Concealed Carry Weapon (CCW) insurance is a safeguard many gun owners consider buying to protect themselves legally and financially in the event of a self-defense situation. However, the decision to acquire such insurance demands careful consideration, with timing playing a pivotal role. Similar to other forms of liability or property insurance, waiting until after a self-defense incident to purchase CCW insurance proves futile, as it does not work retroactively.

This article delves into real-life examples of individuals with CCW permits who found themselves entangled in self-defense situations and later having to face the legal and civil repercussions without the safety net of a legal defense plan (aka, CCW insurance).

Case 1: Harold Fish

In 2004, Harold Fish, a retired schoolteacher from Arizona, faced a life-altering encounter while hiking. Confronted by two aggressive dogs, Fish’s attempt at self-defense led to the fatal shooting of Grant Kuenzli, the dogs’ owner. Despite possessing a CCW permit and claiming self-defense, Fish was charged with second-degree murder, enduring three years of imprisonment before the Arizona Court of Appeals overturned the verdict. Fish’s legal battle drained approximately $700,000 in fees, and he subsequently faced a civil lawsuit, resulting in $325,000 in damages.

Fish’s plight serves as a stark reminder of the complexities of self-defense cases. With the absence of witnesses, Fish struggled to assert his innocence effectively and prove his actions were in self-defense. CCW insurance, legal defense coverage, would have provided him with a dedicated team of legal experts, potentially mitigating both the criminal charges and civil litigation. The financial strain Fish endured, resorting to mortgaging his home and seeking familial assistance, underscores the necessity of proactive insurance coverage.


Case 2: George Zimmerman

The case of George Zimmerman, involving the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin in 2012, remains a highly debated instance of a concealed carry permit holder invoking self-defense. Despite claiming immunity under Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law, Zimmerman faced charges of second-degree murder and manslaughter. Following a widely followed trial, Zimmerman was acquitted, yet incurred over $2.5 million in legal fees.

The entire incident gained national attention sparking debates about race, gun laws, and self-defense. The widely followed trial lasted about three weeks and in July 2013, Zimmerman was acquitted of all charges by a jury, a decision that ignited protests and further controversy. Despite the legal outcome, the case underscored the complexities of self-defense laws. Zimmerman racked up more than $2.5 million in legal fees in his criminal defense.

While the legal outcome favored Zimmerman, the case exemplifies the substantial financial burden accompanying self-defense incidents. CCW insurance, had Zimmerman possessed it beforehand, could have alleviated the exorbitant legal costs and provided immediate expert support.

You can read more about this case here:


Case 3: Joe Balistreri

On March 24, 2012, Joe Balistreri and his family was spending the night at his parents’ home during a visit in Foster City, California. A noise awakened him at 4:15 a.m. “I heard the noise coming from the front door. I heard clicking, rattling of the door handle,” he recalled. “I woke up my father, told him someone’s trying to break into your house, where’s your gun?”

Balistreri said that the person attempting to break in through the front door unsuccessfully, jumped the side fence and found his way inside the house through an unlocked side door to the garage. In the dark, Balistreri encountered the 6’4” intruder and fired three shots, severely wounding but not killing the intruder.

Prosecutors declined to press charges against Balistreri, but months later the intruder filed a civil suit against him. The plaintiff claimed he was intoxicated and thought he was walking into his friend’s house, and that Balistreri unlawfully shot him. The judge didn’t buy the home invader’s argument and sided with Balistreri. Even though he won, Balistreri struggled to pay his legal bills. Since the shooting happened at Balistreri’s parents’ house, their homeowner’s insurance covered only their legal fees, not his.

Balistreri’s experience underscores the critical need for comprehensive legal defense coverage. CCW insurance, such as that offered by Second Call Defense, provides invaluable financial support and expert legal representation, mitigating the risks associated with self-defense incidents. If he had Second Call Defense by his side, Balistreri would have had UNLIMITED funds for defense against a civil lawsuit.



Waiting until after a self-defense incident to obtain concealed carry weapon (CCW) insurance can prove to be a costly mistake. Once a confrontation occurs, the legal and financial ramifications are set in motion, leaving you vulnerable to significant expenses.

The benefits of Second Call Defense include:

  • Legal defense coverage offered by Second Call Defense can also serve as a deterrent to spurious civil litigation. When some bad guy’s lawyer sees you can’t be pressured or intimidated and can really fight the case, they might not even press the case against you.
  • Stay in the Fight. Without the protection of CCW insurance, in the aftermath of a self-defense incident you could find yourself facing hefty legal fees, civil lawsuits, and other financial burdens associated with defending your actions in court. Unlimited civil defense coverage gives you the legal firepower to stay in the fight as long and as hard as you need to win a case like this and not have to worry about how you’ll pay your legal bills.
  • Protect Your Assets, Mitigate Risk. Legal defense coverage can typically cover all of the cost of defending your actions in court and civil damages coverage can cover and/or substantially mitigate damages.

Importantly, know that Second Call Defense has never lost a case and has never not paid a claim made by a member.

Don’t wait until it’s too late—join Second Call Defense today and secure your future.

JOIN NOW: Monthly Membership Plans

*Second Call Defense is not insurance and does not sell or promote insurance products.  Second Call Defense is a membership organization that provides its members access to the “Second Amendment Support Foundation, Inc.,” which provides the means necessary to protect Second Call Defense members from the legal aftermath of exercising their right to self-defense. For an overview of the differences between Second Call Defense Member Benefits and traditional insurance, click here