At the NRA’s annual conference last month in Atlanta, the gun lobby unveiled a new iteration of its self-defense insurance called the NRA Carry Guard.
The organization described the program as “America’s most comprehensive insurance and legal coverage” for those who carry a gun.
The booth was a flurry of activity. Potential customers lined up for a chance to experience a virtual reality scenario where deadly force is necessary.
Karl Thomason, an NRA life member from the Atlanta area, wanted to experience the scenario. “I’m really not sure what I’m going to go through, but I’m looking forward to it,” he said.
Blaine Scott, an NRA RSO, got Thomason geared up with an electronic handgun, a pair or 3D goggles and headphones. Thomason then triggered the simulation.
On a screen nearby, we were able to see what Thomason saw. A robber pulls a gun inside a convenience store. Then Thomason waits for the opportune moment and shoots the robber. Law enforcement quickly arrives and Thomason follows their orders. He’s handcuffed and put in the back of a police car. The whole experience lasts a few minutes.
“It was very real,” Thomason said. “The only thing that didn’t happen was the recoil, and maybe some blood or something.”
Carry Guard is more about what comes after you’ve lawfully used your gun in a self-defense scenario. “You’re going to get sued,” Scott said. “You’re going to go to jail, and you may lose your right to carry and bear arms.”
A Carry Guard membership also includes training and instruction in addition to the insurance. Although he had fun, Thomason didn’t sign up for a policy because he already had coverage with another provider. However, when that policy expires, he would consider Carry Guard. “I know anything the NRA does is fantastic and first class. I know that it would be a great resource to take advantage of,” he said.
Jason Brown, an NRA media relations manager told Guns.com the NRA introduced Carry Guard in response to member feedback. “They told us there was a vacuum in the training market. That there wasn’t a one-stop solution to get the training and the peace-of-mind they needed to be able to defend themselves in a defensive firearm scenario,” he said.
According to the program’s website, the NRA offers three policies that range in price from a $155 per year bronze policy to $360 gold policy that includes civil and criminal defense.
The NRA is confident that it is offering an absolutely vital service to it’s members with Carry Guard.
“There’s no amount of money,” Brown said, “that this organization can put on ensuring that anyone that wants to learn, train and be able to defend themselves, their homes and their families can do so without having to worry about finding themselves on the wrong side of the law. That’s priceless. And that what’s the NRA committed to do.”