Brandishing Legality?
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Thread: Brandishing Legality?

  1. Brandishing Legality?

    I'm a bit confused about a point and figured you guys could help me out. I always felt to brandish a weapon you had to remove it from the holster and be waving it around almost like you're threatening someone.

    I saw a post somewhere, I'm not sure where just now, and someone stated something about carrying concealed in a shoulder holster and their jacket getting blown open in the wind, that someone saw their weapon and they got in trouble for brandishing the weapon?? Excuse me if this doesn't make sense, but to me it doesn't. My Websters dictionary states as a definition for "brandish" 1 : to shake or wave (as a weapon) menacingly, and/or 2 : to exhibit in an ostentatious or aggressive manner.

    I think that definition goes along with my thoughts about how it would be. Have I missed something or was the person who said that elsewhere just totally off base?

    Thanks,
    SnowCajun

  2.   
  3. Since Washington is an "Open Carry" state, openly carrying a firearm is 100% legal, you actually have no requirement to conceal. You may if you desire, however to do so requires a permission slip from the government (your CPL).

    Since you have no requirement to conceal, I do not see how accidently exposing your weapon could be considered brandishing unless you did so intentially to initimidate someone.

  4. Quote Originally Posted by Right Wing Wacko View Post
    Since Washington is an "Open Carry" state, openly carrying a firearm is 100% legal, you actually have no requirement to conceal. You may if you desire, however to do so requires a permission slip from the government (your CPL).

    Since you have no requirement to conceal, I do not see how accidently exposing your weapon could be considered brandishing unless you did so intentially to initimidate someone.
    Thanks, I didn't realized Washington was Open Carry. I've just never considered carrying in the open before, to me that defeats the purpose of criminals being unsure who's carrying or not! I figure if a criminal can see my weapon then that would be reason enough to come up behind me and bop me in the head to grab my weapon, but if it's not visible and they don't know I have it, then that would mean they'd have to bop a whole crowd full of people in the head see if they're safe or not and that wouldn't work. :-)

    SnowCajun

  5. brandishing

    You might have seen my New Mexico post. In the state of NM open carry is legal, and CCW with a license. However, according to our CCW instructor, if you are carrying concealed and anyone sees your weapon for any reason (wind blows your coat open and a bit of grip is visible, someone looks down your back pocket in line at the store) you can be charged with brandishing. He said the law is very strict on open being completely open, and concealed being very concealed.
    I would hope that this is a NM idiosyncrasy and that Washington has more sensible laws, but I would definitely check with someone who is well versed in gun law there.

  6. The relevent section of WA state law would be:

    RCW 9.41.270 (1)

    It shall be unlawful for any person to carry, exhibit, display, or draw any firearm, dagger, sword, knife or other cutting or stabbing instrument, club, or any other weapon apparently capable of producing bodily harm, in a manner, under circumstances, and at a time and place that either manifests an intent to intimidate another or that warrants alarm for the safety of other persons.
    Note the key words... "INTENT" and "WARRANTS Alarm"

    Just because someone is alarmed does not mean that one has broken the law. That alarm must be warrented.

    Be carefull in taking as gospel anything told you by your CCW instructor or even a LE officer. Experiance has shown they are more often wrong than right. KNOW THE LAW. It's important!
    Last edited by Right Wing Wacko; 11-26-2007 at 06:34 AM.

  7. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Right Wing Wacko View Post
    The relevent section of WA state law would be:



    Note the key words... "INTENT" and "WARRANTS Alarm"

    Just because someone is alarmed does not mean that one has broken the law. That alarm must be warrented.

    Be carefull in taking as gospel anything told you by your CCW instructor or even a LE officer. Experiance has shown they are more often wrong than right. KNOW THE LAW. It's important!
    I think most people in Washington are unaware that WA is an open carry state. Having worked in LE, I can tell you that we get calls all the time about people "CARRYING GUNS" but when we ask what they were doing, the response is usually, "eating dinner" or "walking down the street." I think the moral of hte story is that while you may not legally be charged with brandishing if someone sees your weapon, it will cause you a great deal of hassle that could be avoided by a little more careful concealment. It's the price we pay for not having to educate the police and the public everytime we walk outside.
    Husky Girl

  8. #7
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    If someone makes the choice to exercise RKBA by carrying openly, so what? Anyway, in most (emphasis on most) states the law requires weapons to be holstered, whether they're visible or not, and as long as it is holstered, the person carrying won't have to worry about brandishing charge. Obviously, that's not the case in states where open carry is illegal, and in places like NM.

  9. #8
    In Massachusetts, if you have on a coat or shirt, you stretch or bend to retreive something and your weapon is exposed, even partially, you can lose your license to carry, for "unsuitability" purpose.

    Yes this has happened in Massachusetts. Where a guy coat was blown aside by the wind and his weapon was seen, lost his LTC from his chief.

  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeavingMass View Post
    In Massachusetts, if you have on a coat or shirt, you stretch or bend to retreive something and your weapon is exposed, even partially, you can lose your license to carry, for "unsuitability" purpose.

    Yes this has happened in Massachusetts. Where a guy coat was blown aside by the wind and his weapon was seen, lost his LTC from his chief.
    Wouldn't expect anything less from MA. Make it difficult to obtain a LTC, yet very easy for them to take it away.



    gf
    "A few well placed shots with a .22LR is a lot better than a bunch of solid misses with a .44 mag!" Glock Armorer, NRA Chief RSO, Pistol, Rifle, Shotgun, Muzzleloading Rifle, Muzzleloading Shotgun, and Home Firearm Safety Training Counselor

  11. #10
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    Brandishing in WA State

    What is strange here in WA State is although it is legal to open carry if you by accident bend and your holster is seen you can be charged with menacing but to menace someone you would have to take your weapon and pull it out of your holster and be in physical control of it. Course someone has to see this and call the cops and it is just another way for the anti-gun people to impose their regulations on us. You can loose your permit if someone complains but yet you can legally carry openly and it is fine. Think they would have to prove intent to intimidate or menace another person in order to bring criminal charges against you and take away your permit but they have made it this vague so even if it is on accident they get your gun and your permit. It is just another stupid restriction placed on us by those who want to pick and choose which rights people should endorse.
    "The strongest reason for people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government."

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