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4DSJW
01-12-2010, 4:28 PM
Fairly new here, but not to firearms, and I'm sure letting my backside sit dangerously out in a stiff and cold breeze with this question; Does anyone have comments on the organization "Armed Citizens' Legal Defense Network, LLC" up in Washington or how they might fit in to the greater scheme of Firearms Ownership CYA?

Thank you for any information you may have and a great forum in which to ask questions!

EBR Works
01-12-2010, 4:41 PM
I would like to know as well.

jdberger
01-13-2010, 8:36 AM
I'll do some quick research and get back to you...

jdberger
01-13-2010, 8:59 AM
Well, there doesn't seem to be much to them. They claim that they have a non-profit registered in Washington State. I'm not sure what that means. It's not a 501(c)3 like the Calguns Foundation is (or if it is it has a completely different name). There aren't any 990s on file with the IRS for the "Armed Citizens' Legal Defense Foundation".

Stick with CGF and local counsel like Chuck Michel, Jason Davis and Don Kilmer.

ilbob
01-13-2010, 2:18 PM
The web site claims Massad Ayoob is somehow involved with it.

I always find it a bit odd when someone has a URL like

http://www.armedcitizensnetwork.org/

and it redirects to something like http://comcondev.com/

It gets talked about periodically on other gun related forums.

Here is what the web sites claims are the benefits.

What does my $85 membership fee buy me?

• An initial $5,000 fee deposit paid to the member's attorney by the Network if the member has been involved in a self-defense incident. The fee deposit gets the legal defense immediately underway, with representation during questioning, and arranging for an independent investigation of the incident.
• Network members defending against unmeritirious prosecution or civil litigation after a self defense incident occuring during their period of membership are also eligible for additional grants of financial aid from the Armed Citizens’ Legal Defense Foundation, a separate non-profit foundation.
• In addition, the Network is working to create a nationwide network of affiliated attorneys and legal experts upon which the member can draw in the event of a self-defense shooting. Members' attorneys can also request case review by one of the Network’s experts, paid for by the Network, with findings and advice forwarded to the member’s lawyer.

Other membership benefits include:
-DVDs by major players in the justifiable use of deadly force field sent each new member for their preliminary education; continuing educational DVDs are renewal premiums, with the 2009 DVD covering pre-assault indicators and how they influence the self defense decision-making process.
-Access to the Network’s expert witnesses.
-Discounts on books and videos sold on the Network’s web site.

As best I can tell, they promise to pay $5000 deposit to your lawyer if you shoot someone in a SD incident with a vague promise that they might fund your defense even more.

It appears that it is actually a for profit company run by the owner of the Seattle firearms academy that donates 20% of your membership fees to a foundation that is the source of the additional funds that may be available.

I seem to recall seeing that they were stating they had something like 35 lawyers in 25 states on their list of affiliated lawyers. I don't know if the $5000 is only available to be paid to affiliated lawyers or not. They also state they won't release the names of their affiliated lawyers to anyone who is not a member. the explanation seems to be that it is a proprietary thing. Thats nice but how would you make a decision on whether the thing is worth being involved in if you don't have a clue who the lawyer that potentially is representing you might be.

There is enough vagueness in the whole thing that make me wonder about it. OTOH, I do not think Ayoob would be involved in an out and out scam.

4DSJW
01-13-2010, 4:34 PM
Thank you to everyone who commented. I came across a write-up about them in Dillon's Blue Press back in the April, May, or June issue and finally looked them up on the web but couldn't find much useful info. I was hoping that someone here had heard of, or been involved in, their operation and had more information.

Thanks Again!

dav
01-13-2010, 4:47 PM
There isn't much to say, yet. It is a conceptual thing that may or may not end up working. Marty and Gila Hayes are good people, but that doesn't mean they can make it work.

Right now they have very little concrete to offer their paying members, so they have to hoard what they do have to make the membership valuable.

Yes, I belong. It has provided no benefit, yet. But neither has carrying a gun for years. Maybe both will benefit me someday. It's just another "insurance" thing for now, and I wanted to help them get this organization going.

