With more and more Americans practicing concealed carry, it is not uncommon to see more people getting arrested simply for protecting their home and firing off their weapons for self-defense situations. The regulation has its own twists and turns, which is why several court cases can go on for months before a decision is made.
A long legal proceeding and appeals not only eat up time, but the expenses will also quickly rise, and this is where a concealed carry weapon insurance plan steps in to ease off some burden. However, with so many concealed carry insurance companies to choose from, we know that comparing one with the other may be very confusing at best. However, it’s likely that you’ll see the name USCCA and U.S. Law Shield appear frequently on your searches and it is no surprise considering these two CCW insurance providers are the two top companies on the market right now.
There are many insurance companies that provide criminal and civil defense protection insurance such as NRA Carry Guard, Second Call Defense, CCW Safe, ADLCN, and so on. If you’re considering getting one of the best but cannot yet decide which one to go for, you’re in luck as we dive deep down and discuss the details of concealed carry plans between USCCA vs U.S. Law Shield. Here are a few questions we asked ourselves when making the comparison:
- What is covered?
- How much total coverage is included?
- Are there any caps on the coverage?
- Are there any other services and benefits offered?
- How does the price stack up in relation to the coverage offered?
With so many sales and promotional material available, we know it can be a little daunting to filter through everything to get hard facts. Hopefully today’s in-depth review and comparison of USCCA and US Law Shield will make it easier for many people, including you to understand how these two companies relate in terms of coverage.
US Law Shield vs USCCA – Everything You Need to know
Before we go further, here’s some background story about USCCA and US Law Shield. Although most might skip straight to the coverage details, we feel it is important to spend some time to understand the insurance company as it can provide valuable insight into the philosophy and mission of each organization.
United States Concealed Carry Association (USCCA) was established in 2003 by two co-founders, Tim Schmidt and Tommy Schmidt who noticed the implications for those who had ever had to use their firearm and were concerned how it may affect themselves, their family member or friends should they ever need to fire off their gun for home defense or self-defense purposes.
USCCA was first founded as an educational corporation with the mission to educate people about concealed carry techniques and providing a discussion forum for handgun enthusiasts. The establishment quickly rose in popularity and has grown into the largest concealed carry insurance provider in the U.S. as well as being a major educational and training library for people.
The USCCA is chartered as a membership organization that places emphasis on:
- Firearms Legal Protection
With that in mind, USCCA has been at the forefront of education for concealed carry license holders with comprehensive tools and educational articles to keep gun enthusiasts on top of the latest changes in the legal environment and the technicalities of concealed carry. The organization also provides ongoing and focused training as part of their educational process.
The association has a large community of users and publishes regular magazines discussing different topics related to weapon carrying and legal updates. In terms of legal coverage amounts, the establishment offers different membership programs that you can select from, depending on your budget and level of protection required. USCCA policy gives you 24/7 assistance and covers you against the use of any kind of legal weapon.
U.S. Law Shield (formerly known as Texas Law Shield)
Noticing the problems that many concealed carry holders had to face with the justice system after they fired off their weapon in self-defense, a group of pioneering second-amendment-friendly lawyers established Texas Law Shield in 2009 with the mission to cover innocent citizens against the injustice of the legal system in the U.S.
U.S. Law Shield is chartered as limited liability companies (LLC) and works more like a pre-paid legal service team instead of actual insurance companies. Their pre-paid legal defense programs have stated the priorities and goals of company as below:
- The creation of a united group to provide awareness, education, and protection
- Education is the main priority for the members
- Empowerment to act without fear of the consequences in a self-defense situation
- Provide strength in numbers for legal and financial protection
The pre-paid establishment strives to achieve the goals above by providing a comprehensive set of opportunities and services as part of the membership program, which include:
- A large member base for strength and financial stability
- Legal support from a pool of verified defense attorneys from their legal defense network
- Freedom to exercise your second amendment rights without fear
- Comprehensive sets of education and training programs
The company provides legal assistance and covers any payments that may result from the legal proceedings, depending on the plan and add-ons you’ve purchased. The insurance coverage offered by the establishment protects its members regardless of whether they may or may not have a concealed carry license and whether the weapon may or may not be theirs.
