Brandishing Legality?


SnowCajun

New member
I'm a bit confused about a point and figured you guys could help me out. I always felt to brandish a weapon you had to remove it from the holster and be waving it around almost like you're threatening someone.

I saw a post somewhere, I'm not sure where just now, and someone stated something about carrying concealed in a shoulder holster and their jacket getting blown open in the wind, that someone saw their weapon and they got in trouble for brandishing the weapon?? Excuse me if this doesn't make sense, but to me it doesn't. My Websters dictionary states as a definition for "brandish" 1 : to shake or wave (as a weapon) menacingly, and/or 2 : to exhibit in an ostentatious or aggressive manner.

I think that definition goes along with my thoughts about how it would be. Have I missed something or was the person who said that elsewhere just totally off base?

Thanks,
SnowCajun
 

Since Washington is an "Open Carry" state, openly carrying a firearm is 100% legal, you actually have no requirement to conceal. You may if you desire, however to do so requires a permission slip from the government (your CPL).

Since you have no requirement to conceal, I do not see how accidently exposing your weapon could be considered brandishing unless you did so intentially to initimidate someone.
 

SnowCajun

New member
Since Washington is an "Open Carry" state, openly carrying a firearm is 100% legal, you actually have no requirement to conceal. You may if you desire, however to do so requires a permission slip from the government (your CPL).

Since you have no requirement to conceal, I do not see how accidently exposing your weapon could be considered brandishing unless you did so intentially to initimidate someone.
Thanks, I didn't realized Washington was Open Carry. I've just never considered carrying in the open before, to me that defeats the purpose of criminals being unsure who's carrying or not! I figure if a criminal can see my weapon then that would be reason enough to come up behind me and bop me in the head to grab my weapon, but if it's not visible and they don't know I have it, then that would mean they'd have to bop a whole crowd full of people in the head see if they're safe or not and that wouldn't work. :)

SnowCajun
 

Ziggy

New member
brandishing

You might have seen my New Mexico post. In the state of NM open carry is legal, and CCW with a license. However, according to our CCW instructor, if you are carrying concealed and anyone sees your weapon for any reason (wind blows your coat open and a bit of grip is visible, someone looks down your back pocket in line at the store) you can be charged with brandishing. He said the law is very strict on open being completely open, and concealed being very concealed.
I would hope that this is a NM idiosyncrasy and that Washington has more sensible laws, but I would definitely check with someone who is well versed in gun law there.
 
The relevent section of WA state law would be:

RCW 9.41.270 (1)

It shall be unlawful for any person to carry, exhibit, display, or draw any firearm, dagger, sword, knife or other cutting or stabbing instrument, club, or any other weapon apparently capable of producing bodily harm, in a manner, under circumstances, and at a time and place that either manifests an intent to intimidate another or that warrants alarm for the safety of other persons.

Note the key words... "INTENT" and "WARRANTS Alarm"

Just because someone is alarmed does not mean that one has broken the law. That alarm must be warrented.

Be carefull in taking as gospel anything told you by your CCW instructor or even a LE officer. Experiance has shown they are more often wrong than right. KNOW THE LAW. It's important!
 
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Husky Girl

New member
The relevent section of WA state law would be:



Note the key words... "INTENT" and "WARRANTS Alarm"

Just because someone is alarmed does not mean that one has broken the law. That alarm must be warrented.

Be carefull in taking as gospel anything told you by your CCW instructor or even a LE officer. Experiance has shown they are more often wrong than right. KNOW THE LAW. It's important!
I think most people in Washington are unaware that WA is an open carry state. Having worked in LE, I can tell you that we get calls all the time about people "CARRYING GUNS" but when we ask what they were doing, the response is usually, "eating dinner" or "walking down the street." I think the moral of hte story is that while you may not legally be charged with brandishing if someone sees your weapon, it will cause you a great deal of hassle that could be avoided by a little more careful concealment. It's the price we pay for not having to educate the police and the public everytime we walk outside.
 

tattedupboy

Thank God I'm alive!
If someone makes the choice to exercise RKBA by carrying openly, so what? Anyway, in most (emphasis on most) states the law requires weapons to be holstered, whether they're visible or not, and as long as it is holstered, the person carrying won't have to worry about brandishing charge. Obviously, that's not the case in states where open carry is illegal, and in places like NM.
 
In Massachusetts, if you have on a coat or shirt, you stretch or bend to retreive something and your weapon is exposed, even partially, you can lose your license to carry, for "unsuitability" purpose.

Yes this has happened in Massachusetts. Where a guy coat was blown aside by the wind and his weapon was seen, lost his LTC from his chief.
 
