“It depends” is the answer. If you use general good judgment, 99% of the time you are ok.
I think it inevitably always will be.
If somebody claims you were “menacing” them, I’m sure you will be obliged to explain why your action was defensive in response to their threat, or that you were picking your ass, or whatever.
Just because a legitimate defender may present a “defensive display” does not mean that an aggressor will not claim to have done the same — somebody else will end up deciding what’s what. If a jurisdiction does have an explicit offense of “brandish” — then it’s critical that any potential defender understand what the rules are, and how they are likely to be applied.
In any case — if your version of the story is rejected, Assault IV without injury is likely to work out a lot happier for everybody than Manslaughter or Murder. Nothing about this is easy, automatic, or guaranteed to work.
I have had to use my firearm 3 times in the past 20 years. 2 of those times were nearly the exact situation you just described, I merely had to unholster my weapon and the person trying to rob me changed their minds and ran away. The other time I was being carjacked and unfortunately I had to engage and fire my weapon at the 2 carjackers. I was lucky that this was 17 years ago and I ended up with no charges and got my gun back. If the same situation were to happen to I would have probably been charged, put on trial and possibly convicted.
Be careful…the brandishing thing could bite bite you. The legal or illegal parameters of brandishing need to be addressed.
Your associate’s idea that if he draws his gun in the case of a threat he will shoot will probably end with him being arrested, charged, tried and convicted. You are correct if the threat is gone there is no longer a need to defend yourself. To do so would be against the law.
So, you answered your own question. You “cleared leather” to eliminate the threat, and succeeded.
I have been there and did not have to shoot. I was prepared to shoot if the threat had not stopped. Your weapon is to end the threat, not to kill someone. Use no more force than is necessary and in today’s world your next draw best be your cell phone.
In NC we are taught in the CCW class when the threat is “reset”. A few years back in a neighboring town 2 people with a toy pistol broke into a man’s house at 2am. He was in his 70’s. He woke up hearing the 2 people. He pulled his gun out and confronted the people firing a shot. They turned and ran. He continued to fire hitting one in the back. She was apprehended later when she went to the hospital. The older man was eventually charged with illegal use of a gun as there was no longer a threat since they were running away and both were already out of the house.
Totally agree. If I am in a situation that I need to draw it does not mean I am going to shoot. If the threat runs away and I chase him down and shoot him, that’s a whole lot of trouble you don’t want.
The problem with that is why did they determine that there was no longer a threat? You can still run and shoot
The last line “both were already out of the house”, which is easy to overlook on the first read because it’s kind of tacked on at the end of the paragraph, is why.
My Take away
- Keep your shi@#@# together! Ego is a self-defense mechanism that could get you in trouble, killed. Or Jail time.
- Train in Boxing, Judo, or some hand skills.
- Situational awareness: Slow the f down, take a breath.
- Pulling out your EDC: Be prepared to pull out your USCCA card after calling 911.
- Carrying a Pistols is my biggest responsibility besides my Family
- I forgot to add the 6Ps. Preparation, Practice, Prevents, Piss Poor, Performance.
Even the CDC has agreed that firearms are used from 500,000 to 2,000,000 times per year in self-defense. The vast majority of the time without a shot being fired.
I’m certainly not a fan of brandishing, but I also think the mentality that I’m automatically going to shoot if I draw the gun is flawed also.
If you draw your weapon, you’ve more or less decided you need to shoot. Most of the time.