When it comes to self-defense, there is a lot more to know than just buying a gun and a box of bullets. Training to use that powerful tool is vital to ensure a successful — and legally justifiable — outcome in the event of a life-threatening situation.
That’s where the NJ Self-Defense Law-Citizen Use of Force class at NJ SAFE 2017 comes in. Michael Wolhfert, founder of Justifiable Force, will present his three-hour course on Sept. 22, the day before the conference, to assist citizens in understanding New Jersey self-defense law, whether they are armed or unarmed, in or out of the home. Knowledge of use of force is important to guide citizens to act in accordance with the state law during a defensive encounter.
It wasn’t so long ago that Wolhfert began learning the ins and outs of such encounters.
“As a new handgun owner, I took my NRA first steps pistol class in 2002 at the local gun shop,” he recalls. “Soon after that, I entered the law enforcement profession and continued my firearms training.”
In 2013, he began Justifiable Force with non-firearms classes dealing with empty-hands tactics, edged weapons and pepper spray. He became a certified firearms instructor in 2014 and incorporated that into his company’s repertoire.
“We look at self-protection as a concept of totality,” he asserts. “One must be well-versed in the ranges of defense: inside of arm’s distance and beyond arm’s distance, as well as non-deadly and deadly force options dependent on the circumstances. What sets our training apart is we don’t just instruct the how but also the when and why of defense. Self-defense is as much mental as physical, and the legalities of force weigh on people’s minds — which can cause hesitation and misuse of force. The body will never go where the mind has not been.”
His NJ SAFE 2017 course will cover the vital topics of:
- Introduction to the criminal justice system
- Five elements of self-defense
- New Jersey self-defense law
- Use of force in self-protection
- Defense of others
- Defense of property
- Interacting with police
“There are many wives’ tales and misconceptions of New Jersey self-defense law,” he cautions. Rules for the use of force in self-protection vary in and out of the home.
One area of confusion is the state’s possession law with use of force. “New Jersey has one of the strictest possession laws in the country, but this does not affect lawful use of defensive force,” he says. “Firearms possession and use of force are not synonymous. We guide you through New Jersey criminal code and case law to debunk the common misconceptions of self-defense and defense of a third party.”
Cost of the NJ Self Defense Law – Citizen Use of Force is $60. All class materials will be provided on Sept. 22. Register now.