SAN ANTONIO -

The "castle doctrine" in Texas provides firearm owners protection from lawsuits when using or displaying a weapon to protect themselves or family from an intruder or attacker on their property. 

While it also provides immunity from civil suits brought by attackers and their families, it doesn't mean those suits are never filed. 

Kirk Evans, vice president of Texas Law Shield, says the group formed in 2009 to provide legal services for firearm owners.

"They were simply getting tired of seeing people who lawfully used their weapon go through the legal system even though they were completely legally justified in using their weapon," said Evans.

The group has nearly 65,000 members across 13 states. Evans said attorney and court fees could run from $1,000 to $100,000, depending on the case.

"So even though you might be justified under the castle doctrine, you still have to get a lawyer, you still have to plead the defense and then you have to get a judge to rule on that defense," he said.

The company offers different memberships for concealed handgun license owners as well as family rates. Members have an emergency number they can call that's answered by attorneys as well as a non-emergency number for legal questions they may have. 

"We've had a client in the back of the squad car call the emergency hotline as he was being taken to jail and our attorney worked with the client in the car ride and eventually the officer turned around and figured the member was correct and turned around and dropped him off," said Evans, offering one example of how the program helps.

Evans added that education is a major component of the group, as well as legal services. They often speak to civic groups, including schools and gun clubs.

"Our belief is education is the foundation of the program" said Evans. "If people are informed, they're more likely to feel comfortable carrying a weapon and they're less likely to make critical mistakes."

The group also offers an NFA trust program for people looking to own machine guns, suppressors or short barreled weapons.

You can find more information on their website.

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