But as of now, almost all benefits are intangible. If you consider education intangible, at least.

SKN
01-13-2010, 11:51 PM
I've been a member since its' inception and have found it to be a valuable training resource. The DVDs and the monthly E-newsletter are loaded with solid information about tactics, techniques, and legal issues. The organization, which was put together two years ago by Marty and Gila Hayes who run Firearms Academy of Seattle, has about 1600 members I believe.

FAS is a well respected training organization in the Pacific Northwest. Marty is a retired northwest regional LEO and a member of the Washington State BAR. His testimony as a expert witness was instrumental in a recent court case which overturned a 'cold case' ME finding from a suicide to a homicide. He has tremendous expertise in the field of using deadly force.

Their affiliated attorneys and legal experts are from across the country and the organization does have a limited legal defense fund capacity. They have a members' forum from which you may draw and contribute information on any number of issues.

Money is tight these days, so spend it as you see fit.

Al Norris
01-14-2010, 8:34 AM
I can offer a little insight, 4DSJW.

Here is an excerpt from an article I wrote that was published in the April 2009 edition of S.W.A.T. Magazine:
Membership costs $85.00 a year. Twenty percent (20%) of the membership dues goes directly to the Foundation. This money is to be used to fund grants to eligible members for their defense. When the membership reaches 10K and beyond, the Foundation will have some serious money to help its members defray legal costs.

Membership is restricted to people who are lawful persons to own and carry firearms. You must have a CCW (or whatever your State calls your concealed permit), an FOID or some other proof that you can pass a NICS check. That pretty much means you have to be 21 (18 in some States) and a non-felon. Without such proof, membership will be denied. Should you lose your CCW or your right to possess a firearm, your membership will be returned on a pro-rated basis. Remember, this is all about helping the lawful citizen, not those who chose to ignore our laws.

If at any time during your membership, you become (God forbid) involved in a defensive shooting, have your attorney contact the Network with the details of the shooting and the advisory board of the Foundation will review your attorneys request and make recommendations on how best to help your case. Of course, the more members, the larger the Foundations legal fund will be and the more help it will be able to grant.

We all know that there are areas of the U.S. where gun-owners are not held in very high esteem. Get caught up in the legal system (say, for a self-defense shooting), and in certain areas the prosecutors will go out of their way to indict and charge you. The gist of the whole thing is that Marty Hayes saw a need. He went to law school, strictly to become a defense attorney to help those who are innocent, but are nontheless charged with a crime... of self-defense.

Along the way to getting his law degree, Marty's focus changed. He envisioned getting the help of other firearms professionals and like minded attorneys together to form a co-operative effort to help the innocent gun-owner.

Born was a two headed group. The first, The Armed Citizens Legal Defense Network, would do the grunt-work of getting the support of the firearms community and commitment of attorneys and other specialists (expert witnesses and many affiliated firearms instructors and trainers). The second prong is the Armed Citizens' Legal Defense Foundation which would eventually fund the defense of its members in the event that they are wrongfully charged with a crime, should they ever have to defend their lives, or the lives of their loved ones, in a self-defense situation.

The advisory board to the Foundation is Massad Ayoob, John Farnum, Tom Givens and Dennis Tueller (as of Jan. 2009).

Eighty percent of your membership fee goes to pay for the materials, website and salaries of the board and and other related business expenses. Twenty percent goes into the Foundations coffers for grants used solely for its members legal expenses. Obviously, the more members, the more the money the Foundation will have for these expenses.

The Network is not a form of insurance, but it is a professional source of specialized information that us ordinary folks and our attorneys will not have.

The mission of the Network is different than that of the CalGuns Foundation.

Al Norris
01-14-2010, 8:42 AM
At the same time I wrote the initial article for S.W.A.T. Magazine, I also wrote a review of the DVD's that were sent to new members. This was not published, so I am free to include it here:

Upon becoming a member of the Armed Citizens Legal Defense Network, besides the benefits I have already described, you will receive 3 DVD videos. I would like to take a few moments to give you a brief overview of what you will have.

