Report: #1136504

Complaint Review: Frank Ettin - Livermore California

  • Submitted:
  • Updated:
  • Reported By: Anthony — San Francisco California
  • Frank Ettin 2089 Staghorn Way Livermore, California USA

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Frank Ettin is a "staff member" at www.thefiringline.com and www.thehighroad.com who is in charge of the legal sections of those particular websites.  Frank provides specific legal advice to the members of those forums in regards to firearms and self defense.  In that regard, I would like to make the following points:

1)  Frank has never either prosecuted or defended any individual in any criminal court in regards to firearms or self-defense laws.  Franks's experience is in healthcare law working at such companies as Blue Cross.  Frank has no real experience, except for reading legal books on the topics, in the legal matters behind firearms and self-defense.  He has never been in a court-room dealing with the matters he speaks of.

This is Franks linkedin profile: linkedin.com/pub/frank-ettin/1b/634/458


2)  Frank does not openly disclose his experience in these matters and acts as if he is the defacto legal expert on these websites insisting people follow him and having tantrums when they dont.  However, Frank simply isnt qualified to talk about these matters based on his legal experience in the healthcare industry.  Neither website lists out Franks resume and Frank does not openly provide information on his background nor does he preface his posts stating he has no experience in these areas of law.


3)  Frank is performing paid-for seminars and road-shows at gun conferences talking about legal issues in self-defense when he is not qualified.


4)  Legal issues are complex and "local".  What is legal in one geography is not legal in the other.  Someone with real experience in a court-room defending these matters should be answering legal questions on these websites.  

There is another rip-off report on this website about Frank and I am inclined to believe it.  Frank believes since that he is a lawyer he can talk about any area of law expertly.  So I can believe that this other guy hired Frank and failed to deliver.


This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 04/05/2014 07:18 AM and is a permanent record located here: https://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/frank-ettin/livermore-california-94550/frank-ettin-not-a-legal-expert-on-firearms-or-self-defense-matters-livermore-california-1136504. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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#4 Consumer Comment

Agree...Franks problem is ego.

AUTHOR: David L. - (USA)

POSTED: Saturday, October 21, 2017

You cant have an intelligent conversation with Frank because of his ego. He will talk to you as if you are not on his level and all the while you know that what he is saying (as regards fire arms and law )is cmpletely textual as from a book he read with no real life experience.

His bcause I said so approach unveils his lack of ability.



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#3 Consumer Comment

Inclined to believe original report

AUTHOR: David - (USA)

POSTED: Friday, April 28, 2017

I used to be a member of The High Road. I have butted heads with the "expert" on all aspects of Midwestern firearm law with the self proclaimed "firearm legal expert" Frank Ettin. I strogly agree with the Original Report and from experience find the #1 General comment to be almost laughable. Frank Ettin is not one to "warn", he will simply BAN you if you disagree publicly with him. He always speaks of Massad Ayoob who WAS a part-time police officer in New Hampshire. While this response is to the original report, Massad Ayoob fiqures strongly into Frank Ettins experience because he has lectured with Massad Ayoob. The problem being that is Frank Ettin is a a brief mention in one of Ayoobs magazine articles. Having personally seeing Massad Ayoob being ordered off of a firing range for a MAJOR infraction of BASIC common sense gun rules or be arrested, his opinions and articles are irrelevant.

After studying Ettins credentials he was indeed strickly an healthcare attorney. He NEVER has defended or prosecuted a case that involved a firearm. He has never been in a courtroom involving anything to do with firearms. He is basically a newcomer to firearms, taking a basic handgun class in the late '90s. On a personal note my neice while in college beat him in a trapshooting competition and to say that he was not a good loser would be a gross understatement. That all being said lets move onto the Original Report.

Frank Ettin just like anybody else who has a basic understanding of law can read a book and probably understand it. Frank Ettins main problem is his ego. He is NOT an expert on firearm law, especially in the Midwest. The law can vary in 100 feet. Whats 100% legal here can be a felony 100 feet anyway, whether it be a County, City or State law. When you get into county or city firearm laws they are often vaguely written and/or enforced. You would need local council because enforcement and subsequent rulings usually are on a local level. There is no way of actually knowing these differences without actually living and practicing in said location. That goes to #4 of the original report. As for #3 of the original report, since I have had a back and forth with Ettin, I wouldn't go to nor pay for ANY legal seminars when it comes to his "firearm expertise". If BC/BS denied a claim then I would be glad to consult with him but would not retain him. That goes to #1 and #2 of the original report.

