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Thread: Legality of OC & Handling Gun

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    Legality of OC & Handling Gun

    Hello,

    I was curious about the legality of actually handling your gun in public, rather than just OC. For instance, (I know it's not a good idea, but just for hypothetical) could I walk down the street holding a pistol in my hand?

    Also, how does one make the transition from OC to CC without brandishing?

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    Regular Member ProShooter's Avatar
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    Welcome!

    Carrying in the hand is certainly not advisable, and could lead to a brandishing charge if someone is in fear of being shot or injured.

    We offer a class that discusses these laws, open carry, etc. and I think you may find it beneficial.

    Details here - http://proactiveshooters.com/general...d-carry-in-va/
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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fordflux View Post
    Hello,

    I was curious about the legality of actually handling your gun in public, rather than just OC. For instance, (I know it's not a good idea, but just for hypothetical) could I walk down the street holding a pistol in my hand?

    Also, how does one make the transition from OC to CC without brandishing?
    Best to be avoided and maintain a posture that will not be misunderstood.

    Any touching/handling of a gun involves safety issues. I can make the switch w/o handling - rearrange garments. Still tend to do so in private, except for the Va. Tuck. If you can't do it discretely and safely, don't.

    It is important to remember the we promote proper, legal carry IN holsters - so carrying "in hand" would be consider OT here.

    As a general comment to others: Any reference to past Tennessee events of this nature will be considered inappropriate for the Va. forum and such will be deleted from this section.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Welcome to OCDO. Looks like you figured out this is a good place to get sound advice - even if we sometimes disagree among ourselves.

    We are still going round and round about how some cops rest their hands or their elbows or other body parts on their holstered guns with impunity while us "civillians" can get into all sorts of trouble should a cop see us doing the same thing.

    Without getting into the issues of if it is or is not brandishing, it's just not a good idea to have any contact between your hands and the holstered handgun unless you are intending to do something that most likely involves removing the handgun from the holster. Sometimes an IWB holster will shift position and you'll want to move it back where it belongs. Discretion is the better part of public behavior in that case.

    As for your original question about walking around with a handgun in your hand -- it may be legal under some circumstances where it would not otherwise qualify as brandishing, but I'm willing to bet that it would still scare horses, genteel women, and any cop that saw you. There is too much risk involved to recommend doing so.

    stay safe.

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    Thanks for the detailed responses. Of course I would never actually do what I asked! I was just curious about the legality, trying to get a better understanding of the etiquette and legal aspects of being a gun owner and concealed carrier.

    Thanks again.
    Last edited by fordflux; 06-14-2011 at 09:44 AM.

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    Regular Member MSC 45ACP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    As a general comment to others: Any reference to past Tennessee events of this nature will be considered inappropriate for the Va. forum and such will be deleted from this section.
    Fordflux, if you are interested in the history of this subject, you may want to pay closer attention to what has been said... I won't get into it because I respect the above poster and his wisdom. PM me if you want help finding what you seek. Sometimes the search can be as much fun as the find!

    msc
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    However, like most of us, as I go through my daily life, I carry something a bit more compact, with a lot less power."
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    Regular Member Marco's Avatar
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    Thanks for the detailed responses. Of course I would never actually do what I asked! I was just curious about the legality, trying to get a better understanding of the etiquette and legal aspects of being a gun owner and concealed carrier.

    Thanks again.
    Don't you mean gun owner and firearm/gun/weapon carrier?
    There are other forums dedicated to the Concealed carrier.
    If you think like a Statist, act like one, or back some, you've given up on freedom and have gone over to the dark side.
    The easiest ex. but probably the most difficult to grasp for gun owners is that fool permission slip so many of you have, especially if you show it off with pride. You should recognize it as an embarrassment, an infringement, a travesty and an affront to a free person.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Agent19 View Post
    Don't you mean gun owner and firearm/gun/weapon carrier?
    There are other forums dedicated to the Concealed carrier.
    Yes, I do plan to conceal carry, but I had a question about an open carry aspect that I thought this forum would be most suited to answer.

