Brandishing a Firearm in Michigan
Some governmental officials do not respect the Second Amendment and want to 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 willing to do whatever is necessary to win your case. The government only has the right to limit our Constitutional Rights under minimal circumstances. The Michigan State Police and other law enforcement agencies, particularly in the City of Lansing in Ingham County, use 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 $100 upon conviction. If you are convicted of Brandishing a Firearm, you will lose your concealed weapons permit (CPL), and you will be ineligible to apply for reinstatement 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 legally and openly carrying a firearm in the presence of someone. In most circumstances, openly carrying a firearm in Michigan is legal and consistent with the Second Amendment. When someone claims to be in fear, a police officer 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 intend to put others in fear, they are 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, they would be guilty of Brandishing a Firearm. In Michigan, prosecutors and police will consider “knowledge” 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
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. Mostly, the protesters have been peaceful and law-abiding, even when carrying a firearm. If the police arrest a protester and claim they were “brandishing” a firearm, that person will be charged with a misdemeanor offense. Although the police can arrest an individual for Brandishing a Firearm, it is more likely that they 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 an individual’s right 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.
Suppose 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. In that case, P.L.L.C. is ready, willing, and able to put up a tenacious fight to show that their client did not commit a crime. 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 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 5 years on probation.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is brandishing of firearms?
The phrase “brandish” refers to displaying all or part of a firearm to another person or otherwise making the firearm’s presence known to that person to intimidate them, regardless of whether the gun is immediately visible.
Is brandishing a threat?
Brandishing is an implied threat. Directly threatening someone with a firearm constitutes a felony called Felonious Assault. If the firearm is merely displayed and not directly pointed at a victim or directly used to threaten an imminent battery, the offense is referred to as brandishing.
What does it mean if someone is brandishing?
Brandishing under Michigan law means pointing, waving, or displaying a firearm with the intent to cause fear in another person.
Is lifting your shirt brandishing?
A person who lifts their shirt to show that they have a firearm to intimidate someone is guilty of brandishing.
Is brandishing a crime if done under threat?
Self-defense would be a valid defense to a brandishing charge if the firearm were displayed reasonably and in response to a legitimate threat that caused genuine fear.
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, freedom, and 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 an online Request for Assistance Form. We will contact you promptly and find a way to help you.