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Thread: Brandishing

  1. #1
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    Brandishing

    So I've been looking through the posts but I havn't really found anything about my concerns. I think I have a pretty good idea about what brandishing is but I guess I'm just wanted to reevaluate how cautious I need to be with where my hands are. I have a habit of putting my hands in my pockets or at least my left hand when I'm walking around. now it would seem that that pocket has a 9mm blocking it. I make a concious effort to not try to place my hand anywhere on the gun simple out of fear of someone thinking I"m going to pull it. Though I do recal a time I saw a guy at pep boys resting his thumb against the grip like someone would do if they were tucking them into their pocket. I don't want to get the wrong impression and start using bad practices out of complacency so I was wanting to get adivce form the vets. Thanks in advance.\

    Jesse

  2. #2
    Regular Member Large Caliber Kick's Avatar
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    Jesse, first let me say . I found in my first month or so of carrying that I felt more comfortable if I kept my strong hand occupied by carrying my keys or a drink or other item that could be easily dropped to the floor if need be. Doing this helps keep people from misinterpreting your movements and allowed me to get use to carrying in public without worrying about where my hand is so much. Now I just walk with my hand down by my side as if I wasn't carrying. Keep your situational awareness high and a smile on your face and the worst encounter you will normally have is a soccer mom turning her nose up.

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    Dear Jesse...,

    it would serve you well to CLOSELY follow Skidmark's ongoing trial and backtrack to the beginning. Is this a typical case? Dear God I pray not. Does it it have the potential to happen again? Absolutely!!! There are many, many lessons to be learned from this particular case alone, even if the only lesson learned are the lengths that inept and corrupt government will go to in order to abuse its power, shirk its duties, and deprive the citizens.

    sidestreet

    Jeremiah 29 v 11-13

    we are not equal, we will never be equal, but we must be relentless.

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    Founder's Club Member Tess's Avatar
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    I'm of the opinion that you really don't need to worry about a brandishing charge if you are going about your business normally.

    Skidmark is an example of how things can go horribly wrong if someone gets a wild hair up his butt and wants to be an idiot. Most people will not be.

    Now, ifyou're talking with someone who is getting belligerent, or with a law-enforcement officer (since there's no way to tell how s/he'll regard you), keep your hands away from the sidearm. Other than that, don't waste a lot of brainpower on it. Be aware, be polite. And if you want to talk about the sidearm, take a look at the video of the VCDL picnic a couple of years ago (when Nightline was there) and note how nearly everyone referred to his sidearm -- by lifting the elbow out, jutting the hip forward, and not touching.

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    Well I would hope that it would be that simple Tess but I was just wanting to clarify it a bit.

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    Regular Member ocholsteroc's Avatar
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    Never touch your gun while OCing, from what I know and heard, touching/gripping the grip, putting a finger on the gun counts as brandishing.

    Again this is just what I know/heard, I am NOT a lawyer.

    Hope you can make it to the OC dinner, we can talk more about this subject.
    Last edited by ocholsteroc; 09-08-2011 at 08:47 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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    I'm hoping that I can make it out there but I'm not quite sure yet. Been a busy few weeks and I don't know if my schedule will let up in time.

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    Regular Member tcmech's Avatar
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    Are you speaking about the Pep Boys on Military Highway? I have never seen anyone besides myself open carrying in there but I am sure that I am not the only one that does.

    Odds are pretty good though if the guy had a chihuahua it was me. I never put my hand on my gun while I am open carrying, but I have rested my elbow on it occasionally.
    If Obama is the answer; how stupid was the question?

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    I'm not sure who it was anymore it was quite awhile back and it was in the service dept. I just remember seeing it cause I wasn't sure about the laws surrounding it. Personally I could care less it just intrigued me at the time.

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    Founder's Club Member - Moderator ed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ocholsteroc View Post
    Never touch your gun while OCing, from what I know and heard, touching/gripping the grip, putting a finger on the gun counts as brandishing.
    Carry On.

    Ed

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  11. #11
    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Sorry, Ed, but I think your BS mater is broken. http://www.courts.state.va.us/opinio...wp/1032714.pdf

    I have more I'd like to say but cannot do so for the next few days. I'm sure you all understand.

    stay safe.
    "He'll regret it to his dying day....if ever he lives that long."----The Quiet Man

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    Well, call it what you will...,

    but I have raised the subject with a few local LEO's just here in the neighborhood, and they are quite in agreement (with each other) that one does not even have to touch a firearm in order for them to stop, arrest, and charge one with "brandishing". Right or wrong, these fellows say "It will happen." I believe them. I don't agree with them, but I get the impression that they couldn't care less what or who I agree with, unless it's them.

    Would the charge "stick" (make it through court to conviction)? Well, that's another question entirely, and we may have an answer for you in about five more days, although the facts of this case will probably and mostly be unique to this case only. There may be some similarities to other cases, but rarely will the facts of two cases mirror each other exactly.

    Tess is right, this is a case in the extreme, and gone horribly wrong, but it is not to say that it couldn't happen to you. Has anyone ever lied under oath, embellished an account to support their agenda or cover their butt? Anyone ever been set up?

