The National Rifle Association’s latest offering is NRA-sponsored insurance, which covers members when they shoot another person. The insurance is backed by the NRA but sold by Lockton Affinity and by Chubb, and calls itself the “most complete self-defense insurance program and training for those who carry a gun.”

Gun control activists have called the policy “murder insurance,” and have been quick to respond to the NRA. Guns Down America released an ad (below), on Thursday featuring Sybrina Fulton, the mother of Trayvon Martin, the unarmed black teen shot to death by a neighborhood watch volunteer in Sanford, Fla., in 2012:

“Armed intimidators roam our communities,” Fulton says in the video. “They wave their guns like children playing dress-up, barking threats and upsetting the peace. They insist they should be allowed to bring their guns everywhere, into our schools, our parks and even our churches. But their guns are not toys.”

Fulton goes on to speak about how the NRA “lies about immigrants and people of color to divide us,” and how it spends millions to lobby for laws that benefit gun owners. “But that just makes it easier to get away with murder,” she says. “Now they’re selling insurance that covers the cost.”

According to the Carry Guard website, its insurance provides the funds to pay for a lawyer in the face of both civilian lawsuits and criminal charges, pays for “bail, bonds, legal retainer fees, and legal referrals,” and offers “payment for the lawful replacement of your seized firearm, property restoration for your primary residence, loss of earning while in court and psychological support.”

“Gold Plus” is Carry Guard’s premium plan. For a monthly payment of $49.95 a month — or $549.95 per year — cardholders are covered for $1.5 million in civil defense and $250,000 in criminal defense. …

Each policy card comes with instructions for “if you are forced to act in lawful self-defense,” starting with calling the police.

Once cops arrive, the shooter is advised to identify the suspected attacker but remain silent until his or her attorney arrives.

Guns Down director Igor Volsky said, “The reason I call it murder insurance is because if you look at the way this is marketed, it’s really sold in the context of ‘There’s a threat around every corner, dear mostly-white NRA member,’ and that threat is either a black man or a brown man or some other kind of person of color. So when you inevitably have to use your gun to defend yourself from this threat around every corner, you have insurance to protect you.”

Associated Press explains the terms of the policy:

Carry Guard was aggressively promoted during this year’s NRA annual meeting, with life-sized posters featuring spokeswoman Dana Loesch holding a card that offers three tips for what to do after shooting someone: Call 911, wait for police to arrive and then call the Carry Guard number for legal assistance. It advises gun owners to not speak with police about the incident until speaking first with an attorney.

The NRA insurance doesn’t require policyholders to take any safety or tactical training courses but encourages them to do so. Initial training courses cost $850 per student for a three-day session.

Peter Kochenburger, an insurance expert at the University of Connecticut School of Law, told AP that such policies could be of benefit if those purchasing the insurance were given a discount for taking a gun safety course. But he also noted that policies like the NRA’s could create a “moral hazard” by offering gun owners a sense of security in being quick to shoot.

Guns Down America has created a website with a petition asking Lockton Affinity and Chubb to pull the coverage. “We fear that your insurance product for gun owners who shoot first and claim ‘self-defense’ later will contribute to this devastation and encourage more people to use deadly force,” it reads. “We know that Chubb does not want to contribute to the gun violence epidemic plaguing our country or widen the racial disparities in the use of force.”


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