Spotlight: Legal Service Membership Plan that was Designed for CCW Permit/License Holders
CCW Safe takes on the burden of the expenses associated with defending a self-defense/use of force critical incident.
Company Name: CCW Safe
Headquarters: Oklahoma City, OK
Signature Product: Legal Service Membership Plan
1. Where did your company name originate from?
In Oklahoma, concealed carry permits are referred to as CCW Permits (carrying concealed weapon). In other states they may be known by that terminology, or others such as CHL (concealed handgun license). Since we were founded in Oklahoma, we chose the name CCW Safe.
2. What was the inspiration behind starting your company?
Our Founder, Mike Darter, was sued in federal court after an on-duty shooting as a police officer with Oklahoma City. The shooting was during a high-risk drug warrant, and was immediately found to be justified, but two years later, he and his partner were both sued in federal court. That lawsuit was kicked out at summary judgment, so they won the case, but if they did not have FOP representation covered, they could have been out hundreds of thousands of dollars. Based on this experience, Mike founded CCW Safe after leaving law enforcement and not having the same coverage available as a police officer.
3. What is your signature product and how does it work?
Our signature product is our HR218 Plan. This plan covers all retired law enforcement officers who meet the requirements for HR218, and qualify annually in order to carry in all states that honor HR218. This plan covers all attorneys fees, investigators fees, expert fees, and any fees associated with a criminal, civil, or administrative trial. These fees could range up to $300k or more if you face legal action from a lethal self-defense incident.
4. Why do you believe your products are essential to the law enforcement community?
Police officers who carry concealed are trained and capable of defending against threats to themselves, their family, or others. If they do, they could potentially face legal actions that could destroy them financially. They could face bankruptcy, or worse, imprisonment if criminally charged.
5. What has been the biggest challenge your company has faced?
CCW Safe fortunately did long-range planning several years ago. At that time, we identified the greatest challenge to our company as lack of independence from commercial traditional insurance companies. CCW Safe researched this issue, hired industry-leading consulting experts and went through this process of identifying solutions to this challenge. The result was CCW Safe forming 2A Insurance, a Captive Insurance company wholly owned by CCW Safe, in order to have an independent funding source for the claims on our member benefits. While CCW Safe was building Captive and moving funds into this new model, our competitors were completely dependent on the London based commercial insurance market that does not understand, or care to understand, the specifics of the firearms industry. CCW Safe continues to evaluate our industry, its inherent challenges, and build solutions that make us stronger more independent than anyone in our industry.
6. What makes your company unique?
Our company is unique due to our experience. We are the only company that has a founder who has actually been in a shooting, and further, sued in federal court over that shooting. We are the only company that has successfully defended a full, murder I self-defense trial.
7. What do your customers like best about you and our products?
The peace of mind knowing that if they are forced to defend themselves, someone with experience will be in their corner. We are one of the only companies in our industry to have published core values. Those values are Commitment, Experience, Leadership, Dedication, and Caring. We strive to make those core values a part of everything we do, and I think our customers see those core values in everything from taking initial phone calls and emails, to defending members in the most traumatic event of their lives.
8. What is the most rewarding part of serving the first responder community?
Base on the fact that all of our founders, and most of our employees were first responders, it is very rewarding for us to be able to serve those who dedicated their lives to serving the public and making America safer.
9. Do you support any charitable organizations within public safety?
Yes, in 2019, we contributed 10% of all HR218 memberships to Warriors Rest, which is another company founded by former law enforcement here in Oklahoma. Warriors Rest trains up peer support teams by using Critical Incident Stress Management instructors that go beyond the crisis intervention training and mentor these teams on how to perform these techniques in a very difficult environment.
10. Is there any fun fact or trivia that you’d like to share with our users about you or your company?
Shortly after we began this company, the Zimmerman case happened. After that trial we met Don West, one of the co-counsels for George Zimmerman, at a local event in Florida. Not too soon after, Don became the National Trial Counsel for CCW Safe. He is the “boots on the ground” legal response for our members, and is essential in finding the right attorney for our members in need. Don has over 35 years experience in criminal defense, and is the leading self-defense attorney in the country. We have a great respect for Don, as do our members.
11. What’s next for your company? Any upcoming new projects or initiatives?
We are so excited to work with PoliceOne. As stated before, most of us at CCW Safe are former law enforcement, and we are dedicated to helping the law enforcement community, especially those who are transitioning into retirement.