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Is pointing out that you carry a legal threat?

Discussion in 'Legal' started by The Exile, Feb 19, 2020.

  1. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

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    It may not be bad form. It may be done to explain why a person is not at liberty to enter a bar or a post office, or to ride the Metrolink in St. Louis.

    But if it is done to persuade someone to do something, or to dissuade someone from doing something, it may well be a crime, unless the person would have been justified in the use or of non-deadly physical force, in some states, or in the use of deadly force, in others.
     
  2. film495

    film495 Member

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    It is just my layman translation, I'm not a lawyer.
     
  3. Spats McGee

    Spats McGee Moderator Staff Member

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    And in ordinary conversation, that would be fine. Here in Legal, though, we have to be very careful with words. Words have specific meanings (not all of which are readily apparent) and if someone were to read your translation and take it as an accurate reflection of the legal contours of what constitutes a 'threat,' that person could wind up a convicted felon.
     
  4. FlSwampRat

    FlSwampRat Member

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    Personally, I think it's covered under Dumb In Public. Not being stupid greatly increases one's chances of not ending up arrested or shot by someone who was scared by what was said.
    Going somewhere to deliberately provoke responses like some of these youtube boobs do is moronic at best. You're not going to convince someone of the validity of your position by provoking them.
     
  5. Trunk Monkey

    Trunk Monkey Member

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    Did you watch the video yet?

    I am waiting for one of you actual lawyers to look at it and give us your educated opinion.
     
  6. film495

    film495 Member

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    my wording is a very good way to explain the legal standard in layman terms that anyone can understand, and I provided supporting references. is this something that is not allowed on this section of the forum? or can we only quote statements produced in court documents? which it what it appears you are saying, no?
     
  7. Spats McGee

    Spats McGee Moderator Staff Member

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    I did watch it. I don't have time to research the case law in that particular jurisdiction today. Too busy doing my own work. That said, I think it's enough to get a prosecutor to sign the probable cause affidavit and say 'let a jury sort it out.'

    With all due respect, if yours had been a very good way to explain the legal standard in layman terms, we wouldn't be having this discussion. I noted above that your description might pass in casual conversation, but this is the Legal forum. We have to keep a much tighter rein on our words and postings in here.

    As for the shortcomings in your description, I'll point them out in the hopes that it will be helpful.
    "Something specific" -- I'll give you that one. In order to be an actionable threat, a certain degree of specificity is required.
    "To someone" -- It doesn't have to be 'to someone.' A threat to damage property may be actionable. This one's good enough for casual conversation, but not for a discussion of legal issues.
    "Then only if people believe them" -- Which people? The target of the threat? Prosecutors? Police? General witnesses who may have heard the threat (or seen it if written)? So if I post threats to the President of the United States, does he have to believe I would carry those threats out for it to be a crime? No. The word "people" is horribly vague in this context, and the "only if people believe them" is flat not true. I'm at my desk today, so I'll pull the Arkansas Statute on Terroristic Threatening:
    There is zero language in the AR statute about the target having to believe that the threat will be carried out.

    "Running their mouth" -- That's a phrase that's fine for casual conversation, but it hasn't appeared in any statute or case that I've ever read in my career.

    Here are the THR Legal Forum Guidelines.
     
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  8. GEM

    GEM Moderator Staff Member

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    In the NYS permit class, it is explained that if you mention your firearm in order to influence behavior if not presented with a threat of death or grievous bodily harm, you can be charged with menacing.
     
  9. film495

    film495 Member

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    I posted a link supporting what I posted. It is the language validated by the resource I posted, so - take it up with the courts that use said language and tell them what they wrote is flat not true. I'm out on this topic and stand behind what I posted as being valid for the inquiry the OP posted. Reading the resource I posted answers most if not all the questions you have.
     
  10. Frank Ettin

    Frank Ettin Moderator Staff Member

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    I think that’s a good way to look at the question in lay terms. Basically, if under the circumstances an observer could believe that the actor’s mention of a gun was for the purpose of influencing someone’s behavior, the actor could well be in trouble.
     
  11. Frank Ettin

    Frank Ettin Moderator Staff Member

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    Except the link was to commentary on the question when a statement regarding possible future violence became a threat outside First Amendment projection. That can be a different matter entirely. So really the material at the link is inapposite.

    if one wanted to properly reach the OP’s question he should be looking at court decisions examining what sort of statements and/os conduct would or would not constitute actionable assault (or, in some States, “menacing”).
     
