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brandish: to shake or wave (something, such as a weapon) menacingly

Monday evening, the Georgia Senate Judiciary committee approved Senate Bill 224 which clarifies the offense of aggravated assault when committed with a firearm. In other words, when a gun can be displayed in a defensive situation.

By Tuesday, ignorant, panicky reporters were claiming that . . .

Georgia panel approves bill aiming to make it legal to brandish a gun

Of course, the word “brandishing” doesn’t even appear in the bill or Georgia Code.

This caused some initial confusion, because the bill filed had no such provision. What all these fine “reporters” failed to mention is that the committee completely substituted the bill with new language, and the old version was still on the Assembly web site.

The new version still had the original text addressing carry in churches and government buildings, but now added new language to Georgia Code 16-5-21, defining aggravated assault when committed with a firearm.

“provided, however, that if with a firearm, the firearm is held within the person’s hands and aimed offensively or otherwise used in a threatening manner toward the other person;”

If you’ll compare that to the existing language, you can see that it merely clarifies that a firearm display must be offensively threatening to constitute aggravated assault.

Defensive displays — especially of a holstered firearm — in the face of a person acting offensively are not a crime.

Further, if it was a defensive display, but in a situation where deadly force would not be justified, the display remains a crime under 16-11-102.

A person is guilty of a misdemeanor when he intentionally and without legal justification points or aims a gun or pistol at another, whether the gun or pistol is loaded or unloaded.

Under current law, a person could be charged with aggravated assault if he displayed a holstered pistol in response to a mugging attempt. The charge would probably be dropped eventually, but not before the innocent person ran up significant legal expenses.

SB 224’s language fixes that.

But if someone displays or draws a gun in response to a shouting match over a ball game, he can still be charged under 16-11-102 because the threat of deadly force is an unlawfully disproportionate response.

Long story short: you can display a firearm against a felonious act, but not in a non-life threatening scuffle.

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  1. ‘The Truth About Guns’ is such a curious name for a website that clearly panders to left leaning, nanny state loving cowards.

  2. Georgia is a great state. In 2009 they passed a state law that would essentially trigger secession if the federal government attempted gun confiscation. I believe a few other states followed suit.

  3. “If you’ll compare that to the existing language, you can see that it merely clarifies that a firearm display must be offensively threatening to constitute aggravated assault.”

    So under this standard the LA DA‘s husband would be charged with aggravated assault.

    Seems reasonable.

    • That won’t fly. Hubby was safely stashed in his own home and was confronted by a group of uninvited intruders. He has a legitimate claim of frightened for his personal safety and self-defense. Thus, his display of a firearm was not “offensively threatening.”

      • Interesting perspective you have.

        The protestors only offensive action was to ring the doorbell and ask to speak with the elected official who resides there. They were polite and spoke in a conversational tone when they identified themselves.

        In return, he exited his residence, pointed his gun with his finger on the trigger at the protesters and declared “I will shoot you” in a loud, aggressive voice.

        Perhaps you were right, ordinary citizen should not be permitted to hold their elected representatives accountable for their actions. That only happens in America.

        • And, you were there?
          From what I read, it was still dark outside. A large group of protesters came to his house, trespass in his yard, and on his porch causing stress and depriving him of peace can quite. He should have met them with a 12 gage and not a handgun, in my opinion. Now, if they come at a reasonable hour and conduct themselves in a peaceful manner, he should respond in a peaceful manner. I don’t care what color your skin is, present a threat and expect defensive measures to be taken.

    • That was CA not GA; I’d have to see the specific language in CA law. The only video of the incident I’ve seen only shows the husband; that seems to indicate that pointing the pistol was not justified. BUT… unless you have video of the protesters, it’s hard to be sure. It’s possible that, off camera, some were doing something a reasonable person would perceive as a threat. From the tone and language of both sides that seems unlikely.

      And if it went to trial, a jury might decide that dozens of angry protesters gathered at your front porch, refusing to leave, was a threat in itself.

      • “dozens of angry protesters gathered at your front porch, refusing to leave”

        Read the article.

        Watch the video.

        They were not doesn’t have angry protesters at the front porch, refusing to leave. There were three people rang the doorbell identified themselves and respectfully asked to speak with the elected official that resides there.

        Perhaps you are correct, citizens should not hold elected officials accountable for their anti-gun efforts. That sort of protest is allowed only in America.

    • The bigger issue with that case is that he won’t be charged with anything, because of who he’s married to.

      • It shouldn’t matter who he is married to, He was confounded by an “angry mob” and had every right to defend himself. That pesky little thing about a “right to life”.

        • “He was confounded by an “angry mob”

          Read the article.

          Watch the video.

          There was no evidence of the so-called ”angry mob”, just respectful protesters ringing the doorbell and asking to speak to the elected official.

          But maybe you’re right, citizens should not be allowed to question public officials about their actions. That is only allowed in America. citizen should not be allowed to question public officials about their actions. That is only allowed in America.

  4. Brandishing is just another gun-grabber harassment tactic. There was a case years back where the Delaware AG (might have been Beau Biden, Joe’s favorite son — my recall is foggy on this one) tried to make a case against a CCW holder who’s gun was printing through his shirt, and that qualified as brandishing. Delaware is a no-permit open carry state, so it was a pretty stupid argument from the get-go and it didn’t go anywhere.

    Every once in a while I spend an hour or two practicing a “half-holster” draw. I get the gun out of the holster just enough to get a good grip on it and clear the trigger, but I leave the muzzle in the holster. I can least make the case that the gun never actually left the holster, and thus it was not brandished, but I’ve got it in a position where it’s ready to go if I need it. Maybe it will hold up in court, maybe not. I’m not anxious to find out.

    • Beau was very anti gun and on a path to be governor he died before any real damage could be done.
      Took him a few tries to pass the bar exam even though he was a Biden.

  5. Years before I moved to Georgia my wife and I were walking up a jeep trail to get to the hiking trail we planned to walk when 5 men on motorcycles set an ambush for us. I took off my jacket to display my pistol and they lost interest. Some people would call that brandishing, but it shut down an expected attack without my needing to shoot any of them.

    I support this change because brandishing laws are widely abused, usually by the bad guy.

  6. It’s amazing how many words and phrases get made up about things that never even mean anything at all. Stuff that gets created out of pure fantasy that doesn’t exist. Not slang that most people can easily define but non-sense words that often defy logic or make people think things that are completely false if not opposite of reality. It’s almost like trying to find reasoning and logic in the mind of a lunatic.

  7. Its an improvement but the article’s last sentence should have been the entire addition to the law. Many can still claim that open carry is “offensive” and “threatening “


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