Not only that, but the services of Texas Shield Law can even be extended to include activities such as hunting, multi-state coverage, minor children protection, and much more. The company will offer legal coverage as long as you’re using a legal weapon, regardless of state-carry permit. If you have any questions, you can even contact their emergency hotline to talk to an attorney 24/7/365. Additionally, Texas LawShield also has an extensive list of included covers and optional add-ons that you can include in their plan.
With regard to education, the establishment has a special Law Enforcement Program for on and off-duty law enforcement officers and there are also timely seminars and self-defense materials that their members can access to obtain in-depth knowledge about the legal implications of using a weapon in such situations and to prepare them for such cases. Not only that, but a membership with the organization will even earn you some coupons and free passes to shooting ranges, weapon shops, and more.
Membership Comparison for USCCA and U.S. Law Shield
USCCA offers tiered membership options with different pricing and sets of features. While these insurance policies do not differ too much in their monthly price, the monthly charges can add up to a substantial amount over time. However, the benefits and coverage limits certainly do increase dramatically between each tier. Here are the features for each program:
Gold Membership ($22/month or $247/year)
- Self-defense legal expenses max: $600,000
Legal expenses breakdown
- Civil court defences and damages: $500,000
- Criminal defense protection and up-front attorney retainer: $100,000
- Bail bond funding: $5,000 (a maximum of 10% of total bond value up to this amount)
- Other miscellaneous bill during legal hearings
- Compensation during civil defense legal action sessions: $350/day
- Personal hardship support: $3,000
- Emotional and trauma/psychological support: $3,000
Other member perks
- Concealed Carry Magazine subscription
- Community Programs
The Gold membership program is great for those who only need menial self-defense insurance cover for peace of mind. However, do take note that you’ll have to bear the additional expenses from your own bank account and life savings should your case get more complicated. Other than that, the Gold plan also cuts out several inclusions, such as advanced training and unlimited community access.
Platinum Membership ($30 per month or $347/year)
- Self-defense legal expenses max: $1,150,000
Legal fees breakdown
- Civil defense and damages: $1 million
- Criminal defense and up-front attorney retainer: $150,000
- Bail bond funding: $25,000 (a maximum of 10% of total bond value up to this amount)
- Other miscellaneous payments during legal hearings
- Compensation during civil defense legal suit sessions: $500/day
- Personal hardship coverage: $4k
- Emotional and psychological support: $4,000
Other member perks
- Concealed Carry Magazine subscription with 5 Years access to back issues
- Community Programs
- Access to interactive “Ask An Attorney” monthly webinar
- Situational awareness training
- Entry to USCCA Concealed Carry Expo
On top of getting access to subscriptions, useful training, and a monthly webinar, the Platinum Membership offers higher coverage to help you handle more complicated legal proceedings.
Elite Membership ($47 per month or $497/year)
- Self-defense legal fees max: $2.25 million
Legal expenses breakdown
- Civil suit defense and damages: $2 million
- Criminal defense protection and up-front attorney retainer: $250,000
- Bail money: $50,000 (a maximum of 10% of total bond value up to this amount)
- Other miscellaneous charges during legal hearings
- Compensation during civil defense legal action sessions: $750/day
- Personal hardship coverage: $6,000
- Emotional and psychological support: $6,000
Other member perks
- Concealed Carry Magazine subscription with lifetime access to back issues
- Community Programs
- Access to interactive “Ask An Attorney” monthly webinar
- Situational awareness training
- Entry and Elite VIP experience in USCCA Concealed Carry Expo
- Complete video and e-learning courses
- VIP concierge treatment at USCCA events
The Elite membership is a great choice for those who can pay a little more per month and want to be covered for the worst case possible. Firearm carry holders who are concerned about the protection for their loved ones and family members every day should opt for this plan.
U.S. Law Shield
It does not have multiple membership programs like USCCA, instead, the CCW assurance provider has a base coverage with optional add-ons that you can choose to include in your scheme. Here is the breakdown of organization’s comprehensive coverage:
Base Coverage ($10.95 per month or $131.40/year, one-time member account of $19.95 per member)
Legal defense expenses for Civil and Criminal Defense Protection: Unlimited
Not only does the basic coverage offer unlimited legal self-defense expenses for both criminal and civil defense lawsuits, but you are also entitled to a 24/7/365 emergency hotline to speak to an attorney when you have a criminal or civil related issue. If you prefer, you can also contact an attorney of your choice. Since it is part of the legal self-defense expenses, Texas Law Shield will pay for your attorney; fees for any covered events, plus there are no caps, hourly limits, or deductibles on the legal defense trial costs.