As for the complaint related to copyright laws, if true hire a litigator and sue him. If the allegation is true then you surely have a case. If his alleged misconduct cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars, believe me you won't have a hard time finding an attorney to represent you.

Basically The High Road states "However, nothing in the Legal Forum is intended to be, nor should it be considered, legal advice." The Firing Line: "Our members and Moderators are a confederation of individuals offering individual opinions only." Translation in legal terms: While Frank Ettin my come accross as a "firearms expert" the previous two disclaimers say in laymans terms to not believe anything he says. His OPINION is no different then the 1st time poster. Take it with a grain of salt. He's legally no different then any other person when it comes to firearms laws even Massad Ayoob, his personal hero.

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#2 General Comment

Frank Ettin provides detailed, accurate information...

AUTHOR: Fuzzbuster111 - (USA)

POSTED: Friday, August 12, 2016

I don't know Frank Ettin personally, but I have read many, many of his posts on The Firing Line, as I am a member there.  I have had some hot debates with Mr. Ettin and was even once or twice "warned" by him when I sometimes get off topic.  I find Mr. Ettin to be quite knowledgeable about most firearms laws and laws that are tangentially related to firearms.  He does his research.  He cites examples, cases and legal authority to support his positions and arguments.  He is highly aware of the differences between federal firearms laws, state and local laws that also may control, and he is quick to point out these differences. 


I doubt that most local criminal attorneys will know as much about firearms laws as Mr. Ettin does.  They simply don't have the time to delve into all  of the federal and constitutional cases, and have not dedicated themselves to an in depth study of these matters. Mostly, local criminal attorneys will deal with the occasional unlawful possession of a firearm case, or possibly a rare self-defense claim.  I doubt that they make it their practice to keep their finger on the pulse of what BATFE is doing, federal licensure issues, various state and federal gun bans, legislative matters, etc., all of which Mr. Ettin seems to be very interested in and up to date on the latest cases.


The fact that Mr. Ettin may concentrate his practice in one area to make a living, does not preclude him from offering some expert information in another area of the law.  Such a claim is nonsense.  Again, I am not a personal friend of Mr. Ettin's, but I just couldn't let this angry comment stand when I know darn well that Mr. Ettin is very well studied on firearms laws.  Anyone who would doubt me on this can go to thefiringline.com, do a search on "Ettin" and see what you think for yourselves.

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#1 REBUTTAL Individual responds

It Looks Like Someone Doesn't Like Me.

AUTHOR: Frank Ettin - ()

POSTED: Monday, January 12, 2015

I find these sorts of anonymous attacks interesting. Obvisously I've made someone unhappy. In any case, I'm out in the world under my own name. My profile is available on Linkedin, and folks are always free to question and challenge comments I post on various Internet Forums. However, contrary to what my anonymous attacker has claimed, I do not perform "paid-for seminars and road-shows at gun conferences." I'm retired

Since I am out in the world under my own name (unike my anonymous attacker), my backgroud is available. I have never claimed to have represented clients in self defense or use of force matters. But I am well educated in those matters. Indeed, one of the ways lawyers learn about law is by studying the cases and taking classes. So while I would not undertake representation of a client in those areas, I comment on general, legal issues arising in connection with the use of force in self defense (and other areas of firearms law) within the scope of my knowledge. 

I of course would not claim to be an expert. One isn't an expert unless someone else qualified calls him an expert. I have taken a class with a well known expert, Massad Ayoob. And I have taught a class with Massad Ayoob. Mr. Ayoob quoted me in his column in the August, 2010, issue of Combat Handguns, writing (pg 9):

"...This whole 'strategy' was effectively shot down in flames by Frank Ettin, a retired attorney with more than 30 years or experience in legal liability reduction issues. Bear in mind that this is a man who knows his guns: Frank has extensive experience in firearms training, handgun competition in several formats, and concealed carry. He has deeply studied the law and the caselaw as it relates to defensive use of firearms and dealdly force...."

In any case, everyone is welcome to decide for himself. What I've written on various legal topics can be read at thehighroad.org or thefiringline.com. It's free, and if you think I'm off base on anything, by all means register on the site (it's free) and comment.

Frank Ettin




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