What Is "Murder Insurance"? The NRA -Sponsored Package Has Gun Control Activists Incensed
The National Rifle Association has left gun control activists furious with its latest offering: NRA-sponsored insurance, which covers members when they shoot another person. NRA Carry Guard sells itself as the "most complete self-defense insurance program and training for those who carry a gun." Critics call it "murder insurance."
The insurance is backed by the NRA but is sold by Lockton Affinity and is underwritten by Westchester, a division of Chubb, a major insurance company. It provides the funds to pay for a lawyer in the face of both civilian lawsuits and criminal charges (the money is reimbursed after acquittal or dismissal). It pays for "bail, bonds, legal retainer fees, and legal referrals." And further more, it also 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."
There are three plans that gun owners can choose that differ in the amount of money they'll provide, ranging from $250,000 to $1 million for civil defense and $50,000 to $250,000 for criminal charges. The plan also comes with free coverage for your spouse and a year's NRA membership.
Conservative celebrity Dana Loesch also features in a video on their site. "The truth is, right behind your firearm, your second most important self-defense protection is a rock-solid carry policy," Loesch is quoted as saying.
The offerings likely make it even more offensive to gun control advocates. Kate Folmar of Everytown for Gun Safety told Bustle in a statement, "Most Americans and most gun owners believe in building a culture of responsibility. By promoting insurance that actively undermines such a culture, the NRA's leaders are once again showing they're out of touch with responsible gun owners.”
Another group, Guns Down America, released a video arguing that it makes it easier to "get away with murder" and covers the cost, too. Its video features Sybrina Fulton — the mother of Trayvon Martin — who paints those who would buy the insurance as a menace to their communities, and a real danger to people like her son, who was gunned down in his Florida suburb by a vigilante who served no time thanks to Florida's "stand your ground" law.
The video, released last week, opens with Fulton saying:
Armed intimidators roam our communities. 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 their "lies about immigrants and people of color to divide us." But the biggest part of her argument is about Carry Guard: She contends that the NRA spends millions to lobby for laws that allow them to "stand their ground." "But that just makes it easier to get away with murder," she says. "Now they're selling insurance that covers the cost."
The video calls on viewers to contact the insurance companies, Lockton Affinity and Chubb, asking them to tell them to pull the coverage. They've started a website with a petition asking just that. "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."
Bustle has reached out to the NRA, Lockton Affinity, and Chubb insurance about the coverage. Chubb has responded to the AP saying it offers all types of insurance. That likely won't cut it for those who are upset about the offering.
"I'm an American, it's time to put the guns down," Fulton says in the video. With insurance like this, that argument could become harder to make.