In addition to that, the US Law Shield base coverage also offers some educational perks to provide better understanding of legal boundaries in a self-defense situation. The company’s insurance for concealed carry scheme also covers situations where they do not have a carry permit but have fired off a legal firearm. However, this plan is not available for purchase by residents of 6 U.S. States.
Gun Owner Identity Theft Coverage (+$6.95 per month or +$83.40/year)
It is not uncommon for your firearm getting stolen considering about 200,000 guns get stolen each year in the U.S.. Whether you keep them in your house, car, or baggage, there is always a chance your weapon can be stolen. Not only that, but you will also be dragged into court should the person who stole your firearm fired off the weapon. This is where this package’s add-ons step in to protect you.
Under this plan, TX Law Shield will notify the proper government agencies and to place your firearm in TGIC, NCIC, and other databases. The establishment will also assist you in obtaining all the proper paperwork required, claims for the stolen weapon, civil and criminal legalshield proceedings, and inaction of any revoked permits.
Multi-State Protection (+$2.95 per month or +$35.40 per year)
With this package extension, you’ll be covered by the company in any legal situations as a result of using your firearm in self-defense across all 50 states in the U.S., including Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico. This is worth considering if you often travel between areas with your weapon, especially since the insurance policy covers you regardless of whether you have a carry permit in that state or not.
Bail Bonds / Expert Witnesses (+$2.95 per person per month)
Having an expert witness on the stand to give the judge and jury a bigger picture and in-depth facts about any subjects related to the crime scene can dramatically improve the changes of defending your innocence. However, such witnesses do not come cheap. This is where the add-on will come in handy as the company provides you with an expert witness should your case require one.
The establishment also offers a bail bond protection service of up to $25,000 whenever a bond is needed. However, both bail coverage and expert witness packages are only available for residents of Texas, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania.
Hunter Shield Protection (+$2.95 per month)
If you love going out hunting, you should know that different states have different hunting laws. Self-defense incidents and other firearm related scenarios may also occur on a hunting trip. This add-on protects you in all unintended legal violations while hunting or fishing in all states where US Law Shield operates. This is a useful consideration for those who spend a lot of time out hunting in the woods or fishing. However, if you’re only into concealed carry and/or open carry, you can skip this package extension.
Minor Children Protection (+$2.95 per month)
With the rising number of cases of kids carrying weapons on the news, serious and fatal use of guns is definitely a cause of concern these days. Unknown, accidental, or intentional discharge of guns by a minor cjo;dren makes them prosecutable by law, regardless of their age. This add-on will cover all such legal defense budget for a minor should they be involved in such a situation. This is something worth considering if you have children staying with you.
Based on the information above, it is clear that USCCA has structured its membership plan around providing excellent legal coverage on a tiered basis to suit different individual’s requirements. The more financial coverage you want, the higher monthly fees you pay. Other than financial help, the company also offers a comprehensive set of educational resources, training, resources, webinars, and magazines to educate people on concealed carry techniques and understanding of legal facts on carrying a firearm.
U.S. Law Shield, on the other hand, has taken a cafeteria plan approach where its basic program coverage offers unlimited coverage and access to all their educational and training material. If you want more coverage, you can select from their list of add-on options to build the plan that fits you.
USCCA vs U.S. Law Shield – Similarities and Differences
Both USCCA and US Law Shield are very popular among gun owners. However, they both come with a unique set of advantages and disadvantages. But before we get to that, here are some similarities and differences between the two options:
Up front Payment
Both companies make up front payments for all expenses so that you don’t have to dig into your own wallet to pay any remaining fees.
Both organizations place a strong emphasis on the education and understanding of their members on any legal updates, laws, and other data of importance. They both publish magazines, host member events, and send regular newsletter on recent updates.