Note Bene: Throughout my viewing of these DVDs, I paused the disks at various points to see if my wife understood the material that was being presented. While I'm fairly conversant with the subject matter, as it relates to law in Idaho, my wife isn't. So this was a “self-check” on understandability.

The first DVD is, Use of Deadly Force in Self Defense, a lecture by Marty Hayes, covers the basic aspects and requirements that the law, in many (if not all), jurisdictions will look at when determining whether or not your shooting was lawful.

Marty explains, in easy to understand language, the common law, statutory law and case law aspects, that everyone who carries for self protection should be aware of.

Discussed at length are the 3 aspects that the police, a prosecutor, and more importantly, the courts and juries, will look at to determine if your use of lethal force in a self defensive shooting were met.

Also discussed are the legal differences to a charge of homicide. Marty goes on to discuss the different categories of homicide. Most people simply aren't aware that any death is a homicide. What needs to be recognized are the degrees of the charge: Intentional homicide; Unintentional homicide; Negligent homicide; and hopefully, in our case, Justifiable homicide.

The second DVD in the series, Handling the Immediate Aftermath of a Self Defense Shooting, is a question and answer session by Massad Ayoob, with the questions being presented by Marty.

During the first few minutes of his presentation, Mas explains the purpose of the Network: “The Armed Citizens Legal Defense Network is not about the defense of the guilty. It is about the defense of the wrongfully charged innocent citizen.” Mas explains that while it is only a small few cases that are prosecuted wrongfully, it is imperative that all people who carry defensively, know what to expect and how to respond.

What can I say! Mas has always departed from what many criminal defense attorneys will tell you to do when the police arrive. In his presentation, Mas fully explains why, in clear and convincing logic. Since the vast majority of clients that a criminal defense attorney defends are in fact guilty, it is only natural that their clients “clam-up” when the police arrive.

Mas explains what the police will do, what they are looking for and why they ask and do the things they do. In that context, there are things that you, the survivor, the victim of a violent attack, needs to take a different approach and to relate to these officers immediately. Why you have to talk the language of the police, at the first moment of contact and when to shut up.

This DVD alone, is worth the price of membership.

Last, but not least,is, Defending a Self Defense Shooting, where Marty asks questions of attorneys Robert L. Zelke, esq. and Royce Ferguson, esq.

This presentation lets the member know in general terms what to expect is you should be prosecuted in a criminal case or a civil case. You are also informed as to the fact that while the criminal case may go your way, you are still at risk to a civil suit.

Criminal defense attorney Royce Ferguson, in the first question, provides a context for telling us when to shut up. At the point when you are mirandized, quit talking and hold to that until you have counsel. Now the reasoning and logic of Mas, from DVD #2, should become apparent. Talk to the police in their own language, making sure they know you are the victim, but once arrested (or mirandized), keep quiet. You will no longer help yourself by continuing any conversation with the investigators.

Mr. Ferguson does an excellent job of telling us what our own attorney should be doing and how he should be presenting his case.

Civil attorney, Robert Zelke, presents us with not only how a civil case should be presented, but how the actions of Castle Doctrine law may affect such a case. Robert also makes a solid statement how winning at a criminal court you can still loose the civil suit.

Both attorneys present us with the different levels of proof and evidence and how the courts (and juries) look at them. Terms like “Beyond a Reasonable Doubt” and “Preponderance of Evidence” are explained in laymans terms.

In Conclusion. The average person will come away with a much better understanding and appreciation of how our legal system, the police, the courts and the law will affect them, should they actually have to engage their firearm in a self defense shooting.

Disclaimer: I am not employed by either S.W.A.T. Magazine nor by the ALCDN. I am a free-lance writer and any opinions expressed are my own.

Foulball
01-14-2010, 8:45 AM
Good info and write up Mr. Norris.

Oh, and a big WELCOME to Calguns!
:)

4DSJW
01-14-2010, 4:12 PM
Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to post a reply and to Mr. Norris for posting the two articles that he wrote. It's nice to have some idea of what is available out there and whether or not it has some known pedigree. It's tough enough being a gun owner... but if you need to use it to defend yourself or someone else... well, I just can't imagine the hell that you would have to go through.

jdberger
01-19-2010, 8:45 AM
Mr. Norris - regarding the Foundation. Is there any more information available?