    As for me, I try not to be one of those folks that think "That couldn't happen to me."

    Your mileage may vary.

    sidestreet

    Jeremiah 29 v 11-13

    we are not equal, we will never be equal, but we must be relentless.
    Last edited by sidestreet; 09-09-2011 at 04:27 PM. Reason: sp, lack of rest, coffee jitters, etc.

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    Founder's Club Member - Moderator ed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark View Post
    Sorry, Ed, but I think your BS mater is broken. http://www.courts.state.va.us/opinio...wp/1032714.pdf

    I have more I'd like to say but cannot do so for the next few days. I'm sure you all understand.

    stay safe.
    and I think you are wrong.. The meter is just fine.. I am sure you will change your tune next week.

    Ed
    Carry On.

    Ed

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    Sorry Skid...,

    you must have posted while I was peckin'.

    sidestreet

    Jeremiah 29 v 11-13

    we are not equal, we will never be equal, but we must be relentless.

    (which is why if God lets me live, I will be at Surry courthouse Sept. 13, 2011 to see if justice, even though blind, is deaf and dumb also.)

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    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ocholsteroc View Post
    Never touch your gun while OCing, from what I know and heard, touching/gripping the grip, putting a finger on the gun counts as brandishing.
    Folks, the point to be made here is that you just can't go around saying such things as this because the ultimate answer will always depend on the circumstances, and unfortunately to some extent, the skill of the legal representation at the trial.

    The phrase "x y z counts as brandishing" does not accommodate the individual circumstance, which is always going to be the most important factor. There is simply no set and fast way to describe what is and is not "brandishing" that will always and universally apply in the future.

    What we do have, and what will always be the most that we will ever have, are accounts of prior incidents, and which of those have been decided to "be" and "not to be" brandishing. From those accounts we can probably draw some reasonable conclusions about a particular incident that may happen in the future, but there is no certainty to that either.

    TFred
    Last edited by TFred; 09-09-2011 at 01:43 PM.

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    Regular Member Baked on Grease's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ed View Post
    and I think you are wrong.. The meter is just fine.. I am sure you will change your tune next week.

    Ed
    I agree Ed, that case spells out the definition of brandishing in this instance as "to exhibit or expose in an ostentatios, shameless, or agressive manner."

    I work with a tool belt on my hip all day, and while talking with customers I will find my hand resting on my tools. It feels comfortable to stand that way. Unfortunately I find myself doing that while OCing also, resting my hand on my firearm while talking to people. I also see cops doing the same thing.

    I beleive it comes down to attitude and appearence, if I am amicable and outwardly friendly, noone takes notice, nor should they. If I am acting aggressive or beligerent, then that "innocent" action can be construed as something else...

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    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Baked on Grease View Post
    I work with a tool belt on my hip all day, and while talking with customers I will find my hand resting on my tools. It feels comfortable to stand that way. Unfortunately I find myself doing that while OCing also, resting my hand on my firearm while talking to people. I also see cops doing the same thing.
    For goodness sake, just make sure you don't confuse your pistol with your butt set!!!



    TFred

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    Regular Member Badger Johnson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tess View Post
    I'm of the opinion that you really don't need to worry about a brandishing charge if you are going about your business normally.

    Skidmark is an example of how things can go horribly wrong if someone gets a wild hair up his butt and wants to be an idiot.
    Just to clarify, it was not Skid who did this, but some official(s) who got all pissy and confrontational, from what I've read.
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    Regular Member 2a4all's Avatar
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    Here's a technique that I've found useful.

    LEOs are trained to adopt a position called "The Interview Stance" when talking with folks. It's a posture that lets them face the individual while postioning their arms and hands to protect their weapon against an attempt by the contact person to grab it, as well as "knowing where it is". Basically, place both hands in front of you on your belt buckle and let your elbows point outward or sligthly back with your forearm touching your holstered firearm.

    I carry my handgun in a cross draw position, so it's forward of my hips and under my weak side arm. If you carry your HG behind your hip, this may not work as well for you.

    This stance might also be useful while wating in the checkout line.

    If you use a shoulder rig, it's much harder to "brandish in place". Mine points backwards, so it might intimidate anyone behind me in the checkout line. Would that be brandishing?
    A law-abiding citizen should be able to carry his personal protection firearm anywhere that an armed criminal might go.

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    Just to clarify (hopefully) a few things...,

    this morning, I may have given a wrong impression. When I wrote that the neighborhood LEO's said "It will happen.", it was said in the context of some folks will get charges "stacked", "added" (whatever term you prefer) even though they shouldn't be applied, simply because they chose not to bow to the officer's power game, much like the ridiculous obstruction charge added to the equally ridiculous brandishing charge Skid was pinned with (which was dismissed with prejudice, by the way) because he wasn't intimidated when the deputy tried (unsuccessfully) to bully him. Of course none of the LEO's I was talking to would ever do something like that. Pppttthhhhttt (said with the same sly smile I witnessed). You should hear some of the stuff that comes out of some LEO's mouths after they've put some liquid stuff in their mouths. Yeah, I know, "It's the liquor talking", right, sure it is, where's that Bovine Excrement meter Ed?