Both concealed carry insurance programs cover all and any legal weapon used by you during a self defense incident, which includes any other legal weapons you may pick up on the spot. Other than firearms, the companies also cover other things like bats, knives, sticks, and so on.
Choice of Defense Attorney Representation
Both companies let you choose a criminal defense attorney of your choosing to represent you during court cases. This is great as you don’t have to worry about being represented by a lawyer who may have priorities other than proving your innocence.
US Law Shield offers unlimited coverage on legal lawsuit costs while USCCA has a limited amount in protection. The amount covered by USCCA depends on the membership package you subscribe to.
US Law Shield offers a much affordable plan compared to USCCA for unlimited legal expenses coverage. However, the company also allows you to choose other add-ons to suit your needs. USCCA has three different membership insurance plans priced from $22/month to $47/month.
It has protection for 44 states only, whereas USCCA is available in 48 states excluding New York and Washington D.C. Over and above, the plans by USCCA includes your spouse in your house without having to pay extra. But if you want to have your spouse included in the coverage for US Law Shield, you’ll need to pay a bit more as an add-on to your base coverage.
On top of that, USCCA will also assist you in getting your confiscated weapon(s) back and firearm replacement after the lawsuit and the company also protects you in ‘gun-free zones’, both features that are not available in US Law Shield’s plan.
Compensation While in Court
Going to court can take a load on a person and could even cause them to lose their job. This is where USCCA has you protected as it provides a daily compensation and wages reimbursement / compensation while in court (Called per diem) to assist those with work loss to pay mortgage, life insurance, car insurance, and your family’s daily expenses, along with personal hardship and psychological support covers, while U.S. Law Shield does not.
While both companies offer 24/7/365 emergency hotlines for you. U.S. Law Shield has an attorney to pick up your call while USCCA has an emergency response representative.
USCCA vs U.S. Law Shield – Pros and Cons
- Tiered USCCA membership lets you choose the level of protection you want.
- Available in 48 states
- Compensation for loss of paycheck, hardship, and psychological support expenses
- Includes spousal protection in your home
- Coverage available in ‘gun-free’ zones
- Emergency hotline to their emergency response team 24/7
- Caps on legal fees
- Relatively expensive membership fees
- Not available in New Jersey, New York, and Washington D.C.
U.S. Law Shield Pros
- Unlimited protection for legal expenses
- Relatively inexpensive basic expense protection
- Cafeteria-style plan lets you customize your policy plan to fit your needs
- Direct hotline to a firearms attorney 24/7
U.S. Law Shield Cons
- Additional coverages will cost extra to your membership plan
- No compensation for loss of paycheck, hardship, and psychological support expenses
Make Your Pick: Which is Best For You?
Deciding which firearms insurance scheme is best for you depends on personal needs and circumstances. Before making the decision, you must first consider your current situation and the lifestyle you lead. If you’re looking for the most legal fee protection for the least amount of money, then US Law Shield is the obvious choice thanks to its unlimited expense coverage on criminal and civil defense protection and legal fees.
However, if you’re a frequent traveller between states with a concealed weapon, then USCCA may be a better choice as it offers multi-state coverage without additional cost. Just because you’re covered under the scheme, it does not mean you don’t have to abide by local laws. Both organizations will not provide assistance if you are charged with violating a local law or ordinance that is not related to a self-defense situation.
Generally, if you live in PA, TX, or UK, the U.S. Law Shield seems to be a greater choice because of its coverage and pricing. But if you live in other states, USCCA is best for its coverage, states of operation, and compensation structure.
In terms of price, the Gold membership of USCCA costs slightly more expensive than if you have gotten the U.S. Law Shield option with all the available add-ons included. The top-tier Elite USCCA membership will cost almost double of the monthly cost you need to pay for US Law Shield.
If you have a firearm, whether kept in your bedroom, vehicle, or if you practice concealed carry, it is encouraged for you to get a concealed carry insurance as it will protect you if and when the time comes for you to get involved in a self-defense shooting incident. Both USCCA and U.S. Law Shield are among the best firearms safeguard companies available now and they each have their own merits. That said, U.S. Law Shield is great for residents in a select few sectors that need a basic plan with unlimited legal safeguard at a low cost. But, if you want a more comprehensive plan, then you should opt for USCCA.