About: Andrew Branca

Andrew F. Branca is in his third decade of practicing law in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. He wrote the first edition of the “Law of Self Defense” in 1997, and is currently in the process of completing the fully revised and updated second edition, which you can preorder now at lawofselfdefense.com. He began his competitive shooting activities as a youth in smallbore rifle, and today is a Life Member of the National Rifle Association (NRA) and a Life Member and Master-class competitor in multiple classifications in the International Defensive Pistol Association (IDPA). Andrew has for many years been an NRA-certified firearms instructor in pistol, rifle, and personal protection, and has previously served as an Adjunct Instructor on the Law of Self Defense at the SigSauer Academy in Epping, NH. He holds or has held concealed carry permits for Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Maine, Pennsylvania, Florida, Utah, Virginia, and other states.




Posts by Andrew Branca  (Page 1)
 

Yet Another Worthless Study on Police Shootings

Police shooting study WaPo
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Posted by    Friday, April 8, 2016 at 2:45pm 4/8/2016 at 2:45pm
Police shooting study WaPo

The Washington Post reports on a new study that suggests racial bias motivates police to fatally shoot black suspects at a disproportionally high rate.  That study, entitled “Fatal Shootings By US Police Officers in 2015: A Bird’s Eye View,” is published in the once well-respected scientific journal Nature.

The first alarm bells went...

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Freddie Gray: Prosecution to Compel Another Officer to Testify

Freddie Gray Officers Garrett Miller Edward Nero w Border
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Posted by    Monday, April 4, 2016 at 1:00pm 4/4/2016 at 1:00pm
Freddie Gray Officers Garrett Miller Edward Nero w Border

Having succeeded in getting court permission to compel Officer Edward Porter to testify, under limited immunity, against other officers in the “Freddie Gray” trials, Baltimore prosecutors have now filed a motion to similarly compel Officer Garrett Miller [Featured Image, left] to testify in next month’s trial of Officer Edward Nero [Featured...

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Freddie Gray: Officer Edward Nero Trial Set for May 10

Freddie-Gray-Baltimore-Police-Charged-Mug-Shots-w-border-e1430829337662-598x425-598x425
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Posted by    Wednesday, March 16, 2016 at 3:00pm 3/16/2016 at 3:00pm
Freddie-Gray-Baltimore-Police-Charged-Mug-Shots-w-border-e1430829337662-598x425-598x425

The Maryland court system has re-scheduled the trials of the six officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray, reports ABC News.

These trials had been delayed while the state’s hig...

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Freddie Gray: MD’s Highest Court Says Officer Porter Must Testify

William Porter Freddie Gray Defendant
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Posted by    Tuesday, March 8, 2016 at 3:50pm 3/8/2016 at 3:50pm
William Porter Freddie Gray Defendant

In a single-page per curiam decision, the Maryland Court of Appeals (the state’s highest court) ruled today that Baltimore Police Officer William Porter can be compelled to testify in the trials of Caesar Goodson and Alicia White, the two officers who like Porter were most closely involved in Gray’s transportation, according...

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Justice Thomas Asks Questions at Oral Argument for 1st Time in 10 Years

Justice Clarence Thomas
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Posted by    Monday, February 29, 2016 at 5:30pm 2/29/2016 at 5:30pm
Justice Clarence Thomas

(UPDATED: This post has been updated with the transcript of the oral arguments, at the bottom of this post. h/t Shall Not Be Questioned blog.)

In a turn of events sure to shock those who follow the US Supreme Court, Justice Clarence Thomas has broken with his 10-year-long record of declining to...

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Florida Senate Eases Threshold for Self-Defense Immunity

O'Mara photo Zimmerman bloody nose 7-10-2013
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Posted by    Saturday, February 27, 2016 at 10:30am 2/27/2016 at 10:30am
O'Mara photo Zimmerman bloody nose 7-10-2013

Yesterday, on the 4th anniversary of the self-defense shooting of Trayvon Martin, we wrote about Florida’s just enacted changes to its “10-20-Life” mandatory minimum sentencing law in the context of aggravated assault and self-defense.

There is also another substantive change to the state’s self-defense law that is advancing through the Florida legislature:...

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Florida Removes Aggravated Assault from “10-20-Life”

Trayvon Martin
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Posted by    Friday, February 26, 2016 at 11:30am 2/26/2016 at 11:30am
Trayvon Martin

Today marks the fourth anniversary of the fateful day on which Trayvon Martin made the imprudent and quickly fatal decision to viciously beat (as testified to by eye witnesses) an armed George Zimmerman.

Presumably coincidentally timed with anniversary, Florida has made or is making a couple of substantive changes in its laws covering some...

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Lies About Zimmerman Trial Just Keep Coming

George Zimmerman injuries
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Posted by    Friday, February 26, 2016 at 8:30am 2/26/2016 at 8:30am
George Zimmerman injuries

Today the South Florida Times posted on their web site a piece entitled “FILM USES VIRTUAL REALITY TO REENACT TRAYVON’S MURDER.”

In that piece they describe a piece of fabricated (“virtual reality”) cinema that purports to tell the “true story” about the interaction between George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin that resulted in...

