently the question came up regarding what type and scope of training an armed citizen (and specifically a member of the Network) should have? In response to this question, I decided to write the lead article for this month’s journal. The ultimate goal is to have the armed citizen in a position to be able to handle just about any type of situation they may find themselves in, and then to be able to justify their actions legally. With that in mind, and with the eventual need to justify their actions legally, we must understand that there are three main categories of training needed by the armed citizen. These are:

  • Gun safety and marksmanship,
  • Tactical training, and
  • Legal training.

We will separate the issue of training into these three important categories, and over the next three months, explore these topics in-depth.

Gun Safety and Marksmanship Training

If you are in a state where mandatory training is required before being able to apply for a concealed carry license, then you have likely been exposed to gun safety and marksmanship training if your course had a shooting component, and if not, then at least gun safety training in lecture form.

The successful completion of state-mandated training allowed you to get your concealed carry license, but it did not train you sufficiently in either gun safety or marksmanship. That is because simply cognitively understanding the Four Universal Gun Safety Rules does not mean you will perform them all the time, especially when under the stress of a life-threatening event. It takes hours of range work (or dry fire work if a range is not available) to train your body to handle guns safely.

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President’s Message

Marty Hayes

by Marty Hayes, J.D.

I hope you all enjoyed the lead article this month. I wrote it from the viewpoint of a guy who dedicated his entire life to training normal American citizens how to use firearms in self defense. Starting in 1988 after a decade in law enforcement, I thought that since I really enjoyed the police training aspect of law enforcement, why not teach full-time? So, I left full-time law enforcement and went to work for an indoor gun range that had just opened up in the Seattle area. I talked them into hiring me to be their rangemaster and firearms instructor.

I had heard of Massad Ayoob and Jeff Cooper (Gunsite) and thought that perhaps I could develop a full-time training business in the Seattle area, since the population was large, and the right to keep and bear arms was guaranteed by our Washington State Constitution. I was single, had all my bills paid off and a few bucks in the bank. I figured it was worth the risk, because if I was successful, my life would be full and rewarding, and I could spend it shooting guns. I also figured I could always go back into law enforcement if I wanted to, and in fact, I did spend a considerable amount of time working as a part-time and as a reserve officer in the years that followed, primarily to keep my hand in the field and stay current.

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Attorney Question of the Month

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This month our Network President Marty Hayes has asked us to explore legal responsibilities of parents who fail to secure guns which are subsequently used in tragedies like the Oxford High School killings and injuries. Of course, the laws vary a lot from state to state, as does how strictly laws on the books are enforced. With Affiliated Attorneys all across the United States, our Network members will greatly benefit from discussion of how criminal liability is assigned to parents of minors in school shootings.

We asked our affiliated attorneys the following:–

In your jurisdiction, are there specific laws pertaining to keeping firearms secured and out of the reach of unauthorized persons such as a minor child?


Have you witnessed or been a part of any trial, pre-trial, or other hearing where a parent or an adult has been criminally charged for a minor’s access to and/or use of a dangerous weapon?

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Book Review

Clarence Thomas and the Lost Constitution

By Myron Magnet

Encounter Books 2019-05

ISBN-13‏: 978-1641770521

$13.63 on 168 pages, hardcover; $12.95 eBook

Reviewed by Gila Hayes

United States Supreme Court Associate Justice Clarence Thomas’s opinions on the gun free school zone fight in United States v. Lopez, and whether the Second Amendment applies to laws passed by local and state governments in McDonald v. Chicago, endear him to the hearts of armed citizens, but the broader philosophical basis of his opinions explains why he is such a valuable member of the supreme court. Justice Thomas has a fine autobiography in print, but last month, I chose instead to read Clarence Thomas and the Lost Constitution for its insights into Thomas, whom author Magnet deems, “one heroically self-reliant man” and his thought processes as seen through the lens of the many supreme court cases he has influenced.

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Editor’s Notebook

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by Gila Hayes

In a Crime Prevention Research Center email last month John Lott confirmed and put numbers behind what most of us knew instinctively, writing, “Data shows that while violent crime soared in 2020, violent crime with guns fell dramatically by 27%. Increased gun sales can’t drive the rise in violent crime if the share of violent crime committed with guns drops, let alone drops dramatically.”

So much for the spin anti-gun politicians put on the quietly expanding numbers of armed citizens. The conservative voting base hasn’t expanded at the same rate, I am afraid. Recognizing the uptick in gun sales makes me wonder what are the views of these newer members of armed citizenry? Where do we align and where do we differ?

I am a big fan of the analysis of sociology professor David Yamane who provides a scholarly look that is more attuned to the “from the outside looking in” views about firearms ownership from outside the entrenched numbers of long-time gun owners – many, like me, raised in the ‘50s and ‘60s in gun-owning families – to whom nothing makes more sense than having guns for utility around the ranch, personal protection and home defense.

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About this Journal


The eJournal of the Armed Citizens’ Legal Defense Network, Inc. is published monthly on the Network’s website at Content is copyrighted by the Armed Citizens’ Legal Defense Network, Inc.

Do not mistake information presented in this online publication for legal advice; it is not. The Network strives to assure that information published in this journal is both accurate and useful. Reader, it is your responsibility to consult your own attorney to receive professional assurance that this information and your interpretation or understanding of it is accurate, complete and appropriate with respect to your particular situation.

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