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Old October 5, 2010, 12:00 AM   #50
Senior Member
Join Date: June 3, 2004
Location: Michigan
Posts: 1,421
A. It shall be unlawful for any person to point, hold or brandish any firearm or any air or gas operated weapon or any object similar in appearance, whether capable of being fired or not, in such manner as to reasonably induce fear in the mind of another or hold a firearm or any air or gas operated weapon in a public place in such a manner as to reasonably induce fear in the mind of another of being shot or injured.
Note that what, exactly, constitutes brandishing is not clearly defined in this wording, and brandishing is considered separately from pointing and holding. Also, the threshold of criminality is not knowing or willful action, merely behavior which can "reasonably induce fear in the mind of another." This suggests that, absent a separate statute that does define brandishing, a prosecutor so inclined could easily interpret the statute quoted here to include the negligent display of a firearm as a condition that could "reasonably" be expected to "induce fear in the mind of another."

Intent is introduced in paragraph B:
B. Any police officer in the performance of his duty, in making an arrest under the provisions of this section, shall not be civilly liable in damages for injuries or death resulting to the person being arrested if he had reason to believe that the person being arrested was pointing, holding, or brandishing such firearm or air or gas operated weapon, or object that was similar in appearance, with intent to induce fear in the mind of another.
However, here it is a blanket qualifier for pointing, holding and brandishing, and is present only for for indemnification of law enforcement personnel. As such, it does not clearly shed light on where excusable inadvertent flashing ends and criminally threatening brandishing begins.

I accept reports from other members who reside in your state that indicate flashing is not an issue there. In many parts of my state it will would be forgiven as well. However, there are a few notable and population-dense portions where it would be frowned upon with great vigor. I live in one such jurisdiction. I only mean to point out that statutes are not always clear, and their enforcement is subject to art as well as science. Quite often, it takes a test case before clear definitions are drawn. You don't want to be that test case.

I always like to know what is the worst the most unfriendly prosecutor can throw at me under the statute as written. For the most part, it is easy to stay clear of that threat, as it usually involves doing that which is smart and conscientious, anyway (i.e. keeping your concealed handgun concealed).
"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote!"
--commonly misattributed to, and most likely not, Benjamin Franklin

Last edited by Dave85; October 5, 2010 at 01:56 PM. Reason: syntax
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