CCW Safe – The Best Option for Self Defense Legal Protection

Posted: March 5, 2014 in Uncategorized

As most of you are aware, Legal Heat travels the country each month certifying thousands of people to obtain their concealed firearm permits. One of the most common questions we get asked in our classes is, “what is the best concealed carry insurance/legal protection product?” As a result of all of these inquiries, Legal Heat has been on a quest to find the best firearm defense liability insurance/protection in the business. We don’t take the endorsement of products lightly, and so we wanted to make absolutely sure we vetted each option as best we could. Since November I have spoken with or met with nearly every major provider of firearm liability protection in America. They all have their merits, but for us there is one clear industry leader, CCW Safe.


First let’s discuss what firearm defense protection is all about.

If you are involved in a self-defense shooting your first priority is survival. Once survival is secured,  not having your life destroyed by an unbelievably expensive and emotionally draining legal battle now becomes your priority. That is where liability protection comes in. You pay a monthly or annual premium and gain the peace of mind of knowing you’ll be more financially secure and legally protected should such need arise. In the liability protection world there are two options, insurance products and service products.

Insurance Products:

Many of the insurance products currently available sound great on the surface, until you read the fine print and discover that (for many) you must first use your own money to hire an attorney, then afterwards submit your claim to the insurance company for reimbursement.  Not only is it extremely discomforting to imagine the insurance company denying your claim, it is also economically impossible for most people to come up with the funds required to hire an attorney in the first place. George Zimmerman’s legal defense cost 2.5 million dollars. If you were in Zimmerman’s position and had purchased many of the insurance products out there, you would could have been required to front the 2.5 million dollars and then later on submit your claim for reimbursement. I don’t know about you, but I personally question my ability to raise $25,000 overnight, let alone 2.5 million. Another huge downfall of insurance products is many have claim limits.  Self-defense criminal cases can cost much more than most people imagine. When you walk into an attorney’s office and he tells you your case may run into the hundreds of thousands, you don’t want to worry about claim limits. For all these reasons and more, we have decided to personally (and professionally) choose the service product offered by CCW Safe over competing insurance options. Although we’ve chosen to purchase CCW Safe coverage, I want to make it abundantly clear that we are not saying competing products (such as those offered by our industry friends USCCA or the NRA) are bad. USCCA and the NRA are great organizations, we simply feel CCW Safe provides the most protection and best value for our needs. It should also be noted that there is nothing that prevents you from obtaining multiple protection plans (CCW Safe & USCCA Law Shield), there’s no such thing as too much protection.

Service Product (CCW Safe):

As opposed to many insurance products, CCW Safe does not require you to front the costs of your legal defense and has no claim limits. CCW Safe also covers the costs of investigators and expert witnesses (which many of the competitors do not). Additionally, one of the best benefits of CCW Safe is their emergency hotline. In the wake of a self-defense shooting, all you need to do is make one call to CCW Safe’s emergency hotline and they’ll take care of the rest. They will quickly arrange legal counsel, investigators, and expert witnesses who will go to bat for you. As a former prosecutor myself, I can tell you the quicker a defendant has an attorney, the better. Those who spend weeks trying to find the right attorney waste crucial time and risk getting swallowed alive by the legal system. In a self-defense shooting you need a good attorney, and you need one yesterday! CCW Safe can offer the peace of mind of knowing that you’ve got a full legal team in your pocket. Finally, CCW Safe is available to anyone in America so long as they have any concealed firearm permit.

It should be noted that CCW Safe does not cover civil judgments or punitive damages (should you lose your case). The reason this is not a major concern for me is simply because losing a criminal case (such as a second degree murder trial) would result in a complete destruction of my life as I know it. Jail time, careers ending, family being torn apart…all of these things would take precedence over how much damages I’ll have to pay the court. My primary concern is obtaining good legal defense protection at an affordable price, and CCW Safe provides exactly that. 

Quick Comparison

How CCW Safe Works:

Notification: Immediately upon being involved in a critical self defense incident, you will need to notify CCW Safe.  First, notify 911 and request help and medical support.  Next, notify CCW Safe by calling the 24 hour emergency number on your membership card.  You will talk to an attorney who will give you guidance on your next action.  You will be instructed to give a very basic statement.  This statement should include your name, the fact that you are a victim and were forced to defend yourself, identifying the suspect, any witnesses, and present your ccw permit and CCW Safe membership card.  You will be instructed to advise authorities that you have legal representation and that you would like to give a full statement in the presence of your attorney. CCW Safe attorneys may initiate an investigative response team to begin investigation on your incident.

