(Open carry) "Help, Officer, he brandished his weapon at me!"..."No i didn't!!"

(Open carry) "Help, Officer, he brandished his weapon at me!"..."No i didn't!!"

This is a discussion on (Open carry) "Help, Officer, he brandished his weapon at me!"..."No i didn't!!" within the Open Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; how do u handle a situation like this with an Anti-Gun person who is trying to get you into trouble because they don't like guns??...am ...

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Thread: (Open carry) "Help, Officer, he brandished his weapon at me!"..."No i didn't!!"

  1. #1
    Member Array RR9501's Avatar
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    Question (Open carry) "Help, Officer, he brandished his weapon at me!"..."No i didn't!!"

    how do u handle a situation like this with an Anti-Gun person who is trying to get you into trouble because they don't like guns??...am i making sense?..lol
    (my mom) can think of multiple legal issues this could cause...i told her it doesn't work like that...who's wrong and how would this situation be handled with LEO??
    Guns don't kill people, People kill people!

  2. #2
    VIP Member Array Eagleks's Avatar
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    Sure , it makes sense.

    I was in a video store, not long after our CCW was passed and took effect. A guy keeps "stalking" me around the store, so I'm wonder what this guy is up to. He keeps really looking me over.

    When we get up to the counter, he's right there and asks the clerk IF it's OK to carry guns in their store. She said, "yes , it is... and I'm glad too". He goes into a very loud "rant" about it & making a real scene about it, while pointing at me and saying " I think he has a gun on him". I finally lifted up my shirt and asked "you mean this ? ".... showing him it was my cell phone. The guy was dumbfounded and silent, and I hope very embarrassed... and left the store.

    There were "groups" who were trying to "OUT " people .... and make a big scene while complaining to the stores how they were in "danger" for allowing anyone to CC in their stores. Obviously, some weren't good at being able to tell whether it was a gun or a cell phone.

    As far as OC, I'm sure you'ld run into the same type of things only worse. Better have good witnesses with you.
    Last edited by Eagleks; July 26th, 2010 at 12:21 AM.
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  3. #3
    Member Array RR9501's Avatar
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    so it's a "he said she said scenario"??...i see...wow
    yea what an idiot, like to me its not a big deal for someone to OC or CC...
    Guns don't kill people, People kill people!

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  5. #4
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    Living here in Arizona for nearly 27-years, terms like ‘brandishing’ seldom apply. Sure, its possible but when I was a LEO in the State without rights (California) I never arrested anyone for brandishing. Unless the LEO observes the act, or its easily validated, I wouldn't worry about it. LEO's do understand what people claim, isn't always accurate or factual.
    “Monsters are real and so are ghosts. They live inside of us, and sometimes they win.”
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  6. #5
    Distinguished Member Array pirate's Avatar
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    Your giving the average "sheeple" way to much credit for noticing anything but the cell phone stuck in their ear.

    Anybody can make a false witness about most anything......hey that guy rubbed my butt or tried to grab my purse, whatever. I have other important things to be concerned about rather than to just make up things to worry about.
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  7. #6
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    My suggestion: be seen to be the good guy.

    If falsely claimed to have done something, it can be difficult to disclaim such lies and deceit. Under such a scenario it becomes highly important to be seen to be the good guy. Meaning, (if possible) find as many witnesses nearby who can vouch that nothing the liar has claimed actually occurred in the manner being claimed. This is one of the reasons I try very hard not to engage verbally or physically with strangers on the street, no matter how sideways things seem to be blowing. It's simply not worth it. I would far rather be seen to be backing up, attempting to exit the area, be heard to quietly calm the other person, be heard to assertively state I didn't want trouble and wanted the person to stop his attack, etc. The more behavior and words that other witnesses can attest to having seen/heard, the better.

    Still, there are no guarantees when someone is prepared to lie through the teeth in order to inflict harm on another. Many people get unjustified claims of "child abuse" flung at them during periods marital strife. It seems to go with the territory, damnable as the lies may be, since they can be the fastest way to inflict damage on the other party. With the case of legal carry of firearms, claiming unlawful menacing or threatening use of the firearm is about the only thing a blissninny has at his/her disposal to inflict a measure of punishment on a person for daring to go around the world armed.
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  8. #7
    VIP Member Array Guantes's Avatar
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    I seriously doubt that you would be arrested when you calmly articulate the events that occurred. The responding officer may feel the need to write a report of the alleged incident. Then it would be up to the DA/etc to determine if charges would be filed. If they were filed then it would be required of the complainant to testify to same in court. That would mean that that person would have to commit perjury to sustain the charges. If that were so and you also testified, depending on your attorneys advice, the outcome would probably depend on who was considered the most credible witness by the judge or the jury.

    If the person was willing to commit perjury it could be a big problem.

  9. #8
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    Virginia -- "reasonable person"

    OP, I see you are from Virginia.

    Here we have a "reasonable person" standard.

    There have been a few LEOs in NOVA who don't get it. However, I haven't heard of any court case that I would disagree with what is reasonable -- even in the fairly anti-gun tidewater area, NOVA or Richmond area and never for simple carry w/o pointing or holding the firearm. In fact, in Virginia OC is less likely to get a brandishing charge than a CC who "exposes" their firearm.

    True, as Eagleks said, occasionally an anti will thy to make a scene. However, generally the responding LEO sorts it out on the scene. In most cases, the body language and verbal exchange clenches the decision. In fact, one jurisdiction developed a training video for the 911 dispatcher to ask questions and sort it out w/o dispatching an LEO.

