Brandishing

This is a discussion on Brandishing within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I am trying to understand the rules against brandishing. It seems reasonable a threat may diminish after drawing your weapon, in which case you would ...

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Thread: Brandishing

  1. #1
    Member Array Geo2020's Avatar
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    Brandishing

    I am trying to understand the rules against brandishing.
    It seems reasonable a threat may diminish after drawing your weapon, in which case you would prefer to not shoot.

    It also seems if you draw and point your weapon, unless you fired it, you have just brandished it. Do I understand this correctly?

    What about the following scenario, would that be brandishing?



    Scenario
    You’re in a grocery store parking lot, kids in the car, and a windy day. You open your car door, the wind catches it and hits the car next to you.
    The driver of the other car (the one that was hit) becomes irate and advances aggressively while yelling. (For arguments sake you are not able to get in the car and lock it fast enough.) The aggressor does not appear to have a weapon, but you feel likely there will be punches thrown. You do not feel your life is in danger, but a fight leaves a good chance you will be incapacitated leaving someone else in control of your weapon, and your kids.
    Should you reveal you are carrying (not draw) in hopes of diffusing the situation, is that brandishing? And will it defuse or escalate the situation?

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  3. #2
    VIP Member Array Tubby45's Avatar
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    Brandishing is displaying or waving your weapon in a threatening manner. Technically, when you draw and point your weapon at someone you are committing assault and brandishing. If you are justified in using deadly force, then displaying your weapon is justified.

    The term brandishing refers to the criminal act of waving or displaying a weapon as a threat. This is very different from the drawing and displaying to save your life to deter an attacker. When people use the term brandish, they are referring to the criminal act, not the justifiied act of self defense.

    IMO, drawing a firearm to try to difuse a fistfight is immature, will probably escalate the situation (he will try to "test" you), and shows you do not have a square head on your shoulders to decide when and how to use a firearm. This isn't a personal rag on you, just in general. This is more akin to the road rage someone jumps out and is going to kick your ass and you draw your weapon. Not going to fly in court.

    There are times where it would be legal and acceptable to display a weapon to avoid a fistfight. Some examples are disparity of force situations (140# dude against a 350# dude), being outnumbered, knowing the attacker to have specialized training that makes him or her more dangerous than the general public (ex military, martial artists, etc that are trained to kill with their bare hands).
    07/02 FFL/SOT since 2006

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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Brandishing is displaying or waving your weapon in a threatening manner. Technically, when you draw and point your weapon at someone you are committing assault and brandishing. If you are justified in using deadly force, then displaying your weapon is justified.
    Yes, generally speaking. Depends on the laws in your area, of course. Which is why I believe a firearm should be treated like the Samurai sword of centuries past: it doesn't get unsheathed unless it's to be used ... else, it likely isn't necessary. That's a fine line, but the reality is that brandishing that ends up not resulting in need to use can turn into your possible arrest and being charged. Sad, but true. Much simpler to only draw when needed.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
    Thoughts: Justifiable self defense (A.O.J.).
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    Reason over Force: The Gun is Civilization (Marko Kloos).
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    VIP Member Array Tubby45's Avatar
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    Right. In MI, we use the "threatening or displaying in a threatening manner" definition. It isn't in the statutes, just case law.

    When I hear "brandish" I think of the criminal offense. Displaying or drawing in protection of life or property isn't brandishing.
    07/02 FFL/SOT since 2006

  6. #5
    Senior Member Array Ride4TheBrand's Avatar
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    Here you go amigo .. straight from the Texas Penal Code:

    PC 46.035(a) says "a license holder commits an offense if the license holder...intentionally fails to conceal the handgun". This is a class A misdemeanor.

    PC 42.01(a)(8) makes it an offense to "intentionally or knowingly display a firearm or other deadly weapon in a public place in a manner calculated to alarm". This is a class B misdemeanor.
    "We must remember that one man is much
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    who is trained in the severest school."
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    Well put guys, perhaps a less lethal device might be a good thing to carry if you are worried about less than lethal attacks.
    "In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." Thomas Jefferson


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    Brandishing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ride4TheBrand
    Here you go amigo .. straight from the Texas Penal Code:

    PC 46.035(a) says "a license holder commits an offense if the license holder...intentionally fails to conceal the handgun". This is a class A misdemeanor.

    PC 42.01(a)(8) makes it an offense to "intentionally or knowingly display a firearm or other deadly weapon in a public place in a manner calculated to alarm". This is a class B misdemeanor.


    I wonder if knowingly printing falls under brandishing laws?