Official Interview: CCW Safe attorneys will attempt to secure a 24 – 48 hour window before any statement is given.  This is based on the fact that all parties involved will want the most accurate account of the incident.  Once that interview is scheduled, you may give an official statement after consultation with your attorney.  You will be advised not to talk to anyone, not even your family and friends about the incident until the official interview is complete.  Even after this interview, you will be advised to keep strict discretion about any conversation regarding the incident until the decision is made by the District Attorney or States Attorney on whether any charges will be filed.   Any media requests for interviews should be directed to your legal counsel.

Determination Phase: There will be a period of time, ranging from days to weeks that will determine if any criminal charges will be filed.  In the case of civil or administrative action, this period of time may be much longer, possibly up to a year or two.  During this time, CCW Safe will retain all investigative reports, interview reports and other reports necessary to prepare for the “next fight” if needed.

Preparation: It is always possible that civil action and/or criminal charges could be filed. In a civil case (one where someone sues you for causing them an injury based on negligence) there is a long period called discovery. This is the mechanism that all parties have to learn about what evidence there is and what evidence they intend to put on at the time of trial. This is a n incredibly costly process of meetings with witnesses, experts, deposition testimony, etc. This all has to be done in advance of a trial. In a criminal charge, there is no discovery phase. There are no depositions. But, there are witness meetings in an attempt to prepare the best possible defense. CCWSafe will provide the lawyers for our members at no cost to the member. This is a savings of tens of thousands of dollars.

Defense Phase: The defense phase is the actual trial process.  Again, this can last a long time and can be a very stressful time, perhaps the most stressful time of your entire life.  CCW Safe will provide representation throughout the trial process, and even into retrials or appeals if necessary.  And remember, no additional fees are charged to the member for this.

How to Enroll:

Enrolling in CCW Safe is easy, simply click here or visit

  1. Kevin Henry says:

    How many people have they successfully defended?

    • LH says:

      Good question Kevin. CCW Safe is not technically the one “defending” anyone. They retain law firms in each state who would provide the legal defense. Probably the more appropriate question would be how many people have these law firms successfully defended? Given that they only work with firms with at least 8+ attorneys, I’d imagine the answer is a fair amount. Self defense shootings are rarely prosecuted (I was a prosecutor and I never saw one). Given CCW Safe is a fairly new organization, I’m not sure how many of their customers have required the protection they provide.

  2. says:

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  3. Dan says:

    Question for you about CCW Safe. What if I am a legal gun owner, but do not have a CCW permit. My wife is not allowed to have one yet as she does not have her US citizenship yet so what if she has to shoot someone attacking me? Thanks

  4. Jack Armstrong says:

    Why does your link above to CCW Safe’s website have a rep #. I know CCW Safe has an affiliate program where people can make money by sending them new members. Looks like you’re CCW Safe rep #128. Are you sure you’re not making any money from your endorsement of CCW Safe insurance? Why are you using a special link to their website?

    Please advise.

    Jack Armstrong

  5. mark Odonnell says:

    first of all I am a NRA basic pistol instructor and Nra RSO and I teach concealed carry in Illinois I need to know if I could have some information to pass out to my students about your services and I’m very interested in getting insurance for myself and my wife. it seems like you have one of the best policies out there from what I’ve read and my students require the best thank you.

  6. Capt. DAN ID#430 says:

    I have been a CCW Safe member since 10/2013. I was recently involved in a “non-lethal” use of force situatiuon in which my wife was assaulted. I responded to protect her, resulting in a midemeanor assault charge against me, unbelievably enough. I called CCW Safe and was provided with a top notch, local, legal representation firm within 48 hours. I cannot go any futher into the details as of this time. I can only say that CCW Safe has been amazing thus far and I couldn’t be happier with the way I have been treated. My case still has a long way to go, but i would still encourage anyone who is a CCW Permit holder to waste no time in joining CCW Safe!!

    • Sandman says:

      My concern about CCW Safe is that they on cover “self-defense” use of deadly force. In TX, at least, you can certainly use deadly force in a number of circumstances beyond “self-defense”. It is somewhat reassuring CCW Safe did provide representation when you used deadly force to come to the aid of your wife. But on the basis of what they say they do, I wouldn’t count on that!

      My 2 cents.

  7. Doug Gerber says:

    I didn’t see an answer to the question of “how many people has CCWSafe helped?” Also, how many subscribers do you have?

  8. piason says:

    I see no replies to questions not a good sign.. For me anyway.. Something smells a little fishy..