    As an aside, I've never heard of a case where there weren't witness, which helps with the reasonable person standard. Could have something to do with the 's mindset -- wanted safety in numbers. In any case, it seldom comes down to a he-said/she said.

    If you have problems, please let VCDL know about it.


    § 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.
    Last edited by DaveH; July 25th, 2010 at 05:59 PM. Reason: hit post too soon
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  10. #9
    VIP Member Array mcp1810's Avatar
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    A couple of things to look at.
    First, is "brandishing" a misdemeanor or felony in your jurisdiction? If it is a misdemeanor no problem. In all the jurisdictions I am familiar with (YMMV) an officer has to witness a misdemeanor to make an arrest. If it is a felony that is where it could get dicey. If we are talking a he said/she said situation with no other witnesses it could all come down to how you present yourself to the officer. If the other person is yelling and screaming and running off at the mouth, and you are calm cool and cooperative, who is more credible to the officer?
    Most of the officers I worked with were not looking to go out of their way to lock people up on something that is doubtful there will be a conviction on. There are too many stupid people out there doing stupid stuff that actually hurts people to waste maybe half a shift on a he said/she said with nothing else to go on and nobody got hurt. Maybe they would write a quick report and give the complainant the number and tell them to go swear out a warrant. Then if they bothered to do that it would be up to the magistrate if they were going to issue a warrant, a summons, or tell the guy to go away.
    But of course Murphy's law being what it is your officer will be one week out of FTO and met his fiance at a Brady bunch function............
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  11. #10
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    A good reason to have open carry legal, then those who still wish to CC have no problem with nimrods like the OP speaks of...
    Proverbs 27:12 says: “The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.”

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  12. #11
    Senior Member Array JohnK87's Avatar
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    This is one of the dangers Ayoob mentions with open carry, one that is to me far more likely than being disarmed or targeted- the "He pointed a gun at me" 911 call. I recall reading some stories like that here. I think the best advice is to look like an honest, law abiding citizen and don't get involved in conflicts with the antis while carrying.
    ‎An enemy of liberty is no friend of mine. I do not owe respect to anyone who would enslave me by government force, nor is it wise for such a person to expect it. -- Isaiah Amberay

  13. #12
    Distinguished Member Array bladenbullet's Avatar
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    may sound funny...but i would grab my cell phone...dial 911 and tell them a person is acting irrational and may be endangering me...you wanna see someone either back down or paint themselves into a corner this is the opportunity for it...the police arent expecting someone who is brandishing a firearm to make a call to them...be the first on the horn...

  14. #13
    VIP Member Array OldVet's Avatar
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    Hiding inside a bottle of Jim Beam Black in S. FL.
    "in such manner as to reasonably induce fear in the mind of another "

    There you go. Like snakes, the mere sight of a gun can cause unreasonable fear in some people. My wife is deathly afraid of snakes, has never held, touched, nor been bit by one. She has an "unreasonable" fear of them.

    I seriously doubt that any LEO would attempt to make a case of this without some substantiating evidence.
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  15. #14
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    If you live in a state where OC is legal, then a gun firmly fixed inside it's holster is not brandishing a weapon. Unless you plant your hand on your gun threatening to "skin it" and use it against someone.

    A lot of people have an irrational fear of guns. A lot of the people whose fear is irrational are often the same type of people who take it upon them self to make a big issue of it in public, intentionally wanting to gin up trouble for everyone. Fortunately most LEO's see through that line of B.S. easily because the "offended" person has such an irrational approach to begin with. They usually discredit themselves just fine all on their own with outlandish statements like "They are afraid that gun is just gonna pop out of it's holster all on it's own, fall to the ground, discharge and kill some baby in a stroller!" They try to use their irrational fear as the basis for the complaint, and LEO's will tend to just look at them sideways and allow you to go on with your business.

    Where you can potentially get into a jam, is when they out and out lie and state you were waiving your unholstered gun around and threatened them with it. Since you open carry, they can obviously see what type of gun you are carrying and can go so far as to describe the gun you were pointing at them. Then it becomes a game of "he said, she said" type situation where any witnesses you can produce is going to go a long way in supporting your credibility with your description of events.

    Bottom line, if you live in an Open Carry state, and your gun stays in it's holster, you've got little to worry about.
    Semper Fi

    "The gun is the great equalizer... For it is the gun, that allows the meek to repel the monsters; Whom are bigger, stronger and without conscience, prey on those who without one, would surely perish."

  16. #15
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    I am going on the same idea as DaveH;

    Here is a definition of brandishing that the state of Michigan follows. Check and see if your state has /follows any similar guidelines.

    Make a copy and when you are accused of "brandishing", ask them politely if you did any of those things,

    Section 16-246 Brandishing a weapon.
    (a) A person commits the offense of brandishing a weapon when the person exhibit s any deadly or dangerous weapon in a rude, angry or threatening manner to any person in the city or go es into any courthouse, church, school or any other public meeting carrying a deadly or dangerous weapon.
    (b) For the purposes of this section, the term "deadly or dangerous weapon" means any weapon other than a firearm, from which a shot, readily capable of producing death or serious physical injury, may be discharged, or a knife, dagger, billy, blackjack or metal knuckles .
    (c) The provisions of this section shall not apply to police officers and other officers or persons whose duty it is to execute process or warrants or to make arrests.
    (d) The crime of brandishing a weapon is a class A misdemeanor.
    (Code 1964, § 7.1170; Ord. No. 018042, § 1, 4-19-04)
    (Ord. 018042, Amended, 04/19/2004, Prior Text)


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