In Massachusetts, if you have on a coat or shirt, you stretch or bend to retreive something and your weapon is exposed, even partially, you can lose your license to carry, for "unsuitability" purpose.

Yes this has happened in Massachusetts. Where a guy coat was blown aside by the wind and his weapon was seen, lost his LTC from his chief.

Wouldn't expect anything less from MA. Make it difficult to obtain a LTC, yet very easy for them to take it away.



gf
 

redboneshadow

Former Military Police
Brandishing in WA State

What is strange here in WA State is although it is legal to open carry if you by accident bend and your holster is seen you can be charged with menacing but to menace someone you would have to take your weapon and pull it out of your holster and be in physical control of it. Course someone has to see this and call the cops and it is just another way for the anti-gun people to impose their regulations on us. You can loose your permit if someone complains but yet you can legally carry openly and it is fine. Think they would have to prove intent to intimidate or menace another person in order to bring criminal charges against you and take away your permit but they have made it this vague so even if it is on accident they get your gun and your permit. It is just another stupid restriction placed on us by those who want to pick and choose which rights people should endorse.
 

tattedupboy

Thank God I'm alive!
In Massachusetts, if you have on a coat or shirt, you stretch or bend to retreive something and your weapon is exposed, even partially, you can lose your license to carry, for "unsuitability" purpose.

Yes this has happened in Massachusetts. Where a guy coat was blown aside by the wind and his weapon was seen, lost his LTC from his chief.

The more I hear about this godforsaken place, the less and less I like it.
 
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LongRider

New member
Thanks, I didn't realized Washington was Open Carry. I've just never considered carrying in the open before, to me that defeats the purpose of criminals being unsure who's carrying or not! I figure if a criminal can see my weapon then that would be reason enough to come up behind me and bop me in the head to grab my weapon, but if it's not visible and they don't know I have it, then that would mean they'd have to bop a whole crowd full of people in the head see if they're safe or not and that wouldn't work. :)

SnowCajun

That is one of the many misconceptions about open carry perpetuated by those with no knowledge or experience with open carry. Extensive research found virtually no evidence of that happening. Apparently you have a greater chance of a satellite falling out of the sky and hitting you in the head than being a victim of a gun grab. In fact convicted criminals in multiple surveys have said the sight of an armed citizens has compelled them to not commit the crime they intended on committing

My thought is that open carry is not about gaining favor some new mode of carry or establishing a new tradition. Rather it is about taking back ground we have lost. There was a time not so long ago when open carry was not frowned upon any more than we frown upon giggling pubescent girls and testosterone driven males operating two ton weapons of mass destruction because open carry was just as common as teenage drivers are today. It was a given that most people open carrying were average normal law abiding citizens because they were. My thought is because out of politeness and consideration for the sensibilities of others, fewer per capita gun owners carried openly two things have resulted. One the anti self defense fanatics have taken a kindness as a weakness and now expect that we bow down to their unreasonable fears. What was once a courtesy is now an expectation. Even the courts have ruled that the fear reaction is unreasonable. Two because it is now an uncommon sight many including those of us who carry misinterpret the motives of those that open carry. Often alarmed by what was once a commonly accepted practice. In effect by not openly carrying we encourage some of the negative fear responses to all gun carry. So, my thought is if more people openly carried it would once again become a common sight and in time generate more acceptance of all kinds of carry

To often the Constitution is cited as giving us the right to bear arms. That is not the case rather it is God or nature if you prefer that has granted us life and the inalienable right to defend that life. The Constitution simply protects that right, as does the Supreme Court. People that carry guns are the same people who have always carried guns in this nation as a whole law abiding men and women who have accepted the responsibility for their own well being and safety. After all who does that responsibility fall on? Not the police. The supreme court has repeatedly ruled that the police are under no obligation to assure anyones safety or well being. It is their job to enforce the law to apprehend the criminal AFTER they have committed a crime. The police's job begins after you have been raped robber maimed or murdered. Not before. Even if it were their responsibility why should they take it upon themselves to do for us what we would not do for ourselves? Armed law abiding citizens have always been the first line of defense against criminal predators. Disarming law abiding citizens does nothing other than provide the criminal predator with defenseless victims. Proof of that fact is painfully obvious by simply noting that every single mass murder in the past decade has been committed in so called "Gun Free Zones". It does not take a genus to understand why. Open carry of a gun helps assure the safety of every person there because criminals want victims not armed opponents. A far greater man than I said it alot better

Thomas Jefferson: "Laws that forbid the carrying of arms...disarm only those who are neither inclined or determined to commit crimes. Such laws only make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assassins; they serve to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man." (1764 Letter and speech from T. Jefferson quoting with approval an essay by Cesare Beccari)

The next time you see someone openly carrying a fire arm consider thanking them for accepting the responsibility of defending their own lives and the lives around them. For doing their part in making the community just a little bit safer for us all.
 
