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Old June 19, 2001, 06:21 PM   #1
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My scenario....Your thoughts.

Since 1911forum is down, I thought I'd post the same scenario here and see what the general thought was. Should be interesting.

You work for an armored car company and are making a pickup at one of your stops.

The "cashroom" measures approximately 12'x17'. The safe is placed against the short wall not 4' from the door leading out into the store. With said door open, you are in full view of the shopping public.

Your habit is to stand between the door and the safe but you've tired of being hit by the door as one manager or the other comes in to the room. You decide to move up the room, about 10' from the door while the manager prepares the deposit at the safe.

While you are signing the receipts, you hear a jingle and see the door is opening. Strictly as a precaution, you draw your weapon and hold it at your side.

Another manager appears through the door and you holster your weapon. Scenario over.

Question: did you just commit a felony by "Brandishing" or "Pointing" your weapon?

Keep in mind that whoever was entering did not knock or identify themselves before opening the door. Be that as it may, can you reasonably claim fear of imminent threat of life when you didn't see a bad guy or a weapon or hear anything untoward?

Would you consider drawing your weapon, keeping the muzzle pointed in a safe direction, a sound tactical decision considering that the posssible BG was well inside of 21' circle everyone talks about?
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Old June 19, 2001, 07:19 PM   #2
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What state's law are you applying? Could be 51 different answers.
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Old June 19, 2001, 08:31 PM   #3
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I am not sure which one would apply, but being that you are a armed guard, it would be easy to defend your actions. I bet even in Kalifornia, you would not have a problem, since you are acting for big money transporters.
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Old June 19, 2001, 09:30 PM   #4
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It is my position that in this line of work, you have great leeway in what can be considered a threat. While this happened in SC, I can't see any jurisdiction trying to prosecute a person in this case for a felony charge. As I understand it, for a felony to stick, there has to be the element of malice or intent to cause harm.

Whereas a police officer would have to see a serious threat, a weapon, before they can unholster, an armed courier can't be so sure what is and isn't a threat.

By opening the door without first identifying themselves, the manager, to my mind, created the possibility of danger. With no idea who was coming through the door, you have to assume the worst and prepare for it.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
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Old June 19, 2001, 09:31 PM   #5
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In Oklahoma, you committed a crime.

One may not draw a firearm without imment threat of grave bodily injury or death. That's it. Guess it would depend upon the county prosecutor whether or not you are hassled about it.

Don't know about other states.
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Old June 19, 2001, 10:18 PM   #6
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Since you are a comissioned security officer, the rules are a little bit different. I would say no, you did not brandish, but the instructor that taught my comission training would probably frown upon it. There was no need to unholster the weapon. Placing your hand on the gun and unsnapping the thumb break would acheive the same level of preparedness, but would alarm no one, as police officers and armed security personnel are regularly seen with their hands on their guns. If you unholstered your weapon, your boss would more than likely get a call from that store complaing, and proceed to chew your [rear end] for awhile. Which would be almost as bad as the brandishing charge, or at least it would be for me.

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Old June 19, 2001, 11:24 PM   #7
Blue Jays
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Armored vehicle staff in NYC....

Good Evening Everyone-

On a trip to NYC with friends, we watched armored vehicle staff making a cash pickup from a restaurant in Chinatown in the mid-afternoon. All of the personnel (except for those carrying the money) had their revolvers drawn and held next to their thighs the whole time.

Didn't bother me, but I can't imagine the "sheer horror" the sheeple must have been experiencing! This goes back to about late-1999.


~ Blue Jays ~
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Old June 20, 2001, 12:17 AM   #8
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I believe it would be a very bad decision to draw your weapon, even if you kept it at your side. I'm sure the person entering will take notice of your actions and you can bet your boss will have a little nasty gram on his desk concerning your actions.

You did hear a jingle and could reasonably suspect that someone authorized was about to enter the room when the door was unlocked. If the individual was intent on taking the money, there was a very high probability you would have already been fired upon. You state you heard the jingling and the door opened while your were preoccupied with signing receipts. Had it been a real are already behind the ball and the next thing you would have saw would most likely have been a sawed off 12GA pointed at you before you had the time to bring your weapon to firing level.

Drawing your weapon could have cost you your job. It would be easier for the folks to argue that you are a paranoid security officer than for you to argue that you felt threatened enough to draw your weapon. did not brandish a weapon in public..nor did you point it at any individual. They could not get you on those charges. At the same time most departments and agencies have strict regulations concerning departmental policy when drawing or firing weapons. This is where you would most likely hang.