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Freddie Gray Trial: Baltimore to Add Cameras Inside Police Vans

Baltimore Police Van
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Posted by    Tuesday, February 23, 2016 at 10:00am 2/23/2016 at 10:00am
Baltimore Police Van

The Baltimore Sun reports today that city officials will finalize approval of a contract this week to install video cameras inside the Police Department’s 23 transport vans, at a cost of $187,000.

...

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Freddie Gray: MD High Court Delays All Officer Trials

Freddie-Gray-Baltimore-Police-Charged-Mug-Shots-w-border-e1430829337662-598x425-598x425
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Posted by    Friday, February 19, 2016 at 8:30am 2/19/2016 at 8:30am
Freddie-Gray-Baltimore-Police-Charged-Mug-Shots-w-border-e1430829337662-598x425-598x425

Maryland’s Court of Appeals (the state’s highest-level “supreme court”) ruled yesterday that the trials of the Baltimore police officers charged in the Freddie Gray incident will be postponed while they decide whether one of those officers, William Porter, can be compelled to testify against the others.

We covered the leg...

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Freddie Gray Defense: Legally irrelevant whether Freddie’s knife was illegal

Edward Nero
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Posted by    Friday, February 5, 2016 at 5:30pm 2/5/2016 at 5:30pm
Edward Nero

This week saw a flurry of motions from both the State prosecutors and defense counsel in preparation for the upcoming “Freddie Gray” trial of Baltimore Police Office Edward Nero, scheduled to begin February 22.  These were primarily in limine motions, which are motions asking the court to exclude particular evidence from...

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Big #2A Win – 4th Circuit Applies Strict Scrutiny to Maryland Gun Control Law

gun-control
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Posted by    Thursday, February 4, 2016 at 2:30pm 2/4/2016 at 2:30pm
gun-control

In 2013, Maryland enacted its Firearms Safety Act (FSA). With its passage, effectively banning its residents from owning any of the large majority of semi-automatic rifles owned by American citizens (exceptions were made for retired law enforcement officers). The FSA also imposed other restrictions, such as banning certain standard-capacity magazines.

Such laws...

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Freddie Gray: Porter Not Required to Testify Against Arresting Officers

Freddie Gray Baltimore Police Charged Mug Shots w border
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Posted by    Thursday, January 21, 2016 at 8:30am 1/21/2016 at 8:30am
Freddie Gray Baltimore Police Charged Mug Shots w border

Judge Barry Williams, the trial judge in the “Freddie Gray” cases, yesterday ruled that Officer William Porter is not required to testify against the three white officers charged in the case: Edward Nero, Garrett Miller, and Brian Rice, reports CNN.

Those officers were primarily involved in the initial arrest of Gray,...

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Freddie Gray Trial: Porter Jury Was One Vote Shy of Acquittal

http://baltimore.cbslocal.com/2015/11/19/officer-william-porter-to-take-stand-in-freddie-gray-trial/
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Posted by    Friday, January 15, 2016 at 1:23pm 1/15/2016 at 1:23pm
http://baltimore.cbslocal.com/2015/11/19/officer-william-porter-to-take-stand-in-freddie-gray-trial/

The Baltimore Sun is reporting that the jury in the recently hung jury of Officer William Porter was one vote shy of acquittal on the most serious charge of manslaughter when they were finally dismissed in a mistrial, with 11 of 12 jurors voting for acquittal.

This information purportedly is sourced from...

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Freddie Gray Trial: Van Driver’s Trial Delayed

William Porter Freddie Gray Defendant
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Posted by    Monday, January 11, 2016 at 1:00pm 1/11/2016 at 1:00pm
William Porter Freddie Gray Defendant

Maryland’s Court of Special Appeals (the state’s intermediate appellate court) has issued a last minute order (embedded at the bottom of this post) staying the trial of van driver Officer Caesar Goodson, for which jury selection was to begin today, reports the Baltimore Sun.  The purpose of this stay is to...

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Freddie Gray Case: Appellate Court Puts Hold On Officer’s Compelled Testimony

William Porter Freddie Gray Defendant
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Posted by    Friday, January 8, 2016 at 5:15pm 1/8/2016 at 5:15pm
William Porter Freddie Gray Defendant

UPDATED (1/8/16): We’ve embedded the state’s response to the appellate court order at the bottom of this post.

UPDATED (1/8/16): We’ve embedded Chief Judge Krauser’s order at the bottom of this post.

Well, that was (appropriately) quick.

The Maryland Court of Special Appeals, the state’s mid-level appellate court, today issued an order halting trial Judge...

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Freddie Gray Trial: William Porter ordered to testify in trials of other officers

William Porter Freddie Gray Defendant
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Posted by    Wednesday, January 6, 2016 at 6:00pm 1/6/2016 at 6:00pm
William Porter Freddie Gray Defendant

Numerous pre-trial rulings were made today by Judge Barry Williams, the trial judge overseeing the “Freddie Gray” trials in Baltimore.

Most were unsurprising, but one in particular raised eyebrows: Judge Williams ordered that Officer William Porter, whose case just ended in a mistrial and who is scheduled to be retried in June,...

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