    • Capt. DAN ID#430 says:

      To piason:

      This is my response to that question. I posted it prior to your response:

      “I have been a CCW Safe member since 10/2013. I was recently involved in a “non-lethal” use of force situation in which my wife was assaulted. I responded to protect her, resulting in a misdemeanor assault charge against me, unbelievably enough. I called CCW Safe and was provided with a top notch, local, legal representation firm within 48 hours. I cannot go any further into the details as of this time. I can only say that CCW Safe has been amazing thus far and I couldn’t be happier with the way that I have been treated. My case still has a long way to go, but I would still encourage anyone who is a CCW Permit holder to waste no time in joining CCW Safe!!”

      Since the beginning of my case, I have been contacted twice by CCW Safe representatives to inquire as to the progress of my defense and to insure that I was being adequately. I cannot stress enough, the importance of a CCW Safe membership. Just read the weekly headlines and you can see that CCW Permit holders and CCW carriers are under growing attack from the anti-gun establishment. If you are involved in a deadly use of force confrontation, you need to be ready with the best legal representation available. The spot light of intense scrutiny will be on you and you don’t want to face it alone!

  9. Is there a master policy or specimen policy somewhere which I could read? One of the reasons I gave up private practice for a circuit judgeship was that I spent about one forth of my time reading insurance policies and giving the insurance companies coverage opinions. Boring.


  10. I just read the closest thing to a policy and here are the points:

    1 It IS NOT an insurance policy. They offer and incorrect explanation as why they are not (because we don’t pay out money judgements). There are plenty of insurance products that defend but don’t indemnify, such as pre-paid legal insurance.

    2. You must have a CCW. This means if you do not carry (say you work in the Airport) but you legally own the gun as most states don’t have gun registration and you shoot a burglar in your home you are not covered. Also, of you are a rifle and shotgun person, a CCW (ours anyway) is a permit for carrying a concealed weapon, not an AR-15, which can be carried openly. If you have no CCW and use you AR in your home in self defense-no coverage.

    3.It “will not provide the above services if the use of force incident is an intentional criminal act.” That is why we have trials, because a prosecutor or grand jury thought it was an intentional criminal act rather than the legal use of self defense. That phase concerns me.

    4. “will not provide the above services if a member who is intoxicated, under the influence of alcohol or drugs, such condition to be defined by a blood alcohol level of .05 or higher, or have any illegal drugs in their system, or, where the member has been in public consuming alcohol, marijuana, or any illegal drug, or prescribed medication that alters the judgment such as pain medication.” So you can drink in your home or take your prescribed medication in your home but just not in public and keep it below 0.05 Our CCW does not even prohibit drinking or being n a bar (that is where you need one). What concerns me is you are in your home minding your own business having a few drinks when a Mexican Meth gang burst in and starts after your kids. You shoot one and the rest flee. It s obvious it a good shooting but the D.A. is anti-gun and you are indicted. No coverage. How about pot that is legal in some states but banned by the feds. Being a Jeffersonian, I don’t think the Feds had the right to outlaw it. I assume there is no coverage..

    5. I never saw any monetary limits on coverage for an attorney or experts. Even though the claim is Zimmerman spent $1 million on his defense, if he did he is nuts. I have tried 10 of these cases and they last 2 or 3 days and if the attorney’s fee is more than $10,000 he is a thief. But let’s say $100,000 will buy a golden defense anywhere but California or New England.

    6. Mr. Sweet, the General Counsel, worked in and lectures on “as Medical Staff Services, Negligent Credentialing, Perinatal Safety, Defensive Medical Charting, Dealing with Disruptive Physicians, Overcoming Surgical Complications and Catastrophic Medical Malpractice Defense” What does he know about anything. The best lawyer is a shooter himself and then a lawyer.

    What concerns me is they are not an insurance company, just like Texas Law Shield (who is being sued). They rely on their lawyers to be patient and I assume they pay them from premiums That is a recipe for disaster. With an insurance company you must have reserves set aside to pay lawyers, you must put up securities, and ultimately if you fail the state takes you over and the state fund pays your lawyer. None of those safeguards are here.There is almost 0 probability that you will ever be charged so the $129 is profit.

    In sum, I am still looking. In addition to being a lawyer for 14 years and a circuit judge for almost 20 (I retired last May) I have been a shooting instructor for 6 years. I was also the director of our 35 man 13th Circuit Court Police for 10 years and (thank God) I graduated from a top 20 law school (they may have dropped to 21) the University of Alabama.

    • Financial Observer says:

      Your points are very much appreciated. I can find no real provider of coverage that is an actual insurance company, with the exception of Conifer Holdings in Birmingham, Michigan. There are three companies within the organization, and it is publicly traded. However, the A.M. Best rating was lowered in early 2015 to negative from stable and noted negative earnings since 2011 for a company basically acquired in 2009 and attempting to build a book of specific liability insurance across multiple areas. Without an ability to evaluate the financial condition of the underlying insurance company and to confirm through review of governing documents to assess real coverage, I’m afraid most of these services are simply proof that a fool and his money were lucky to get together in the first place.