Is it a non-profit? Is it a 501(c)3? Are there any publicly available records on it, etc.?

Al Norris
01-19-2010, 5:39 PM
The Foundation is non-profit but it is not a 501(c)(3) organization.

I'll shoot Mas (he is on the advisory board) an email and see what else I can find out.

WokMaster1
01-19-2010, 7:59 PM
The Foundation is non-profit but it is not a 501(c)(3) organization.

I'll shoot Mas (he is on the advisory board) an email and see what else I can find out.

Welcome to the board Al. Invite Mas to join, too.

Al Norris
01-20-2010, 5:19 AM
Jdberger, here is the reply I received from Mas and Marty Hayes:
There are two parts, the for profit LLC, (The Network) and the Foundation, a non-profit entity which holds the legal defense fund money. It is funded in part by member contributions, of which 20% of all member dues go to the Foundation.

We had a leadership meeting last night, and voted to up that to 25%, which we will announce shortly. It is not a 501(c), that vehicle would not have met our needs. I am not sure about the public records aspect, as Vincent heads up the Foundation, but the LLC records are private.

Marty
I will relay any other information that is sent to me.

Thanks for the welcome guys.

Marty Hayes
01-24-2010, 4:01 PM
Testing to see if this posts, so I can reply to the questions.

Marty

Marty Hayes
01-24-2010, 4:12 PM
Well, there doesn't seem to be much to them. They claim that they have a non-profit registered in Washington State. I'm not sure what that means. It's not a 501(c)3 like the Calguns Foundation is (or if it is it has a completely different name). There aren't any 990s on file with the IRS for the "Armed Citizens' Legal Defense Foundation".

Stick with CGF and local counsel like Chuck Michel, Jason Davis and Don Kilmer.

You are correct, we are not at this time a charitable foundation, although we recently decided to submit our paperwork to the IRS to become one. At the time, the Foundation is registered in WA State, here is the link.

http://www.sos.wa.gov/corps/search_results.aspx?search_type=simple&criteria=all&name_type=starts_with&name=Armed+citizens%27+Legal+Defense+Foundation&ubi=

We were not all that concerned about obtaining charitible status, because it was simply a holding vheicle for the money we (The Armed Citizens' Legal Defense Network, LLC.) donates for the legal defense of it's members.

As far as open books, we share with our members our financial status if asked, and I believe that is fair.

Marty Hayes
01-24-2010, 4:27 PM
The web site claims Massad Ayoob is somehow involved with it.

I always find it a bit odd when someone has a URL like

http://www.armedcitizensnetwork.org/

and it redirects to something like http://comcondev.com/

It gets talked about periodically on other gun related forums.

Here is what the web sites claims are the benefits.


As best I can tell, they promise to pay $5000 deposit to your lawyer if you shoot someone in a SD incident with a vague promise that they might fund your defense even more.

It appears that it is actually a for profit company run by the owner of the Seattle firearms academy that donates 20% of your membership fees to a foundation that is the source of the additional funds that may be available.

I seem to recall seeing that they were stating they had something like 35 lawyers in 25 states on their list of affiliated lawyers. I don't know if the $5000 is only available to be paid to affiliated lawyers or not. They also state they won't release the names of their affiliated lawyers to anyone who is not a member. the explanation seems to be that it is a proprietary thing. Thats nice but how would you make a decision on whether the thing is worth being involved in if you don't have a clue who the lawyer that potentially is representing you might be.

There is enough vagueness in the whole thing that make me wonder about it. OTOH, I do not think Ayoob would be involved in an out and out scam.

ILBOB:

First, a company called Computer Connections in Centralia WA is our computer people, and they are currently upgrading our website. Hence, the re-direct. This is a temporary thing, and will go away when the upgrades are complete. No sinister, shady, underworld plots, okay?

