This is the wv brandishing law
WV Code § 61-7-11 :: §61-7-11. Brandishing deadly weapons; threatening or causing breach of the peace; criminal penalties. :: 2011 West Virginia Code :: US Codes and Statutes :: US Law :: Justia
It shall be unlawful for any person armed with a firearm or other deadly weapon, whether licensed to carry the same or not, to carry, brandish or use such weapon in a way or manner to cause, or threaten, a breach of the peace. Any person violating this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than fifty nor more than one thousand dollars, or shall be confined in the county jail not less than ninety days nor more than one year, or both.
Well, a good guideline to go by is:
Are you familiar with this?
Im also 21 and pretty new to carrying (only had my permit for about six months now), but you need to do what I did and still do to this day...
Read STATE LAW's, any and all that are applicable that have to do with deadly force, firearms, etc. Now keep reading. READ BOOKS written by Massad Ayoob! TAKE CLASSES on concealed carry! TRAIN TRAIN TRAIN! Any free time I had I was/am either reading, training, or learning as much as I can.
Its all about knowledge. Use it to your advantage, this way the gray line between when you can and cannot use force becomes slightly clearer and clearer.
But seriously, read, train, and train as much as you can.
Not knowing your state laws, my reaction would be as follows.
1-2 thugs, unarmed: I don't pull unless one of them verbally announces a robbery, or that they are about to assault me. If they don't verbally announce, the moment one of them takes physical action against me I will do everything I can to put holes in them.
1-2 thugs, armed with some sort of weapon: The moment I feel they are acting in a threatening manner, approaching too closely with obvious violent intent, etc, I will pull.
3+ thugs, armed or unarmed: As soon as they start to show aggression and intent to hurt me, I pull.
The most important aspect seems to be "breach of the peace". It appears that WV law defines that very broadly. Even insulting words can cause a breach of the peace. If a person's or group's actions cause you to feel threatened, and particularly if you warn them of this and/or attempt to remove yourself from the situation and they continue the behavior........... that would seem to constitute a breach of the peace. If it exists already, you can't "create" or "threaten" to create it by 'brandishing" your weapon. But be prepared (mentally) to use it if you have to. I'm not a lawyer, just a retired cop, so don't take this as legal advice! You probably want to review some WV cases of self-defense with a firearm and talk to an attorney who has litigation experience there. And training is an excellent suggestion, because CCW involves a lot of responsibility! Recognize that the permit class was only a primer!
I believe that you should not bring a gun out unless you have already made the decision to shoot, and then you should not hesitate. Producing a gun in the hope it will deter an attacker has immense negative potential. It can escalate an incident. Or you might encounter some idiot who will force you to shoot him once the gun enters the equation. There is no pat answer. For me it works this way..........If you think you have to kill someone, bring the gun out and do it. Otherwise - don't!
Or the guy in Texas, who had a CCW, a camcorder, and a whole bunch of CCW "patent" phrases. Like "I'm in fear of my life, they're coming to get me... I'm standing my ground!"
Thugs you scare off with a gun may very well call 911, especially if they can make you look like the bad guy.
CALL 911 FIRST!
A lot of people here seem to have very unhealthily steep dropoffs on their use of force continuums.
1. Use of deadly force and the threat to use deadly force are not legally, morally, or practically identical. Some things justify drawing a firearm (being in reasonable fear of an offense against your person or property) but not shooting a firearm (unless the feared offense occurs and escalates to a level where you would be in reasonable fear of imminent death or great bodily harm- or whatever the legal standard and language is in your state). To make is as clear as possible, because I beat this zombie horse all the time, in most jurisdictions you would be justified in drawing or displaying your legally carried firearm to ward off a strongarm robber (that is, a person who demands money through intimidation but does not present a deadly weapon). You would not, however, be justified in shooting said robber unless you could articulate why you felt in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm (or again, whatever the language is in your state). Another scenario: You come out of a store at night to find someone busily trying to jimmy his way past the lock on your driver's side door. You would probably be legally justified in confronting this person with a drawn firearm (Whether this is prudent is up for debate) because they are in the process of committing a felony against your property. You would not be justified in actually shooting them unless they actually made a credible threat likely to result in death or great bodily harm.
2. In the scenario the OP described, there are many other options besides brandishing a firearm. If you are walking down the street and are approached by a small group of people, you can move to the other side of the street. Or go back into your place of employment or another open and occupied building. If they follow you, you can verbally tell them to leave you alone. If they persist, you can say that you're calling the police, and that you don't want any trouble, but you are armed. None of which involves brandishing your gun.
3. The best way to know when you should draw your weapon is when- in whatever situation you find yourself- you know immediately beyond a shadow of a doubt that whatever happens if you DON'T draw your weapon is going to be worse than what happens if you DO. And that's because a gun never solves problems, it only gives you a chance to make a fatal problem less bad. If after the fact you can then articulate specifically WHY you felt that way (assuming you are reasonable), then you're legally justified just about anywhere.
Thanks for your input guys! I work 2-3 miles from my house and sometimes I walk ( whenever my girlfriend also works, I would rather walk home then risk the chance of her having to walk home if she gets off work before me ) when I walk home it's usually back roads through the city, so if I would get robbed there isn't anywhere to go from several hundred yards, this is why I asked! Looks like i am going to have to start reading Massad Ayoob