This course teaches Virginia’s legal limits on the use of deadly force in self-defense situations, with a particular focus on the use of firearms. It will give you a working knowledge of the legal boundaries between a justifiable use of firearms in self-defense and an incident that will expose you to criminal prosecution and civil damages liability. It will also give you a practical set of guidelines and steps you can take to maximize your chances of winning (and financially surviving) the legal battle that inevitably follows a self-defense shooting. If you live or work in Virginia and rely on firearms for self-defense, this course is a must.
Part 1: Important Principles You Need to Know and Apply to Stay Legal in a Deadly Force Confrontation
In Part I of the course, we explain in everyday terms Virginia’s boundaries between the lawful and unlawful defensive use of firearms. Our presentation is illustrated with useful, practical examples involving real-life situations. We cover street confrontations, home invasions and the Castle Doctrine, Virginia’s stand your ground principle, and defending others. We will also cover (i) troublesome new case law concerning the unambiguously life-threatening overt act which is legally required to justify a deadly force response, (ii) Virginia’s legal rules relating to threat duration and proportionality of response, and (iii) a new development in Virginia’s law regarding brandishing. We also address whether you can still rely on prevention of an atrocious felony in Virginia to justify the use of deadly force. We will provide you with a real-world understanding of the rules you need to know to maximize your chances of staying legal in responding to a deadly force attack.
Part 2: Vital Information Needed to Deal With the Legal System in the Immediate Aftermath of a Self-Defense Incident
In Part II, we describe the legal battle that follows on the heels of almost every self-defense use of firearms. We explain each step in the post-confrontation legal process and give you a real understanding of how the system works. We teach you how to deal with the critical time just after a self-defense incident, including:
- 911 calls
- Pre-arrest interaction with the police
- When and how to assert your Fifth Amendment rights
- What follows after an arrest
What you do in these circumstances will have a huge effect on how the legal system will treat you. The course provides you with practical steps you should take and tools you will need to (i) protect your legal rights and (ii) help you (and your counsel) extricate you from the legal system with the least amount of difficulty.
Part II also discloses the real magnitude of your exposure in defending against criminal and civil suits, and provides detailed information about the various kinds of affordable, cost-effective insurance coverage that are available to help you financially survive a protracted legal battle. This information is not only up-to-date, but readily understandable and reliable.
The course has been taught for five years in northern Virginia and has consistently received enthusiastic reviews from the Virginia shooting community for both its content and its straight forward, engaging presentation style. It has become the gold standard for those who carry or rely on firearms for home security and self-defense.
- Effects of Adrenaline at the Outset of a Confrontation
- Legal, Financial, and Practical Consequences of the Defensive Use of Firearms
- What This Course Will and Won’t Do
- Part I – When the Defensive Use of Firearms Is Permissible
- Understanding the Law
- The Basic Standard for Legal Use of a Firearm in Self-Defense
- The Element of Immediacy
- The Requirement of an Overt Act
- The Element of Innocence
- Great Bodily Harm
- The Element of Proportionality
- Examples Illustrating Virginia’s Law of Self-Defense
- Home Invasion & Castle Doctrine
- Defending Others
- Recovering the Right of Self-Defense When You Are Initially at Fault
- Justified Versus Excusable Use of Deadly Force
- Circumstances Where You May Not Deploy Your Gun
- Modified Firearms
- Summing it Up
- Part II – How to Win the Legal Battle That Follows the Defensive Use of Firearms
- Effects of Adrenaline in the Aftermath of a Defensive Use of Firearms
- The Problem of Inconsistent Statements
- Calling 9-1-1
- What You Should Do Next
- How The System Works
- Preparation & Tools
- IBMOs, PLSOs & LSCs Analyzed
- Contact Information
This course is a must for any gun owner or would-be gun owner. Mr. Sulzer has provided a comprehensive, objective, and sobering review of self-defense in Virginia. Internet searches and attempting to read the law will not get you to the rubber-meets-the-road realities that you must appreciate before you face the moment of gun deployment in halting deadly threats to you or your loved ones. His presentation is clear and easy to follow. It should be regarded as the gold standard in gun ownership training.
Very thorough but digestible and well presented in an easy-to-understand way. Love the background and personal expertise.
Tons of info. Thanks for also sending the PowerPoint. Gave me a lot of info to know in self-defense. Mr. Sulzer is extremely knowledgeable.
Very good/interesting. Well worth the investment!
Provided me with the info I came to learn. I really did not know what I did not know. Provided critical facts to move forward.