An Attorney Reflects on Gun Modifications

mark1An Interview with Mark Seiden

Interview by Gila Hayes

How many times have you heard or read, “If it is a ‘good shoot,’ how could it matter if your gun was customized or whether you used home-loaded ammunition?” This assertion is usually followed by the challenge, “If you think I’m wrong, show me the cases.”

Retired attorney Mark Seiden does just that. He knows from hard experience how difficult it is to keep the focus on the criminal aggressor who initiated an attack that ended in gunfire. Seiden and his former law partner, Roy Black and expert witness Massad Ayoob fought hard and won an acquittal for Miami, FL police officer Luis Alvarez thirty years ago after a justifiable shooting with a modified revolver.

While the riots that followed the shooting and the racial elements of the trial linger in memory, most have forgotten the home garage gunsmithing that fueled the prosecution’s claim of manslaughter by gross reckless culpable negligence.

As Santayana said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it,” so when the opportunity arose to ask Seiden questions about gun modifications, we had many topics to explore. Let’s switch now to Q&A to learn from Seiden’s own words.

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President's Message

Marty eJournal column pixLetters!
We Get Letters!

by Marty Hayes, J.D.

Occasionally non-members write to us with questions that I think need to be addressed more widely than just an individual response. 

This column is a great venue for discussions of such matters, so let me share two samples from my email inbox this last month.

One question was headed:”Unanswered Rebuttal: Why We Need Assault Rifles” referring to my article at The message read:

“In your article from 2013 about why we need assault rifles you bring up many valuable points.

I think these counter arguments should be explored and answered. Maybe they are answered in other articles. If so, you might want to add a link at the bottom of the page.

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Attorney Question of the Month


Last month, we started a new topic of discussion with our affiliated attorneys when we asked–

 Suppose that a member keeps an extensive collection of legal rifles, shotguns and handguns locked in a safe, and uses his or her carry gun in justifiable self defense.

Can the gun collection be discussed in a trial to suggest to a jury that the armed citizen is a blood thirsty monster, not a good member of the community?

How would a prosecutor or plaintiff’s attorney introduce that line of reasoning? If defending the member, how would you counter the accusation if it arose?

There were so many responses that we carried this topic forward into this month. If you missed last month, you’ll also be interested to read the comments at and then pick up the discussion with the responses below.

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News from Our Affiliates


by Josh Amos 

Happy November, everyone! This month I have the pleasure of bringing a couple of the Network Affiliated Instructors to your attention. For all our new readers out there, the Armed Citizens’ Legal Defense Network has an affiliation program for instructors and these folks are out telling the public about the Network, while being the example of what a modern armed citizen should be. We like to recognize our affiliates for doing good works and encourage our members to train with them.

Two affiliated instructors caught my attention this month: one who has been with the Network for years, and the other is a newcomer.

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Book Review

Beyond the Picket Fence

Life Outside the Middle Class Bubble
Edited by Marc MacYoung

Kindle Edition at

Reviewed by Gila Hayes

Many years ago, I heard Marc MacYoung speak about a book he had outlined, intended to help middle class people operate effectively and with reasonable safety outside their familiar environment. Even way back then, Picket Fence figured into the title, so it was with considerable anticipation that I ordered an electronic copy from Amazon when it was first released. MacYoung encourages readers to take the book in small bites, and I confess that while I originally violated that advice, I promise to return and reread it more thoughtfully.

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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.

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