Virginia Law on Brandishing

Virginia Law on Brandishing

This is a discussion on Virginia Law on Brandishing within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; This is in the category of I cannot believe it. I am a Neighborhood Watch Coordinator. Some bad neighbors are upset that I have called ...

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Thread: Virginia Law on Brandishing

  1. #1
    New Member Array mindingmyown's Avatar
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    Virginia Law on Brandishing

    This is in the category of I cannot believe it. I am a Neighborhood Watch Coordinator. Some bad neighbors are upset that I have called the police about their delinquents illegally riding ATVs and racing down the street. As part of patrolling my neighborhood (which we are encouraged to do) I typically use concealed carry (and have the CHP for it!). Several months ago there was an incident that I had to call the police for I ended up exiting my vehicle when I happened to be in open carry (again, legal in Virginia). Mind you, I never removed the gun from the holster, never touched the gun and never even talked to anyone other than the police while I had the gun visible.

    Now I'm told that one of those bad neighbors is trying to get charges filed against me for brandishing under Virginia Code -- I assume because he is ticked off that when he beat on my door yesterday upset that I chased his little delinquents from my yard where they were trespassing (no gun carried at all nor any threat of any!), I then ordered him from my property (the parent). When he refused to leave I called the police who then responded.

    In Virginia has it become brandishing simply because I wore a gun???


  2. #2
    Member Array Red82's Avatar
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    No def. not. I have been open carrying for only a week but the cops... in Va Beach at least... that I've talked to have no problem with OC or CCL for that matter. The police will kindly make your neighbor aware of the laws as long as you werent showing it on your hip in a manner that was like.. look i have a gun so you better do what i say.

    Good luck!
    Protection is a responsibility not just a right.

  3. #3
    Member Array Klaatu's Avatar
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    Neighbors, BAH! I grew up on a road that was file miles long and there were only two houses on it, both ours. Everywhere I have lived since then is WAY too crowded. We have three acres and I feel like I am living in a fish bowl.

    I must observe, however, that your choice of user name does not exactly reflect your Neighborhood Watch routines. I am not busting you here by any means. However, I am saying that you are assuming an authority profile yet not a LEO, so you are under a microscope of your own making. This sounds like a very hard to find a path to a good outcome situation. I feel for you. Be cool.

  4. #4
    New Member Array mindingmyown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red82 View Post
    No def. not. I have been open carrying for only a week but the cops... in Va Beach at least... that I've talked to have no problem with OC or CCL for that matter. The police will kindly make your neighbor aware of the laws as long as you werent showing it on your hip in a manner that was like.. look i have a gun so you better do what i say.

    Good luck!
    Well, this was in Virginia Beach. I've had my CHP for about 1.5 years now. As for the attitude of the police -- at that time that I talked to them at the side of the street (when I was open carry) one of them actually "warned" me that I should be careful as someone might say that they felt intimidated by my weapon. I basically said, "how's that?" as I hadn't done anything other than just have it in my carry holster (definitely wasn't doing anything to even draw attention to it other than to tell the officer when he asked me to come talk with him that I had my weapon and that I was a CHP -- which you need to have to have a loaded in vehicle).

    About the police making the neighbor "aware" -- they did whatever they did with the neighbor and didn't tell me what they talked about other than to say that he was warned not to trespass again. But the neighbor told the police that he was going to the magistrate to file charges, which anyone can do. I'd sure hope that there would be a level of sanity at the magistrate level and would tell him that what I did was legal. The big fear factor is that it wouldn't take much of a leap for the bad neighbor to realize that if he lied about it they'd probably take him seriously enough to let a judge sort it out.

  5. #5
    New Member Array mindingmyown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Klaatu View Post
    Neighbors, BAH! I grew up on a road that was file miles long and there were only two houses on it, both ours. Everywhere I have lived since then is WAY too crowded. We have three acres and I feel like I am living in a fish bowl.

    I must observe, however, that your choice of user name does not exactly reflect your Neighborhood Watch routines. I am not busting you here by any means. However, I am saying that you are assuming an authority profile yet not a LEO, so you are under a microscope of your own making. This sounds like a very hard to find a path to a good outcome situation. I feel for you. Be cool.
    I'm sorry but am totally lost about what you're suggesting regarding my choice of user name here?
    "mindingmyown" = minding my own business (as in I was just minding my own business when a group of kids laid down in the middle of the road and refused to move....)

  6. #6
    Member Array gg12's Avatar
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    Perhaps you need a fence. That should stop the ATV's on your property atleast.

    Sounds to me like you are royally disturbing the neighbor and that can make for some really angry exchanges--expensive ones too if you or he start involving the court system, no matter who's in the right.

    Neighborhood watch men who feel the need to open carry should to be aware that many people will be leary/suspicious of them.

    You're in a tough situation, best of luck with it.

  7. #7
    New Member Array mindingmyown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gg12 View Post
    Perhaps you need a fence. That should stop the ATV's on your property atleast.

    Sounds to me like you are royally disturbing the neighbor and that can make for some really angry exchanges--expensive ones too if you or he start involving the court system, no matter who's in the right.

    Neighborhood watch men who feel the need to open carry should to be aware that many people will be leary/suspicious of them.

