When is it brandishing and when is it defense?
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Thread: When is it brandishing and when is it defense?

  1. #1
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    When is it brandishing and when is it defense?

    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.

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  3. #2
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    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.
    Because you didn't use your gun and did remove it from concealment to scare someone, the prosecutor could charge you if the BG called the cops.

  4. Typically the only time you should pull your weapon is when you need to shoot it. So basically someone is going to attack you or is attacking you which could result in great bodily harm or death. To me your situation you posted is basically saying "can I pull my gun to avoid a fight" and the answer is no. Even law enforcement go through several steps before drawing their weapon. Fear of death = yes, trying to get someone to shut his mouth = brandishing.

  5. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by S&W645 View Post
    Because you didn't use your gun and did remove it from concealment to scare someone, the prosecutor could charge you if the BG called the cops.
    You see. You didn't read what I said. According to your statement exposing the weapon in any circumstance that does not result in someone getting shot is brandishing.

    I guess the answer is going to be a result of where you live.

  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cotillion View Post
    Typically the only time you should pull your weapon is when you need to shoot it. So basically someone is going to attack you or is attacking you which could result in great bodily harm or death. To me your situation you posted is basically saying "can I pull my gun to avoid a fight" and the answer is no. Even law enforcement go through several steps before drawing their weapon. Fear of death = yes, trying to get someone to shut his mouth = brandishing.
    Okay. You didn't read the scenarios either. Note the line where I said "suffer bodily harm". Nothing in the OP mentioned "shutting anyone's mouth".

    Jumping off on a tangent are we?

  7. #6
    Think of it like this.

    As soon as that firearm comes out of the holster, you are using deadly force, whether or not you fire it.

    The use of deadly force is justified only when you REASONABLY BELIEVE your life or safety is in imminent danger. (And in some jurisdictions, you have a duty to retreat.) It is also justified when you FACTUALLY KNOW the life or safety of someone else is in imminent danger and you choose to intervene.

    (Side note: It is important to understand that the "reasonable person" standard applies to self-defense...whereas "facts in evidence" apply when defending another. It's a big difference.)

    If you draw your firearm in a confrontation when neither of the above circumstances is present, you are brandishing.
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  8. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phillip Gain View Post
    Think of it like this.

    As soon as that firearm comes out of the holster, you are using deadly force, whether or not you fire it.

    The use of deadly force is justified only when you REASONABLY BELIEVE your life or safety is in imminent danger. (And in some jurisdictions, you have a duty to retreat.) It is also justified when you FACTUALLY KNOW the life or safety of someone else is in imminent danger and you choose to intervene.

    (Side note: It is important to understand that the "reasonable person" standard applies to self-defense...whereas "facts in evidence" apply when defending another. It's a big difference.)

    If you draw your firearm in a confrontation when neither of the above circumstances is present, you are brandishing.
    Solid answer with explanation too. Thanks.

  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by walt629 View Post
    You see. You didn't read what I said. According to your statement exposing the weapon in any circumstance that does not result in someone getting shot is brandishing.

    I guess the answer is going to be a result of where you live.
    Location where it happens is a big point. Local PA may have an attitude towards gun owners showing their guns. While another PA in a different location might not care.

  10. #9
    I think we need an instructor to weigh in on this one. I know the first class i had to take to get my permit and every refresher course since we are told to draw when we feel there is no other option and yell "STOP! DONT MAKE ME SHOOT YOU" or something along those lines and if the bg stops his advance you holster and call the police first just in case the bg trys to call on you or a bystander calls the police the dispatcher knows your side of the story

  11. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Phillip Gain View Post
    Think of it like this.

    As soon as that firearm comes out of the holster, you are using deadly force, whether or not you fire it.

    The use of deadly force is justified only when you REASONABLY BELIEVE your life or safety is in imminent danger. (And in some jurisdictions, you have a duty to retreat.) It is also justified when you FACTUALLY KNOW the life or safety of someone else is in imminent danger and you choose to intervene.

    (Side note: It is important to understand that the "reasonable person" standard applies to self-defense...whereas "facts in evidence" apply when defending another. It's a big difference.)

    If you draw your firearm in a confrontation when neither of the above circumstances is present, you are brandishing.
    Good Explanation, thanks.
    War to the Knife, Knife to the hilt.
    If we don't want to live in a trashy area, we all have to be willing to help pick up the trash.

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