Covington VA --(Ammoland.com)- Several people have asked me what the definition of “brandishing” is in Virginia law.
Brandishing is when someone displays a firearm in a manner specifically intended to induce the fear of being shot in another person. The key is INTENT.
Generally one has to be holding the firearm to brandish, but not always.
One can brandish by:
- Pointing a gun at another person (clearly intended as a threat)
- Drawing a gun, but not pointing it at the person as part of a threat
- Pulling back a cover garment to intentionally show the person is armed with a holstered firearm as part of a threat
- Touching a holstered gun as part of a threat
Simply wearing a holstered gun or handling a gun is NOT brandishing if it is NOT done with the intent of inducing fear in another. Handling a gun in public is generally not a good idea, however, unless at a shooting range or at a gun show.
A person can only brandish a gun legally in a situation where they would be justified in shooting the gun in self-defense. In that case the threat must be imminent and either lethal or extremely grave.
Here is a story about someone who thought brandishing would help him get hired for a job… Didn’t work for some reason:
Virginia Citizens Defense League, Inc. (VCDL). VCDL is an all-volunteer, non-partisan grassroots organization dedicated to defending the human rights of all Virginians. The Right to Keep and Bear Arms is a fundamental human right. Visit: www.vcdl.org