Tuesday, May 14, 2013

FAQ: If A CPL-Holder Accidentally Exposes His Concealed Firearm, Is He Brandishing It?

Ask The Michigan Firearms Instructor
Q: Rick, what is the law on side carrying (a firearm) on a motorcycle? I have a CPL but when (I am) riding (with a gun) at the side under the vest, if the vest flies up and exposes gun, is that considered banishing?

A: There is no official law that actually defines brandishing in Michigan. However, there is an official Michigan Attorney General Opinion (#7101) written by Jennifer Granholm in 1992 that gives an opinion as to what brandishing actually means.

In the opinion, Granholm, in the absence of any Michigan appellate court decisions, referred to an ordinary dictionary definition as set forth in The American Heritage Dictionary, Second College Edition (1982), at p 204:

1. To wave or flourish menacingly, as a weapon.
2. To display ostentatiously. –n. A menacing or defiant wave or flourish.

As such, it is reasonable to conclude that an inadvertent or accidental display of a holstered firearm is not brandishing in Michigan.

Additionally, if your feet are not on the ground while carrying a firearm, it is considered to be "concealed," regardless of whether any of the gun of it is visible. Accordingly, a person carrying a holstered firearm on a motorcycle should have a valid concealed pistol license that is recognized by the state of Michigan.

You are strongly encouraged to not only conduct your own independent research but to also consult with a competent and qualified attorney before acting upon any information in this article. Laws covering self-defense, lethal force, firearms, and the Michigan Concealed Pistol License and their enforcement are always subject to change due to laws being amended, politics conducted in the Prosecutor's Office, and election results at all levels of government. Ignorance of the law, legally speaking, is not a valid excuse for running afoul of it. The penalties and fines imposed upon violators of firearms related offenses are stiff and severe.

About The Author
Rick Ector is a National Rifle Association credentialed Firearms Trainer, who provides Michigan CCW Class training in Detroit for students at his firearms school - Rick's Firearm Academy of Detroit.

Ector is a recognized expert in firearm safety and has been featured extensively in the national and local media: Associated Press, UPI, NRAnews, Guns Digest, Tactical-Life, The Truth About Guns, The Politics Daily, Fox News Detroit, The Detroit News, The Detroit Examiner, WJLB, WGPR, and the UrbanShooterPodcast.

For more info about free shooting lessons for women and Michigan CCW Classes, please contact:

Rick's Firearm Academy of Detroit
Web: http://www.detroitccw.com.
Email: info@detroitccw.com
Phone: 313.733.74

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