Owning a firearm is a big responsibility. Contrary to how the media depicts gun owners, most are reasonable, law-abiding members of society.
They are well versed in a bevy of topics surrounding firearms.
Nonetheless, brandishing is one issue that is ambiguous for even the most seasoned of gun owners.
What does it mean to brandish a firearm? What are the possible consequences of doing so?
Clearly defining what brandishing means is the first step.
According to Merriam-Webster, brandish is defined as follows:
-to shake or wave (something such as a weapon) menacingly
-to exhibit in an ostentatious or aggressive manner
A simple definition.
However, when it comes to Concealing and Carrying, things become murkier.
Brandishing is up for debate from state to state. Often, it is judged differently depending on where you live.
Wading through available information makes for a more knowledgeable gun owner.
A simple principle to follow:
Any situation in which you can logically explain that you were under duress due to another’s actions is reason enough to take out your firearm.
Pulling a gun to make someone stop bad behavior is not brandishing. It is self-defence.
We put ourselves in potentially dangerous scenarios every time we walk out the front door.
Training with your firearms is the starting point for any gun owner.
Knowing how and when to use your gun is an invaluable asset.
The best advice to avoid a brandishing charge; keep your gun in its holster until you can articulate a reasonably imminent threat.
Educate yourself on the laws; train yourself; read and react and identify your surroundings to put yourself in the best position to make the best decision.
Proper balance in terms of when you actually choose to unholster your firearm should be your core tenet.
Training, restraint, and situational awareness attain such.
No matter what, you must be able to explain what you have done action-wise with your firearm.
We good guys react and defend ourselves, putting us a step or two behind viable threats.
Practice discretion and don’t allow emotion to cloud your behavior.
Human beings are better at activities we ritualize.
Sharpening up your skillset with your weapons will make for seemingly automated behavior.
It is very similar to being an elite athlete at the highest level.
Take a thousand jump shots in the gym every day.
When the game is on the line, you fall back on all of your preparation, jump, extend your arm, and hit nothing but net.
Preparation —> Knowledge —> Confidence —> Success
The law is not entirely clear with actions that are definable as brandishing.
Accidentally displaying your firearm when reaching for an item at the grocery store is not brandishing.
However, pulling out your firearm and making threats about rising prices at the store definitely is.
The easiest way to define brandishing is intent. What was your intent when you unholstered your firearm?
Expect to get charged with the following when brandishing is established: disorderly conduct, reckless endangerment, and in some cases, resisting arrest.
In conclusion, brandishing is an elusive topic according to the law and categorized differently from state to state and from officer to officer.
Practice, stay calm, read up on the laws in your state, and be ready to explain any and all actions with your weapon of choice.
Remember, we good guys are reactive when facing possible threats.
Preparation, situational awareness, and unemotionality put ourselves in the best possible space to succeed.
“Owning a gun in a high-stakes situation could be your only chance to make it out alive.”
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