    • Vincent says:

      Thank You Judge..appreciate your honesty

    • David Morris says:

      Judge Johnston,

      First of all, hello from a former Mobilian! I lived there and attended USA in the 80’s before leaving for military service in the US Army. Afterwards I returned there with my family until work relocated me to NW Georgia.

      I appreciate your professional insight on this matter. I’ve been comparing these services lately myself, and from what I’ve researched, CCW Safe seems well regarded by its members. So do some others such as USCCA Self Defense Shield. Those are really the top 2 contenders that my research has led me to, although I have to say I’m not terribly happy with USCCA’s aggressive infomercial-esque marketing tactics. But based on what I’ve found, I’m not terribly concerned that they’re shady or a scam, but I do like to gather all the facts I can, as well as input from legal professionals such as yourself.

      As to your point #5 regarding the Zimmerman case, it is my understanding that his legal bills were made public to the tune of some 2.8 MILLION dollars. As his trial became politicized and dragged out through the national media, costs no doubt exploded well beyond what a “normal” trial of this nature would have cost. He was financially ruined regardless of the fact he was acquitted. CCW Safe claims they would have paid every penny of this amount, win or lose. They just wouldn’t pay any monetary settlements or penalties.

      Disclaimer: I’m no Zimmerman cheerleader; he’s an idiot in my opinion who gives most law-abiding gun owners and concealed carriers a bad name. Not only because he put himself in a situation where he was forced to defend himself, but also for all the “incidents” he’s been involved in since. But all that aside, what happened to him from the standpoint of his case becoming politicized and nationally scrutinized could potentially happen to any of us involved in a legit self-defense situation, and I consider these products a small price to pay for some financial peace of mind even assuming I’m acquitted of any wrongdoing.

  11. One more point. I just looked at the Oklahoma Business Services web site and CCW Safe, L.L.C. is listed as Inactive because they are delinquent in filing their annual report. Kyle Sweet does not claim to be licensed to practice law in Oklahoma, but you get that impression since he is “General Counsel”. Checking with the Oklahoma state bar site, he is not licensed to practice there. Now, I would not touch this with a 10 foot pole.

    CCW SAFE, L.L.C.


    Filing Number:
    Name Type:
    Legal Name
    Corp type:
    Domestic Limited Liability Company
    Formation Date:
    8 Aug 2011

  12. Henry Thom says:

    Judge Johnston: Excellent info. I am comparing CCW-Safe vs USCCA for my coverage at this point. Your 2.26 post shows a significant concern that the General Council of CCW is not licensed in OK. Does it really matter? I am in CA and regardless, I don’t expect him to personally represent me anyway. My major concern is that they have not replied to the question of how many people have they represented so far. Will appreciate your comment.

  13. kellyjam says:

    My understanding is that USCCA is the only company that is underwritten by a US Insurance Co.

    • Vincent says:

      I would love to hear any positive or negative feedback about USCCA which I have just signed up for the platinum membership. One concern is they only have 2 or 3, 24/7 Critical Response. Operators on call. Also they only have 1 Lawyer avail in Maine and pretty far away from where I’ll be moving. I know they give you the option of picking your own Attny but thats why I hooked with USCCA in the first place because I do not know a damn thing about Legal Representation…how does a Layman know if the Attny is any good…I mean come on…Bad Things happen to Good People and if you have to defend yourself against a real threat your Life could be on the Line in the Courts…Please Help…

  14. bao says:

    Hi, I am in the process of researching USCCA vs. CCW safe vs. Second call defense, I have read all of the above comments and was hoping for some guidance in terms of which company to go with. Thank you.

  15. Wayne Clark says:

    I’m going crazy trying to find a recent (2016) comparison to CCW SAFE & USCCA!
    The last I heard from USCCA, they DO pay upfront for legal & bail (not reimbursement), which in this comparison, shows the opposite. As a matter of fact, I’ve seen several discrepancies in this comparison to what they (USCCA) claim as to their coverage.
    If someone has current info on these two (or more) providers, I would greatly appreciate the link(s). Everything I find is 2014 or earlier.

    Footnote: Just read through some of the comments & saw one from “Judge Johnston” (real judge?) that stated CCW SAFE is listed as “inactive” in Oklahoma so I’m starting to have my doubts on any of this “stuff”.

  16. Vincent says:

    Hello once again… Does anyone have any feedback concerning “Armed Citizens Legal Defence Network Inc.” as compared to other companies such as USCCA?