Good Shooting
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Old June 20, 2001, 06:56 AM   #9
Ragin Cajun
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Pardon me, but are these "managers" absolutely STUPID??? That door should be locked when that safe is open and NO one should be allowed in. Sheeeehhh
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Old June 20, 2001, 09:26 AM   #10
David Scott
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I think the law for a licensed, bonded armored car guard would be different from that for Joe and Jane Citizen. While drawing the wepaon may not have been illegal, you still risk running afoul of gun-shy customers and anal-retentive company policies.

If I were running that show, there would be one guard to sign for the stuff and another standing back providing cover at all times, with a 12 gauge or carbine held at port arms.
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Old June 20, 2001, 07:50 PM   #11
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I got talked to!!!

From a habit-forming standpoint, I think you are well-advised to draw your weapon whenever the opportunity presents itself. When off work, I dry-fire, present, etc just to form a muscle-memory that might one day save my bacon.

Where I run afoul is the idea that I did something wrong. Hearing the keys jingle in the door does in NO way imply that an authorized manager is about to enter. It only means that keys are jingling in the door. I can infer that, given the low crime rate in the area and no previous incidents, there is a very high probability that we are not going to have a problem. However, inference and assumption are two sides of the same coin. I don't work in fear of my life, and would probably quit as soon as I did. But that doesn't mean I should treat every situation as though it could be potentially deadly. That's what this whole board is about.

What really bites is being made a scapegoat to appease the customer. No less than 9 sections in our rulebook where it states "gun in hand" (Black-Letter Law), but I was wrong and have been "counseled and reprimanded".

And the woman who complained didn't just say that she was unnerved by my actions, I "pointed my gun at her face, w/ finger on the trigger, and uttered a terroristic threat!!! :barf:

Utter trash, but you can believe it didn't go over well with corporate. Hell hath no fury.....
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Old June 21, 2001, 01:14 AM   #12
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Personally, I don't see a problem other than the public reaction. It would have probably been better to just hold your grips and undo the topstrap (if so equipped). Although I do remember seeing some cops on the TV show "Cops" walking to the window of a car in a traffic stop that they thought "might" be high risk with their handguns hanging in their hands at their sides. If they do it, it must be ok.
Old June 21, 2001, 01:50 AM   #13
Long Path
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Keep it safe.

A gun in your hand is not "brandishing," per se.

I'm more inclined to think that unsnapping while maintaining a shooting grip until you I.D.'d the possible threat would make more sense, but if you felt more comfortable with pistol out, by all means, unlimber.

But you might find, with practice, that a "speed rock" is just as fast, if you'll just half-way unholster, muzzle still in leather. Wait, and if the threat is real, pivot the muzzle up out of the holster with your strongarm wrist at an anchor point on your chest. This is actually just as fast or fater than having the gun out at your side, and doesn't offend as many, because the pistol technically never "cleared leather." Also much less obtrusive to return to regular configuration. Just push the pistol down a tad, and resnap.



Per Erick's request, this one's going to Close Quarters Combat.
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Old June 21, 2001, 04:20 PM   #14
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Where's the surveillance tape?

Where's the eyewitness to your actions?

Where's the earwitness to your actions?

I've seen two state's laws which treat "brandishing" differently from "displaying".

If the staff has a problem with seeing firearms ready to use, they should hire an UNARMED GUARD.

You work for an armored car company and are making a pickup at one of your stops.

Well, that's the first part of the scenario which I would never participate in. I don't believe any guard company is going to pay me $50,000 per year minimum*, pay for uniform, leather and 1,000 rounds of ammo per year, have a decent health and retirement plan, allow me grown-up latitude in my choice of handguns, allow me to keep a longarm in the vehicle and always place me with a three-person team.

Without those things, I won't do it.

*More in high cost of living areas.
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Old June 21, 2001, 07:09 PM   #15
Art Eatman
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Mid-1970s, Rice Hotel, Houston, Texas. Sunday afternoon, after a major coin show in the hotel ballroom.

My coin-dealer friend loaded his unsold coins and the receipts from the sales at the show into the trunk of his car. This was in front of the main entrance, right at the curb. I stood by with a 20" 870 12-gauge, a bit more vertical than port arms.

Various folks wandered in and out of the hotel. A few smiled and nodded. I vaguely recall that one cop-car drifted along the street; no reaction (I'd certainly have remembered a reaction! ).

"Brandishing, ma'am? Not at all! I was just standing here, holding a shotgun."

We then drove on to Austintatious...

, Art
You're from BATFE? Come right in! I use all your fine products!
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