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What Does "Brandishing" a Gun Mean?

Talyn

Ronin
Founding Member
For the purpose of our discussion, brandishing is the unnecessary and unlawful display of a defensive firearm. The most important thing for everyone to understand is that the specific legal definition of brandishing may differ from state to state.

What Does "Brandishing" a Gun Mean?

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OkiePewPew

Moderator
Staff member
Thank god here in FL the brief and unintentional display of a weapon (ie shirt rode up, not you grabbed it) isn’t brandishing like in some places. I can even be seen removing it from the holster to enter my car, without a charge.
 

Bassbob

Ronin
In Missouri it is illegal to display a weapon in a threatening manner unless in an act of lawful self defense. It gets convoluted looking at the statute, but in practice essentially you can be prosecuted if you can’t successfully argue you were in fear for your life or safety or the life or safety of someone else. The charge would be unlawful use of a weapon or attempted unlawful use of a weapon which is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 1 year in jail.
 

Peglegjoe

Professional
Founding Member
In Maryland, once we have a "wear and carry" permit, we can carry either concealed or open - so printing or peeking doesn't matter. I believe the law is something along the lines of "displaying in a menacing manner", or some such legal-ese. Basically, this quote above:

Whatever the prosecutor decides, sadly.

is pretty much it, if some SJW Karen decides they don't like the look of someone carrying a gun and decides to make a case of it.

Just goes to reinforce the rule "don't draw unless you're ready to use".
 

David N.

Professional
Founding Member
In Missouri it is illegal to display a weapon in a threatening manner unless in an act of lawful self defense. It gets convoluted looking at the statute, but in practice essentially you can be prosecuted if you can’t successfully argue you were in fear for your life or safety or the life or safety of someone else. The charge would be unlawful use of a weapon or attempted unlawful use of a weapon which is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 1 year in jail.
Same here, but not sure of the punishment.
 

BobM

Hellcat
What's brandishing? So much for BBQ guns?
Good time and place for most things comes to mind as well?

Am thinking some places are in denial about brandishing? Holstered gun isn't considered brandishing with open carry in some states and is in others. But, Butt, but? - Unless like many flapped holsters at least butt and sometimes barrel, is sticking out in open on open carry.

If law applies to CC too, that means no brandishing applies if gun butt peeks out? Yes, no, maybe? Again, still may sadly come to whatever the prosecutor decides and in whatever mood? - Too many varied open ended incompletes with few real explanations. That means being purposely deceptive or just ignorant?

Maybe better off if Federally enforced 2A at state level with no other state sub laws or restrictions like 2A was intended to be? We're all connected together, right? It is supposed to be one country under one Constitution after all, right? Results? Umm, Let's see as of today, I'll pack my Cali special with my flip flops or my NY special with my dress shoes????? - EEEK!!!!

Sum of Brandishing? Over idealistic opportunistic nitpickers strike again? - Polly Perfect? Like Murphy's Law? Maybe ignorant laws come from ignorant undereducated mindsets?
 

BrewIt

Operator
Here's the definition in Iowa :







(1) “Brandishing a dangerous weapon” means the display or exhibition of a dangerous weapon, with the intent to use, intimidate, or threaten another person without justification, or the actual use of the dangerous weapon in a manner which is intended to or does cause serious injury or death without justification.
 

papa

Professional
Founding Member
Thank god here in FL the brief and unintentional display of a weapon (ie shirt rode up, not you grabbed it) isn’t brandishing like in some places. I can even be seen removing it from the holster to enter my car, without a charge.
Same here in Illinois. I did have an incident in my local Kroger store with a bad holster one night. It was a kydex holster with the ( plastic ?) belt clip. Well I am a little ( ok a lot ) on the plump side. I am not able to walk very far so I use a you drive em shopping cart. Well leaned to my right pretty far to get something and heard my holster hit the floor and skitter a little ways. I got up and picked my holster up and put it back on my belt. At least the gun stayed in the holster.

There were others around me and not one gasp or any kind of comment was made. There was a young lady stocking shelves just in front of me and she just smiled at me as I was putting the holster back on my belt.

For it to be brandishing here in Illinois , you have to be showing the gun as a threat or to intimidate .
 

BangBang

Professional
Great question and replies. Was not aware of the many definitions depending on where you are.

That’s just it, the many interpretations and who may “see it” and their definition of brandishing. I may see you bend over and your grip may show, no big deal whereas someone else who may be anti gun see the same thing and get on the phone and say you are running around showing your gun. Now you have to explain yourself. It sounds crazy but it happens, unfortunately.
 
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