by Marty Hayes, J.D.
Report from the NRA Annual Meeting
We did not actually attend the NRA members meeting or board of directors meeting, because in the past when I have attended them, I found them to be overly choreographed love fests with no real information presented, and virtually no input from NRA members allowed. So, I will only report from the floor of the exhibit hall.
The 2023 show was smaller than past shows, and a major player in the industry, Smith and Wesson, did not even bother to attend. I would guess only about half the number of members were milling around the floor as we have seen in past shows. Could it be that people are a little disgruntled with NRA leadership? I know I am, but in spite of that, we signed up a lot of new members and got to greet and shake hands with even more of our current members.
I remember back to our first show in Phoenix and shows for the next several years when we were the only self-defense legal business in the exhibit hall. The question was: “What do you do?” Now, the overwhelming question is: “How to you compare with the others?” Sometimes the person asking would name a specific program, but most of the time they were just confused and wanted some clarity.
It is impossible for us to draw an exact comparison, because we do not have up-to-date information about the competitors’ programs and haven’t seen their contracts with their clients. One interesting comparison has been done by an Arizona attorney Marc Victor, who has taken the time to painstakingly go through each contract and point out the flaws in each. Attorney Victor runs a pre-paid legal service for armed citizens. Since he is a competitor, we will refrain from commenting on his program, but instead point it out so that our members can decide for themselves if they want to join. His website is https://attorneysforfreedom.com/videos-blogs/. If you want to know what he thinks of the competition, you will gain a lot of information by watching his videos.
Advisory Board Meets
The NRA convention is where we usually hold our annual Network Advisory Board meeting. This year, I was able to update the board on the legal cases we have defended over the last year (of which there was none!). This zero number speaks volumes for the quality of members we have, in that Network members are well-educated in use of force and largely do not make mistakes that land them in hot water. I take some degree of pride, being the producer of our educational package. It shows that our members are watching and studying.
We discussed the Network dipping into the area of Red Flag Laws and whether or not we should offer to assist, but to a person, no one on the Advisory Board was interested in opening up our benefits to a Red Flag issues. These experts in the field of self defense and self-defense law understand that when a person is served with one of these high risk protection orders, they likely brought the problem on themselves, or at least contributed to the situation.
We also discussed the notion of delving into church security programs. It should be noted at least two of the board members are involved in church security teams, one of whom is contributing an in-depth article for future publication. While my personal feelings are sympathetic towards the churches and what they face, we could not figure out a reasonable program that would fill the needs of the churches, the security team members and the Network. We tabled any action on the topic, instead simply acknowledging that individual church security team members are very welcome to join the Network, and if they were involved in a use of force in defense of self or others while at their church, we would probably assist with the legal aftermath.
That will do it for this month. I hope you enjoy the article on expert witness work I wrote for this month’s lead article.