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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fordflux View Post
    Yes, I do plan to conceal carry, but I had a question about an open carry aspect that I thought this forum would be most suited to answer.
    This wouldn't be the proper forum for that either fordflux. We deal with holstered carry and while I don't necessarily agree with restricting the discussion, them the rules.

    I am curious about why you're interested in carrying it in your hand????????

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    Quote Originally Posted by peter nap View Post
    This wouldn't be the proper forum for that either fordflux. We deal with holstered carry and while I don't necessarily agree with restricting the discussion, them the rules.

    I am curious about why you're interested in carrying it in your hand????????
    As stated previously, I am not interested in every carrying it in my hand. It was just a hypothetical question that I asked out of curiosity--and part as an exaggeration and lead-in to the question of transition from CC to OC (also covered above). I would never actually want to do what I suggested
    Last edited by fordflux; 06-14-2011 at 12:32 PM.

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    Regular Member Marco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fordflux View Post
    Yes, I do plan to conceal carry, but I had a question about an open carry aspect that I thought this forum would be most suited to answer.
    I don't care how you carry or if you carry at all, that is a personal choice.
    Just pointing out if you are only interested in CC'ing there are better forums, but that doesn't mean you aren't welcomed here.
    Many VA CC only type folks are well versed in how to go from CC to OC as it was required (up until 7/1/2010) to do so if they wished to remain armed when entering a rest/club that served adult bevs.

    As for the handgun in the hand thing one would think most would know nothing good will probably transpire from such actions.


    Welcome to the forums.
    Last edited by Marco; 06-14-2011 at 12:52 PM. Reason: why not
    If you think like a Statist, act like one, or back some, you've given up on freedom and have gone over to the dark side.
    The easiest ex. but probably the most difficult to grasp for gun owners is that fool permission slip so many of you have, especially if you show it off with pride. You should recognize it as an embarrassment, an infringement, a travesty and an affront to a free person.


    ~Alan Korwin

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    Regular Member Red Dawg's Avatar
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    There is the birth of the Virginia Tuck...
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    A gun in the hand is better than a cop on the phone

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    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark View Post
    We are still going round and round about how some cops rest their hands or their elbows or other body parts on their holstered guns with impunity while us "civillians" can get into all sorts of trouble should a cop see us doing the same thing.
    Is this ill advised?? I rest my elbow on my handgun all the time when it is holstered. Especially if I am standing in like say a check out line. It is a level II but I still like to rest my elbow when I am in close quarters to other persons for that added security.
    "Experience is a wonderful thing. It enables you to recognize a mistake when you make it again"

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    Regular Member ocholsteroc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay View Post
    Is this ill advised?? I rest my elbow on my handgun all the time when it is holstered. Especially if I am standing in like say a check out line. It is a level II but I still like to rest my elbow when I am in close quarters to other persons for that added security.
    I believe theres nothing wrong with "resting" only brandishing applys to hands/touching/wrapped around the grips.
    Last edited by ocholsteroc; 06-15-2011 at 02:52 PM.
    How come a DUI you can get your driver licence back, which it is a privilege. But if commiting a felon, even something non violent like stealing, you are denied your constitutional rights for the rest of your life?
    If you don't support the Second Amendment to the Constitution, what other parts of the Constitution do you reject?
    More restrictions on guns? how about restrictions on chainsaws and knives?

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ocholsteroc View Post
    I believe theres nothing wrong with "resting" only brandishing applys to hands/touching/wrapped around the grips.
    Tell that to the Surry County Commonwealth Attorney.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Founder's Club Member - Moderator ed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ocholsteroc View Post
    brandishing applys to hands/touching/wrapped around the grips.
    cite?
    Carry On.

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    18.2-282. Pointing, holding, or brandishing firearm, air or gas operatedweapon or object similar in appearance; penalty.

