Brandishing a Firearm in Michigan
Some governmental officials do not respect the Second Amendment and would take away all firearms in the United States if given the opportunity. Prohibiting citizens in Michigan from openly carrying firearms is unconstitutional. Your best defense is an attorney who has extensive experience defending clients charged with firearm charges.
If you are being prosecuted because you have exercised your 2nd Amendment Rights, you need a lawyer who is willing to do whatever is necessary to win your case. The government only has the right to limit our Constitutional Rights under very limited circumstances. The Michigan State Police and other law enforcement agencies, particularly in the City of Lansing, Ingham County, are using a crime, called Brandishing a Firearm, as a pretext to arrest citizens who are doing nothing more than lawfully and openly carrying a firearm.
What is Brandishing a Firearm?
Michigan law prohibits pointing, waving, or displaying a firearm with the intent to cause fear in another person. Brandishing a firearm in public is a misdemeanor under Michigan law. A conviction may result in up to 90 days in jail, up to 2 years of probation, and a fine of up to $100 upon conviction. Also, if you are convicted of Brandishing a Firearm, you will lose your concealed weapons permit (CPL) and not be able to get it reinstated for a minimum of 8 years.
Law enforcement will rely on the part of the law that prohibits “displaying a firearm with the intent to cause fear in another person.” People may or may not be afraid while in the presence of someone who is openly carrying a firearm in a way that is consistent with the Second Amendment. When an officer is looking to make an arrest, and someone claims to be in fear, he may choose to file a Brandishing a Firearm charge or issue a ticket charging someone with that offense. If the person holding the firearm did not have the intent to put others in fear, he or she is innocent.
Is civil disobedience or demonstrating with a firearm the same as “brandishing” a firearm?
Generally, openly carrying a firearm is not “brandishing,” even if done during a demonstration or political rally in Michigan. If a person possesses a firearm, including a rifle or pistol, with the intent to put someone in fear, then he or she would be guilty of Brandishing a Firearm. In Michigan, prosecutors and police will consider “knowledge” to be the same as “intent.” In other words, if someone displays, shows, or exhibits a firearm knowing that it will put others in fear, the government will consider this the equivalent of intent.
Being in Possession of an Openly Carried Firearm in the Michigan Capitol Building
During the time of the Coronavirus health emergency, there have been several demonstrations in and around the Michigan Capitol Building in Lansing, Michigan. The City of Lansing is located in Ingham County. Several of the demonstrators have peacefully carried rifles and other firearms inside the Capitol Building and on the grounds around the building. In virtually every case, the protesters have been peaceful and law-abiding, even when carrying a firearm. If the police arrest a protester and claim he or she was “brandishing” a firearm, that person will be charged with the misdemeanor offense. Although the police can make an arrest for Brandishing a Firearm, it is more likely that he or she will issue a written ticket.
Lawyers that Support and Defend the Second Amendment
The Second Amendment of the United States Constitution reads: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” Most court decisions have upheld the right of individuals to keep and bear arms based on the Second Amendment, and Michigan is an “open carry” state. Open Carry means that a legal firearm may be possessed, without a permit, so long as it is carried openly and obviously.
If law enforcement, police, or prosecutors seek to deny a protester’s Second Amendment rights by charging them with Brandishing a Firearm, the Defense Team with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. is ready, willing, and able to put up a tenacious fight to show that no crime was committed. Under the Second Amendment, “bear Arms” means to “wear or display” a firearm. A state cannot legally pass a law that violates the Second Amendment.
Similar Offenses to Brandishing a Firearm
- Aiming or Pointing a Firearm towards Another without Malice – An offense that is often confused with Brandishing a Firearm is called Aiming or Pointing a Firearm towards Another without Malice. Aiming or pointing a firearm is a misdemeanor. The maximum punishment for this offense is up to 93 days in jail and up to 2 years of probation.
- Felonious Assault – Aiming or pointing a firearm with the intent to put someone in fear is a felony called Felonious Assault. Felonious Assault is also referred to as Assault with a Deadly Weapon. The maximum penalty for Felonious Assault is up to 4 years in prison and up to 5 years on probation.
Brandishing a Firearm Defense Attorneys
If you have been charged or ticketed with Brandishing a Firearm, you need someone willing to fight to protect your rights, your freedom, and your liberty. The defense attorneys with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. have decades of experience successfully defending clients charged with firearms crimes. We understand that protecting your rights is a top priority, and we are not afraid to do whatever is necessary to win. No lawyer can guarantee or promise any particular result; however, we can promise you that we will do everything possible to protect and defend you.
Call us today at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation, or complete a Request for Assistance Form and we will contact you promptly.