The USCCA and the NRA are two organizations that have long served those who practice concealed carry. Both organizations are not only known for having a large number of members in their respected organizations, but they both also have insurance plans that will give you peace of mind in case something happens when you need to use your pistol in a self-defense situation.
We’ll be comparing the two organizations and their concealed carry insurance plans. We will also make a decision about which one will be the best option for you between the two.
Now, let’s take a closer look at both of these organizations and how the best serve concealed carry permit holders like you.
Who is the USCCA?
The USCCA is the United States Concealed Carry Association. The organization was founded in 2003 by Tim Schmidt, who still serves as the founder and president. As part of the launch, the USCCA launched a periodical known as Concealed Carry Magazine and provided an online forum to their website. The majority of USCCA’s funding comes from their concealed carry insurance policies. Outside of that, there are no other known sources of funding.
The insurance policies are available in three different package levels: gold, platinum, and elite. All insurance plans will give you financial aid that you’ll use if you find yourself in any legal battle (criminal and/or civil). The funding levels will depend on your level of membership.
USCCA Membership Options Explained
As mentioned, the USCCA has concealed carry insurance that ranges at three levels. You get access to legal aid, but also access to expert questions, educational materials, and even discounts for merchandise and USCCA events that take place each year. The following are the three levels of membership, each with their advantages and disadvantages:
One of the major advantages of this plan is that it has a low price point at $22 a month (or $247 annually). It gives you access to a 24/7 hotline that is teamed with concealed carry experts. You will also have legal aid coverage of up to $100,000 in criminal cases and $500,000 in civil court.
Some of the major disadvantages of this level are exclusions of some educational materials and other membership perks like a monthly “Ask an Attorney” segment. Also, the gold level members may not even have access to other perks that are only available to higher-level members (i.e.--concierge members).
This is the second package that is priced at $30 a month or $347 annually. Some of the advantages are the same (like the 24/7 access to the expert hotline). The legal aid is increased in this regard. Your insurance will be covered up to $150,000 in criminal court cases while you will be covered up to $1,000,000 if you’re in a civil lawsuit.
You will also be able to access some of the advanced educational material that is available to you. One of those materials is a video course on when you should use deadly force. The disadvantages of this plan are just exclusions to perks that are only available to the Elite members.
This is the highest level package of the insurance program. The price is $47 a month or $497 annually. As expected, Elite members will have access to all the perks including discounts on USCCA merchandise and events (including early access and a VIP experience at the annual Concealed Carry Expo).
At this level, your legal aid will be covered up to $250,000 in criminal cases and up to $2,500,000 in civil suits. You will get all the legal coverage and expert service that you’ll need 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The only disadvantage is that it might be a little pricey in terms of the annual rate.
Who is the NRA?
The NRA is the National Rifle Association. They are the largest gun owning organization in the country boasting well over 5 million members alone. The organization was founded in Fairfax, Virginia in 1871. But since the 1970s, it has become one of the leaders in lobbying against legislation that would perhaps intend to curb gun rights.
A majority of their funding comes from the levels of membership of which many of their members are enrolled in. As of 2018, the NRA’s revenue is said to be well over $400 million. Other than memberships, the NRA also has received funding from magazine subscriptions, donations, and merchandise sales among other sources.
Today, the organization has long been in the news as being to blame for some of the latest incidents in gun violence. Despite the backlash from many gun control organizations, the NRA appears to be going strong.
To this day, they are still the forefront leaders in making sure that the Second Amendment rights of every American are preserved and not infringed as intended in the US Constitution.
NRA Carry Guard -- What You Need To Know
The NRA had a concealed carry insurance program known as Carry Guard. Policies were available in four levels: Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Gold Plus. However, the NRA discontinued the Carry Guard insurance program in 2017.
The Carry Guard Program provided legal aid to those who were facing legal action in both a criminal and/or civil court case. The legal aid coverage also depended on the insurance level that each policyholder had. Today, the NRA currently holds, as an example of how it all worked, we’ll be taking a look at the Gold Level membership for NRA Carry Guard:
Perks of the NRA Carry Guard Gold Membership
The NRA Carry Guard Gold Membership was available at $31.95 a month or $359.95 annually. As for perks, policyholders were entitled to a one-year membership with the NRA. This also included legal coverage of up to $150,000 in criminal court cases while civil case coverage was guaranteed up to $1,000,000.
This policy also gave spouses of the policyholder automatic coverage as well. A 24/7 hotline staffed with legal and concealed carry experts was also available. Also, 20 percent of the criminal legal aid was immediately paid to the policyholder to ensure that the retainer fee for attorneys had been taken care of before the court appearance.
In place today are many training and education courses that ensure that you are practicing your right to concealed carry properly. Most of these training courses are also based in local areas and taught by NRA certified instructors.
As a reminder, the Carry Guard Insurance program is no longer available.
