brandishing your Firearm

This is a discussion on brandishing your Firearm within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; what do you feel would be the minimum threat for brandishing your firearm, living in MA makes you wonder what the point would be in ...

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Thread: brandishing your Firearm

  1. #1
    New Member Array Jessr's Avatar
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    brandishing your Firearm

    what do you feel would be the minimum threat for brandishing your firearm, living in MA makes you wonder what the point would be
    in carrying because once you draw right or wrong your pretty much toast.

    Firearms gone, license gone and potential jail time.

    So define what would be for a lack of a better word acceptable to draw your firearm with minimal legal risk. I understand the threat
    scenerio but what would be the least.

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  3. #2
    Distinguished Member Array SCXDm9's Avatar
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    The same as firing your weapon in self defense.
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    Member Array .45acpguy's Avatar
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    I commiserate with your dilemma.

    I left Massachusetts back in the 70's in order to live in a less constitutionally restricted state.

    However, there has been a disappointing upsurge in the number of liberal/progressive voters in my newer state of residence--Colorado.

    Oh well, the New Hampshire border is blessedly nearby for you; I would consider making a move to the "Live Free Or Die" state.
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    Ex Member Array rosj2002's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jessr View Post
    what do you feel would be the minimum threat for brandishing your firearm, living in MA makes you wonder what the point would be
    in carrying because once you draw right or wrong your pretty much toast.

    Firearms gone, license gone and potential jail time.

    So define what would be for a lack of a better word acceptable to draw your firearm with minimal legal risk. I understand the threat
    scenerio but what would be the least.
    To be quite honest with you......I don't think your definition of 'threat' is the same as mine. The threat means life or death, or at least a fear for yourself being gravely harmed or killed or disparity of force (three against you with certain objects). Brandishing a weapon is simply no answer for an imminent life threatening scenario (that would likely get you killed AND your gun taken away). The actual threat should never see the profile of your weapon.....or the grip with your hand on it.......only the open end of the barrel. "Minimum"? A true threat to your life can't be gauged on a scale of 1-10. It's a simple yes or no ordeal. Around my neck of the woods it's concealed carry only (for the time being)....which means I could face charges for 'brandishing' a weapon. An accidental exposure might get me a warning and I'd never even want to go down that road.
    My suggestion is simple. Think in more simple terms like draw or don't draw.

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    Member Array ChadliusNH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by .45acpguy View Post
    I commiserate with your dilemma.

    I left Massachusetts back in the 70's in order to live in a less constitutionally restricted state.

    However, there has been a disappointing upsurge in the number of liberal/progressive voters in my newer state of residence--Colorado.

    Oh well, the New Hampshire border is blessedly nearby for you; I would consider making a move to the "Live Free Or Die" state.
    I second that as long as you are not a Democrat. We have had quite the influx of Mass. Dems up here and they are trying to push that crap on us. They recently failed to repeal our Stand your ground law last month due to our senate still being GOP Led.

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    VIP Member Array Badey's Avatar
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    If a bad guy sees my firearm, that means I had to draw it. If I had to draw it, there had to have been an imminent threat to my life or permanent well-being.
    Though defensive violence will always be a sad necessity in the eyes of men of principle, it would be still more unfortunate if wrongdoers should dominate just men -St. Augustine

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    New Member Array Jessr's Avatar
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    Let me clarify, where does an assault on your person fall in this.

    If your are about to be physically assaulted would this meet the guidelines of life threatening you cant wait until its to late, can you use brandishing
    to prevent an intended assault on your person or to protect another.

    Sorry but in MA there is so much gray area

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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jessr View Post
    what do you feel would be the minimum threat for brandishing your firearm ...
    Quote Originally Posted by Jessr View Post
    So define what would be for a lack of a better word acceptable to draw your firearm with minimal legal risk.
    Well, now. IMO those are two completely different things. One is the minimum threat justifying drawing, while the other is the least-possible legal risk of drawing.

    About the only answer that'll fly in all "carry" states would be, basically: when you're about to pass out during a violent attack and have no other option.

    Reality is somewhat different, though, at least in states that aren't gunnin' for your butt (like MA and a few other anti-gunner, anti-defense states). Know your own state's statutes cold, including the definitions on use-of-force, what constitutes "brandishing," and so on.

    IMO, brandishing is unjustifiable, being an act of deliberate unjustifiable intimidation with a weapon. Whereas, at least in states that don't criminalize justifiable drawing, drawing one's weapon in presentation in advance of firing is a kind of two-step approach to warding off the violence that's upon us. Depends heavily on the statutes, of course. But in many states, it's fully justifiable that drawing when an impending violent felony is occurring; and it's fully justifiable to fire when an impending violent felony is occurring. Still, even in such states, I'm no more interested in getting strung up by the DA/GJ as anyone else.

    My basic standard is that of The Deadly Force Triangle, consisting of Ability, Opportunity, Jeopardy (refer to my siggy line, below). Basically, if there's a violent felony that's imminent or occurring against me, I'm looking for (a) the felon's credible ability to harm me, (b) the felon's specific opportunity and ability to get to me (ie, barred by a heavy security door doesn't cut it), and (c) I believe I'm in actual jeopardy of crippling injury or loss of life because of it. Tweaked based on the state's statutes, of course, but basically this is a fairly high standard. It's relatively straightforward to justify; it's fairly clear when all three elements exist; and a number of well-known and -respected defensive experts and agencies subscribe to this basic standard as a guide for justifiability.

