Normally,it means actually taking a handgun out with your hand and using it's presence to create a fear you might actually use it when no percieved real physical threat exists.
But you can get in trouble just as well if you have a weapon in a holster,you are in a argumant and you show a holstered weapon with a look that says this is for you.
The whole legal argument stems from the fact that you are using the weapon before the fact to instill fear into someone and to coerce them into acting (or not acting) a certain way.
Taken to an extreme by a gun hater,just the mere appearance of a handgun on your belt fits that definition.
Thankfully,if you are acting like a mature adult carrying the handgun in full compliance with the laws where you are,in a way that totally exposes the other person as a blithering idiot,you should have no problem but as others have said-you need to check your local laws FIRST before you get yourself potentially into this type of situation.
Nothing is easy,but in a a situation where you are accused of this-your composed,adult explanation of the events that lead up to the other person accusing you of this can cause the responding police officer to actually not give you any grief.
I had this happen to me about twenty years ago with a fishing knife I carried on me that had a leather sheath of it.
It was a Rapala fillet knife I used on my job becauase I could do things with it a box knife could'nt plus because of it's length,it was never totally concealed.
You could easily see the handle when it was in my pocket.
Anyway,I was in a cafeteria on M street on D.C. one afternoon eating my lunch when this apparently homeless guy nutcase walked up to me and was really interested in what I was eating ,did I have any money blah-blah-blah.
Well,I did my best to ignore the guy and he got really upset about being ignored.
I was just trying to enjoy my frikken lunch.
I had the knife in a my left pocket at the time and I am right handed-so I took the knife from my left pocket while still seated and put it into my right pocket-just in case Mr. Nutcase homeless guy decided to jump me for the crime of trying to eat my lunch.
Well,as soon as I moved the knife-into my right pocket still in it's sheath-nut case goes-"Oh,so THATS how it IS!Oh I GOT YOU NOW!"
Nutcase guy walks quickly out of the cafeteria and I calm down thinking,"Well FINALLY.I can eat my lunch." Well.NOT QUITE.
About three minutes later,three D.C.patrol cars pull up in front of the glass window I'm looking out of,as I eat,with nutcase guy pulling at the one of the officers and pointing at me.
They come in the cafeteria and one of them says to me,"You got a knife?"
I said,"Yea,it's in my pocket."
At which time I placed my hands in the air over my head even with my head.
Long story short,the police officer asked my if I PULLED THE KNIFE on the guy.
I told him NO- I just moved the knife from my left pocket to my right because the guy was acting irratic and was starting to concern me that he might go "off".
He asked me if I ever took the knife out of the sheath-I told him the truth-I said NO.
The police officer then asked nutcase guy if I ever took the knife out of the sheath and to my surprise he actually told the truth and said No.
Thoroughly upset that he had been placed on a wild goose chase,the police officer gave me back my knife,in the sheath, made a comment that it would be better if I did'nt have it the next time he saw me and I went on to finish my now thouroughly ruined lunch.
Working in D.C. can be a real adventure sometimes.
Last edited by B.N.Real; May 25, 2009 at 12:13 AM.