It is my view and my past experience that going around with your hand on your gun is done with the intention of drawing the weapon or preparing to employ the weapon with articulable
I could see Joe Citizen being charged under RCW 9.41.270 to intimidate or cause alarm.
A similar incident just occured as 911Boss posted;
"Anyone see the news recently about the guy carrying a shotgun, trying to clear people off of the "Private Rd" while they were at the school bus stop?
Sounds like they arrested him under 9.41.270, it will be interesting to see how the case goes.
Yes, it is a private rd, but it served several houses, not just his and there appears that there may be easement issues as well."
That's when he says a neighbor came out and threatened him with a shotgun.
Despite the possible danger, Fowler snapped a photo of the man with his cell phone. The photo shows the man gripping the shotgun in his right hand.
Cell phone photo shows a man approaching the Fox Island school bus stop with a shotgun.
Fowler says: "I ask him what he's going to do with it. And he tells me if I don't get off his property, he's going to show me what he's going to do with it. Now, that sounds like a threat to me."
Full Story http://www.komonews.com/news/local/86730372.html
I am sure some here will feel that he was perfectly fine in what he did and yet he committed a crime as described in RCW 9.41.270 as it would not fall under the exceptions of this RCW.
RCW 9.41.270(3)Subsection (1) of this section shall not apply to or affect the following:
(a) Any act committed by a person while in his or her place of abode or fixed place of business;
(b) Any person who by virtue of his or her office or public employment is vested by law with a duty to preserve public safety, maintain public order, or to make arrests for offenses, while in the performance of such duty;
(c) Any person acting for the purpose of protecting himself or herself against the use of presently threatened unlawful force by another, or for the purpose of protecting another against the use of such unlawful force by a third person;
(d) Any person making or assisting in making a lawful arrest for the commission of a felony; or
(e) Any person engaged in military activities sponsored by the federal or state governments.
Some may want to argue the issue of Place of Abode and if one was to research this in Washington State Case Law you will find that the Place of Abode is in or on your residence in which you reside which is defined as house or dwelling and items physically attached to as a porch, deck or garage but not an unattached garage or out buildings.
Your yard fenced or not would not apply as to your place of abode.
It does not appear he was under threat of unlawful force nor witnessing a felony.
If he would have stayed on his porch and yelled at them from there with his shotgun in hand he would have feel under the protection of the exceptions clause.
This is just an example of how fast things can get out of hand, and if one is observed with their hand on their handgun and depending on the surround circumstances such as actions, statements or even a stinking look could be considered alarming by some.
Personally I have no need to put my hand on my gun unless I am going to do something with it.