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More Americans are packing heat

Recent media articles suggest that more Americans are carrying concealed than ever before. According to a recent MSNBC.com article published on March 24, 2010, "From its beginnings in the 1980s, the "right-to-carry" movement has succeeded in boosting the number of licensed concealed-gun carriers from fewer than 1 million to a record 6 million today...."

The article continues, "Firearms laws have been growing more relaxed across the United States for years. Gun-control activists have failed in efforts to re-enact the nationwide ban on certain semiautomatic rifles they call "assault weapons." They were unable to block a change in federal law, signed by President Obama this year, which allows guns to be carried in national parks. And they watched in dismay as the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in June 2008 that the Second Amendment grants residents of Washington, D.C., the right to own and keep loaded handguns in their homes." The Supreme Court is expected to decide sometime this summer whether this right extends to the individual states.

Regardless of the Court's decision, right now many states, including Michigan, have statutes on the books that protect armed citizens when acting in self-defense. These laws will help if you and your attorney ever need to defend your conduct in court.

Well before that time comes, however, I advise my students and clients that they should fully understand those laws and mentally prepare for the scrutiny they may experience if forced to defend themselves or their loved ones. Hopefully, such preparation will be the key to a positive result without charges ever being filed against an armed citizen acting in self-defense.

Train physically and mentally. Then take comfort in knowing you have done all you can to protect yourself and those you love. And hope you will never be called upon to use that training in order to survive a sudden violent encounter.

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