Drawing And Holding Gun At the Ready - Legalities?

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Thread: Drawing And Holding Gun At the Ready - Legalities?

  1. #1
    Ex Member Array detective's Avatar
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    Drawing And Holding Gun At the Ready - Legalities?

    (By holding a gun "at the ready" it means to me the gun is out of the holster and angled down in front of you, so all you would need to do to fire is raise it, aim or point-shoot, whichever is most appropriate)

    The whole subject of when you can draw in any fashion is a bit confusing to me. So, let me give you an example of a situation where no one has made an attacking move but you are aware that that point could be growing very near:

    You park on the only available street with a space within a reasonable distance to a party you go to. The street is quite dark and near an area of crime. That night as you walk back towards you car after leaving the party, still half a block away from your car, 4 guys walk quickly towards you appearing around one corner. They begin to yell out insults and when near, their seeming "leader" stands in front of you blocking your way forward on the sidewalk and says something like: "Hey my friends Mr Suit and Tie here looks like he has some good money on him" and all 4 begin to joke about your fine clothes and money you must have on you - at the same time each slowly moves into a circle around you, one either side, one behind and the original guy in front. At this point you sense an attack that could be moments away. It's not happening nor is anyone actually threatened you directly. So you have no Justification to just start firing. But their taunting talk about your money and physical moves into a circle around you feels very threatening to you. And if at once, they all ran into you and started their attack then drawing a gun would be dicey, next to no time and perps all around, next to no insurance your arms wouldn't be pinned so fast by the group you couldn't draw at that point etc You need them to initially get out of that tight circle and then have them take off of to prevent this possible attack.

    So, drawing your gun and keeping it at ready pointed down, and telling the group to leave you in safety or you'll shoot might be a good technique. Your gun is ready to go in an instant, and the sight of it could make "the guys" exit fast.

    In a case like this, would it be legal to unholster and hold you gun at ready? Or would that still be considered "Brandishing" by Police?


    Thanks for any input in this "in-between" situation
    Last edited by detective; July 30th, 2013 at 10:24 PM.

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  3. #2
    VIP Member Array Ghost1958's Avatar
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    Not going to be circled like that with those verbal things being said regardless. Once youve let that happen if they are determined you waited to long to do something. Legal or not block my way talking about how much money I have and start to begin circling me you will most likely be drawn on and where it goes from there is up to the four musketeers in the scenario.

    First order of business is survive. Disparity of force, threatening manner, threatening movements, circling me is not an in between situation. Its a draw before I get circled and what they decide after that is on them.
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    Brandishing your weapon is subjective. Any normal person would realize this would be an okay time to draw your weapon. Best case scenario, you pull your pistol, they scatter and you go home never to see them again. Worst case scenario, you draw your weapon, they run away, a bystander sees the whole incident and calls police saying someone is walking around with his pistol in his hand. At this point you have convince the police you made the right decision. If he doesnt believe you and takes you in for brandishing you then will be trying to convince the judge you were within your right to draw your weapon.

    I dont take any chances with situations like this but that doenst mean I draw on everyone that looks suspicious or I come in contact with.
    detective likes this.

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    Distinguished Member Array technomonster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by America View Post
    Double post.
    you can delete a post with the edit option.
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    Distinguished Member Array technomonster's Avatar
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    this is when mace or light would help, if you let them surround you it's already too late. i would of moved if some one appeared in front of me unexpectedly.

    move, draw but keep the gun close, use weak hand to help retain weapon or block, or deploy less then lethal option.
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    VIP Member Array gottabkiddin's Avatar
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    Personally, I wouldn't pull the pistol until I know it's on. I would however pull up my cover shirt and grasp my pistol as if I was going to draw and give the verbal commands several times in a very loud manor. This should gain attention and witnesses galore. If you are forced to defend yourself, you should have plenty of good witnesses to back up your situation. JMO YMMV.



    Finished reading the scenario.... Why continue to walk into a group of insulting fellows.. At that point, turn and walk the other way while calling the police. Send them the real insult of being arrested and jailed.
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    Distinguished Member Array kelcarry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gottabkiddin View Post
    Personally, I wouldn't pull the pistol until I know it's on. I would however pull up my cover shirt and grasp my pistol as if I was going to draw and give the verbal commands several times in a very loud manor. This should gain attention and witnesses galore. If you are forced to defend yourself, you should have plenty of good witnesses to back up your situation. JMO YMMV.

    This advice is one of several things you should do or could have done. Witnesses, witnesses, witnesses--you need them after the fact and by yelling and screaming that you do not want this possible confrontation to go any further you are demonstrating that you are the victim, even if these morons end up dead. Two things should have happened before you get to screaming and yelling--1) Situational awareness tells me that I will not park my car in a location that is begging for a problem--if that is all that is available, I might not even park and might just go home 2) Situational awareness also tells me to be very very aware of everything. Slightest movements and other people, particularly what appears to be a group of morons, means I begin walking, running--doing anything to evade the potential confrontation---while I am doing this I might "adjust" the location of my firearm so that it can be immediately withdrawn without the hindrance of reaching halfway around my shirt to a holster located on the side of my waist. As far as having the firearm at arms length by my side---as said in one of the replies--it really is brandishing and the supposed morons can now see it, draw and shoot you as the BG. I understand everything that is said in the thread and it is easy to write on a compurer, but you have to be careful in this asylum currently known as the USA. Trayvon is watching.
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    Member Array xrmattaz's Avatar
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    Disparity of force.
    Fear for my life.
    Limited possibility of retreat.
    What would a reasonable and prudent person do?
    What would a police officer do in a four on one situation of this magnitude?

