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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)

Detroit Front Porch Shooting case: Day 3 Mid-Day Wrap-Up

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Posted by    Monday, July 28, 2014 at 1:50pm
Theodore Wafer

Today continues with the third day of the murder trial of Theodore Wafer in the Detroit front porch shooting death of Renisha McBride.  We covered days two and one here (presented in reverse chronological order):

Detroit...

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Accused NJ Cop Takes the Stand in MD Road-rage Killing

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Posted by    Sunday, July 27, 2014 at 8:00pm
NJ cop Joseph Walker (r) and wife (l)

Joseph Walker, the New Jersey police officer who shot and killed Joseph Harvey Jr. in a Maryland road-rage incident, took the stand this past Friday to testify in his own defense over a 90 minute period, reports The Baltimore Sun.  Walker is charged with first degree murder in the case, and if...

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VIDEO: Police Chief Provides More Detail on Case of CA Woman Shot in Back

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Posted by    Sunday, July 27, 2014 at 7:30am
Long Beach Police Chief Jim McDonnell

I just came across some brief TV news coverage with additional details on the case of 80-year-old CA native Tom Greer pursuing and shooting in the back 28-year-old Andrea Miller. We covered the case the other day, Pro-Tip: Shooting Fleeing Women in the Back is NOT Self-Defense.

Miller and 26-year-old Gus Adams...

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Federal District Court Strikes Down Washington, DC Handgun Carry Ban

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Posted by    Saturday, July 26, 2014 at 6:40pm
2nd Amendment

Well, well, well–I guess the big guy upstairs knew I could do with a pick-me-up while I struggle through this respiratory infection.  And boy, did he deliver big (with a h/t to Ace of Spades HQ).

In light of Heller, McDonald, and their progeny, there is no longer any basis on which...

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George Zimmerman Appeals Dismissal of Defamation Suit Against NBC

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Posted by    Saturday, July 26, 2014 at 11:15am
George Zimmerman

[Clarification (7/26/14): I've just been informed by a knowledgeable person on the Zimmerman side of this case that what was submitted to the 5th DCA this past Friday is the official notice of appeal.  The actual appeal has not yet been submitted.]

As anticipated by, well, everybody, George Zimmerman’s civil lawyer, James Beasley Jr.,...

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Pro-Tip: Shooting Fleeing Women in the Back is NOT Self-Defense

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Posted by    Friday, July 25, 2014 at 3:20pm
Tom Greer 80 year old shoots pregnant woman in back

One of the conditions of using deadly force in self-defense is that one be facing an imminent threat of death or grave bodily harm. That definition of imminence is well captured by Black’s Law Dictionary:

Immediate danger, such as must be instantly met, such as cannot be guarded against by calling for the...

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Detroit Front Porch Shooting case: Day 2 End-of-Day Wrap-Up

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Posted by    Thursday, July 24, 2014 at 5:17pm
Defendant Theodore Wafer and defense counsel Cheryl Carpenter

This afternoon saw testimony from two additional Dearborn Heights law enforcement officers,  Tim Zawacki and Mark Parrinello.

Highlights of this afternoon’s events included a request by the Prosecution for sanctions against the defense for a mention earlier this morning of general crime in the Wafer neighborhood.  A pretrial ruling excludes such generalized...

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Detroit Front Porch Shooting case: Day 2 Mid-Day Wrap-Up

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Posted by    Thursday, July 24, 2014 at 12:48pm
Theodore Wafer, defendant, Cheryl Carpenter, defense counsel

The State’s case against Wafer proceeded through several more witnesses today, including additional officers on scene as well as dash-cam video from a “Scout” patrol car, witnesses to McBride’s single-vehicle car crash some hours before the shooting, and the 911 dispatcher who took Wafer’s call.

To me the most relevant bits of...

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Detroit Front Porch Shooting case: Day 1 End-of-Day Wrap-Up

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Posted by    Wednesday, July 23, 2014 at 7:05pm
Dearborn Police Officer Ruben Gonzalez

This afternoon I was helpfully directed to a live video stream of the Wafer trial, suggesting the streaming of the trial is not explicitly prohibited, as I had been led to believe Unfortunately the feed was of such low quality it was effectively useless. It seems even the provider recognized this,...

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Detroit Front Porch Shooting case: Day 1 Mid-Day Wrap-Up

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Posted by    Wednesday, July 23, 2014 at 12:45pm
Cheryl Carpenter, Theodore Wafer's defense attorney

By order of trial judge Dana Hathaway there is no live streaming of the second degree murder trial of Theodore Wafer, the Detroit man who shot and killed Renisha McBride, a young black woman who was on his front porch in the early morning hours of November 15, 2013.

The defense claims...

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Attorney for Road Rage Cop Argues Defense of Self, Family in Opening Statement

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Posted by    Tuesday, July 22, 2014 at 6:00pm
Defendant NJ LEO Joseph Walker

Today marked the start of the case in chief of Joseph Walker, the New Jersey police officer charged with first degree murder by the state of Maryland in the road-side shooting of Maryland native Joseph Harvey.

There is no television coverage of the trial itself, and the lawyers have been issued...

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Jury Selection Begins Detroit Front Porch Shooting of Black Woman

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Posted by    Monday, July 21, 2014 at 6:45pm
Theodore Wafer, tried for murder of Renisha McBride

Jury selection begins today in the murder trial of Detroit homeowner Theodore Wafer, as reported in the Detroit Free Press. Wafer shot and killed Renisha McBride, a 19-year-old black woman, on his front porch. Wafer is claiming self-defense.

The most recent news in the Wafer case was the June 27 denial by...

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Trial Begins of Joseph Walker, NJ Cop Involved in “Road Rage” Killing

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Posted by    Monday, July 21, 2014 at 2:05pm
Defendant NJ LEO Joseph Walker

Today begins the trial of black New Jersey police officer Joseph Walker over the “road rage” killing of white victim Joseph Harvey (Jury selection begins in road-rage murder case).

Unfortunately, it does not appear that this case will be televised, as were the Zimmerman and Dunn trials in Florida, and as a result there...

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No Second Self-Defense Immunity Hearing for Marissa Alexander

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Posted by    Monday, July 21, 2014 at 11:40am
Marissa Alexander large

Marissa Alexander has been denied a second shot at a self-defense immunity hearing (often incorrectly referred to as a “Stand-Your-Ground’ hearing), reports by First Coast News.

Under Florida’s self-defense immunity statute (

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