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)
 

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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Obama’s Gun Control “Executive Order” is Political Theater of the Absurd

Obama gun press conference
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Posted by    Tuesday, January 5, 2016 at 4:45pm 1/5/2016 at 4:45pm
Obama gun press conference

Obama can once again lay credible claim to the title of “Best Gun Salesman Ever.”

His recently announced policy changes on guns not only do nothing to discourage gun purchases, they if anything facilitate even greater volumes of gun sales, and in particular machine guns, suppressors, short-barreled rifles/shotguns, and other highly controlled “NFA”...

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No Indictment of Police in Tamir Rice Shooting

tamir rice shooting cleveland decision
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Posted by    Monday, December 28, 2015 at 3:25pm 12/28/2015 at 3:25pm
tamir rice shooting cleveland decision

Today, a Cleveland grand jury declined to indict two Cleveland Police Department officers over the November 2014 killing of Tamir Rice, as reported by ClickOnDetroit.  We’ve posted repeatedly on the shooting of 12-year-old Rice by Cleveland police officers, including:

VIDEO: Shooting of Tamir Rice by Police Goes to Grand Jury (6/4/2015)

Cleveland Tries Out...

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No indictment in Sandra Bland jail death

Sandra Bland No Indictment News
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Posted by    Tuesday, December 22, 2015 at 5:30pm 12/22/2015 at 5:30pm
Sandra Bland No Indictment News

Various news agencies, including The New York Times, have reported today that there were no indictments issued by a Texas grand jury with respect to the in-custody death of Sand Bland.

By all appearances, Bland had hanged herself in her cell.

Bland was 28-years-old when she responded with anger and non-compliance after being lawfully...

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Freddie Gray Trial: Porter’s Re-Trial Set for June 13

William Porter Freddie Gray Defendant
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Posted by    Tuesday, December 22, 2015 at 10:00am 12/22/2015 at 10:00am
William Porter Freddie Gray Defendant

The re-trial of Baltimore Police Officer William Porter has been scheduled for June 13, 2016,according to reporting by The Baltimore Sun.

By that time the trials of the other 5 officers charged in Freddie Gray’s death will have been completed.  Absent immunity, Porter therefore remains vulnerable to criminal prosecution throughout the course...

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“The evidence established that Porter went above and beyond his duty”

Mark Levin
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Posted by    Saturday, December 19, 2015 at 7:00am 12/19/2015 at 7:00am
Mark Levin

A reader alerted Professor Jacobson that Legal Insurrection and I got a mention on the Mark Levin Show.  Naturally we tracked down the mention in order to crow about it and share it with you loyal readers (but mostly to crow about it).

In fairness, it’s probably more accurate to say that...

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Freddie Gray Trial: The Schadenfreude Edition

Marilyn Mosby
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Posted by    Friday, December 18, 2015 at 1:00pm 12/18/2015 at 1:00pm
Marilyn Mosby

I have been rather amused the last 48 hours or so watching the Progressive news media (but I repeat myself) in the aftermath of the hung jury in the “Freddie Gray” trial of Baltimore Police Officer William Porter.

The media’s efforts to avoid acknowledging what an unmitigated disaster this outcome was for...

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Freddie Gray Trial: HUNG JURY, ALL CHARGES, MISTRIAL DECLARED

https://twitter.com/CBSNews/status/677222494185635840
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Posted by    Wednesday, December 16, 2015 at 3:25pm 12/16/2015 at 3:25pm
https://twitter.com/CBSNews/status/677222494185635840

The trial of Baltimore Police Officer William Porter ended in a mistrial today, with Judge Williams accepting that the jury was hung on all four criminal charges brought against Porter in the aftermath of the in custody death of Freddie Gray.

Update: For those curious about what the jury vote breakdown might...

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Freddie Gray Trial VERDICT WATCH: Verdict or Mistrial today?

http://baltimore.cbslocal.com/2015/11/19/officer-william-porter-to-take-stand-in-freddie-gray-trial/
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Posted by    Wednesday, December 16, 2015 at 8:30am 12/16/2015 at 8:30am
http://baltimore.cbslocal.com/2015/11/19/officer-william-porter-to-take-stand-in-freddie-gray-trial/

UPDATE: (12/16/15, 3:16PM):  MISTRIAL, JURY HUNG ON ALL FOUR CHARGES.


UPDATE: (12/16/15, 3:01PM):  Told that both Porter and Mosby are in the courtroom.


UPDATE: (12/16/15, 2:43PM):  State’s Attorney Mosby is in the courtroom, first time since deliber...

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Freddie Gray Trial VERDICT WATCH: Jury Reports It Is Hung

http://baltimore.cbslocal.com/2015/11/19/officer-william-porter-to-take-stand-in-freddie-gray-trial/
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Posted by    Tuesday, December 15, 2015 at 4:00pm 12/15/2015 at 4:00pm
http://baltimore.cbslocal.com/2015/11/19/officer-william-porter-to-take-stand-in-freddie-gray-trial/

UPDATE (5:37PM, 12/15/15): That’s it for today, folks. No verdict, and jury sent home for the night. Deliberations start up again in the morning.


UPDATE (4:01PM, 12/15/15): In a shocking statement, trial Judge William Barry told the hung jury to “Compromise if you can do so without violence to your own moral judgement,” according to...

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Freddie Gray Trial: Defense Moves for Mistrial After Schools Warn of Riots

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=st4IHokD4Jc
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Posted by    Tuesday, December 15, 2015 at 10:20am 12/15/2015 at 10:20am
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=st4IHokD4Jc

The defense counsel for Officer William Porter has moved for a mistrial after discovering that the Baltimore City Public Schools sent home a letter with students cautioning parents in which the CEO of the school system wrote:

I am very concerned about the possibility of civil disorders following announcements of the verdict.

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