View Full Version : Pre-paid legal for OLL owners

02-24-2009, 2:10 PM
Surely this has been thought of before, but my search didn't turn up any previous mentions of the idea. Maybe some lawyer(s) could start a pre-paid legal plan to defend OLL owners who have had their guns confiscated or been arrested. The plan might even include coverage of large bails. There's a pre-paid legal company out there but I think they have an exception in their rules so they won't defend you if you're planning to do something that you know is legally risky. Also, I don't think they will initiate a lawsuit for you such as might be necessary to get your guns back from confiscation.

This might make LE less likely to hold on to the weapons if they know that they're going to have to make legal expenditures (or divert resources) to keep the weapons (and ultimately loose), while their owners won't have to make any expenditures to get their weapons back. The pre-paid legal company might even be able to get awarded legal fees for their trouble and thus make the enterprise even less expensive for us and more so for obstinate law enforcement.

In order for such a plan to be profitable, it would probably have to be strictly limited to totally legally configured weapons. They'd probably also have to insist on Bullet Buttons or charge more for Prince 50s.

If no regular lawyers want to tackle something like this, maybe we could talk one of the existing pre-paid companies into creating a special kind of plan for us. The companies that do this stuff already have a billing system set up. One of the problems with traditional pre-paid plans is that the pre-paid company might give poor service yet still be able to make sales to unaware clients. But if a pre-paid OLL defense provider gave poor service, the people here on calguns.net would find out and spread the word quickly.

One way a lawyer could make sure it was profitable would be to take sign-ups, but not charge and not start coverage until enough people had signed up to make it profitable.

I know there are several lawyers who read this board, maybe they could comment on some of the problems with an idea like this. Maybe we could figure out some solutions to those problems.

02-24-2009, 2:11 PM
Your more likely to be hit by a bus these days then be arrested for a legally configured OLL.

02-24-2009, 2:16 PM
If that's true then the coverage should be really cheap. Plus I'm thinking more about getting confiscated guns back. Is law enforcement still trying to hold on to them, or are they returning them on request now?

02-24-2009, 2:19 PM
1. Sorenson440 has it. Get a BulletButton, know the details of the laws and you'll be OK. Transport with a 10rd mag locked in lower just for giggles.

2. Prepaid legal services are essentially "mall lawyers". Good for uncontested divorces, wills, etc. - that's about it.

02-24-2009, 2:37 PM
Maybe the plan should include getting any guns back. There have been stories here of people having problems getting back regular guns as well.

You're probably not going to get the best representation with a service like this. If you're facing life in prison you want a great lawyer, but if you're probably just facing the loss of some guns you'd loose anyway, a low quality lawyer might be a better value than a high cost one. There is also value in just deterring law enforcement from trying to rip you off because they will know they will have to fight to take your guns.

This pre-paid legal idea might also be good to protect people who carry openly. Some in the gun community discourage open carry because it may take legal resources away from more important fights like incorporation. But if carriers have their legal defense paid for then they might not be diverting much away from more important things.

02-24-2009, 3:59 PM
You're better off knowing and following the applicable law and creating your own emergency funds with any money you'd dump into a pre-paid service. It would take a lot of $19.95/month premiums to cover a single case for a single subscriber. Adjust the numbers if you want but realize higher premiums would bring fewer subscribers. There are a host of other issues beyond cost.

02-24-2009, 5:09 PM
I was thinking a plan just for getting your guns back might even be cheaper than that. Maybe $30/year. If you could get a thousand customers, it might cover a relatively simple lawsuit like this. Getting a thousand customers might be hard, but you could do like I was saying and not start the coverage until you get enough customers. Out of a thousand cautious gun owners you might not even get one case a year. And most of the cases would probably require little work before law enforcement gave in. The coverage could also require the owner go through basic steps to get the guns back themselves before calling in the big guns. Many cases could be excluded from coverage, if for example the person probably shouldn't legally get their guns back or if they were caught in possession of drugs. And remember, if the lawyer gets awarded legal fees for the case, it would be much more profitable for the lawyer and the cost would be an extra deterrent to law enforcement.

Another possibility I just thought of that might be cheaper is just an insurance policy to pay for the lost guns. The insurer could take steps to sue if it was economical enough, or just pay for the guns and avoid a legal fight. I kind of don't like this option though because law enforcement might be more likely to keep the guns hoping the insurer would just give in rather than fight. In that case the owner would be happy but we the gun community would still have to suffer the cost of these losses.

Maybe a combination of these two ideas could get this going without too much risk to the lawyer. For the first couple cases the lawyer gets, the lawyer could retain the option to just pay for the guns and cancel all the remaining policies if it turns out to be too expensive to defend. With a system like this a lawyer could get into this potentially lucrative market with only a few thousand dollars of maximum liability. With this idea the cost might be reduced to just a few dollars a year. In the long run though I wouldn't want the lawyer to have the option of just paying for the guns for the same reasons I dislike the simple insurance policy idea.