    You're in a tough situation, best of luck with it.
    I do have a fence, but the problem is and has been that for more than two years they've ridden at about 50 mph down the 25mph residential street (aside from the issue that ATVs are illegal on the roadway here to begin with). It was only a matter of time before someone was killed. The Neighborhood Watch came about because all but two neighbors were totally fed up with what the two neighbors (adults and their kids) were all doing.

    The neighbor is "royally disturbed" because they have been ticketed for violating the law. His decision to do so. We just want them to stop before one of us gets killed.

    BTW -- the biggest issue about the carry (open or not) has to do with the fact that someone crazy in the neighborhood was shooting off his/her gun nightly. Oh, and there is this matter of a potential drug house further down the street which has been under investigation for awhile. Every neighbor in the watch knows that I carry and has expressly said they have no issue with it whatsoever -- and we actually have about 20% of the neighborhood that does as well.

    But again -- in my above note that I said that I DON'T open carry, only concealed. The only reason that I "became" open carry was because I was driving in my vehicle and had to get out when the problem happened (I was just trying to get from point A to point B, not patrolling the neighborhood). Frankly I would have probably tucked it under my shirt then but that didn't seem the brightest thing to do while getting ready to exit my vehicle (to start trying to "hide" my weapon).

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    Distinguished Member Array bandit383's Avatar
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    I think the LEOs will connect the dots on your calls about the deliquents and the brandishing charge...and figure out what it truly is...

    Rick

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    Member Array Klaatu's Avatar
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    I understand that you think patrolling your neighborhood as a neighborhood watch coordinator is minding their own business. It is naive to assume that everyone you encounter while doing so will, nay must agree with you. Of course you have the right to do so. And of course you have the right to OC. That you cop an attitude to the Officer's advice... Well, with only the evidence of your three posts I am left with a first impression that you sound like someone who is looking for confrontations over your rights. I could be wrong. I hope I am wrong. Either way, it is time for me to leave this topic.

    Good luck with it. Discretion is the better part of valor.

  10. #10
    New Member Array mindingmyown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bandit383 View Post
    I think the LEOs will connect the dots on your calls about the deliquents and the brandishing charge...and figure out what it truly is...

    Rick
    Thanks Rick, that's what I'm hoping as well.

  11. #11
    New Member Array mindingmyown's Avatar
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    Unhappy

    Quote Originally Posted by Klaatu View Post
    I understand that you think patrolling your neighborhood as a neighborhood watch coordinator is minding their own business. It is naive to assume that everyone you encounter while doing so will, nay must agree with you. Of course you have the right to do so. And of course you have the right to OC. That you cop an attitude to the Officer's advice... Well, with only the evidence of your three posts I am left with a first impression that you sound like someone who is looking for confrontations over your rights. I could be wrong. I hope I am wrong. Either way, it is time for me to leave this topic.

    Good luck with it. Discretion is the better part of valor.
    I don't think that you understand the situation at all. I was minding my own business driving down the street. The obstructing traffic is something that they do to everyone on the street. I wasn't patrolling the neighborhood at that time. There is no real relevance to my being a Neighborhood Watch Coordinator other than I offered it to explain why this neighbor might be particularly ticked at me personally.

    If I was looking for a confrontation over my rights, I think that would be a lot easier to accomplish around here by open carry where we've had multiple arrests for open carry (followed by dismissals and then out of court settlements for having arrested the individuals), and I don't.

    I'm a bit stunned though that you'd think that my asking a question of the police officer ("how's that?) as "coping an attitude." Are we now at a point where simply asking an honest question is seen as "coping an attitude" simply because it involved an open carry weapon? Wow.

  12. #12
    VIP Member Array Tom G's Avatar
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    I'm not putting open carry down but if your bad neighbor had not seen your gun he would not have any thing to base a brandishing charge on. The less people know about you being armed the better off you will be. I know how it is to have a jerk neighbor due to me having the same problem. I lucked out and they moved away.People like this make it bad for all concerned. Good luck to you and I hope your problem neighbor moves away.

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    Member Array Vtxdpm's Avatar
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    Hopefully there is a 'paper trail' of complaints against the delinquents. If it comes to a court case, you will have evidence that his claim against you is a harassment charge, out of revenge.

    Best,
    V

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    If the problem is the kids on ATV's, well you being active in the "community", could any ground or lots that may be vacant around the area give the kids a place to ride other than the streets???

    Sometimes building bridges is hard, but this may give you an opportunity to get rid of your problem, and give the kids something to do that they enjoy.

    Keeping the CCW weapon out of sight would be a good idea with all that is going on around you.


    Z
    An ounce of lead is worth 200lbs of cop.

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    Member Array Red82's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mindingmyown View Post

    If I was looking for a confrontation over my rights, I think that would be a lot easier to accomplish around here by open carry where we've had multiple arrests for open carry (followed by dismissals and then out of court settlements for having arrested the individuals), and I don't.
    whoa whoa whoa! that was in Norfolk! :) Va beach is typically really good with gun rights with the military and all here. The surrounding cities not so much though. But I digress...

    Are you an NRA member. If you are a lot of times they will help you with a good defense attorney in wrongful lawsuits and such. Maybe that could help you out just in case. If you don't mind me asking what part of the beach are you from?
    Protection is a responsibility not just a right.

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