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Old October 6, 2012, 02:36 AM   #4
Frank Ettin
Join Date: November 23, 2005
Location: California - San Francisco
Posts: 8,749
Originally Posted by gaseousclay
I know this may vary from state to state but I was curious about the gun laws surrounding CCW and how the law interprets non-lethal confrontations with a firearm...
In general, display of a firearm in a threatening manner is, in all States, an assault of some type (although the laws of one or more State may call it by a different name) and is prima facie a criminal act. But in all States it will be a defense against a charge of assault (or any similar crime) if you establish that your assault satisfied the applicable legal standard for justification.

In most States the standard for justifying the threatening display of a gun is the same as for justifying the use of lethal force in self defense. In a few, it's a somewhat lesser standard. But in all States if you display your gun in a threatening manner, to avoid a conviction for assault, you will need to be able to at least show prima facie that your display of a gun in a threatening manner was legally justified.

In general, you will not be able to establish justification if you display your gun in response to vandalism, trespassing or other obnoxious or even criminal actions of another which fall short of presenting an immediate, potentially lethal threat.
"It is long been a principle of ours that one is no more armed because he has possession of a firearm than he is a musician because he owns a piano. There is no point in having a gun if you are not capable of using it skillfully." -- Jeff Cooper
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