Good morning. Another fellow ccw holder almost fell into a road rage incident in Central Orl Fl. The individual antagonized the ccw holder even after he stopped and parked his vehicle; he was not arguing back and forth with said antagonizer. Antagonizer was yelling and approaches the ccw holder. Me, personally; I would have preferred to have had pepperspray available in that insistence because no visible weapon was shown at the time but would still have had my gun readily available on my person. But if an antagonizer comes charging, would you brandish your weapon after attempt to deescalate with no other choice? Ccw holder did and antagonizer thought twice, turned around. Thoughts?
Decisions are made in mere seconds that will alter your life possibly forever. And yet, Prosecutors get days, weeks and even months to sift through the facts leading up to and following a use of force.
Will merely brandishing a weapon be justified? And what if you have to point your weapon at the attacker? And if you pressed the trigger? Here are the four areas that you must meet and maintain for your use of force to be considered justified:
Reasonably in Immediate Fear of Death or Great/Grave Bodily Harm for Yourself or Another Person
Must be an innocent person
No lesser force is sufficient or available to stop the threat
No reasonable means of escape or retreat
Answering these questions for yourself using some mental exercises tends to help you work through these and other potential scenarios. It also tends to mitigate the entire “But, what if” loop from beginning (and we know that can be an un-ending loop)
Even brandishing a weapon in Florida is considered a use of force. If done in a manner inconsistent with the law could result in charges being filed against you.
If they come charging, brandishing would be the last thing on my mind.
Stopping the threat would be my main objective.
I have arthritis on my shooting hand.
Any person who’s about my size or bigger can easily overpower me. I would have a legitimate reason to be in fear of great bodily harm or death.
The word “brandish” sounds so negative. I prefer “display”
The real question is whether the suspect has the ability to cause you great bodily harm and whether you have a legitimate fear that he/she will do it. The decision to deploy deadly force does not depend on the suspect having a weapon, it depends on their ability to injure the victim and their apparent intent. So the road rage guy rushing you in the parking lot might qualify as a deadly force situation depending on a number of factors.
The decision points on whether to display the weapon are different for a 90 pound ballet dancer as compared to a 300 pound retired green beret. The older I get the less I am able to defend myself with my hands which translates to a lower threshold to display my gun with a verbal warning before pulling the trigger (assuming there is time for the warning).
Brandishing is a type of criminal offence. It means the person who brandished did not face sufficient danger (no shots fired). The charge will almost always stick.
You inform would be attacker, of what will happen, by making eye contact. Unless they are high on drugs out of their mind, you won’t need to exhibit the hardware. And if they are - we are not talking about brandishing anymore.
I feel you can get back in your vehicle, lock the doors and dial 911. If the attacker has no visible weapons, 911 is the best reply to the situation. Be prepared though if it comes to you needing your firearm, at least you’ll be on 911 and have something to fall back on if needed.
Remember the 911 recording could be used against you by a good prosecutor, watch what your saying or at a time like that YELLING.
I will only draw my weapon if I have to use it (something different than “need to use it”). A concealed weapon is not a “warning,” nor is it something with which to “deescalate” a situation.
Unfortunately, the DA won’t give you the option to choose your own terminology.
Solid advice. Don’t forget, you can drive away too! Cannot give bigger frustration to some thug who wanted entertainment at your expense.
The person was in the parking lot of their own apartment community.
I meant to respond to you on that note. That’s why Im reading the different perspectives.
Was the target of aggression aware that the thug was following them? If so, should not have gone home. The thug is approaching - just get back in the car, and drive away, come back in time to see the thug handcuffed and pushed into the back seat of the police cruiser.
I totally get the indignation that you have to leave from the lot of your own building. This is the best course of action, considering the alternatives. Anyway you look at it, money spent, time spent, whatever, it beats coming into the crosshairs of the justice system.
A gun has NEVER de-escalated ANY situation. If you need to draw a gun to stop a threat, you need to draw said gun and shoot the threat. A gun HAS on occasion stopped a threat before being discharged. THAT is not brandishing, it’s a threat recognizing that it was going to go poorly for them and retreating swiftly. in NC if the aggressor retreats you must too and that is very defensible in curt. Pointing a gun at someone to just threaten them? Not so much…
My short answer is NO!
Never a good time to brandish, check your state statues. Brandishing a Weapon, it’s legality and terminology differ wildly from state to state. Unfortunately YOU could then be charged for assault!
We all have options, if you’re out of all reasonable options (cover, escape, deescalation or verbal warnings) and you’re in fear for your life, brandishing doesn’t stop a deadly threat.
If brandishing worked in any way to ward off a “deadly” threat, I would be brandishing a syringe in an effort to ward off COVID.
If you absolutely need to draw your weapon, your only option then, is shot placement.
Consider your friends situation, aggressor charged at your friend, your friend brandished his Weapon, so far so good, right, WRONG!
Aggressor turns tails runs around the corner dials 911, “ hey the guy around the corner just pulled a gun on me, what should I do”?
Now your friend thinks all is well and suddenly 35 squad cars surround him with guns drawn for a felony stop. Keep in mind the first person to call 911 wins! Understandably today maybe 2 squad cars show up, your friend will still be staring down the wrong end of that sunny day!
To summarize, if you’re about to die, waving at the deadly threat can get you killed!
The way most brandishing laws are written the gun owner is in extreme legal jeopardy for drawing a firearm in a situation where they do not need to immediately use it.
If all other options failed (fleeing, deescalation, calling 911, etc.) I might consider telling the rager that I am armed and will be forced to defend myself if they continue to threaten me. In some states I believe it would be legal to place your hand on your firearm while keeping it in the holster. But it would still be a he said she said situation. You definitely want to be the first to call the cops in this kind of situation regardless of whether the gun comes out or not.
The answer to the original question id NO!
The attempt to describe a situation and call it “brandishing” is a red herring!
If in the instant after the CCW drew his weapon in self defense, the aggressor fled, I would argue that there was no brandishing. Instead the CCW holder wisely did not shoot a fleeing aggressor!
Check your state laws! Here in AZ we may legally “defensively display our firearm” when the use of [non-deadly] physical force would be legally justified. Brandishing is always a crime, defensive display in the right circumstance is not.
Welcome to the family brother @Conrad13 and God bless you.
That’s really important to know. Thanks and welcome friend.
“Brandish” and “Display” are probably already legally defined terms in your state, as they are in mine (AZ). One is illegal, one is not.