  9. #8
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Hennessy
    I wonder if knowingly printing falls under brandishing laws?
    ^ That's exactly what that cited law from TExas says, in so many words. Intentionally printing, showing or otherwise helping others to know you're carrying is, effectively, brandishing and verboten. Seems perfectly reasonable, as the point of concealed carry is, well, to carry concealed. We don't be wanting to offend the public's sensibilities any more than absolutely necessary, now do we?
    Last edited by ccw9mm; July 29th, 2006 at 11:14 AM.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
    Thoughts: Justifiable self defense (A.O.J.).
    Explain: How does disarming victims reduce the number of victims?
    Reason over Force: The Gun is Civilization (Marko Kloos).
    NRA, GOA, OFF, ACLDN.

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    Member Array soundwave's Avatar
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    I would have to say that the easiest way to put brandishing is that it is when your firearm is displayed in a manner that would alarm or put a reasonable person in fear that the firearm would be used, without justification.

    If someone is fighting you with words, you cannot use a firearms to "diffuse" the situation -- you can use words or walk away. I would think that the most-responsible thing to do would be the exact opposite. Instead of placing yourself in a situation that would likely lead you to a fight which may leave you incapacitated with weapon and child exposed, removing yourself from the situation would be more a more responsible choice.

    As an example of brandishing, when I go to/come home from work, I put/take my gun into/out of my car. In most cases, this can be seen as brandishing as I am holding the gun in a holster rather than wearing it (my CCW isn't here yet). I am not holding it or pointing it in a threatening manner, but I have it out and visible nonetheless. This usually isn't a problem, though, because there's a 3" in diameter embroidered gold star on my polo shirt with the appropriate words. Can't say much for everyone else if they do the same. ;O)

    Cheers.

  11. #10
    Member Array msg usa's Avatar
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    The word "Knowingly" translates to intent; therefore, a failure to properly conceal the weapon. If, however, the printing occurs without the knowledge of the operator, there is no intent, and thus not a violation. IMHO too many people get wrapped around the hub over this whole deal. If you use due care to take whatever steps to prevent exposure, and a wind come up and blows you shirt, revealing the cannon, there is no foul here. If you, however, pull your shirt back, displaying the gun, wink and blow a kiss to some dirtbag, THERE"S YOUR SIGN!
    God Bless the USA

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    CCW9MM I asked that question because some times I can tell someone is carrying but I'm sure that the general public might not. What makes me concerned is if only a few can tell if some one is carrying and the majority can not, is that still brandishing? I find that brandishing law to hit grey areas and if your weapon is covered it should not be brandishing. I know I wrote in my post knowingly printing but now I'm taking it a step farther.

  13. #12
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Yeah, I see the distinction. But I don't see the problem: lack of intent nullifies that restriction.

    There is plenty of incentive already. Given the simple risks of the wrong sort marking someone as carrying, the goal is clear: mildly penalize those who don't already take it seriously that concealed is safer all the way around. At least, that's the rose-colored view. The stark reality is that alarmists might well call down the LEO's and you will spend a minute or two extracting yourself from some pretty hot water (guns drawn, demands that you disarm) after the inevitably-skewed 911 call gets made. Better to never have to go there.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
    Thoughts: Justifiable self defense (A.O.J.).
    Explain: How does disarming victims reduce the number of victims?
    Reason over Force: The Gun is Civilization (Marko Kloos).
    NRA, GOA, OFF, ACLDN.

  14. #13
    Member Array msg usa's Avatar
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    Look, if you take due and reasonable care to conceal, and someone somehow discovers you are carrying, this IS NOT brandishing. Brandishing requires intent. No intent, no brandishing.
    God Bless the USA

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    Ben - your mention of us ''making'' a guy printing - is not IMO brandishing at all.

    I regard brandishing per se as GUN IN HAND - and it is that ''in hand'' which to me is the crucial aspect. We all should try to make concealment total of course but slight printing or the merest glimpse due to wind blown garment cannot in my book be brandishing - the gun is still holstered.

    PA's wording on concealment is pretty strict - but again, if a brief exposure then I'd expect no major problems and certainly - to reiterate - if not in hand then not brandishing.

    (plus as just posted - that word ''intent''!)
    Chris - P95
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    P95CARRY I agree with you. To me brandishing is a gun in hand or openly diplaying your weapon to show you have a weapon to use. I'm not trying to start any arguements, just trying to understand. For me when they write these laws, they use language that a person like me have a hard time understaning so with a little help with my friends here I'll be able to understand these laws.

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