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Thread: Defensive Display of a Firearm

  1. #1
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    I'm a bit unclear as to when defensive display is warranted. I want to hear from some of you who have defensively displayed in situations and if there were any ill effects.

    Also, the statute seems a bit grey in the area. It states the whole "reasonable person" stuff. I bet I could get a jury of 12 people who would think it is unreasonable to defensively display under any circumstance, just as I could probably get a jury of 12 who would see it as completely justified. I've digressed.

    If you have defensively displayed (whether verbally announcing, exposing the firearm, placing hand on firearm, etc.), what kinds of things have you encountered?

    Cheers to all,
    Doug

  2. #2
    McX
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    When the criminal element took up residence (literally), next door to our shop, we made sure they understood we were an Open Carry facility. The trash that blew in with them (hookers, and the like) all scampered down the street at the sight of us, kept their distance and didn't even make eye contact. The majority of the trash next door stayed out of sight when we were outside on our property. But there was one- there always is in every crowd, who tried to taunt us from a distance. Carefully keeping off our property, to avoid arrest and prosecution, he would walk the border between us, flashing large sums of money, claiming he would "bring his homies down there with AK's". We simply responded: Were an Open Carry- Armed facility, and if you don't like it; MOVE! But for all his mocking, and veiled threats, he never came onto our property, nor advanced on us. Our firearms were plainly in view to all. And once again NOTHING HAPPENED.

  3. #3
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    OK, I have a story for you. My wife and I were approaching the intersection on our Harley where we turn right to go home. A car suddenly cuts in front of us, missing us by inches. I respond in my normal fashion - by flipping him off. He slams his brakes on, almost causing me to rear-end him, and jumps out. He comes at me, arms waving wildly shouting at me in spanish. I suggest he do something that is anotomically impossible and tell him to get back in his car. He continues towards me. Next thing he knows he is looking down the barrel of a .357. He keeps coming. With my thumb on the hammer, I tell him once more to back off. After more curses in spanish, he does get back in his car and squeals off. The story should end there - but doesn't.

    About 20 minutes later at home, the dogs go nuts and the doorbell rings. I answer the door still packing. I open the door to Mesa PD, who asks if I ride a red motorcyle and have a gun. To which I answer yes to both. He asks where the gun is, and I show him. He asks my wife and me tostep outside and hand him the gun. We walk out to seefive Mesa PD cars and a helicopter circling! Apparently someone witnessed my altercation earlier and reported my plate number. They questioned my wife and I separately. I was advised that I may not have been in a position that deadly force was required to prevent bodily injury. I assured him I felt that my wife and I were in a life-threatening situation. After about a half hour they returned my gun to me and all left. No arrests or warnings or tickets issued.

    Generally OC'ing a Rugar .357 is "defensively displaying" enough!

    -Dutch

  4. #4
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    Frankly, AZDutch what you did is borderline illegal. You engaged this person by continuing to taunt him. I am not go into details but self-defense in the law does not include engagement of "fighting words" and then ending the engagement by shooting someone.

    azDutch wrote:
    OK, I have a story for you. My wife and I were approaching the intersection on our Harley where we turn right to go home. A car suddenly cuts in front of us, missing us by inches. I respond in my normal fashion - by flipping him off. He slams his brakes on, almost causing me to rear-end him, and jumps out. He comes at me, arms waving wildly shouting at me in spanish. I suggest he do something that is anotomically impossible and tell him to get back in his car. He continues towards me. Next thing he knows he is looking down the barrel of a .357. He keeps coming. With my thumb on the hammer, I tell him once more to back off. After more curses in spanish, he does get back in his car and squeals off. The story should end there - but doesn't.