USCCA vs NRA -- Similarities and Differences
The NRA and the USCCA are both highly respected organizations for gun owners across America. Especially those who are currently practicing lawful concealed carry. There are similarities between the two organizations. However, they prove that they are not created equal in some other categories.
USCCA vs NRA Differences
Let's start comparing the two starting with the differences:
The USCAA intends to issue its insurance policy to concealed carry gun owners everywhere while it is available (if the owner so chooses). They intend to make customer satisfaction a priority. Especially in a time when a concealed carry may practice the most. If members are not satisfied with the USCAA insurance program, they will get their money back without no questions asked.
However, it’s a different story for NRA Carry Guard. When it was around, Carry Guard did not have a Money Back Guarantee.
Discounts For Law Enforcement, Military, And Groups
If there is one great perk for having concealed carry insurance, it’s getting discounts. At the same time, members of law enforcement, military, and even families are entitled to discounts on insurance policies and other products and training with the USCCA. It is the organization’s way of saying thanks to those who have protected themselves in the line of duty.
Unfortunately for NRA Carry Guard, discounts for these groups were not available.
Free NRA Membership
One of the flagship features for NRA Carry Guard members was the inclusion of a membership to the NRA. This membership would last the entire year and would be renewed alongside the insurance policy had they chosen to renew the policy itself yearly.
As expected, a free NRA membership was not available for those who carry USCCA insurance plans.
Coverage In Gun-Free Zones
While we exercise the right to bear arms, there are times when you’ll need to be covered in the event you must use your firearm in a so-called “gun-free zone”. The USCCA insurance plan will make sure that regardless if you do use your firearm in a gun-free zone to take out an assailant that is using a firearm with the intent to injure or kill people. The USCCA will go the extra mile to ensure that you will not be caught up in any legal trouble. If you do, we’ll be the first on the scene to ensure that your bases are covered.
Carriers of the NRA Carry Guard insurance policy were not entitled to anything close to what was offered by the USCCA.
Self Defense Coverage Outside Of Firearms
There will be times when you may not be able to use your firearm in a potentially dangerous or deadly situation. This may be due to a lack of time. But you may have just enough time to make a quick decision on how you will defend yourself. The USCCA covers you for self-defense for firearm use. But it will cover you beyond that. In other words, if you happen to use a “weapon of opportunity” like a knife, a baseball bat, or any kind of object that is used as a weapon you will have the same coverage to you (regardless if it is a criminal or civil case).
NRA Carry Guard only covers self-defense pertaining to firearms, not weapons of opportunity.
Firearm Theft Liability Protection
There may be a chance that your firearms will be stolen during a burglary or robbery. As a result, the stolen firearm may be used in a crime that could result in the injury or death of a victim. This could put you in a situation where the firearm may be traced to you and put you in a legal situation you never want to put yourself in.
USCCA insurance holders will have peace of mind in knowing that as part of their insurance policy, they will receive liability for all their firearms that are stolen due to burglary, theft, or robbery. If and when something happens in which one of your stolen firearms was used, you’ll have full coverage and the backing of the USCCA to make sure you won’t have to suffer any legal headaches.
NRA Carry Guard did not have this as part of their policy.
USCCA vs NRA Similarities
What's the same between NRA Carryguard and the USCCA?
Access to a 24/7/365 Hotline
As an insurance carrier of either policy, both the USCCA and NRA have a 24/7/365 hotline that you can access in the event you need to seek any advice on legal matters, concealed carry use, or general questions about your policy among other inquiries. This hotline can be used for either emergency or non-emergency purposes.
Spousal coverage is a must if you need concealed carry insurance. Both the USCCA and NRA have this as part of their respected policies. However, the latter provided coverage that was available for both in-home and outside the home.
Access to Attorney Networks
Both the USCCA and NRA are connected to numerous attorneys across all 50 states, providing you with the best legal protection you need to ensure that you lawfully and legally exercised your right to bear arms. The USCCA also has a network of attorneys that are available in the event of any emergencies. This way, you get the legal assistance you need as soon as possible.
Top Pick Between USCCA vs. NRA
Given the advantages and disadvantages of both organizations, the clear choice between the two is the USCCA. Of course, the main reason being is that the NRA no longer has the Carry Guard insurance program. However, regardless whether the latter still exists, USCCA would still come out as the favorite due to a few factors.
First, its robust network of attorneys (especially those who will respond ASAP in the event of emergencies). Second, USCCA members who are law enforcement and military receive discounts. Finally, USCCA goes above and beyond in ways that no other concealed carry insurer would dare to go. For example, the coverage for legal cases where a weapon of opportunity appears to be an unprecedented perk.
Both the USCCA and NRA have provided insurance opportunities to its members that conceal carry. While it might be obvious which one is better, it is always important to have concealed carry insurance so you are always prepared for what will happen next should you ever use your concealed carry pistol in an act of self-defense or stopping a deadly crime from happening.