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tattedupboy

Thank God I'm alive!
In Virginia, the gun has to be out and held in your hand. In a holster, it's not brandishing.

That's the way it should be everywhere; the one exception would be if a person is wearing an outergarment and moves it to the side to display it menacingly to someone, in order to intimidate them. I've seen that done and that is clearly an act of brandishing. Other than that, anyone carrying a holstered weapon, openly or concealed, accidentally exposed or not, who is not displaying their holstered weapon with the intent to intimidate, should not be subject to any brandishing charge.
 

redboneshadow

Former Military Police
Had a meeting today actually with the seattle cops and they are perfectly find with people carring out in the open per this Sgt i talked to today
 

tattedupboy

Thank God I'm alive!
In Massachusetts, if you have on a coat or shirt, you stretch or bend to retreive something and your weapon is exposed, even partially, you can lose your license to carry, for "unsuitability" purpose.

Yes this has happened in Massachusetts. Where a guy coat was blown aside by the wind and his weapon was seen, lost his LTC from his chief.

Gee, why does this not surprise me?
 

LongRider

New member
If what you say will be allowed by the LEO's here (Spokane) I sure would like some reference laws or anything solid that trust me would make my life of secretly carrying a whole lot less hassles, Sea-Tac, man that's the very last place in WA I thought that would come out of! I hope that LEO training mind-set migrates east!
Thanks for the answer.

Canis-Lupus

I am confused are you saying that you are discounting that WA is an open carry state? Or that the myriad of accounts of open carry in WA state on this forum are untrue or lack credibility? Or are you saying that the RCW and case law available here on this forum regarding open carry are untrue?
If you not, than it should be crystal clear that Washington is an open carry state and that open carry is a common occurrence in Washington state. So exactly what are you asking for.
 

LongRider

New member
Wrong

Simple task, I ask you to take a walk thru the streets of downtown Spokane on a busy Saturday afternoon, with your weapon(s) clearly visible to all, obey the gun-free zones, and report back to USA Carry on how it went. That is not much to ask. I'd love some badge #'s of any LEO's who impede your right to open carry your weapon(s).
WRONG
I asked a simple civil question to clarify your question, so I could provide an response, to your request. Giving you the benefit of the doubt that you were not insisting that someone do you a favor as if they were obligated to do so. A favor due to your ignorance and misinterpretation of the laws of the state you live in has you thinking they would be violating the law to do you that favor.
Obviously from your verbose, rude, ignorant, uninformed, underlined, bolded, colored, giant lettered, generally ridiculous, obnoxious, nonsensical rant I was wrong.
In response to your demand that I do you a favor the answer is NO. I DO NOT owe you anything. You attitude of entitlement is repugnant. I find this culture of people with their hands out acting as if the world owes them something abhorrent and disgusting. No I will not spend my money on gas to drive to Spokane and back for you. I DO NOT owe you anything contrary to what you think. No I will not waste my time driving to Spokane for you. I have no obligation to do so. No I will not walk through the streets of Spokane open carrying with you. I have no desire to waste any time with you. Nor do I need to prove anything to anyone especially not you. Anyone who thinks that they are entitled to favors from me are unworthy of my company.
How is it that people are so lazy that they have the nerve to demand others to do for them what they can do for themselves, as if they the world owes them something.
Simply typing the words "Link Removed" in Google would have provided these results

  1. Gun laws in the United States (by state) - Wikipedia, the free ...

    Open carry is defined as the gun's true nature is not "hidden from common ... As a general rule, a person may legally open carry in Washington State in any ...
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_Laws_By_State_In_The_United_States - 251k - Link Removed - Link Removed
  2. Link Removed

    Washington State is for all intents and purposes an open carry state. ... of the bill as a "gun control" bill, which it was not according to the sponsor. ...
    opencarry.mywowbb.com/forum55/16.html - 43k - Link Removed - Link Removed
  3. Washington Times - Gun rights advocates defend open-carry law

    But many gun rights advocates, state lawmakers and residents point out that it's much ... the Potomac into Virginia anymore because of the open-carry law. ...
    www.[B]washington[/B]times.com/news/2004/jul/19/20040719-102254-3826r/ - 87k - Link Removed - Link Removed
  4. [PDF] Washington Gun Rights

    File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat - Link Removed
    Washington is an "open carry" state for firearms. This. means a person may carry a firearm in ... Washington Gun. Rights. “...all power is inherent in the ...
    www.impsec.org/~jhardin/gunstuff/writings/Washington%20Gun%20Rights%20Pamphlet.pdf - Link Removed
  5. Link Removed