    About 20 minutes later at home, the dogs go nuts and the doorbell rings. I answer the door still packing. I open the door to Mesa PD, who asks if I ride a red motorcyle and have a gun. To which I answer yes to both. He asks where the gun is, and I show him. He asks my wife and me tostep outside and hand him the gun. We walk out to seefive Mesa PD cars and a helicopter circling! Apparently someone witnessed my altercation earlier and reported my plate number. They questioned my wife and I separately. I was advised that I may not have been in a position that deadly force was required to prevent bodily injury. I assured him I felt that my wife and I were in a life-threatening situation. After about a half hour they returned my gun to me and all left. No arrests or warnings or tickets issued.

    Generally OC'ing a Rugar .357 is "defensively displaying" enough!

    -Dutch

  5. #5
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    I agree. You got off easy Dutch. Technically, you did not do Defensive display "by the book". Probably the only thing that saved you was that the lowlife scum did not call the cops himself. As it is, you had a third party who couldn't have pressed charges.

    By the book Defensive Display is the display of a firearm by a person is justified when a reasonable person would believe that physical force is immediately necessary to protect himself against physical force or deadly physical force.

    You are Not covered if you:

    1. Intentionally provoke another person to use or attempt to use unlawful physical force. (The taunting could fall into play here).

    2. Use your firearm to commit a crime

    Defensive Display is:

    1. Verbally informing another person that you have a gun.

    2. Exposing or displaying your gun. (not clear if this means just showing him you have it, low ready, or getting your front sight on the BG's CoM).

    3. Putting your hand on your gun.

  6. #6
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    Double Tap

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  8. #8
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    Dahwg wrote:
    Defensive Display is:

    1. Verbally informing another person that you have a gun.

    2. Exposing or displaying your gun. (not clear if this means just showing him you have it, low ready, or getting your front sight on the BG's CoM).

    3. Putting your hand on your gun.
    I would really like a clear explanation about #2.

    I believe that displaying your gun can de-escalate a bad situation. But, how do you do that legally?

  9. #9
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    I look at the guy, then I look down at my gun, and I look at the guy.. and he looks at the gun in the holster

  10. #10
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    McX wrote:
    When the criminal element took up residence (literally), next door to our shop, we made sure they understood we were an Open Carry facility. The trash that blew in with them (hookers, and the like) all scampered down the street at the sight of us, kept their distance and didn't even make eye contact. The majority of the trash next door stayed out of sight when we were outside on our property. But there was one- there always is in every crowd, who tried to taunt us from a distance. Carefully keeping off our property, to avoid arrest and prosecution, he would walk the border between us, flashing large sums of money, claiming he would "bring his homies down there with AK's". We simply responded: Were an Open Carry- Armed facility, and if you don't like it; MOVE! But for all his mocking, and veiled threats, he never came onto our property, nor advanced on us. Our firearms were plainly in view to all. And once again NOTHING HAPPENED.
    I think your forthright, no b.s. stance and the visible guns deterred those guys from doing anything rash.

    Score one for OC as deterence.

  11. #11
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    In my AZ concealed carry class a few years ago, the instructor made big deal about "brandishing" (displaying) a weapon. We left class with the impression that nobody should see our gun unless we would be justified under the law in shooting them.

    We were also advised to call 911 as soon as possible (during or after an altercation) because gang members in AZ have a habit of backing off when they see a gun, and then calling 911 to report the gun owner as a criminal. It seems that whoever reaches 911 first has an advantage in credibility.

    When you carry openly, it seems to be challenge to some low-lifes. Aiming and then cocking the revolver seem like reasonable steps once the situation had escalated to that point. In my life I try to avoid such escalation in the first place, but that's a personal choice - I don't think it is a duty under the law.



  12. #12
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    Yes, there is an unfortunate belief and syndrome (it's studied in criminal justice) that the person who calls 911 is a victim, and the person they are calling about is a perp. Many departments go through training now to assume NOTHING when they get a 911 call.



    Desert_Fun wrote:
    We were also advised to call 911 as soon as possible (during or after an altercation) because gang members in AZ have a habit of backing off when they see a gun, and then calling 911 to report the gun owner as a criminal. It seems that whoever reaches 911 first has an advantage in credibility.

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