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Thread: Incident at Lynnhaven Mall on Saturday

  1. #1
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    Ok so last night, Feb 3, i went to the lynnhaven mall with my girl and her two sisters to pay her cell phone bill. Haveing recently gotten my CHP i was carrying concealed. We stood in line behind some girls at the kiosk waiting for our turn. When the girls in front of us left, apparently one of them said somehing to the likes of "that b*itch back there huffin and puffin like shes been waiting forever" or something to which my girl replied, "uh actually we have been"

    At that point the two gils turned and just started yelling and screaming at my girl cussing and trying to start a fight. i stepped in between and told my girl to shut up. then i turned to these girls and asked them to leave. They didnt, they just kept yelling more and more, getting louder and louder. I remained calm the entire time, and was on the phone with one of my buddies, trying to talk to him. I kept asking them to leave, to just go away, and they kept screamin at me like i was saying something about their mother. I was calm the whole time, leaning up against the kiosk, telling my buddy that "this is crazy dude"

    It was a completely one sided argument. they were yelling at me and i kept asking them to leave, and just kept laughing at the stupid things they were saying like "my father RUNS virginia beach" and "hes the head of police i could have you arrested right now" it was quite funny really

    After this had gone on for about 5 minutes, with no security coming or anythign and these girls continuing to scream and yell i began to wonder what was wrong with them. I just kept asking them to leave, never saying ANYthing bad about them in any way, staying calm the whole time and feeling threatened the whole time. I didnt know if they had a weapon on them or if they were on some kind of drugs. they acted as if they might be because they would let the situation go.

    But after this had gone on for a while, and feeling very threatened, i calmly pulled my coat back so that my sidearm was showing. I did this calmly and in a non-threatening manner, which was quite obvious because i was acting calm and these girls were the obvious aggressors. All i simply did was go from CC to OC. My thinking was, i dont know if she has anything but if she does i want to be ready for anything and i want her to know im ready to defend myself and my friends.

    When she saw my gun, instead of deciding that this wasnt worth it they just stepped up theyre aggression a notch or ten. The main girl just kept screaming "oh you gonna shoot me now?" and i said "no, i didnt show you this cause i want to shoot you, i just want you to leave". The whole time i was at least ten feet away and leaning up against the kiosk, still with my buddy on the phone.

    Security finally came and told the girl to leave, apparently she ran from the place. Then the cops told me to come over to wherethey were and i found myself surrounded by 11 cops. they asked to see my CCW and kept telling me that i wasnt allowed in the mall with a firearm. I told them i did not know that and that i had open carried there many times, walking right past security, never once being told to leave. The then took me into a hallway and said that i could be charged with "brandishing a firearm". The took my gun out of my holster and we walked up to their lil security office.

    They sat me down and kept telling me that this was a Class 1 misdomeanor that i brandished my weapon in a threatening manner. I thought that brandishing meant actually drawing your weapon, but if it doesnt then i certainly didnt do anythign in a threatening manner. I was the one being threated i kept telling them and they kept telling me all the laws that "they" knew. They told me that i have to ask permission to carry a firearm onto private property and this and that. They kept telling me that im not listening to them adn that im not going to learn till i go to jail and i just sat there wondering how in the hell i did anything wrong.

    Yeah, maybe i shoulda just kept it concealed, i should have known that girls like that were not going to take that as a sign of someone willing to defend themselves, even though i told them i wasnt showing my gun cause i wanted to shoot them, i just wanted them to leave, and i should have had the girl in the kiosk call for security, but she said she was going to so i thought she already had. But i dont see how me being threatened and going from CC to OC was illegal. But beacuase im in the military they called one of my officers and had him come get me. They said either he gets me or i go to jail. They banned me from the mall and the areas around it for 5 years and told my officer that my CCW was going to be reviewed by a judge to see if i should keep it. The only thing i did wrong was carry into their mall. which i had done openly so many times.

    If there are any attorneys who read this i would like to hear their opinions. I feel like my rights were violated and i have several witnesses and one on the phone who can attest that i was not the aggressor at all. At what point of being threatened are you allowed to even slightly prepare yourself for what someone might do? Slightly as in simply push my coat back to reveal my gun. i didnt unhook the strap or grab the handle like i was going to draw. i didnt push my coat back all fast like i was ready for a shootout, more like a guy who yawns and puts his arm around a girl in a movie theatre. If anyone can help me please let me know. i feel screwed over, and i dont think i did anythign illegal. Please comment....

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    Just a lil note. The cops at the mall stated VA code 18.2-282 which states:

    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.

    However the officer reading this did NOT read me the part that says However, this section shall not apply to any person engaged in excusable or justifiable self-defense

    I think its fair to say that as i was the person trying to deescilate the situation, by telling them to please leave, and they were the aggressors continuing to make a scene, yelling and screaming at me, that if i did in fact "brandish" my weapon by letting it be scene that i was in justifiable self-defense.

  3. #3
    State Researcher lockman's Avatar
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    Transitioning from CC to OC in the course of a confrontation, whether one sided or not can certainly be considered an escalation of an already tense situation. After that escalation, if you had been physically attacked and you used your weapon to defend yourself, the legal system may look upon you as an aggressor.

    I believe the better course of action would have been to call security yourself or remove yourself and friend from the situation. You can always go back later.

    Now you do not have the option to go back for 5 years.

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    But if i had been OCing the whole time then what? would they have said i was brandishing the whole time? So long as i was trying to deescilate the situation and wasnt acting in a threatening manner, i dont see how that transition could put me in the wrong.

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    Open carry in VA is legal, Concealed carry is legal with a permit. But going from one legal activity to another is somehow considered brandishing, which by definition means;

    bran·dish

    1. to shake or wave, as a weapon; flourish

    2.a flourish or waving, as of a weapon



    How does two rights make a wrong? if it was obvious i wasnt the aggressor, then how was i not just acting defensively?

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    Founder's Club Member - Moderator longwatch's Avatar
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    IANAL but you should be talking to one and not on here. Personally I think you probably did brandish by the letter of the law. I wasn't there but I don't see any adequate reason to introduce a firearm into the situation as you described it.

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    Campaign Veteran Dutch Uncle's Avatar
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    Since there are going to be legal repercussion to this event, I would strongly urge you not to say anything more on a public internet forum. If you need legal advice, see an attorney. Anything you say to him or her is priveleged information and can't be used against you. Anything you say here may well come back to bite you in the butt.

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    It's been said here before, but it is important enough to repeat again: It Is AlwaysA Good Idea To Be The One Who Calls The Police Yourself (if possible). In this case, you had a cell phone turned on and at least five minutes to do so before security or the police showed up. It doesn't guarantee anything to have been the one who called the police, but it does demonstrate that you were interested in the police being there todo what they arepaidto do in any dicey situation, whichshows you in a better light. For that matter, it also puts your initial side of the story (as told to the dispatcher) on tape for later reference,which can be invaluable.

    Just my two cents....

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    Brandishing does nothave to include actually handling or pointing a firearm at someone.

    Transitioning from concealed to open carry isn't a crime in and of itself.

    In this case. by your summary of the incident,it sounds to me that you brandished a firearm, andare a lucky man not to have been arrested.

    If you aren't in enough fear for your (or someone elses)physical safety during an argument that you actualy need to draw a weapon, then don't move clothing to reveal a firearm during an argument or confrontation or youpossiblyare going to face a claim of brandishing.


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    bran·dish

    1. to shake or wave, as a weapon; flourish

    2.a flourish or waving, as of a weapon


    This appears to be a definition pulled from adictionary, not the legal definition nor a reflection ofVirginia case law....

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    I agree that you need to get off the net because what you saymay be used against you. Or at least be very careful what you say about the incident itself.

    I strongly suggest you get an attorney. Your CHP may be in jeopardy. Did they issue a citation? I've not had time to research the statutes thoroughly, but there is language in Va Code that prevents issuing a CHP if there is a brandishing conviction: http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp...0+cod+18.2-308 Your CHP may be revocable for it.

    I stronglyurge you to become familiar with the nuances of responsible defensive gun use and ownership. There is a lot to know.Its not always obvious. Dig in and do the research. I recommend:

    Book:Virginia Gun Owner's Guide available in many gun stores and through Bloomfield Press at www.gunlaws.com

    Book: In the Gravest Extreme by Massad Ayoob available through Police Bookshelf at Lethal Force Institute website, and sometimes through gunstores.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

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    Also, there is a quick overview at FirearmsTactical.com.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

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    There were no charges brought against me, and there shouldnt be any legal repercussions. Im just not allowed back at the mall for 5 years, which really doesnt bother me. But i still dont see how merely making my gun visible to someone who seems to want to do some harm to me puts me in the wrong...

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    Adding my 2 cents...

    the "websters" definition of brandishing differs slightly from the version officers, judges and attorneys are reading from.

    Going from CC to OC during anyincident is REALLY stupid -- and.. in my opinion you were brandishing a weapon.

    There was absolutely no reason to reveal the fact you had a weapon -- As you have learned(or hopefully learned), things can "go south real fast" when you introduce a weapon into an argument.

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    What are the rules for transitioning from cc to oc?



    For instance, I was eating in Wendy's with my wife the other afternoon and it was very warm in the restaurant. It was very crowded, I choose not to remove my jacket and suffer being a little warm.



    Sorry for the high jack, similar situation.

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    PackininVB, Hey man I wish I could be on your side for this, but I think what you did is very wrong. I Open carry just about every day. But, two girls just gabbin at you in line are not a threat to your life. They may annoy you. But there was ZERO concern for your safety. Sorry dude, I hope you never "LOOK I HAVE A GUN" again if someone bugs you or irritates you. If your already open carrying, don't look or touch your gun if someone is simply being annoying. That is a threat, a very dangerous threat. If you had showed your gun off to a reasonable armed person he could have easily taken that as a threat to his life. Good luck, think a lot harder before doing that again.

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    SicSemperTyrannis wrote:
    Brandishing does nothave to include actually handling or pointing a firearm at someone.

    Ok -- If open carry is legal and a permit is not required and your gun is holstered is this also considered brandishing a firearm if you are in a public place (Let's say Walmart)and the sight of you and your gun makes someone nervous?

    Not sure where the line is here.

    For instance -- If you have to open carry in a facility that serves alcohol (restaurant). And someone gets nervous as you walk by to be seated. They call the police on their cell and the call is "man with a gun". When they come are you now considered brandishing as you sit there eating your dinner. Or are you just a law abiding citizen?

    I do not agree with the pulling back of the jacket to show your weapon in the heat of an argument by no means. And Ido believe this would be brandishing regardless of it being holstered because of the situation at hand.

    I am posting back to your comment not to be argumentative in anyway. I just want to understand what brandishing really means without digging through case laws to find out. That is if I find out.

    I open carry more and more. And once it is warm out can not imagine concealed carry as an option. I have not had a police encounter yet. I just want to know I am in the right before that encounter happens. Because sooner or later you just might get stopped for speeding or another traffic violation or just walk into a place where the police may already be and there ya have it.

    So, please explain brandishing not using a standard dictionary.

    Regards

    DC







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    Lets cut to the code:

    § 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. Persons violating the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor or, if the violation occurs upon any public, private or religious elementary, middle or high school, including buildings and grounds or upon public property within 1,000 feet of such school property, he shall be guilty of a Class 6 felony.

    Showing you gun is an act that in an agruement meets the definition under the law. You go lucky they didn't charge you. Brandish is just a term used, you have to go to the definition of the law, not Webster's.

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    I have to agree with the other, you transition from CC to OC is what got you in trouble. In a situation like that, uncovering your weapon can't be percieved as anything but brandishing and escalation. In 99% of situations, concealed means concealed.

    Just one question. What the heck is a kiosk and why is it so important that you didn't just leave?

    I hope all works out OK for you!

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    PackininVB wrote:
    ....But i still dont see how merely making my gun visible to someone who seems to want to do some harm to me puts me in the wrong...
    Of course you don't understand. What we're trying to do is help you understand. That's why we're giving you the advices on when NOT to show or verbally refer to your weapon. That's why I sent you the link to Virginia Law, there is a reference to brandishing in there, with a definition, I suspect.

    Now comes the test. I am going to give you some more advice. Prove to me you are level-headed enough, and responsible enough to actually take the time to judge its worth.

    1. It is dangerous to carry a firearm. The dangers include but are not limited to: greedy tort lawyers, ignorant cops, career minded prosecutors, gun-control zealots,the press,and violent felons.

    2. There is a very narrow path upon which you may walk when it comes to using your firearm defensively. Very narrow.Very narrow, indeed. Step off that path and any or all of the dangers under #1 above may get you. Even if you stay on the path when using your firearm defensively, all the dangers under #1 can get you.

    3. There is a lot to know. Research it and learn it. Start with the website FirearmsTactical.com. The first page up makes a good start. Check the other references I gave. This is going to take time.

    4. Sort the kernels you find and pay heed to the ones that you judge wise, under penalty of loss of liberty. Those who would take it from you won't care in the least whetheryouunderstandor agree.

    5.Act thoughtful and listenon Internet forums until you really have your feet under you, at risk of being ignored.


    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

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    You have to use your judgment. If you take your coat off in a restaurant because you are too warm and someone gets nervous, that's their problem, not yours. But if you reveal your firearm to someone you are having a verbalargument with, you are in effect trying to intimidate them in order to win the argument or shut them up. Now it's your problem.

    If youfelt so threatenedby this girl that you had to reveal a firearm, why were you jawing on your cellphone with some dude for several minutes? Shouldn't you have been paying attention to the "threat"? Maybe asking your daughter to call 911 on your phone? The story you tell doesn't sound right. Showing off a gun to a mouthy teenage girl, or was she armed with a knife or something? And WHY are you still posting here after being given very sage advice to shut up and talk to a lawyer?

    In general, when I carry concealed in public, I do not plan on revealing that weapon to a threatening personunless it's time to draw, and I don't ever plan on drawing unless I REALLY, REALLY have no choice.

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    The girl wasnt my daughter, it was my girlfriend more or less. Im 23 yeras old. i know the laws and i abide by them every time. The whole point im trying to make is that after 5 minutes or more of me calmly, and i cant stress that enough, calmly asking this girl to please leave, and all she does is scream and cuss at me, not just being annoying but making a HUGE scene, and i mean big, she acted like she was on something, i mean i calmly asked her to leave for more than 5 minutes, never once did i say ANYthing mean or insulting to her, and still she continued. The girl in the kiosk (which are those things in the hallways of the mall where they always try to sell you stuff) said she was going to call security so i thought she had. I stayed on the phone so that my buddy could listen to what was going on and he can prove that i was acting calmly and was being threatened. I wasnt annoyed, i can take annoyed. I felt threatened. Aho in their right mind will keep SCREAMING and yelling at you when all you have done is ask calmly and very nicely to please leave us alone? I do admit that when she kept going on and on, and about 20 more people started to crowd around as if there was going to be a fight, the type of people who would jump in if given the chance, i felt really threatened and felt that at any minute now i could be attacked with deadly violence. I failed to mention it, but it wasnt just the one girl yelling, it started out with the two girls, the one doing most of the yelling, then it seemed a BUNCH of their friends or whatever, people of their like mind, started to crowd around, me thinking the kiosk girl called security but seeing noone at all, i was starting to wonder just what was going to happen next. I honestly felt that the girl, or someone in the crowd would try something. I feel that by law, i was in "justifyable self-defense" i must admit, i was scared. i was shaking. i talked calm and tried to remain calm, but i was really scared, there were alot of people all around, all looking to be a part of this situation. i felt that at any moment i might need to draw, and keeping it concealed would 1. slow me down, and 2. i was hoping she would see it and decide to back off. i know now that those type of people will not back down, but i cant stress enough how threatened i did feel. I dont think that posting on here will be a big deal as there were no charges and no citations, nothing. its over and i dont have to worry about it. But what if it happened to you. what if it was your girlfriend, wife, daughter, whatever there with you. we were trying to get out of there as fast as possible, but the situation was making that impossible. they would have followed us, and out of the mall who knows what they would have done. im very very glad that she didnt do anythign like pull a gun out, because i dotn ever want to have to pull mine out, but i dont want to feel like im about to be ganged up on either.

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    Oh, and just a note, i do know most of the laws, i do know as do most of you that the cops dont really know the laws as well as they think they do, but i just ordered a VA gun laws book to carry with me, i will know the law by the book and every letter of it. i never want this to happen again.

    The only thing im having a problem with is who or when do you decide that you are being threatened enough to be in justifiable self-defense in order to "brandish" your weapon?

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    PackininVB wrote:
    The only thing im having a problem with is who or when do you decide that you are being threatened enough to be in justifiable self-defense in order to "brandish" your weapon?
    I can't speak for VAlaw, but here in WV, there is no "justifiable brandishing." The only time your concealed gun becomes visible is when you're drawing it to fire. Kind of a whole hog or none sort of deal.

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    PackininVB wrote:
    The only thing im having a problem with is who or when do you decide that you are being threatened enough to be in justifiable self-defense in order to "brandish" your weapon?
    I am not a lawyer, but it is my opinion that you are never justified to "brandish" your weapon unless you are fully justified in using it. In other words, unless you feel you could legally pull the trigger, you should not "brandish". My $0.02.

    You said, "we were trying to get out of there as fast as possible, but the situation was making that impossible". If the situation was that intense, you should have hung up with your friend and called 911 - even if you were sure that someone else had already done so. Even if you are not in the wrong, and are not legally required to do so, sometimes the most prudent action is to retreat.



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