We are a member organization, and as part of the member benifits, we will supply to the attorney OF YOUR CHOICE a $5,000 fee retainer in the event you are involved in a self-defense shooting. This gets your legal representation in place for the immediate interaction with police, prosecutor and grand jury if there is one. After that, if you are prosecuted or sued, a member can ask the Foundation (see previous post) for additional financial assistance, to help with your legal defense. The amount of that award will be conditioned on two issues. Issue number one, is that your self-defense incident must be legitimate, and not an actual crime. If we, (the Foundation Advisory Board, which consists of Massad Ayoob, John Farnum, Tom Givens, Dennis Tueller, Vincent Shuck, (Foundation President) and myself) look at the case and decide you were not likely justified in using a gun for self-defense, we will not likely grant any money for your defense. Secondly, the amount will be predicated on the amount of money in the legal defense fund, (we cannot give what we do not have). Currently, we have $30,000 in the Foundation's legal defense fund, which has come primarily from Network membership dues, (the 20%). As we grown in membership, this fund, obviously grows.

Regarding lawyers, you choose your own lawyer, we do not supply one for you. Our affiliated attorney list is to assist our members in locating an attorney in their home town, but that attorney is not paid by the Network or Foundation. We are not a pre-paid legal scheme. If one is deciding to join the Network or not, they should not base their decision on whether or not we have an affiliated attorney in their area.

Hope this addresses your concerns.

Marty Hayes, President
The Armed Citizens' Legal Defense Network, LLC.

Marty Hayes
01-24-2010, 4:32 PM
There isn't much to say, yet. It is a conceptual thing that may or may not end up working. Marty and Gila Hayes are good people, but that doesn't mean they can make it work.

Right now they have very little concrete to offer their paying members, so they have to hoard what they do have to make the membership valuable.

Yes, I belong. It has provided no benefit, yet. But neither has carrying a gun for years. Maybe both will benefit me someday. It's just another "insurance" thing for now, and I wanted to help them get this organization going.

But as of now, almost all benefits are intangible. If you consider education intangible, at least.



Dav:

Thank-you for joining. I believe we are making this work, as two years ago, we were just an idea, and now we have over 1600 members! We are more energized each day, and can see meeting the goal of 10,000 members and a half a million in the legal defense fund.

We just came away from a great SHOT show, and gained several more corporate sponsors too, (which means more money for the Foundation).

Hope you stay involved.

Marty

Marty Hayes
01-24-2010, 4:35 PM
I've been a member since its' inception and have found it to be a valuable training resource. The DVDs and the monthly E-newsletter are loaded with solid information about tactics, techniques, and legal issues. The organization, which was put together two years ago by Marty and Gila Hayes who run Firearms Academy of Seattle, has about 1600 members I believe.

FAS is a well respected training organization in the Pacific Northwest. Marty is a retired northwest regional LEO and a member of the Washington State BAR. His testimony as a expert witness was instrumental in a recent court case which overturned a 'cold case' ME finding from a suicide to a homicide. He has tremendous expertise in the field of using deadly force.

Their affiliated attorneys and legal experts are from across the country and the organization does have a limited legal defense fund capacity. They have a members' forum from which you may draw and contribute information on any number of issues.

Money is tight these days, so spend it as you see fit.

SKN:

Thank-you for your kind words. Just to set the record straight, I am not a member of the WA Bar, as I have been too busy with the Network to study for and take the bar. Some day, I suspect.

Marty

Marty Hayes
01-24-2010, 4:39 PM
Okay, looks like I have covered the concerns. Thanks Al, for pointing me here, and posting the information you did.

I'll hang around and address any further concerns, if any.

Marty

jdberger
01-25-2010, 9:45 AM
Mr. Hayes,

Thanks for your responses. We here at CGN appreciate them.

4DSJW
01-25-2010, 4:53 PM
Mr. Hayes,

As the originator of this thread I would also like to say Thank You for taking the time to post on the forum and for the work you are trying to do.

D-Man
01-25-2010, 6:23 PM
Thank you for the straightforward answers. It was great seeing you guys at the SHOT show last week.

Marty Hayes
01-26-2010, 5:24 AM
Thank-you all.