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Thread: Brandishing accidently?

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    I have been open carrying for I guess a couple of weeks with no problems. However, I carry with an OWB holster on my right hip. My hand will naturally be very near the gun when walking, and may occasionaly brush against it. My concern is that some sheeple may call in a MWAG and say they saw me put my hand on it. Also, what if you rest your hand on top of it, although I have not done this. Finally, I have found myself adjusting the position on my belt for comfort when exiting my vehicle, but usually after looking around to see no one is near.

    Am I being overly paranoid? Are there actions I need to take that I am overlooking? Thanks for comments.

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    Regular Member SFCRetired's Avatar
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    "Happiness is a warm shotgun!!"
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    Regular Member SouthernBoy's Avatar
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    I should think that as long as you're not acting in a threatening manner, then you're Ok. I have also re-positioned my piece on my belt on occasion. I would bet you're fine.


    In the final seconds of your life, just before your killer is about to dispatch you to that great eternal darkness, what would you rather have in your hand? A cell phone or a gun?

    Si vis pacem, para bellum.

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    In VA, sweeping your hand against your gun doing everyday things does not constitute 'brandishing'. You would have to make an overt gesture and threat for it to be brandishing.

    You're fine, carry on.

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    Campaign Veteran marshaul's Avatar
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    Jonesy wrote:
    Also, what if you rest your hand on top of it, although I have not done this.
    I do not do this. Every time I see a cop do this, I cringe. It's too close to using body language to say, "Hey, look at me, I've got a gun, aren't I tough!" Ordinarily I wouldn't say such a thing, but cops manage to give such a message often enough that the correlation is forever made in my head. I just put my hands in my pockets. Nobody gets the wrong idea, the body language is unambiguous.

    Is it brandishing? Certainly not. Is this the image that OCers generally try to convey? Equally not.

    Now, if OC were fully normalized, I wouldn't see the big deal, but as it is we are best off demonstrating perfect gun manners. At least, in my opinion.

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    However, I carry with an OWB holster on my right hip. My hand will naturally be very near the gun when walking, and may occasionaly brush against it.
    Dude, either you need to pull your pants up or you got some really short arms.

    As far as adjusting your holster, I think we all do that from time to time. Don't most LEO do that when they get out of their car.

    There's no such thing as "brandishing" accidentally. As has already been said, Brandishing requires that the weapon be removed from it's holster.

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    Regular Member SouthernBoy's Avatar
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    marshaul wrote:
    Jonesy wrote:
    Also, what if you rest your hand on top of it, although I have not done this.
    I do not do this. Every time I see a cop do this, I cringe. It's too close to using body language to say, "Hey, look at me, I've got a gun, aren't I tough!" Ordinarily I wouldn't say such a thing, but cops manage to give such a message often enough that the correlation is forever made in my head. I just put my hands in my pockets. Nobody gets the wrong idea, the body language is unambiguous.

    Is it brandishing? Certainly not. Is this the image that OCers generally try to convey? Equally not.


    Now, if OC were fully normalized, I wouldn't see the big deal, but as it is we are best off demonstrating perfect gun manners. At least, in my opinion.
    Good point and worth stating.

    In the final seconds of your life, just before your killer is about to dispatch you to that great eternal darkness, what would you rather have in your hand? A cell phone or a gun?

    Si vis pacem, para bellum.

    America First!

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    Regular Member MamaLiberty's Avatar
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    Jonesy, sounds like you need to spend some quality time with an instructor or other experienced person and make sure you have your gear squared away. Also, you'll develop confidence and cool as you gain experience.

    We all started at the beginning. I was a nervous wreck at times the first week I carried. :shock: And I live in a place where open carry is perfectly accepted.
    I will not knowingly initiate force. I am a self owner.

    Let the record show that I did not consent to be governed. I did not consent to any constitution. I did not consent to any president. I did not consent to any law except the natural law of "mala en se." I did not consent to the police. Nor any tax. Nor any prohibition of anything. Nor any regulation or licensing of any kind.

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    I have a couple of OWB holsters that I seldom wear when OC'ing precisely due to the right forearm interaction and spacial projecton issues mentioned by the OP. I prefer to wear an IWB, or a paddle style that hugs my torso more closely. IWB is also less " 3-dimensional" , more secure, and the sheep are less prone to think the Glock is going to leap out of the holster and attack them.

    It really depends on how I feel on a given day- whether I prefer stealth or more obvious carry.


    I think the term "ACCIDENTAL - BRANDISHING" may very well be an OXY-MORON.

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    SouthernBoy wrote:
    marshaul wrote:
    Jonesy wrote:
    Also, what if you rest your hand on top of it, although I have not done this.
    I do not do this. Every time I see a cop do this, I cringe. It's too close to using body language to say, "Hey, look at me, I've got a gun, aren't I tough!" Ordinarily I wouldn't say such a thing, but cops manage to give such a message often enough that the correlation is forever made in my head. I just put my hands in my pockets. Nobody gets the wrong idea, the body language is unambiguous.

    Is it brandishing? Certainly not. Is this the image that OCers generally try to convey? Equally not.


    Now, if OC were fully normalized, I wouldn't see the big deal, but as it is we are best off demonstrating perfect gun manners. At least, in my opinion.
    Good point and worth stating.
    I do believe that in Virginia removal of the gun from the holster is not needed for brandishing. Can someone confirm?

  11. #11
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    Jonesy wrote:
    SouthernBoy wrote:
    marshaul wrote:
    Jonesy wrote:
    Also, what if you rest your hand on top of it, although I have not done this.
    I do not do this. Every time I see a cop do this, I cringe. It's too close to using body language to say, "Hey, look at me, I've got a gun, aren't I tough!" Ordinarily I wouldn't say such a thing, but cops manage to give such a message often enough that the correlation is forever made in my head. I just put my hands in my pockets. Nobody gets the wrong idea, the body language is unambiguous.

    Is it brandishing? Certainly not. Is this the image that OCers generally try to convey? Equally not.


    Now, if OC were fully normalized, I wouldn't see the big deal, but as it is we are best off demonstrating perfect gun manners. At least, in my opinion.
    Good point and worth stating.
    I do believe that in Virginia removal of the gun from the holster is not needed for brandishing. Can someone confirm?
    With most, but not all, criminal offenses the key is intent. Accidentally touching a holstered firearm wouldn't generally be brandishing under the statute I'm familiar with (VA, NC doesn't have a specific brandishing statute) because there was no intent to cause fear.

    However, unholstering a weapon (in VA at least) isn't required for brandishing. Putting a hand on a holstered weapon and making a threat, or even standing in such a manner as to make a holstered weapon obvious and making a threat to use the weapon could be brandishing.

    Intent is generally the key to offenses like this. As such, its often not necessary to actually scare someone for the offense to exist and the fact that someone is scared doesn't necessarily mean an offense has occured.

    Clear as mud huh?

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