Stupid Mistakes

Don’t Make a Stupid "Heat of the Moment" Mistake

By now you should know that when it comes to armed self defense, it’s usually not the shooting itself that trips you up legally. More often than not, it’s what you do afterward that gets you in hot water.

Assuming you have made your 911 call, kept it brief, and limited your information to the essentials we gave you, your second call should be to arrange legal representation.

Call 911

Call 911 with a Singular Purpose

As we discussed in a recent post, the authorities can use an “excited utterance” as evidence against you. And that applies not just to when you’re talking to police on the scene, but also to when you’re speaking to a 911 operator. This is likely to be your first contact with authorities, and may be just minutes, even seconds, after you have survived a life-or-death encounter with a bad guy.

Excited Utterance

Beware the “Excited Utterance”

One of the most important concepts to understand in the laws of evidence is what legal experts refer to as the “excited utterance.”

An excited utterance is a statement made in response to a shocking event. It is an exception to the hearsay rule and is admissible as evidence against you. Why?

The theory is that because it is spontaneous, unplanned, and made while still under the stress of excitement from the event, it is more reliable than a statement made at a later time when you’ve had a chance to think about what happened.

5 Stages of Violent Crime

The 5 Stages of Violent Crime

Most people see violence as a random event. But actually, violent acts, and crimes in general, follow a fairly regular process. Since the ultimate form of self defense is avoiding a fight altogether, understanding the crime process and spotting the signs of potential violence can help you stay safe.

There are different ways to describe the process of violent crime, but one of the most popular was developed by Marc MacYoung. It is used by the police and military as well as firearm and self defense instructors.

Avoid Confrontation

Avoid Confrontation When Possible

In The Art of War, Sun Tzu observed, “The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.” That’s not only good advice for warfare, it’s good advice for self defense as well.

When it comes to justifiable use of deadly force, you should seek to avoid confrontation unless you have no choice and your life is on the line. This is easier to say than to do because it requires that you be calm and peace-loving throughout your life, but ready to use with deadly force at any moment.

Lethal Force Exceptions

6 Exceptions to Justifiable Self Defense

When gun owners run afoul of the law, it’s often because they don’t know the rules or say or do something stupid because they’re still suffering from the physical and psychological effects of a deadly force encounter.

However, there are also some specific exceptions to justifiable self defense.

New Podcast

Potential ATF Regulation of Pistol Braces, Duty to Retreat in Ohio, and More

Second Call Defense co-founder Sean Maloney joins the Faxon Firearms podcast to discuss the potential ATF regulation of pistol braces, how Ohio recently abolished "duty to retreat," polymer 80% firearms, and more.

You can listen here or visit our podcast site.

Deadly Force and the Law

Be Sure You Understand Deadly Force and the Law

If you own or carry a firearm, you need to know what the law says about using deadly force. You don't have to be a lawyer, but you must at the very least understand the basics. The better you understand how the law views deadly force, the better you are able to act within the law and avoid legal complications.

Here is the accepted legal standard for justifiable deadly force:

Deadly force is justified only to prevent the imminent danger of death or great bodily harm.

M&P Recall

Smith & Wesson Issues M&P Shield Pistol Recall


Smith & Wesson has identified two M&P Shield EZ Pistols on which the hammers manufactured by our supplier were cracked. In those firearms, the hammer failed to fully engage the sear, causing the round to fire, cycling the slide, and potentially resulting in multiple discharges without depressing the trigger. This issue can occur in the following two scenarios: