I Hope To Get Concealed Carry in England

I Hope To Get Concealed Carry in England

This is a discussion on I Hope To Get Concealed Carry in England within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Hi, I'm campaigning to get a concealed carry law passed here in England, I know I've got a long road ahead of me, but we ...

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  1. #1
    New Member Array graham092's Avatar
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    I Hope To Get Concealed Carry in England

    Hi,

    I'm campaigning to get a concealed carry law passed here in England, I know I've got a long road ahead of me, but we have very high violent crime here, and we need to start somewhere.

    In case you're unaware, the UK now has more than 6 times the violent crime of the US, so we need it now more than ever.

    I have a question about using your handgun in self-defense.

    Most states have laws making "brandishing" illegal, but when exactly is showing a handgun against the law ?

    For example, you are approached by someone who is acting very aggressively, threatening you, but has not shown you a weapon.

    Obviously it's wrong to shoot the person outright.

    But imagine if you were to tell the person to back off, and lifted your shirt to reveal a holstered weapon would that count as brandishing a firearm ?

    If revealing a holstered gun didn't work, and you removed it and pointed it at the person at the same time as warning them to leave, would that count as brandishing or would that be lawful ?

    An assailant can overpower you in seconds, so waiting till you are attacked is a really bad idea, can you help please ?

    (P.S. Let me know what US state you're in with your answer)


  2. #2
    VIP Member Array Paco's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forum and good luck on your long endeavor.

    I am in TX and the rule on brandishing varies. What exactly constitutes brandishing? Some say having your gun out waving it around, which I think is brandishing. Others say it is pulling your gun or simply accidentally letting it show when your cover garment moves, say to a wind gust or something similar.

    Most of the time if you perceive that you are in danger you can defend yourself, but keep in mind that you may be called upon to defend yourself once more, in court. In the case of a shooting where no weapon is visible and there is a 1 to 1 stand off it might get sticky, OMO.

    If one is by themselves and 2, 3 or more people are involved then you have a situation where that one is outnumbered and can very quickly become a statistic. In that situation I am thinking that a shooting would be justified.
    "Don't hit a man if you can possibly avoid it; but if you do hit him, put him to sleep." - Theodore Roosevelt

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    Senior Member Array PaulJ's Avatar
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    The way it is defined in Florida:

    If any person having or carrying any ... firearm... in the presence of one of more persons, exhibit the same in a rude, careless, angry, or threatening manner, not in necesary self defense
    So the key point is:
    - others have to be present... nobody cares if nobody sees it :-)
    - it has to be rude/careless/angry/threatening. So a shirt slipping up and exposing the firearm doesn't count (but then again... up to others if they feel threatened)

    It is a bit a tricky law. The main problem is that it all depends on how bystanders perceive your action. The usual worse case scenario: You walk past your worst enemy... he sees your gun print through your shirt and calls the cops explaining that you pulled your gun on him. In this case, it is your word against his and it depends on the jury who they will believe. Oh... and remember that the cops did indeed find a gun on you?

    BTW: The legel term in Florida is "Improper Exhibition of Firearms"
    I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend. (Thomas Jefferson)

  4. #4
    JD
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    A few notes on brandishing...

    Every now and then someone brings this up, I'm going back on my soap box kind of like the potty blog...

    Ok, the definition of "brandishing" is as follows according to the Free Dictionary:

    bran·dish (brndsh)
    tr.v. bran·dished, bran·dish·ing, bran·dish·es
    1. To wave or flourish (a weapon, for example) menacingly.
    2. To display ostentatiously. See Synonyms at flourish.
    n.
    A menacing or defiant wave or flourish.
    Websters defines it as:

    1bran·dish Listen to the pronunciation of 1brandish
    Pronunciation:
    \ˈbran-dish\
    Function:
    transitive verb
    Etymology:
    Middle English braundisshen, from Anglo-French brandiss-, stem of brandir, from brant, braund sword, of Germanic origin; akin to Old English brand
    Date:
    14th century

    1 : to shake or wave (as a weapon) menacingly 2 : to exhibit in an ostentatious or aggressive manner
    synonyms see swing
    So what is brandishing? It's the unlawful act of menacing (intimidating) one with an act, object, or threat of force, generally with a weapon in hand, and that you are implying to injure.

    What is not brandishing? Your gun printing, your gun being carried openly, you walking to your car with a gun, having a gun on your person while in an average discussion, drawing your gun in legal self defense (provided you did not escalate the situation to the point where drawing was needed, the law gets funny when you act like an ass and then have to draw), it's not having a gun in your truck.

    Now that's not to say that you CAN'T brandish while doing things, if you're in an argument, and you pull your cover shirt back and just show the gun, or pull it tight enough to make the gun print in order to make the guns presance known to an individual, THAT'S brandishing.

    If you pull the gun out and start threatening someone outside of normal escalation of force, THAT'S BRANDISHING.

    Lets look at some state laws re: brandishing, I'm not going to go into all 50 states, I'm just going to cover some "gun friendly" states and then go over some states that don't allow CCW or even have a handgun ban (if I can find the info, I guess we'll have to see)

    Virginia

    § 18.2-282. Pointing, holding, or brandishing firearm, air or gas operated weapon or object similar in appearance; penalty.

    A. It shall be unlawful for any person to point, hold or brandish any firearm or any air or gas operated weapon or any object similar in appearance, whether capable of being fired or not, in such manner as to reasonably induce fear in the mind of another or hold a firearm or any air or gas operated weapon in a public place in such a manner as to reasonably induce fear in the mind of another of being shot or injured. However, this section shall not apply to any person engaged in excusable or justifiable self-defense. Persons violating the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor or, if the violation occurs upon any public, private or religious elementary, middle or high school, including buildings and grounds or upon public property within 1,000 feet of such school property, he shall be guilty of a Class 6 felony.

    B. Any police officer in the performance of his duty, in making an arrest under the provisions of this section, shall not be civilly liable in damages for injuries or death resulting to the person being arrested if he had reason to believe that the person being arrested was pointing, holding, or brandishing such firearm or air or gas operated weapon, or object that was similar in appearance, with intent to induce fear in the mind of another.

    C. For purposes of this section, the word "firearm" means any weapon that will or is designed to or may readily be converted to expel single or multiple projectiles by the action of an explosion of a combustible material. The word "ammunition," as used herein, shall mean a cartridge, pellet, ball, missile or projectile adapted for use in a firearm.
    Did you see the high lighted text? I hope so, lets take another look at that piece again.

    However, this section shall not apply to any person engaged in excusable or justifiable self-defense.

    So, lets see, if you have legal justification to draw in self defense, that's not brandishing.

    I think where this one gets sticky when reference to Open Carry is the part that reads as such.

    ...in such a manner as to reasonably induce fear in the mind of another of being shot or injured

    If you ever get charged for his, I want to hear about it, as you probably scared some poor sheep that's never even seen a real live gun before and the commie swine thinks your gun is going to jump out of your holster and kill her little fiddle-fart poodle

    Seriously, it's about intent, unless you're stoopid enough to be playing with your gun in public and it stayed holstered, and you acted accordingly and not like an aggressive ass and didn't menace someone with body language alone, let along the gun on your hip, I can't see anyone that's minding their own business on their daily duties being charged for brandishing.

    Michigan

    The above link is a published opinion from the current Gov. of Mi, Jennifer Granholm from back in her Attorney General days, it's mainly a reply back to someone asking if a holstered gun on a reserve police officer is brandishing... You gotta be kidding right? Even worse is if I'm reading the letter right it was a Senator that wrote in asking about it...what? Did this guy loose a bet with a Police Chief? Or did this Senator try to tell an R.O. that he was brandishing and the R.O. told him to stick it? I gotta' try and find some back story on this.

    Any way, the relevant part is this.

    Section 234e of the Michigan Penal Code does not define the crime of brandishing a firearm in public. The Michigan Criminal Jury Instructions, published by the Committee on Standard Criminal Jury Instructions, does not include a recommended jury instruction on brandishing a firearm. Research discloses that while the term "brandishing" appears in reported Michigan cases,2 none of the cases define the term.

    In the absence of any reported Michigan appellate court decisions defining "brandishing," it is appropriate to rely upon dictionary definitions.
    People v Denio, 454 Mich 691, 699; 564 NW2d 13 (1997). According to The American Heritage Dictionary, Second College Edition (1982), at p 204, the term brandishing is defined as: "1. To wave or flourish menacingly, as a weapon. 2. To display ostentatiously. –n. A menacing or defiant wave or flourish."
    Sound familiar?
    This definition comports with the meaning ascribed to this term by courts of other jurisdictions. For example, in United States v Moerman, 233 F3d 379, 380 (CA 6, 2000), the court recognized that in federal sentencing guidelines, "brandishing" a weapon is defined to mean "that the weapon was pointed or waved about, or displayed in a threatening manner."

    Applying these definitions to your question, it is clear that a reserve police officer, regardless whether he or she qualifies as a "peace officer," when carrying a handgun in a holster in plain view, is not waving or displaying the firearm in a threatening manner. Thus, such conduct does not constitute brandishing a firearm in violation of section 234e of the Michigan Penal Code.
    Lets look at this further with a keen eye, now remember, I'm not a lawyer, nor do I even pretend to be an authority on things, I just read the text and make sens of things the best I can.

    Here we go...

    Applying these definitions to your question=Looking at what the word means and looking at the situation...

    it is clear that a reserve police officer, regardless whether he or she qualifies as a "peace officer,=this person acting as a R.O., qualified as an P.O. or not.

    when carrying a handgun in a holster in plain view, is not waving or displaying the firearm in a threatening manner=the gun is in view, holstered, and left the heck alone.

    is not waving or displaying the firearm in a threatening manner. Thus, such conduct does not constitute brandishing a firearm in violation of section 234e of the Michigan Penal Code.=it's not being waved or pointed, so it's all good.

    So is it not safe to say that the same logic here can be applied to anyone with a gun in a holster, not being waved or pointed?

    The text of 234E does not mention legal self defense, and states the following:

    750.234e Brandishing firearm in public; applicability; violation as misdemeanor; penalty.
    Sec. 234e. (1) Except as provided in subsection (2), a person shall not knowingly brandish a firearm in
    public.
    (2) Subsection (1) does not apply to any of the following:
    (a) A peace officer lawfully performing his or her duties as a peace officer.
    (b) A person lawfully engaged in hunting.
    (c) A person lawfully engaged in target practice.
    (d) A person lawfully engaged in the sale, purchase, repair, or transfer of that firearm.
    (3) A person who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more
    than 90 days, or a fine of not more than $100.00, or both.
    History: Add. 1990, Act 321, Eff. Mar. 28, 1991.
    That's just weird...

    Either way, just carrying your gun should be covered by the before mentioned AGs opinion and it does give a clear definition as to what brandishing is.

    There's more I want to post on this, so there's probably going to be a part 2 as I've got text on OH and WV.


  5. #5
    New Member Array graham092's Avatar
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    thanks for posting, I'm fully supportive on concealed carry, and I just wanted more info.

    Personally, I think showing or threatening someone with a handgun in order to deter them from attacking you is perfectly acceptable, but that's just my opinion.

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    Member Array ImChad's Avatar
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    Gees, in Indiana Brandishing is "a threatening display" whatever that means, but I don't hear much about it if anything. One thing you've got to remember is no two states have like laws here in the US. I can open carry, meaning it just sits on my hip for the world to see, or conceal carry. One state over, in Illinois no one but retired police can pack. The common citizen has no right. I think Ohio doesn't allow open carry from what I recall and requires you to hide it. Not to get into this discussion, but more 'allowances' are better. Some people have gotten in trouble for reaching to a top shelf in a cc only state and exposing their sidearm. They're forced to hide it like its a bad thing. In my state open carry is a reminder that they need to go one state over to take advantage of the people.


    I would suggest going one step further and shooting for "carry rights" and not just conceal carry. As an honest upstanding citizens I don't think you should have to hide it like its a bad thing. Good luck and keep us informed on how your struggles are going. If there's something I can help out with please let me know.
    They can't take your right to own a firearm. They can ask with force and you can answer any way you choose.

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    VIP Member Array David in FL's Avatar
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    Wow.....I'll give you credit for the effort. You've got a looooong row to hoe over there!

    Good luck, and welcome to the forum!
    "Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in a grey twilight that knows not victory nor defeat."

    Theodore Roosevelt

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    Welcome to the forum. Good luck on your fight, I have a feeling though a snowball in hell stands a better chance.

    As to the scenario's you mentioned:

    For example, you are approached by someone who is acting very aggressively, threatening you, but has not shown you a weapon.
    But imagine if you were to tell the person to back off, and lifted your shirt to reveal a holstered weapon would that count as brandishing a firearm ?
    In most states that is considered brandishing. At a minimum you have lost your license to carry, not to mention possible jail time. To go along with the lose of license, if you are convicted of a felony you lose your right to vote as well as own firearms period.

    If revealing a holstered gun didn't work, and you removed it and pointed it at the person at the same time as warning them to leave, would that count as brandishing or would that be lawful ?
    Congratulations, you have just bought yourself assault with a deadly weapons charges. Even in states with very liberal gun laws it is illegal to point a weapon at an unarmed person. You will now have the state housing and feeding you fow a few years.
    Last edited by archer51; December 29th, 2008 at 02:34 PM. Reason: added thought
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    Member Array raytracer's Avatar
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    graham092, Good Luck to you! Are you even allowed to own concealable firearms, or is that the first hurdle you have to address?

    A lot of people say that if the gun comes out, there's going to be shooting. I do believe that once you've drawn, you better be ready to use the thing - but if the assailant de-escalates, you must do the same, and un-ass the area as fast as possible.

    Some would call this "brandishing", I would call it "defensive use of a firearm". Even though you didn't have to discharge the weapon it was still the decisive factor in stopping the threat.

    Most of the instructors I know, and my lawyer, advocate contacting the police as soon as possible if you have to draw but not shoot. There is a chance that your assailant may call the police with your description and say you threatened him with a gun. No matter how it turns out, the first person that calls is going to be logged as the complainant - i.e. "victim". You want that to be you. It also may be that your assailant is a known "bad actor" already wanted for other crimes and they might be able to roll up on him and prevent him from victimizing others.

    As my lawyer says, if you carry a gun you should carry a reload, but you must carry a cell phone. If you leave the phone at home, leave the gun at home.

    You have quite a task in front of you. I can't imagine how a society that had the Nazis literally on their doorstep allowed themselves to be disarmed within a couple generations. I hope you succeed, but if you end up deciding to throw in the towel, you're welcome over here. We have quite a fight in front of us too in "clinging" to our rights, but we still have a strong foothold.

    Joe

  10. #10
    Distinguished Member Array T Bone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by graham092 View Post
    thanks for posting, I'm fully supportive on concealed carry, and I just wanted more info.

    Personally, I think showing or threatening someone with a handgun in order to deter them from attacking you is perfectly acceptable, but that's just my opinion.
    Trouble there is if it doesn't work (it may). You should never expect that to work. You put yourself at a disadvantage and risk of being disarmed if that is your approach. Never draw unless prepared to fire if nec.

    Never give up the element of surprise you have on drawing the weapon, and never draw the weapon unless you are in fear for your life. At that point, laws be damned, you need to survive to be prosecuted (note: Not suggesting disregarding ANY law, merely pointing out that if you got killed, the fact that you didn't produce weapon for fear of legal reprisal, it really is a moot point). Applying the "fear for your life" standard, you will still be okay legally in most jurisdictions where you are allowed to be armed, and if not, oh well (the old "better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6" comes to mind).

    As you are aware, brandishing is a complicated issue, and will vary greatly from US State to US State, as will rules of engagement WRT use of deadly force.

    BTW, forgive my ignorance, but.... you can have hand guns in the UK? I thought they'd been outright banned!

    I wish you loads of luck in your pitched battle for the right to self defense. If you find yourself not getting proper motivation from either side, you might try dumping a boatload of tea into the English Channel....
    Regards, T Bone.


    "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety". Benjamin Franklin

  11. #11
    Ex Member Array BikerRN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by graham092 View Post
    thanks for posting, I'm fully supportive on concealed carry, and I just wanted more info.

    Personally, I think showing or threatening someone with a handgun in order to deter them from attacking you is perfectly acceptable, but that's just my opinion.
    Howdy Mr. Graham.

    I would have to take issue with your belief, because it leads to too much of a "slippery slope".

    I would strongly encourage you to purchase and read, "In the Gravest Extreme" by Massad Ayoob. I think you will gain some good information that may be useful to you in presenting your arguement for concealed carry.

    Until someone is in the "act" of attacking you, or displays means, intent and ability to attack you, you would not be justified in drawing, much less using your firearm. If you are in fear of your life because a "thug" is standing on a street corner you need to not go near that corner and learn to practice avoidance. Using DEADLY FORCE is an act of last resort in most jurisdictions, as it should be.

    Law Enforcement can use the display of deadly force to gain compliance from a subject, pursuant to a lawful arrest, but you are not a law enforcement officer. There is a BIG difference sir. In the commission of my job I may point and or fire a weapon at someone to gain compliance and stop certain actions, you as a citizen have no legal obligation or statutory authority to do so.

    Trust me, the only gunfight that anyone "wins" is the one where no shots are fired. If you are truely in fear of your life, and feel that you are going to be killed, that is the time to display your weapon, not before.

    There are two sides to every story, and remember, the bad guy is going to have a version of the story that will probably be vastly different from your's. The bad guy, BG for short, is probably going to say he was walking down the street minding his own business, or words to that effect, when all of a sudden a "crazy man pulled out a gun and pointed it at him."

    Yes, you are behind the power curve in regards to dealing with the criminal element, but so is law enforcement to a large degree. We both depend on tactics and a more than small degree of luck. The tactics of a concealed weapon carrier should be to avoid confrontation, IMHO.

    Now do not confuse "avoidance" with the in-ability to use a weapon. Point a gun at me, or be within a few feet of me brandishing a knife, and see what happens. If ability, means and opportunity are met I will respond. It may be to run the other way and it may not be. Each and every situation is different sir.

    Now just to clarify, when I am off duty, I avoid situations, just as I would advise a concealed weapons carrier to do. Good luck with your quest mate, you're going to need a lot of support in regards to this endeavor.

    Biker

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    New Member Array graham092's Avatar
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    Handguns have been banned in the UK for more than 10 years, the problem is that somebody forgot to tell the criminals !!!!

    We have a political party here called the British National Party that support the right to have guns for self defence in Britain.
    They are gaining support at an alarming rate.

    Look at this UK general election manifesto
    (look at the bottom of page 11)

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/bsp/h..._manifesto.pdf


    For this reason, I think we stand a good chance of achieving this someday.

    Finally, thanks for all your replies -

    Is it a good idea to carry pepper spray or mace as well as a handgun ?

    Would this help in situation where a pulling a gun isn't justified, I think possibly.
    Last edited by graham092; December 29th, 2008 at 03:23 PM. Reason: adding more information

  13. #13
    Senior Member Array ronwill's Avatar
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    I wish you the best of luck. To reverse laws to allow handgun ownership and then get concealed carry allowed is going to be a long, hard battle.
    Member NRA, SAF and Georgiacarry.org
    “America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.” Abraham Lincoln

  14. #14
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    For the record, open carry is perfectly LEGAL in Ohio with the exception of motor vehicles. You have to have a CHL recognizable by the State of Ohio to carry a loaded HANDGUN in/or on a motor vehicle. Also, there is no such thing as BRANDISHING in Ohio.

    Good luck on your mission in England, you'll need it.

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    Member Array Mxyzptlk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by graham092 View Post
    Personally, I think showing or threatening someone with a handgun in order to deter them from attacking you is perfectly acceptable, but that's just my opinion.
    It really depends on what the community wants to establish as acceptable behavior for a person who has a gun. That's what comes first. What the community/town/city/state/nation wants to approve or tolerate. Then it gets codified in a law.

    Since you're starting with a blank sheet of paper...it can be done whichever way it seems best to the deciders.

    As you can tell from the other fine posts here in this thread (and others), America has a hodge podge of laws and interpretations regarding the issue you bring up.

    Some of our lawyers drive fine European luxury motor cars and put their children through very good schools with their proceeds from their services to folks who get charged with various gun violations, including the sometimes mysterious brandishing.

    I expect, should you be successful in getting concealed carry over in bonnie England, that there will be many mysterious provisions of the newly applicable laws--and that some of your attorneys will drive fine American luxury motor cars and put their children through very good schools....

    Best of luck in your effort.

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