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Old 07-05-2008, 08:12 PM   #1
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Default Brandish, or Blow 'Em Away?

Re this thread.

Many, if not all, jurisdictions have laws against "brandishing" a weapon. It seems our new member ran afoul of such a law.

As a hypothetical question, why should brandishing as such be against the law? Now I can understand louts and thugs brandishing a weapon as intimidation or a threat, but if merely showing a weapon will stop a criminal from acting, why shouldn't a citizen concerned for his/her safety be able to do so if the other option would be to just shoot the object of fear if no avenue of escape is available? Would it be preferable to shoot/kill someone who is menacing you, or to have them leave because they see you are armed and ready to protect yourself?

Is there a difference between drawing a gun and making ready to use it and showing it to ward off a possible threat? Why? If our new poster was surrounded would he legally have to wait until the assailants actually launched an attack before he was legally able to fire upon them? That seems bizarre. He would be in the right to shoot someone who attacked him, but he can't ward off an attack by showing his weapon?

I know that showing a gun may lead to an escalation, but it can also end an attempted car jacking, robbery, or murder. Any thoughts as to why this situation resulted in jail time? In your opinion, why should it have or why shouldn't it.

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Old 07-05-2008, 09:31 PM   #2
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You don't draw unless you intend to shoot. You don't shoot unless you intend to kill. Therefore, you don't draw unless you intend to kill.

Bad things can happen if you draw and don't use it. If a target doesn't know you don't have a weapon, they can't strip it from you and use it against you. Also, without a weapon in hand, you're not a threat.

A: "Hey, look at me I have a gun!"

B: "Hey, that guy has a gun. Why does he have it out waving it around? Could be a threat."

B's piece: "BAM"

B: "Ughh..." "cough, cough..."

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Old 07-05-2008, 09:51 PM   #3
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Exactly! Brandishing MAY stop a crime but will also create panic in the surrounding people. Brandishing should remain illeagal. However, open carry could stop a crime in the same manner of brandishing, without having to pull it out and wave it around.

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Old 07-05-2008, 10:01 PM   #4
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How is it that a LEO can draw and tell the BG to stop, the BG stops and thus avoids being killed and this is a good thing? How can it be a bad thing that not having to kill the BG is not a good thing? One certainly should not be allowed us a weapon to intimidate a fellow citizen but to stop an imminent personal attack it seems to me to be a rational act. It looks to me like the anti-brandishing statutes create two situations: to avoid the possibility of the brandishing violation the armed citizen kills someone who might have been detered by the weapon; and the brandishing statute are misused to create a criminal act on the part of the firearm holder.

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Old 07-05-2008, 10:17 PM   #5
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IANAL- However, cut & paste from Virginia Criminal Code. Problem arises when you are NOT acting in justifiable self defense:
§ 18.2-282. Pointing, holding, or brandishing firearm, air or gas operated weapon or object similar in appearance; penalty.

A. It shall be unlawful for any person to point, hold or brandish any firearm or any air or gas operated weapon or any object similar in appearance, whether capable of being fired or not, in such manner as to reasonably induce fear in the mind of another or hold a firearm or any air or gas operated weapon in a public place in such a manner as to reasonably induce fear in the mind of another of being shot or injured. However, this section shall not apply to any person engaged in excusable or justifiable self-defense.

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Old 07-05-2008, 11:33 PM   #6
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If what our poster said is the truth, it seems to me he should not have been charged or convicted of anything. If these guys meant to harm him, he seems to have been legally justified in warding off the threat in the manner he did. They left. That Virginia statute appears to mean he could legally have done what he did in Virginia. Is a self defense provision in the Georgia statutes as well?

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Old 07-05-2008, 11:49 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottG View Post
If what our poster said is the truth, it seems to me he should not have been charged or convicted of anything. If these guys meant to harm him, he seems to have been legally justified in warding off the threat in the manner he did. They left. That Virginia statute appears to mean he could legally have done what he did in Virginia. Is a self defense provision in the Georgia statutes as well?
I should add it to my signature, so it is in every post that I make, there are at least two sides to every story.
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Old 07-06-2008, 12:06 AM   #8
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It would seem the manor in which this was handled was what got the guy in trouble .

What he did was legally brandishing yet had he entered the driveway of the land he was there to look at brought the car to a stop and stepped out and been approached by the drivers of those vehicles he would have been justified in putting his hand on a holstered weapon "Or one unseen inside the car " and clearly warning them that he was armed .

This or some variation of is the best way to handle it .

Even just yelling "Hey knock it off I've got a gun" out the window would be legal to do so because you wouldn't be making a threat but simply stating that you are armed .

"leave me alone I've got a gun"

"I'll draw my gun if I have to"

"I have a gun" any of those would be seen as legal because as stated above you are not issuing a threat .

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Old 07-06-2008, 12:55 AM   #9
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In most states you are not allowed to "brandish" a gun or shoot someone unless you are in a position to either defend your life or if you are staving-off an armed attack. In NY I am not allowed to shoot anyone that isn't shooting at me. And protecting property is no excuse either - if I see someone breaking into my car or driving off in it I am not allowed to shoot him or at him. If someone breaks into my house at night I am not allowed to shoot him unless he is armed and threatens me with bodily harm. I was told this by the cop who issued me my permit. Would I comply? I doubt it!

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Old 07-06-2008, 01:48 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RL357Mag View Post
In most states you are not allowed to "brandish" a gun or shoot someone unless you are in a position to either defend your life or if you are staving-off an armed attack. In NY I am not allowed to shoot anyone that isn't shooting at me. And protecting property is no excuse either - if I see someone breaking into my car or driving off in it I am not allowed to shoot him or at him. If someone breaks into my house at night I am not allowed to shoot him unless he is armed and threatens me with bodily harm. I was told this by the cop who issued me my permit. Would I comply? I doubt it!
A motor vehicle has been proven, in a court of law, to be a deadly weapon when used as such.
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