    Having never lived in a truly anti-gunner, anti-defense state, myself, I can't speak to how you'd be treated with this. But, presuming this AOJ standard is above and beyond your state's statutory requirements for use-of-force (specifically deadly force), I would bet you would have a hard time actually finding something less likely to get you in legal hot water .... beyond the obvious hot water you'll already be in simply by virtue of having been involved in a situation where someone was injured or died.


    As always, if you've got any questions at all about your state's requirements for use-of-force and distinctions between drawing and firing (for example), by all means seek out a competent attorney skilled and experienced in the area of firearms and defense law, someone who also has a strong track record with defending self-defense cases.
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    Distinguished Member Array SCXDm9's Avatar
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    To expand a little bit... and maybe I think to much but here it is. Can you imagine drawing your gun in hopes of "toning down" a situation? Well what if the cocky "potential" bad guy says "oh so you going to shoot me? I called your wife fat (or whatever) so you going to shoot me? " as he comes toward you... but not really threating you... to me it gets VERY mushy as to where the line is.

    This is what I have decided for myself, if I draw my gun, I plan to fire as soon as I get on target. I pray that between the time I make the decision to draw and I get on target something changes so I do not have to pull the trigger!
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    New Member Array CamFord710's Avatar
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    Brandishing possibly saved me from trouble one night and possibly my life. I was walking back to my truck through a parking lot one night, when I got close I noticed a man was looking into the windows of my truck on the opposite side. When he noticed me, he walked around the truck and began walking toward me with his hands in the pockets of his jacket, and yelled out "HEY! CAN YOU COME HELP ME!?". I was carrying with an unzipped jacket as a cover garment at the moment. As he continued to close the distance, I stopped swept back my jacket with my arm and gripped my Glock 23 and began to draw. I don't even think the muzzle had completely cleared the holster before he had turned around and high tailed it in the other direction.

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    Senior Member Array DocT65's Avatar
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    "Brandishing" essentially means a weapon is displayed in a "threatening or intimidating manner" (that's very broad, subjective and open to some degree of interpretation) that is otherwise unlawful or unjustified. As a civilian with a CC permit, it should be a relatively easy situation to avoid if you follow the cardinal rule of never drawing your weapon unless you are in a situation that would put a "reasonably prudent" person in fear of his/her life. In many, if not most, of such instances the weapon will not only be drawn but will be fired as well.

    As a CC permit holder in most jurisdictions, non-LE individuals do not have the legal authority to use a firearm to gain compliance or act in the capacity of a LEO. You really should consult your local DA or state attorney as to the specifics in your area. As always, it's a good idea to document the conversation to include question asked, answer given and who you spoke with. A better way is in writing or by e-mail, so you have a hard copy of the reply you were given. Answers on a forum are basically worth what it cost you. Good luck.
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    New Member Array Jessr's Avatar
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    That is exactly the type of circumstances I am looking for, thank you. but was it legal ?

    Example, so my wife and I are out enjoying the day and someone obviousy thinks my wife is attractive and begins
    to harrass her, I ask him to back off but he continues and starts getting a little hot, I again ask for him to move on
    and now it becomes beligerant and his friends show up, you leave they follow and now the pushing and shoving starts
    and there really is no place to retreat to because your at a cars show or something public like that.

    Oh yeah by the way my wife is hot and its a pain in the ass, should of married an ugly woman wouldn't have all these problems

  14. #13
    Senior Member Array DocT65's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jessr View Post
    That is exactly the type of circumstances I am looking for, thank you. but was it legal ?

    Example, so my wife and I are out enjoying the day and someone obviousy thinks my wife is attractive and begins
    to harrass her, I ask him to back off but he continues and starts getting a little hot, I again ask for him to move on
    and now it becomes beligerant and his friends show up, you leave they follow and now the pushing and shoving starts
    and there really is no place to retreat to because your at a cars show or something public like that.

    Oh yeah by the way my wife is hot and its a pain in the ass, should of married an ugly woman wouldn't have all these problems
    At the end of the day, you would have to be able to convince a jury of your "peers" that you were in fear for your life. You also must be completely comfortable with the reality of shooting and killing someone the second that weapon comes out. If the answer to either is anything but a resounding "yes", best to move on and call for LE. Remember your first obigation is to remove yourself from the situation (flee) if possible. Deadly force is always looked upon as a last resort, not a means of winning a pis*ing match.
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    VIP Member Array paaiyan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jessr View Post
    That is exactly the type of circumstances I am looking for, thank you. but was it legal ?

    Example, so my wife and I are out enjoying the day and someone obviousy thinks my wife is attractive and begins
    to harrass her, I ask him to back off but he continues and starts getting a little hot, I again ask for him to move on
    and now it becomes beligerant and his friends show up, you leave they follow and now the pushing and shoving starts
    and there really is no place to retreat to because your at a cars show or something public like that.

    Oh yeah by the way my wife is hot and its a pain in the ass, should of married an ugly woman wouldn't have all these problems
    If you show the gun, you're using the gun. If you brandish it you had better be justified in shooting. If not you're looking at brandishing at a minimum, if there's a specific charge for that. Or you could be looking at assault with a deadly weapon.
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    Distinguished Member Array chuckusaret's Avatar
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    Florida law on Brandishing a Weapon

    Improper exhibition of a firearm and or improper display of a weapon are crimes governed by Florida Statute 790.10. This statute is officially titled as "improper exhibition of dangerous weapons or firearms", and the statute states that "if any person having or carrying any . . . weapon shall, in the presence of one or more (other) persons, exhibit the same in a rude, careless, angry or threatening manner, not in necessary self defense, the person so offending shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree".

    I suggest he read his states law the on improper exhibition of dangerous weapons or firearms.
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