by Marty Hayes, J.D.
Recently, a prospective member asked how we go about making the decision to fund the legal defense of an act of self defense. I told him I would discuss this in the next eJournal, not remembering that I wrote about this two years ago. So, if that person is expecting to find that article in this issue, just go to https://armedcitizensnetwork.org/june-2021-presidents-message and read about our decision-making process.
The information in the 2021 article is still accurate. The only additional thing I want to mention is that today our Legal Defense Fund has grown to $4,000,000.00 (four million dollars). I also want to reassure people that we exist to spend this Fund for our members. The last thing I want to do is turn down a request, and the reasons why we might have to do that are spelled out in another article at https://armedcitizensnetwork.org/decisions-about-member-assistance. I suppose I should do a YouTube video on decisions to fund a member’s legal defense, as that seems to be how people get their information these days.
Speaking of Videos
I expect to start doing many more videos on important topics. One thing that we need to get out is an explanation of who the Network is and what we do, to counter all the false claims being made about the Network. If you want to be the first to know about these upcoming videos, subscribe to Armed Citizens’ TV at https://www.youtube.com/@armedcitizenslegaldefensen4041. We went to the effort of building a video production studio at our headquarters, and we are very pleased with how it is working out. Here is a photo of me in the studio while we were filming one video. Now, having mentioned the false claims about the Network, I should add that I don’t believe (for the most part) they are made maliciously. What people do not realize is that programs change over time, and what might have been true five or ten years ago is not true now. But, nevertheless, they are still false claims and need to be countered.
We haven’t heard a word from the appellate court yet about Armed Citizens’ Legal Defense Network v. Office of Insurance Commissioner. That is not necessarily good or bad, it just is. I monitor the decisions from the WA appellate courts, and they do an awful amount of work. While I hate big government, in this case I would not be opposed to adding a division four to the court of appeals here in WA state. When we hear something, we will let you know.
When we first started the Network, our main problem was explaining to people what we did, and why there is a need for a membership program such as ours. Thankfully, we had several hundred students that we had previously trained at The Firearms Academy of Seattle who trusted us to look out for their welfare and agreed to be the initial guinea pigs. After we got a few hundred students signed up, we then went to a Rangemaster Tac-Con in Memphis and introduced the concept to that group, and we picked up more members. These days, our challenge is not to try to explain what we do, but to explain how we are different/better than the myriad of competitors out there, most of whom are selling “self-defense insurance.”
Are You an Insurance Agent?
I believe, in virtually all states, insurance agents need to be licensed by the state. But what if you are one of the recruiters who is selling an insurance plan from one of our competitors? At one time we had a commissioned recruitment program, where instructors could earn a commission to sign up their students to be a part of the Network, but when the WA Insurance Commissioner alleged that we sold insurance, we quit that program. We did not want any of our staunch supporters to be put in a negative light because they wanted to help the Network grow. I would respectfully suggest that if you are paid for the promotion or sales of one of the “self-defense insurance” programs, you take a look at your liability in doing so. Are you subject to a fine for selling insurance without a license? In WA state, the maximum fine can be $25,000 for each occurrence.
That’s it for this month. See you all next month.