The United States Concealed Carry Association (USCCA) is considered the nation’s leading concealed carry resource. Tim Schmidt, founder and publisher of Concealed Carry Magazine and the United States Concealed Carry Association, provides insight on concealed carry incident insurance.
FFL Unleashed: Provide brief history of USCCA and what services/protections it offers its members.
Schmidt: My dad always told me to remember, “If it is to be, it’s up to me.” He instilled in me that the only person responsible for my happiness, safety, and security is me. That phrase, along with many other factors, played a huge role in helping me create the USCCA. Another factor was when my first child was born. Not only did I need to provide for my new son, it was also my duty to protect him (and my wife) from the evil that will always exist in our world. My internal personal defense switch was tripped by simply becoming a new father.
This led me to learning about self-defense and eventually creating Concealed Carry Magazine which today reaches more than 120,000 subscribers.
Next I needed to figure out a way to offer my customers more value. This is when I started the USCCA. I was no longer in the magazine business. I was in the business of connecting like-minded, armed Americans!
We at USCCA are here to help make sure all of your self-defense and home-defense bases are covered. The USCCA Self-Defense SHIELD is the fastest growing and most comprehensive system that offers 100
% peace of mind and a complete legal and financial plan. It is a ‘member owned’ national organization backed by a billion dollar insurance agency. Membership in the USCCA Self-Defense SHIELD is for American gun owners who aren’t willing to bet the safety and protection of their loved ones on second-rate, pre-paid legal products. The USCCA is a like-minded group of God-fearing, American patriots who believe in their natural-born, inalienable right to keep and bear arms. USCCA members span all walks of life. USCCAmembers put their families and loved ones first. We are willing to do whatever it takes to protect their safety and honor. It’s as simple as that!
FFL Unleashed: Should one of the FFL Unleashed dealers – or more likely, one of their customers – ever be in the unfortunate situation of having to use their carry weapon in personal defense, what is the typical course of events immediately following the incident? What kind of financial implication does it typically entail?
Schmidt: The aftermath of a deadly force incident is a whirlwind and typically involves physical, emotional, legal and financial implications. What you can expect is an immediate and intense response from law enforcement. You will likely be detained, handcuffed and possibly arrested while police investigate the incident. You may need bail money in order to get out of jail. You will need an attorney, and the retainer typically begins at $5000 or more. Following the immediate response there will be an investigation that will require your attorney to expend time and resources to prove your actions were legal. If there is such a thing as a “typical” self-defense case the costs can easily exceed $50,000. And that does not even begin to take into account the stress, possible lost wages and other issues that surround such a life-changing event.
FFL Unleashed: Does USCCA have a program through which firearms dealers and personal defense instructors can work with you in steering their customers to your services? If yes, describe the program and how it benefits the dealer/instructor.
Schmidt: We are in the process of improving and updating our affiliate program.
Firearms dealers should work hard to become the subject matter experts for their customers. When someone comes to a gun shop to buy a gun, that person is typically looking for more than just a gun. An informed consumer becomes a life-long customer. If, by promoting membership in the USCCA, you are providing your customers with more and better information, they will use that information in their future purchasing decisions and will likely remember the customer service they received along the way. When a customer buys a gun and you refer that customer to the USCCA, that customer begins making the transition simply being a “gun owner” to being a “responsibly armed citizen.” Responsibly armed citizens buy ammo for training, holsters, lights, knives and other accessories. Responsibly armed citizens also talk to their friends and will likely direct more customers to the businesses that helped them make the transition.
FFL Unleashed: When a dealer is working with a customer “new” to the world of carry and personal defense, how can they best recommend incident insurance without scaring off that customer? What’s your approach to the insurance issue with newbies?
Schmidt: Those new to self-defense should not be nervous about being protected. At the USCCA we liken self-defense insurance to car insurance; something everyone needs but few people think about until they are forced to use it. But unlike car insurance companies, the USCCA is an active partner as we constantly promote education and training through several channels. Our Critical Response Team is ready 24-hours per day to help our members at the time they need it most.