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Thread: Carrying my long gun - am I brandishing?

  1. #1
    Regular Member jdholmes's Avatar
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    Carrying my long gun - am I brandishing?

    I was reading some threads tonight and a question arose in my mind as a result...

    My wife and I have been camping and have been bringing my little rifle with us lately. It doesn't have a sling, so when transporting it from our apartment to the truck, or to the campsite or boat or whatever I have just been holding it in one hand and angled down.

    The question that popped into my head tonight was, "Would what I have been doing be considered brandishing?"

    Do I need to mount a sling to it and put it over my back to be considered regular open carry?

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    Definition of BRANDISHtransitive verb
    1
    : to shake or wave (as a weapon) menacingly

    2
    : to exhibit in an ostentatious or aggressive manner
    So, in a word, "No."

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    Here is the Nevada NRS. The law is not called Brandishing in Nevada:

    "NRS 202.320 Drawing deadly weapon in threatening manner.

    1. Unless a greater penalty is provided in NRS 202.287, a person having, carrying or procuring from another person any dirk, dirk-knife, sword, sword cane, pistol, gun or other deadly weapon, who, in the presence of two or more persons, draws or exhibits any of such deadly weapons in a rude, angry or threatening manner not in necessary self-defense, or who in any manner unlawfully uses that weapon in any fight or quarrel, is guilty of a misdemeanor.

    2. A sheriff, deputy sheriff, marshal, constable or other peace officer shall not be held to answer, under the provisions of subsection 1, for drawing or exhibiting any of the weapons mentioned therein while in the lawful discharge of his or her duties.

    [1911 C&P 174; RL 6439; NCL 10121]—(NRS A 1967, 486; 1989, 1240)"

    The key words are "rude, angry or threatening manner".

    Just note, if you are defending yourself, you CAN draw your weapon. We see a lot of "what if's" posted on these forums. One recently was "if I'm walking down the street and a suspicious guy crosses the street, seeming to intercept me, can I draw my weapon?" The answer is yes. There is no law that says you can't pull your weapon out of it's holster. Keep it at your side, pointed at the ground until you need to target.

    "Can I aim my weapon at the suspicious person?". Yes, if you are in a mode of defending yourself.

    Defending yourself doesn't always mean shooting somebody. There are things that hopefully happen along the way that will determine if the "bad guy" just goes away, or proceeds with his/her intent and you have to shoot them to stop them.

    My advice?
    1. Take a good self defense class.
    2. Know how to defend yourself and what your legal rights and responsibilities are. Too many people own guns and don't know what they can/can't do legally to defend themselves.
    3. Don't try to defend yourself with you keeping weapon holstered until the last moment, and then get the bad guy, quick draw style. You'll surely lose.

    For your rifle, carrying it to your car slung, or in your hand does not matter. Just remember, in Nevada, when transporting in a vehicle, you may have rounds in the magazine, in the rifle, but NO ROUNDS IN THE CHAMBER! That's more of a law on the Hunting and Wildlife side of the NRS. Helps prevent poaching.
    Last edited by FallonJeeper; 04-17-2012 at 11:37 AM.
    Hoka hey

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    I concur that you are not violating the laws by holding the rifle as you describe, so long as you are not making anyone feel threatened.

    Quote Originally Posted by FallonJeeper View Post
    That's more of a law on the Hunting and Wildlife side of the NRS. Helps prevent poaching.
    The law is in the hunting and wildlife section, and that was probably their intent, but I doubt it really prevents any poaching.

    NRS 503.165  Carrying loaded rifle or shotgun in or on vehicle on or along public way unlawful; exceptions.
    1.  It is unlawful to carry a loaded rifle or loaded shotgun in or on any vehicle which is standing on or along, or is being driven on or along, any public highway or any other way open to the public.
    2.  A rifle or shotgun is loaded, for the purposes of this section, when there is an unexpended cartridge or shell in the firing chamber, but not when the only cartridges or shells are in the magazine.
    3.  The provisions of this section do not apply to paraplegics, persons with one or both legs amputated or who have suffered a paralysis of one or both legs which severely impedes walking, or peace officers and members of the Armed Forces of this State or the United States while on duty or going to or returning from duty.
    (Added to NRS by 1969, 1367; A 1971, 1542; 1981, 321; 1987, 596)
    Also, this law may apply to your boat as well, if your boat is on an "other way open to the public." I'm not certain how such a way is defined.
    Last edited by Felid`Maximus; 04-17-2012 at 12:11 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Felid`Maximus View Post
    I concur that you are not violating the laws by holding the rifle as you describe, so long as you are not making anyone feel threatened.



    The law is in the hunting and wildlife section, and that was probably their intent, but I doubt it really prevents any poaching.



    Also, this law may apply to your boat as well, if your boat is on an "other way open to the public." I'm not certain how such a way is defined.
    I meant it's supposed to help prevent poaching. I agree, it takes a second to chamber around. I doubt it really prevents anything. ;o)
    Hoka hey

  6. #6
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    Always found this law interesting. I have in the past been stopped during deer hunting by a Nv game officer. Very serious and would not relax until checking the rifles are not chambered. Never saying a word about the fully loaded scope 44mag pistol on my hip. Which is legal to and I have used to take big game. Not wanting hanguns to be added just another law hard to make sinse why.

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    Regular Member jdholmes's Avatar
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    Thanks for the confirmation. I was fairly certain it wouldn't be construed that way, but thought it better to ask.

    As to the round in the chamber, that's good to know - I don't travel with it chambered but it is typically loaded...it loads into a cylinder under the barrel and you have to draw the front of the cylinder way out...so it is easier just to keep it loaded all the time.

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    This is only a theoretical question (I don't expect anyone to waste any of their time researching it), but I wonder how these laws affect weapons that fire from an open bolt? I have a Cobray M-11. When a magazine is inserted and the charging handle pulled, the uppermost round is visible in the open bolt of the weapon. Is that considered in the "firing chamber" for the purposes of this law? Incidentally, my M-11 is selective fire and on a ATF Form 4 if that makes any difference between classifying it as a rifle vs a pistol.

    Jason

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    To me it seems that you would be okay with a loaded magazine in the open bolt gun, because "the only cartridges or shells are in the magazine," and that is explicitly allowed under (2). Generally NV law is strictly construed. Also, it may not even qualify as a rifle or shotgun, and then you wouldn't need to worry about that at all.


    The select fire nature does not matter, I do not think.

    The ATF definitions generally don't apply to Nevada law. Nevada does not clearly define rifle or shotgun, but does have definitions for short barreled rifles and shotguns and for "firearms capable of being concealed," as well as for machine gun. It would definitely fall under "machinegun" and "firearms capable of being concealed" (if the barrel is shorter than 12 inches). But I don't think that is conclusive when it comes to 503.165

    Does the machinepistol have a butt stock? If so, there is a good chance they will find it to be a rifle, and probably a short barreled rifle, since it has a rifled barrel and looks like a rifle.

    If not, I would argue it was not a rifle or shotgun, as most people do not consider a gun like that to be a rifle or shotgun, and it fits in a handgun sized holster etc.

    But, what a blood thirsty prosecutor and idiot judge and jury would think, I cannot say.

    For concealed carry on the person, it may or may not be possible to legally conceal a select fire firearm, as the law only says that one can get a permit to conceal a revolver (the definition of which includes single or double derringers), or semi-automatic firearms. Is a firearm which can be fully automatic or semi-automatic considered to be semi-automatic for the purposes of the permitting laws? I do not know. I don't see anything proscribing the open carry of a full auto firearm however, assuming it is legally possessed under federal law.
    Last edited by Felid`Maximus; 05-25-2012 at 12:35 PM.

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