Brandishing came up in class again this week and as far as I can tell has no statute in Colorado like some other states. What we do have is Disorderly conduct and Menacing. Both of the statutes can get you in trouble, lets look at the whole picture.
Brandishment as a crime requires bringing the weapon to a ready state with intent to threaten or intimidate. Brandishing a weapon is pulling it out and waving it around. If you never touch your gun, never remove it from its holster, it’s probably not brandishment. Intimidation caused by a displayed weapon that is not “brandished” is incidental, the person intimidated by the display of a holstered weapon has no reasonable cause to assume that the weapon will be drawn and used in their presence, much less against them. If you’re gonna either draw or show in a confrontation, you’d better be ready to use it and be able to justify it. You also need to be the first person to talk to 911 and explain the circumstances. All to often the attacker makes the call first and tries to make a case against a law abiding citizen. Once you have been accused of a crime you are on the defensive, you must prove you did right. Be the one on the offense make the call first and describe the incident so that you are in the clear. Lets look at our two statutes in Colorado
8-9-106. Disorderly conduct
(1) A person commits disorderly conduct if he or she intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly:
(f) Not being a peace officer, displays a deadly weapon, displays any article used or fashioned in a manner to cause a person to reasonably believe that the article is a deadly weapon, or represents verbally or otherwise that he or she is armed with a deadly weapon in a public place in a manner calculated to alarm.
(3) An offense under(1)(f) of this section is a class 2 misdemeanor.
(1) A person commits the crime of menacing if, by any threat or physical action, he or she knowingly places or attempts to place another person in fear of imminent serious bodily injury. Menacing is a class 3 misdemeanor, but, it is a class 5 felony if committed:
(a) By the use of a deadly weapon or any article used or fashioned in a manner to cause a person to reasonably believe that the article is a deadly weapon; or
(b) By the person representing verbally or otherwise that he or she is armed with a deadly weapon.
Armed citizens have to be situationally aware of their surroundings at all times, but they also need to be legally aware of what they are partaking in. When the wise ones say that it’s a huge responsibility, their right it is. You as a legally armed citizen need to know how to articulate the situation you are in to law enforcement so that they know you have handled yourself in a proper manner.
You can also see why not retreating when you have the option can lead to big trouble even when we have no duty to retreat in Colorado.
NONE OF THE ABOVE INFORMATION IS LEGAL ADVICE. YOU SHOULD CONSULT A QUALIFIED ATTORNEY BEFORE RELYING UPON THE ABOVE INFORMATION IN ANY WAY.