Brandishing of firearm by licensed holder -- laws in Texas

Discussion in 'Texas Concealed Handgun (CHL)' started by SIG-SOG, Dec 28, 2009.

  1. SIG-SOG

    SIG-SOG Member

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    I do not have a CHL license. I would like to know what the law is regarding pulling your CC gun in an attempt to defuse a "potential" situation that might warrant the use of lethal force.

    For example, my wife and I were in the parking lot of an outlet mall smoking a cig before getting in the car to leave; it was late, we were 100+ yards from the store entrance, and most people had already left as the stores were closing. 3 younger people in hoodies, jeans down below their butts (you get the picture) were walking across the parking lot (obviously not coming out of the mall) and their trajectory was a path to pass close to my SUV. They could have easily taken a wider berth(sp?) not coming so close. I figured that if they were to approach us it would be to bum a cigarette or ask for some money, or who knows what could have happened. My nature is not to jump in the car before they got near us, although that would have been a good course of action. Anyway, I had my large SUV key firmly in my fist with the working end of the key poking out of my fist just in case. I turned toward them just to let them know I was aware of them and not afraid. They just walked past us and continued on their way, passing maybe 20 ft. from us.

    So take the same situation but assume I have a CHL and am carrying. Also, lets assume that they did attempt to approach us, for whatever reason - good or bad. Can I pull my CC gun and make them aware I am carrying it, or verbally tell them I have a gun, etc. and tell them they should not approach? Even if their purpose was to ask for a piece of gum or whatever?
     


  2. Fisherman777

    Fisherman777 Well-Known

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    But as scummy as they looked, they didn't do anything wrong. They didn't even speak to you. Why would you pull a gun? Be ready, yes but no need to "jump the gun".
     
  3. thorkyl

    thorkyl Active Member

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    Texas does not have a "Brandishing" law, what they nail you on is disorderly conduct.

    I would have just kept it covered and my hand on it.

    Loose enough clothing will allow a IWB to be hands on while keeping covered.

    The main thing is to keep your eyes open and don't get tunnel vision.

    They may be coming in from the front but don't forget the friends coming in from behind.

    With cold weather its tough to call who is a potential threat.
    Remember, Houston area does not get cold, so people over bundle and hoodies are common
     
  4. Young Gun

    Young Gun Active Member

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    No reason to pull a gun or any kind of weapon in that scenario. I get the "vibe" you may have gotten from them, I think I've run into people like that before. But, even though they may act suspicious and look "bad", you can't simply produce a weapon because you may feel threatened. That would make you the aggressor/attacker, and they may even be able to claim self defense if it turned bad and someone got hurt.

    I think I would have gotten my wife in the car ASAP, then got myself in the car, and then locked the doors and driven off. You don't have to high-tail it out of there like a scalded dog, but I certainly would get a mvoe on if it looked like trouble was coming.

    If that wasn't an option, I would have taken a defensive position (back to vehicle?), placed one hand close to my weapon of choice, and jsut kept an eye out. I often reach my hand in my pocket and leave it there when walking through a questionable neighborhood, or even in my own apartments when it's dark outside. I think it gives me an advantage, should the need arise to draw a weapon, I'm already 50% there (or better) and am ready to draw. If you were fumbling with a cigarette, or just had your hands to your sides, you may waste precious seconds pushing your coat/shirt aside, trying to get to your gun.
     
  5. txinvestigator

    txinvestigator TGT Addict

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    You SHOULD have gotten in your vehicle as you had the time. You also need to read chapter 9 of the penal code; the Texas use of force laws.

    There is too much to cover here, and "what ifs" are seldom productive in this format. There are too many variables.
     
  6. BT1911

    BT1911 Member

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    You could. Make sure you have someone who can post your bail for threat with a deadly weapon. Last thing I'd do is say "I don't know you from Adam. You haven't said a word to me and you're walking towards me. I have a gun and am prepared to use it if you come any closer." Why so skittish?
     
  7. TimberWolf7.62

    TimberWolf7.62 Active Member

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    My understanding is that you can't show someone your weapon unless you are prepared to use it. Given time, I would have gotten into the vehicle and left. If not possible, I'd have gotten the wife into the driver's seat with the keys, pulled my weapon outside of their sight and held it ready to go but concealed behind my leg as I got into the passenger seat and we vacated the premisis. Even if it's a righteous shooting, you don't want to go through the court system hassle.
     
  8. txinvestigator

    txinvestigator TGT Addict

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    That is why "what ifs" and these types of discussions are non-productive. I mean no insult, but what does "prepared to use it" mean? And chapter 9 of the penal code does state that the threat of deadly force does not equal the use of deadly force, if your sole reason to make the threat was to show that you were prepared to use deadly force if necessary. It is waaaay to difficult to try to explain in a forum.


    All over guys walking at you? No verbal warnings from you, no nothing?
     
  9. TimberWolf7.62

    TimberWolf7.62 Active Member

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    The scenario is that three suspicious looking characters are approaching an isolated couple in a parking lot at night after the stores closed. If you are not reading that as a possible threat situation, then you're not paying attention.

    My course of action would be to leave. They were going to leave anyway, as soon as they finished their smokes; I'm just saying to leave a few seconds earlier. As far as having my pistol in my hand but out of sight, I have no problem with that. I'd rather have it in hand and not need it than have it in a holster and no time to get to it.

    But then, I wasn't there and maybe my read on the situation is more dire than it was. However, regardless of that, my overall advice was to avoid the situation, which I think is the best advice. There's no reason to get into a situation - argument, shootout, whatever - if it can be avoided. And no, I am not the passive type, I'm a former Marine and have been in "a few" barroom brawls in my youth. I'm just older and wiser now.
     
  10. majormadmax

    majormadmax TGT Addict

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    Texas Penal Code §42.01(a)(8) prohibits the display of a firearm in a public place in a “manner calculated to alarm.”

    ...which is exactly what you would have been doing had your branished a firearm in that situation. There was no indentified lethal threat until you drew your firearm, at which time it would be you!

    As said, be prepared but don't "jump the gun."
     

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