    A. It shall be unlawful for any person to point, hold or brandish any firearmor 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 inducefear in the mind of another or hold a firearm or any air or gas operatedweapon in a public place in such a manner as to reasonably induce fear in themind of another of being shot or injured. However, this section shall notapply to any person engaged in excusable or justifiable self-defense. Personsviolating the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a Class 1misdemeanor or, if the violation occurs upon any public, private or religiouselementary, middle or high school, including buildings and grounds or uponpublic property within 1,000 feet of such school property, he shall be guiltyof a Class 6 felony.

    bran·dish (brndsh)
    tr.v. bran·dished, bran·dish·ing, bran·dish·es
    1. To wave or flourish (a weapon, for example) menacingly.
    2. To display ostentatiously. See Synonyms at flourish.
    n.
    A menacing or defiant wave or flourish.

    I think it would be hard for them to convict based on "brandishing" based on the definition. However, resting your hand on the firearm *could* be considered holding it, but I think that would be a stretch. I think any sane person would consider holding to be holding it in ones hand, un-holstered. Although, you never can tell these days I suppose...

    At any rate, whether it is legal in some cases or not, I think having a gun in your hand, or otherwise handling the firearm, outside of a firing range or your home (or in a self defense situation) would be a quick way to wind up being shot by the police or maybe someone else thinking they are defending their life. That said I don't see how resting ones elbow on hand on *top* of the holstered firearm could be viewed as a hostile action. Wrapping your hand around the grip does seem like it would/could be viewed that way though, and not something I'd want to do.

    Just my personal views by the way, and what I said may or may not be legal/illegal. I'm still new to OC (or any carry for that matter), and have studied and continue to study the law daily but have long way to go to fully understand everything. I am extremely cautious with my carry at this time and I make sure any adjustments happen when I get out of the car with my door still open and strong side facing the door as to help conceal any quick touching/shifting I may have to do, or by pushing the holster when not around others or other obvious location. I've never, and never plan to, have direct contact with the firearm itself while in public. Whether hidden from view or not.

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    Regular Member ProShooter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ocholsteroc View Post
    brandishing applys to hands/touching/wrapped around the grips.
    A charge of Brandishing does not require that you are touching the gun.
    Last edited by ProShooter; 06-16-2011 at 06:52 AM.
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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ProShooter View Post
    A charge of Brandishing does not require that you are touching the gun.
    The problem is that § 18.2-282. uses the word "brandish" to define "brandishing."

    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..............

    What does running mean? Well you know it means run.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Regular Member ProShooter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    The problem is that § 18.2-282. uses the word "brandish" to define "brandishing."

    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..............

    What does running mean? Well you know it means run.
    Running on the road?
    Running a load of laundry?
    My computer is running a program?
    My nose is running?

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    Regular Member tcmech's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ProShooter View Post
    Running on the road?
    Running a load of laundry?
    My computer is running a program?
    My nose is running?

    and I just saw your refrigerator pass me too.

    I don't believe that resting your elbow on the handgun can be considered brandishing by itself. I do believe that people can get all kinds of upset if you have your hand wrapped around the grip standing in a checkout lane. I personally tend to let my elbow rub against my gun also.
    If Obama is the answer; how stupid was the question?

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    Quote Originally Posted by tcmech View Post
    and I just saw your refrigerator pass me too.

    I don't believe that resting your elbow on the handgun can be considered brandishing by itself. I do believe that people can get all kinds of upset if you have your hand wrapped around the grip standing in a checkout lane. I personally tend to let my elbow rub against my gun also.
    It's all in the context of the overall circumstances. I am nearly certain that someone could be convicted of brandishing, within a set of circumstances that involved resting their elbow on their gun. I don't have the cite, there is a case where lifting the shirt to expose the gun was enough. It's all about the circumstances.

    TFred

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    Quote Originally Posted by TFred View Post
    It's all in the context of the overall circumstances. I am nearly certain that someone could be convicted of brandishing, within a set of circumstances that involved resting their elbow on their gun. I don't have the cite, there is a case where lifting the shirt to expose the gun was enough. It's all about the circumstances.

    TFred
    Morris v. Commonwealth. http://www.courts.state.va.us/opinio...wp/1032714.pdf

    Wonder why I know about that case?

    stay safe.

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    Your name is Donovan Morris?

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