    Jun 23, 2008 ... Open Carry is a great idea as long as the person carrying the weapon .... is Washington D.C., which has had the most stringent gun control ...
    Link Removed - 73k - Link Removed - Link Removed
  6. Link Removed

    Jun 8, 2008 ... While it's legal to openly carry a firearm in Washington, state ... Called open- carry by its supporters, the movement has attracted ...
    seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2004464820_opencarry08.html - 50k - Link Removed - Link Removed
The text formating in the quote is Google's not mine. The very first link not only has the laws but and excellent explanation of Washington states gun laws and their history.
The second link is the forum OpenCarry.Org dedicated to open carry across the United States with over 10,000 members. It has a segment dedicated to Washington State that has hundreds of accounts of open carry in Washington state. An archive with the training bulletins used to train police officers in most major police departments in Washington, open carry information pamphlets, brochures Discussion of specific applicable laws, case laws, Washington state Supreme Courts rulings and interpretation of those laws and cases. Members include Lonnie Wilson mentioned in the first link, pro open carry activists, lawyers, LEO, politicians and law abiding private citizens that open carry all across Washington State.
I have shared this NOT because I owe you the information nor because you are entitled to it, nor because you are worthy of my time and effort. Rather you're getting the information is a by product of my hoping to assist other polite civil members who are more than worthy of any effort I may make to assist them. As well as a by product of my showing you that your interpretation of Washington States Laws about open carry law is
WRONG
 

The Gunny

New member
I know it is legal to open carry in WA I do so going to and from the place I go shooting however that is a 5 minute ride in my truck to a place even further out in the woods than I am. I also go over to opencarry.org from time to time and I am intrigued by the stories from those bold enough to open carry in some down right hostile areas like Seattle. As to Spokane I live close by but when ever I go into the city I don't open carry I always CC. I guess at my age I feel I don't need to deal with any extra BS. Part of the reason open carry is having a hard time is due to the number of current residents who came from places where the mere sight of a gun causes hysteria, one I may mention here is California. Many WA residents have a thinly disguised disgust for recent arrivals from that state. SEattle even recruited a huge number of new LEO's from New York and they have a hard time beleiveing some of our laws. I mention that to paint a picture not to disparage anyone. I have seen a few laws change in the short time I have lived here rules were enacted about dogs being on a leash and burning yard debris etc. So the feeling from long time residents is far different from the changeing demographics currently shaping politics and policies here and now. Times change,
 

LongRider

New member
I know it is legal to open carry in WA I do so going to and from the place I go shooting however that is a 5 minute ride in my truck to a place even further out in the woods than I am. I also go over to opencarry.org from time to time and I am intrigued by the stories from those bold enough to open carry in some down right hostile areas like Seattle. As to Spokane I live close by but when ever I go into the city I don't open carry I always CC. I guess at my age I feel I don't need to deal with any extra BS. Part of the reason open carry is having a hard time is due to the number of current residents who came from places where the mere sight of a gun causes hysteria, one I may mention here is California. Many WA residents have a thinly disguised disgust for recent arrivals from that state. Seattle even recruited a huge number of new LEO's from New York and they have a hard time beleiveing some of our laws. I mention that to paint a picture not to disparage anyone. I have seen a few laws change in the short time I have lived here rules were enacted about dogs being on a leash and burning yard debris etc. So the feeling from long time residents is far different from the changeing demographics currently shaping politics and policies here and now. Times change,

Great post Gunny I agree OC can make for a long tedious day and times are changing. As I said in my original post in this thread there was a time that OC was as common as teenage drivers are today. If I am in an area where OC may be an issue I tend to limit OCing to days that I have a higher tolerance for BS. Willing to take the time to deal with the ignorant and uninformed about the law. That said I do feel some degree of obligation to OC. Help make it a common acceptable sight and help assure that it is not a right that we lose. So when I OC I know I must present a good image be calm respectful courteous and polite no matter how the party I am dealing with acts. Last thing we need is someone to exacerbate peoples fears by providing an image of a hostile angry redneck packin heat on his hip. Opencarry.org does a great job by providing the OC brochure and the training bulletins. It helps put a end to the whole argument when I can present the officer with his CO's written statement regarding departmental policy about open carry. The brochure is helpful in dealing with citizens and LEO as well. It is well thought out and informative. Most times those conversations end with a good feeling for all involved. Actually most times I OC I get positive feedback. I think the pendulum is starting to swing in our favor and will continue to do so as long as we do our part. The day I am not up to it I CC, not hard to do in this state as cold and wet as it is
 
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