Andrew Branca

I’ve been around guns nearly my whole life, but in the early 1990s I started competitive pistol shooting, IPSC at first, then much more seriously in IDPA.  In the New England winter months, there’s not much opportunity for outdoor shooting, so I spend much of that time going to gun shows in my area.

Both at the range and at gun shows I occasionally overhear fellow gun owners discussing the use of force in self-defense, and giving each other advice and suggestions on what is and isn’t legal and appropriate. Almost all of that advice is based on anecdote and rumor–stuff learned from a friend of a friend who knew someone who was a cop, that kind of thing.

Unfortunately, as a lawyer, I know much of what these well-intentioned people are telling each other is horribly wrong.  Indeed, much of it is almost certain to end up in a long prison sentence.