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    I've been in the so-called circle before, but wasn't carrying at the time as this happened about 20 years ago. I got the crap beat out of me and left for dead. So, what would I do now that I carry? For one, I've became a hell of a lot smarter and aware of my surroundings, therefor, I try to avoid anything that just doesn't look right. Deep down inside, if this were to happen to me again...I may be the one going to jail, but I won't be the one lying on the ground this time.
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    VIP Member Array Snub44's Avatar
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    ...I carry to stop a threat...I'd be threatened the second 4 thug-types began the dialogue about what money I might have on me and ONE blocks my way...it's "on"...
    ...I would NOT waste time or energy yelling or saying anything...they'd clearly understand my message...the rest would be up to them...
    ...I know I could relate the story to the police in an easily-understood manner...no worry...

    ...we have a law in Texas, by the way, that specifically justifies my behavior...but it wouldn't change even if we didn't ...it's what any reasonable man would do...if he understood what was happening...
    ...we do not have a law about "brandishing"...


    ...for those who might not have caught it: "...near an area of crime..." in the OPs story translates to "ANYTIME, ANYPLACE"...

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    Distinguished Member Array BadgerJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kelcarry View Post
    ... As far as having the firearm at arms length by my side---as said in one of the replies--it really is brandishing and the supposed morons can now see it, draw and shoot you as the BG. I understand everything that is said in the thread and it is easy to write on a compurer, but you have to be careful in this asylum currently known as the USA. Trayvon is watching.
    Key point. Thus, if you have a cover garment like a sweatsuit jacket you can put the firearm in the pocket (like in the old gangster movies). You've got them covered and they don't know it. BUT the best response is to seek some kind of cover and call 911 and start shouting - 'get back, you're not going to assault and rob me, I'm on the phone with the dispatcher, there are four of you, I'm in fear for my life, GO AWAY, the cops are coming' and stuff like that - the dispatcher hears it all, then the gun shots (as needed). It is all about witnesses and proving your case after the fact. Of course, try not to walk alone after dark, don't park in bad places, get a ride to your car, etc.

    YOU DO NOT want to let yourself get lead into or trapped in a kill zone where chaos is potentially high and options are few. That's why these scenarios are so tough - you are now in a single option situation if you are surrounded. ACT well in advance and avoid these.

    Good thread.
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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by detective View Post
    They begin to yell out insults and when near, their seeming "leader" stands in front of you blocking your way forward on the sidewalk and says something like: "Hey my friends Mr Suit and Tie here looks like he has some good money on him" and all 4 begin to joke about your fine clothes and money you must have on you - as the same time each slowly moves into a circle around you ..
    That's about all you need to know.

    Words are one thing. But words clearly threatening, disparity of force, moving in concert against you, cornering you, manifesting the thought behind those threats spoken to you ... all of these combined say one thing, quite clearly: strong-arm robbery in progress, at minimum. If you wait much longer, you're almost assured of getting seriously beaten, if not killed. Time to stop it, now. What I'd do, at that point, is (if armed with my sidearm) draw and aim at the most-aggressive (or lead) one, dictating the terms of the next seconds. Unless they immediately halted and went prone or turned and ejected, I'd not hesitate. Manifest intent to violently harm, despite clear evidence of the ability to bring deadly force to bear, with zero retreat possible, outnumbered four to one. Not a lot of options, there. But that's just me, in my state with the statutes that apply to me and such situations. Know the statutes that apply to you, and know them well.

    You want to wait it out, hoping against hope that you can negotiate their backing down, while they're surrounding you and seeking chinks in your armor? You're welcome to try out that technique. But if you've already drawn and they've not already backed away or gone prone, you are in a world of hurt as they clearly believe they can best you despite the force you can bring, and at that point your life is clearly at risk.

    Of course, not all state statutes and county DA's are so accommodating to recognize clear situations as this. And in any situation where you're solo with four witness testimonies against you, it might well be hard to claim what's true and have it be believed. Things to think about, perhaps, beforehand. But when such a situation finds you, blowing your time and hoping for negotiations to stick aren't going to go very far to saving your butt.
    BenGoodLuck and wbarrett like this.
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    ASK A LAWYER, not us.
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    Distinguished Member Array Bill MO's Avatar
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    The when it's on is different for everyone of us. It comes with our feeling of a deadly threat and/or physical harm and our being able to convey that fact to others.

    I am in the camp of those who draw only when the threat is present but there are situations I can see where I would draw and have the gun in hand. If I was to do the gun in hand it would be done discreetly keeping the gun hidden from the BG's view until the need to use it was present. One way would be to turn hiding the draw then holding the gun behind my leg, then if needed you only have to raise the gun to firing position.

    I just don't like letting the gun being seen by BG or all other witnesses until there is a need for it's use. I see anytime the gun is shown and not used you are open to a brandishing charge.

    As to your situation in OP my gun would be out and being used before they had me completely surrounded. Disparity of force would fit the threat/harm criteria in my eyes.
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    ...in the situation described, the only way you will stop the threat is for them to see that you are ready and able to use whatever force necessary to stop them...and they must see that before any circling takes place...

    ...if your state even has a law forbidding brandishing, become familiar with what it says...it's a big, bad-sounding "legal" word...but it really just means "show 'em what you got"...
    ...in the situation, decide if showing 'em what you got is necessary...drawing and hiding it behind your leg is not effective in stopping the threat...

    ...before someone brings it up...what if you have a duty to retreat in your state, and you turn and run like hell? what are your chances?
    USM1976 and Aceoky like this.

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