Brandishing…Obvious…or is it?

Posted on: July 4th, 2014
One law which has been in the books for a long time related to firearms is “Brandishing.” By definition it seems pretty straight forward but seems to also be a big issue for some people. Each state has something about it and if you look at the definition in, it seems pretty clear…

“…to shake or wave, as a weapon; flourish: Brandishing his sword, he rode into battle. Swing, flaunt, wield, display. To wave or flourish (a weapon) in a triumphant, threatening, or ostentatious way. A threatening or defiant flourish…”

Basically it says if you wave your firearm at anyone in a threatening or definitive manner, you are probably entering into the legal area of Brandishing. I highly recommend you read the local laws and then if you have a question, give me a call or send me a message and I can help clarify it further.

For those who might be confused, there was a recent example in Utah that made the papers that I thought would be worth sharing with you, even though it isn’t in our state. The news was reported in The Salt Lake Tribune, and the article was called, “Motorist's quip about 'Grey Poupon' met with cocked, black handgun.”  The title alone should be intriguing enough to read the story…

Essentially, someone was having fun on the road and mocking the famous commercial that asked, “Do you have any Grey Poupon?” The famous commercial got someone to roll down their window so the person in the limo could act snobby and ask the motorist this uppity question. It was a great success for Grey Poupon mustard and became a household phrase for being a bit snobby. Well it wasn’t too funny to the SLC man they asked…

The court said, when the people in the car got him to roll down his window so they could ask the famous question, he rolled down his window and said, “Here's your Grey Poupon, roll your [expletive] windows up.” He pulled out black handgun from his glove compartment, cocked the weapon, and pointed it at the three people in the car asking the question. Brandishing???

Well the police thought so…he was arrested and charged with aggravated assault, which is a third-degree felony. So much for answering the Grey Poupon question with a simple yes or no! So you have to ask if the young man charged really understood the brandishing law or if he hadn’t bothered to read it. I guess he will potentially have time to read it if he is found guilty. I would encourage all gun owners to fully understand what this means wherever they have a gun in their presence. While this case might seem really obvious, others are not. Better to be on the safe side and understand what is included in the local definition before answering the Grey Poupon question.

Anyone out there have any other stories they have heard about that involve Brandishing? Share them…we could all learn (or laugh) depending on the story…
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