Initial Reaction Review – “Self-Defense Laws of All States, Second Edition,” 2013, by Mitch & Evan Vilos


After only spending about an hour skimming this book it becomes very clear that it’s indispensable for those who wish to know not only their own state laws concerning self-defense, but the laws of those states they may be visiting in the course of their lives.

It’s important to note that this is not just a summary of laws on the books.  Rather, it is a compilation of statute, case law, and even jury instructions that include law not normally available to the citizen.  Each state is covered in depth, with commentary throughout.

The stated goal of the book is to keep folks out of jail by providing an easily understandable reading of existing law with plain language commentary, with a bit of corny humor thrown in to keep the reader interested.

The primary author, Mitch Vilos, is a practicing trial lawyer in the area of criminal defense and personal injury.  He provides a flyer in each volume outlining his experience.  His son, Evan, is the secondary author, who’s not yet a lawyer, but has helped a large team of law clerks research and collate the information.

Interesting chapters:

  • Chapter 3 – Understanding the Crucial Terms and Concepts of Self-Defense Law
  • Chapter 4 – Template [Subheadings] Described in Detail (The legal issues under each of the template topics for each state.)
  • Chapter 5 – Self-Defense Laws of all 50 States (with warning to read Chapters 3 & 4 first!)
  • Chapter 6 – State Deadly Force Comparison Chart – A nice quick reference that gives quick, concise answers to questions such as, “Do I have a duty to retreat in my State?” or “If I use deadly force in a lawful manner, am I immune from civil liability?”

He also liberally sprinkles his ‘wisdom’ throughout the 576 pages through his persona of “Pancho Vilos”.  Here’s an example located in Chapter 7, “Thumbs Down Factors” on what not to do:  “Don’t be an a–hole and don’t react to a–holes trying to rattle your chain.  Avoid Conflict like you’d avoid a French Kiss from a Zombie Cross-Dresser.  Soak up and fully comply with the advice in Chapter 9.  [Aptly named, “Conflict Avoidance”.]”

It’s not cheap at $29.95 (shipping is extra), but it’s well worth the price in knowledge gained for any AO you may find yourself in during a non-SHTF situation while armed.

Here’s an Amazon link:

If you really want to know what you can and can’t do, and how juries and judges might perceive your actions during a ‘hot’ situation, this is the book to get.

DTG gives it 5 stars.

2 thoughts on “Initial Reaction Review – “Self-Defense Laws of All States, Second Edition,” 2013, by Mitch & Evan Vilos

  1. Pingback: Review – “Self-Defense Laws of All States, Second Edition,” 2013, by Mitch & Evan Vilos | Western Rifle Shooters Association

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