Legal question: Open carry vs. brandishing

Discussion in 'The Constitutional & RKBA Forum' started by willywonka, Dec 23, 2010.

  1. willywonka

    willywonka New Member

    Jan 27, 2010
    I was thinking about this the other day, and I wanted the board's input on this. What is the legal difference between open carry and brandishing?

    I've heard that brandishing a weapon can be applied even if it's concealed and someone can make the outline of a firearm through clothing.

    But suppose you're carrying concealed, say in a shoulder holster under your coat. Then you take your coat off and never touch your firearm. Is that brandishing?
  2. dons2346

    dons2346 Well-Known Member

    To me, no it wouldn't. If you whipped the pistol out of the holster, then yes. But then it isn't me that counts.

    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.
    A menacing or defiant wave or flourish.

  3. armedandsafe

    armedandsafe Guest

    It depends on your particular state laws and the attitude of the cop who responds.

  4. Bobitis

    Bobitis Guest


    Pops and I are in Washington. We have open carry here, but the law is so ambiguious that I don't. Some little old lady could be freaked out at the sight of my firearm, and I'd likely get harassed by the LEO.

    To me, brandishing is waving/pointing. Out of holster. But the law isn't written that way. It's written to the affect that if 'someone' is afraid, my right is void.

    Spot on as usual Pops.
  5. armedandsafe

    armedandsafe Guest

    I carry a copy of the opinion the State AG issued on the subject of OC. Of course, I'm over here in "guns are tools" land and Bobitis is in the land of "tools cause stripped threads," which makes a great deal of difference.

    Over here, the JW lady on my doorstep asks what I'm carrying and discusses the practicality of 9mm over .45ACP for little old ladies. :D

  6. Bobitis

    Bobitis Guest

    "tools cause stripped threads"

    I like that!:cool::D

    Never the mechanics fault.:eek::rolleyes:

    Get rid of either one, and the other is useless. King County and Seattle at its finest.:mad: Supurb at stripping threads and blaming something else.

    But I digress...

    As Pops stated, it's not so much a legal issue as it's cut and dried in my opinion. It's legal here. That should be the end of it. But the government has added a bunch of crap to it. Look carefully at your local laws. VERY carefully.
  7. carver

    carver Moderator Supporting Member

    LA has an open carry law, it's legal to open cary. But if you do, and some calls the cops because they are afraid of the gun they see, then you can be arrested for disturbing the peace! And no matter what the law says, there will always be a stupid cop that interprets the law the way they think it should be. Not always the same as the law was intended to read either.
  8. Nighthawk

    Nighthawk New Member

    Aug 22, 2006
    South Central Texas
    In Texas it is concealed only and if people can see outline of pistol, it's
    not concealed. We mustn't have panic among sheep.:rolleyes:
    We're trying to get open carry, but doubt if in my lifetime.
    They just changed law saying if you're in your car you're traveling and legal
    to have pistol in car. (If it's legal for you to possess a firearm)
    Took several years before wording was clear enough for some lib DAs.
  9. johnlives4christ

    johnlives4christ Former Guest

    Apr 28, 2008
    as stated it depends on the specific state/city youre in. im in kentucky and here you can open carry. i open carry all the time when my coat doesnt cover it. but i wouldnt do it in louisville or lexington because i'd have trouble. not so much from people as i would from cops. in kentucky there isnt anything legally the cops can arrest you on for open carrying.
  10. hogger129

    hogger129 Well-Known Member

    Nov 29, 2009
    i would think once it's removed from the holster, that's considered brandishing.
  11. CampingJosh

    CampingJosh Well-Known Member

    Sep 25, 2007
    Indiana doesn't have any "brandishing" laws. Unless you're doing something with the gun that is "reckless endangerment" or worse, you're fine.

    Indiana also accepts any carry permit/license from any state. Ours is called a "License to Carry Handgun," and we don't have any restrictions as to open or concealed carry.
  12. johnlives4christ

    johnlives4christ Former Guest

    Apr 28, 2008
    brandishing to me could be unholstering and waving around. but it could also be showing the in a threatening manner. such as a thug raising up his hoody to show his piece
  13. willywonka

    willywonka New Member

    Jan 27, 2010
    I'm in Virginia. I don't know what the laws are on this in my state, but I do know we have shall issue CCWs and open carry I believe is legal.
  14. wookie810

    wookie810 New Member

    Jan 7, 2008
    Open carry is legal in Michigan. I actually didn't know this until there was an article in the local paper about how the Flint city council made a law that you couldn't open carry, but state law supercedes the city law. So long story short the city attorney informed the council that they couldn't pass a law that was against state law and you can legally open carry in Michigan.
  15. New Member

    May 4, 2009
    once it's removed from the holster, that's considered brandishing in Michigan. shoot it or don't pull it.
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