Legality of showing someone your firearm?

Legality of showing someone your firearm?

This is a discussion on Legality of showing someone your firearm? within the Open Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Is it considered "brandishing" to show someone your firearm in public (if you clear it and take the magazine out)? I'm curious because I had ...

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    Member Array american23's Avatar
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    Question Legality of showing someone your firearm?

    Is it considered "brandishing" to show someone your firearm in public (if you clear it and take the magazine out)? I'm curious because I had someone ask to see my carry today at a restaurant and didn't want to get in legal trouble. She told me her husband was a police officer and she showed me hers but like I said, I didn't want to end up getting in trouble with the law or something.

    Also, if it is legal, how would you go about doing that?


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    I have wondered this also, but I believe I would restrict it to their or my home. Why risk it?


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    Member Array american23's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LuvMyPX4 View Post
    I have wondered this also, but I believe I would restrict it to their or my home. Why risk it?


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    I guess the other question then too that comes to my mind then is: where is the line drawn at? Private sales are done in public all the time.
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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by american23 View Post
    Is it considered "brandishing" to show someone your firearm in public (if you clear it and take the magazine out)?
    From reading several different statutes in the various states, it's clear that 'brandishing' isn't about visibility; it's about threat. Unless it's being used to intimidate or threaten, how then can it be 'brandishing' against a person?

    That said, surely the sheeple walking by will likely feel offended, call that 'feeling threatened' and you might well have a MWAG call to contend with. The way I deal with this sort of thing is to respect venues, picking a place where it won't be out of place (trail in the field, the quarry, the gun range, or indoors).
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    Quote Originally Posted by ccw9mm View Post
    From reading several different statutes in the various states, it's clear that 'brandishing' isn't about visibility; it's about threat. Unless it's being used to intimidate or threaten, how then can it be 'brandishing' against a person?

    That said, surely the sheeple walking by will likely feel offended, call that 'feeling threatened' and you might well have a MWAG call to contend with. The way I deal with this sort of thing is to respect venues, picking a place where it won't be out of place (trail in the field, the quarry, the gun range, or indoors).
    A MWAG call is it? You wouldn't actually be in trouble with the law? Also, what about being in a private establishment like the restaurant that I was at?

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    VIP Member Array BugDude's Avatar
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    I wouldn't go whipping it out in the middle of a crowded Cracker Barrel during lunch or breakfast. Just not a smart idea, legal or not. In my opinion unnecessary handling and manipulation just increases the opportunities for an ND.
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    With today's climate on guns I would leave it in the holster. All it would take is one anti gun wacko to see it and start screaming and you would be in a world of trouble. If you are carrying a gun, then it's a loaded gun and anything can happen when you take it out of the holster. I had one instructor tell me there are three places for a gun: in the holster, at the ready and pointed at the BG. IMO
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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by american23 View Post
    A MWAG call is it? You wouldn't actually be in trouble with the law? Also, what about being in a private establishment like the restaurant that I was at?
    Keep in mind, we each are citizens. Other citizens have every right to determine when they feel a threat, feel there's a safety situation needing to be checked out or addressed. A MWAG call is entirely likely if done in a spot where others might reasonably conclude there's a serious risk or threat, sure. MWAG a call it is, in such situations, if someone takes it that way. But a "brandishing" charge would be tougher to make stick without intimidating threat existing, and showing a tool to a person doesn't qualify.

    My own preference is to do such things at a spot where such misinterpretations are all but impossible; at minimum, if done in an otherwise public spot, to take pains to do so in a manner showing overt concern over safety, the impact on others. If nothing else, that's simply good manners.
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    Legality of showing someone your firearm?

    I found this on US Carry which I thought has a great view on brandishing..

    http://www.usacarry.com/brandishing-firearm/

    So “brandishing” or “improper exhibition” or “defensive display” or “unlawful display” (or whatever your state and jurisdiction calls it) depends specifically on your state and jurisdiction.

    Very generally, however, for an operating definition “brandishing” means to display, show, wave, or exhibit the firearm in a manner which another person might find threatening. You can see how widely and differently this can be subjectively interpreted by different “reasonable” individuals and entities.

    The crime can actually be committed in some states by not even pointing a firearm at someone. In some states it’s a Misdemeanor crime and in others a Felony. So, focus, think rationally, know your state’s law, and be careful out there.
    "The world is filled with violence. Because criminals carry guns, we decent law-abiding citizens should also have guns. Otherwise they will win and the decent people will lose."

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    Senior Member Array palmcoaster's Avatar
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    What firearm? Better to keep things under wraps unless in private or at a range
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    Legality will depend on the your state laws. That said, I wouldn't remove my gun in public to show someone. Too many bad things can happen. Also how do you know her husband is a LEO? Just because she said it doesn't make it so.
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    Pulling your gun out in public for any reason is not a good idea. As has been said, there are people that will be bothered by it and the next thing you'll be doing is talking to the police. And according to where you are and what the DA is like you could be in a court fight. I just don't see any good coming from it.
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    Senior Member Array subhuman's Avatar
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    A lot also just depends on where you live too, here in backwoods Alabama over 90% of the population are gun owners with close to 30-40% being ccw holders, during hunting season i have walked into a local cafe and saw rifles stacked against the wall and 15 or 20 armed guys sitting around eating breakfast. I have been in Jacks and witnessed a few tables over a couple of guys talking about ones new Ruger and he pulled it out dumped the cylender in his hand and handed it to his buddy, after his buddy got done looking at it the cop at the table beside them asked to fondle it too . now if you drive 80 mile from here to Huntsville or B'Ham and try this someone will call the law and all kind of crap will be started.It helps to know what the local gun climate is like before you show somebody your gun, if its kinda edgy go out to the parkinf lot or set in your car if you want to show your weapon to somebody or if you are just uncomfortable doing so in town simply decline and tell them why.
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    Quote Originally Posted by american23 View Post
    Is it considered "brandishing" to show someone your firearm in public (if you clear it and take the magazine out)? I'm curious because I had someone ask to see my carry today at a restaurant and didn't want to get in legal trouble. ...

    Also, if it is legal, how would you go about doing that?
    After you have cleared your weapon & removed the magazine (I hope you do not do that in the order you wrote), what are you left with? --- AN UNLOADED GUN!

    Why would you propose disarming yourself in a public place for a stranger?
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    VIP Member Array Kennydale's Avatar
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    I was at a friends party and it kinda came up that I carried and they wanted to see it.. I just lifted my shirt but never took it out of the holster.
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