    It has happened, it's still happening, I believe them when they say "It will happen.", AGAIN, if you run into the same kind of "authorities" that Skid happened upon, and this is nothing new, the really big problem is that it keeps getting older.

    Badger is right, it was the "security authorities" (there's an inside joke there, but the problem is that the joke has been played on us since last October) who were getting stupid and pi$$y there, and it doesn't seem that they've gotten any smarter since then, so watch out!

    Plus, TFred probably said it best!!! Thanks TFred!!!

    sidestreet

    Jeremiah 29 v 11-13

    we are not equal, we will never be equal, but we must be relentless.

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    Regular Member scouser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2a4all
    .... If you use a shoulder rig, it's much harder to "brandish in place". Mine points backwards, so it might intimidate anyone behind me in the checkout line. Would that be brandishing?
    If one of the rules of gun safety is something along the lines of 'never point the gun at anything you are not willing to destroy' how do those of you who wear something like this justify doing so? I'm not trying to be awkward about this, I'm genuinely curious as to how safe direction and pointing directly at anyone behind you is addressed. I know you're not touching it so it should be impossible for it to go off on its own, but if you do have to draw it then you're touching it while it's pointing at anyone behind you and like 2a4all asks 'could that be brandishing' if it scares the crap out of the innocent bystander it's pointing at as you remove it?

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    Regular Member Baked on Grease's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scouser View Post
    If one of the rules of gun safety is something along the lines of 'never point the gun at anything you are not willing to destroy' how do those of you who wear something like this justify doing so? I'm not trying to be awkward about this, I'm genuinely curious as to how safe direction and pointing directly at anyone behind you is addressed. I know you're not touching it so it should be impossible for it to go off on its own, but if you do have to draw it then you're touching it while it's pointing at anyone behind you and like 2a4all asks 'could that be brandishing' if it scares the crap out of the innocent bystander it's pointing at as you remove it?
    That sounds similar to a discussion on cross draw... As you draw you essentially "sweep the crowd" as you bring your sidearm to bear. Way to point in a safe direction!
    And no, while it may scare them, it "shouldn't" be construed as brandishing. (shouldn't, because we all seem to know LEO's can make "mistakes" ) "Bare fear of the firearm is not enough to... Blah blah blah" I liked one OCers response "scare you? I don't know why, it's not doing anything."

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    Last edited by Baked on Grease; 09-09-2011 at 07:26 PM.
    "A Right Un-exercised is a Right Lost"

    "According to the law, [openly carrying] in a vehicle is against the law if the weapon is concealed" -Flamethrower (think about it....)

    Carrying an XDm 9mm with Hornady Critical Defense hollowpoint. Soon to be carrying a Ruger along with it....

  23. #23
    Regular Member ProShooter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2a4all View Post
    Here's a technique that I've found useful.

    LEOs are trained to adopt a position called "The Interview Stance" when talking with folks. It's a posture that lets them face the individual while postioning their arms and hands to protect their weapon against an attempt by the contact person to grab it, as well as "knowing where it is". Basically, place both hands in front of you on your belt buckle and let your elbows point outward or sligthly back with your forearm touching your holstered firearm.................


    ...........This stance might also be useful while wating in the checkout line.............

    .
    This all sounds very, very familiar.
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  24. #24
    Activist Member JamesCanby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark View Post
    Sorry, Ed, but I think your BS mater is broken. http://www.courts.state.va.us/opinio...wp/1032714.pdf

    I have more I'd like to say but cannot do so for the next few days. I'm sure you all understand.

    stay safe.
    I seldom disagree with anything you write, Skid, but I think that Ed's BS Meter is more correct than it is wrong in this case. In the case you cited, the appeals court specifically relied on Webster's definition:

    “Brandish” means “to exhibit or expose in an ostentatious, shameless, or aggressive manner."

    Since OC is legal under Virginia law, the mere existence of an exposed handgun should not (cannot?) be considered to be "ostentatious" or "shameless", leaving us with "aggressive." In the poster's comment (which Ed called BS), he suggested that the mere act of touching any part of the handgun at any time would be considered "aggressive," and thus, "brandishing." While I think that a reasonable person might agree that touching the grip in a non-aggressive way would not be "fear-inducing," I understand that in an age and situation where pointing one's finger at someone might be considered "brandishing" by some, that it behooves us to be mindful of where our hands are.

  25. #25
    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ed View Post
    and I think you are wrong.. The meter is just fine.. I am sure you will change your tune next week. Ed
    Not likely Ed! Brandishing charges are used just like Disorderly Conduct....Something to charge you with when there's nothing else. How do you think a GD case is going to change anything. State law is still vague, Magistrates are still anyone that will take the job and way too many cops are still limber wristed twits who excelled in the Glee Club. Win, lose or draw on Tuesday....Skid still went through hell for nearly a year. If it stops there, they'll all get a good laugh while slapping each other on the back. If you think what really happened has any effect on being charged, Wyche filed a couple of reports and changed his story a couple of times.

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