When is it brandishing and when is it defense? - Page 2
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Thread: When is it brandishing and when is it defense?

  1. #11
    Join Date
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    Well, how about just saying, "Stop, I feel that my safety is in danger. I do have a weapon and will use it." Finish that with what ever you wish to finish it with. Not brandishing, but letting the individual(s) know that you are armed and will shoot. How does that fit? Don't know that I would actually handle it that way, but that could be a way to approach the situation.

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  3. #12
    Join Date
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    Your local law is the important answer here, no one answer will apply to everyone in every state.

    In my state there is no "brandishing" law, guess because we actually pay attention to the long honored definition of the word instead of trying to redefine english to make something illegal when it obviously should not be.

    To simplify for those of you that are confused, "brandishing" means "to point or wave about in a threatening manner", it does not mean to just expose the weapon.

  4. #13
    Mr. Gain said it well, in a simple and straightforward way. Things can get tricky because some people will "back off" when they see (open carry) or hear about your firearm, whereas others may become even more provokative. We are the product of our experiences so I can see where some of our responses to the poster's scenario may vary a bit.

    In reading the original post again, I would say that both brandishing and defending occurred, but with the brandishing possibly ending one's ability to defend oneself in the future with a firearm. Some bad guys are dumb and impulsive, but some will provoke you and try to get you off your guard without breaking the law.

    Here's another example that seems to fit the original scenario: There was a situation a year or so ago where a man who lived in the New York City area fired what were described as warning shots at the ground (I think he may have had an AR-15 or similar rifle) in his yard, as there were what were described as something like 20 or more people who may have been gang affiliated. The man was charged for the warning shots as unfair as that may sound. I am not sure if the "gang" was on his property or next to it. Granted, this would be a real fine line between a trespass and assault (or worse) by a large number of people. I think 1 vs. 20 would be unsettling for almost anyone. The group of people were aware of the weapon, but were apparently not disturbed by what they saw. Did they know their legal rights regarding property? Did they think they had safety in numbers? I think the situation was stopped by police, but I do not recall this specifically.

    I think it still comes down to where posturing stops and imminent danger starts and how difficult it can be to differentiate between the two in that type of situation.

  5. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by walt629 View Post
    I have read several threads where the original topic of discussion is completely lost in the secondary argument that generates from the definition some people have of 'brandishing' a weapon.

    So my question is "what is brandishing and what is defense?"

    My concept of brandishing is exposing your weapon for no particular reason. Like throwing your pistol on the dashboard while you're drive downtown just so you don't have any 'trouble'.

    It has been said many times by many posters that when in a confrontation that you fear is going to escalate to a level you really don't want it to, you extract your weapon from holster to plain sight of the opposition. Now I'm not talking about a situation where a loud driver yells at you for taking what he thinks is 'his' parking space.

    I'm talking about a confrontation where you think you could suffer bodily harm if the situation goes any further. So I draw my weapon and the opposition sees the weapon and retreats.

    Did I brandish or did I defend?

    And let's act like the adults we're supposed to be and try to keep the name calling to a minimum.
    Brandishing is illegal. The only time you point your gun at somebody is when you are pulling the trigger. The only time you are pulling the trigger is when you have no other options and are legally justified in doing so.

  6. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by 50SR9 View Post
    Well, how about just saying, "Stop, I feel that my safety is in danger. I do have a weapon and will use it." Finish that with what ever you wish to finish it with. Not brandishing, but letting the individual(s) know that you are armed and will shoot. How does that fit? Don't know that I would actually handle it that way, but that could be a way to approach the situation.
    Colorado law will consider that menacing. Threatening somebody with a weapon verbally or with actions, weapon present or not, is a felony.

  7. When the gun is drawn but not fired, that's brandishing. In Ohio anyway.

  8. #17
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    Good thread. Good lesson in civility on this forum. Good replies by you Walt, when replies were somewhat off the topic. As most said, the Gain man put it well. After I post, I will read that one again. As usual, reasonable person, imminent danger etal can mean different things to different people and therein lies the quandary.

  9. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by dumb okie View Post
    I think we need an instructor to weigh in on this one.

    Actually, that may be the EXACT thing we should avoid... I have noticed that many of the "instructors" on here are the most ignorant when giving out advice...

  10. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deserteagle View Post
    Brandishing is illegal. The only time you point your gun at somebody is when you are pulling the trigger. The only time you are pulling the trigger is when you have no other options and are legally justified in doing so.
    Here we go again.... Alright, for the last time (not really) at least attempt to answer what YOU would do IF, in the Milliseconds that it takes YOU to draw YOUR weapon, the perp decides to break off the attack... YET YOU HAVE UNHOLSTERED AND HAVE JUST GOT YOUR SIGHTS LINED UP.. and he is now running away... Everything is there as you stated, you were in real life-threatening danger.... you decided that yes, it is now legal (since you seem soooooo darn concerned about this aspect) for you to shoot..... so, like any rational person would do, you pulled it out with the INTENTION to STOP the attack... but WAIT, the attack HAS STOPPED!!!! are you still going to fire the weapon??? according to all your other posts in the other thread, you are 100% positive that you would....

    I myself (and the "law" you are so concerned about) calls what you would do "murder" Would you actually like all of us to believe that you would rather be guilty of MURDER than maybe, possibly, kinda, be accused of "brandishing"???

  11. #20
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    walt,
    I tried very hard to be civil and on topic.. please forgive me if I wasnt successful....

    My take on "brandishing" is that if you are NOT in actual danger (life threatening, not bruised ego or lip) and draw your weapon, or call attention to it by uncovering/etc... then you are guilty of "brandishing or in some places it would be called something like "threatening" or "menacing"....

    On the other hand, if, at a point in the confrontation, (need to say here that you were trying to avoid, and are certainly not escalating the situation) you actually DO have to defend yourself from "great bodily harm or death" then your actions afterwards should not be considered "brandishing" , even if you didnt NEED to pull the trigger once unholstered/hand on weapon and ready to unholster....

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