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  12. Trunk Monkey

    Trunk Monkey Member

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    Did you watch the video?

    What is your opinion of what she did?
     
  13. Frank Ettin

    Frank Ettin Moderator Staff Member

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    I’m with Spats.
     
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  14. herrwalther

    herrwalther Member

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    Context is quite important. Somehow the "I am ready to fight" stance for some people is to throw their hands and arms out to the sides and present their face. In that stance saying "You know I carry right?!" could be deemed a threat, in some instances by some people. But a "you know I carry right?" followed by a chuckle, typically is not seen as a threat. Body language tells you more about a person's motives then their language ever will, if you know what you are looking for.

    The video illustrates the point well. "The **** did you say to me?!" While closing the distance with another person indicates hostile intent. The retort "You know I carry right" not really a threat but not necessarily a wise choice of words for the instance in my lay opinion.
     
  15. Trunk Monkey

    Trunk Monkey Member

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    Well, two lawyers disagree with your lay opinion
     
  16. herrwalther

    herrwalther Member

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    Considering my own lawyer has advised me on use of force situations, I am okay with that.
     
  17. Spats McGee

    Spats McGee Moderator Staff Member

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    The link says what it says, but it just doesn't support the elements you that you claimed earlier make up a threat.
    It's not the courts that I'm saying were wrong.
     
  18. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

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    You could so try to argue that after the fact, but I think it likely that those empaneled to judge you would conclude that a reasonable person would interpret such a comment in that context as a threat of violence.

    I'm sure I would.

    What would become pivotal at that point is whether the person making the statement had been justified in doing so by the threatening actions of the other party.

    Not so, in the case on the video.

    In Arizona, severe criminal convictions in some cases were widely believed to have been unreasonable, and some years ago, the legislature enacted a provision permitting the "Defensive Display of a Firearm".

    That includes any of the following:
    1. Verbally informing another person that the person possesses or has available a firearm.
    2. Exposing or displaying a firearm in a manner that a reasonable person would understand was meant to protect the person against another's use or attempted use of unlawful physical force or deadly physical force.
    3. Placing the person's hand on a firearm while the firearm is contained in a pocket, purse or other means of containment or transport.
    None of those are lawful unless the use of physical force is justified to defend against an immediate threat of violence.

    A handful of states have somewhat similar provisions, but in the majority, an immediate threat of death or serious bodily injury would be necessary for justification.
     
  19. Trunk Monkey

    Trunk Monkey Member

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    This is starting to remind me of discussions we've had previously in which the poster recounts a situation in which another person did something they found threatening, so they take off their cover garment and explicitly state they did it so the other person would know they were armed. Then they turn around and try to say that's not what they did
     
  20. The Exile

    The Exile Member

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    I'm about to do what's called a "pro gamer move"
     
  21. Corpral_Agarn

    Corpral_Agarn Member

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    I think your willingness to convict might be a little too quick.

    This looks like more of a "two morons collide" thing. They both were at fault.

    Clearly the large woman was trying to be intimidating/threatening as well.

    Informing the large woman that she carries resulted in de-escalation.

    You going to vote to convict because both parties actions resulted in no violence?
     
  22. Trunk Monkey

    Trunk Monkey Member

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    I would vote to convict because in Colorado was she did was menacing.

    And I just may be wrong but I'm still going to vote to convict because I don't think I am and that's the risk you run when you start running your mouth at people while you're carrying a gun
     
  23. JERRY

    JERRY Member

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    if you feel the need to broadcast that you are armed because somebody made fun of your weight, its just a matter of time before your stupidity costs you your freedom or life.
     
  24. Corpral_Agarn

    Corpral_Agarn Member

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    hmmm.... I can only wonder at what your stance on 'hate speech' is LOL

    so by your estimation, what the large woman did was... not menacing?

    And if the girl who said she was carrying was just bluffing... ?
     
  25. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

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    Perhaps, but that would not exonerate anyone.

    The issue is one of whether or not her words and actions would have justified the defensive use of force, which would be the minimum threshold for justification in some states, or the defensive use of deadly force, which would be the threshold in most jurisdictions. Mere words would not suffice.

    Actual violence is not necessary to bring about a charge of assault or menacing.

    Not in a legal sense, in my opinion.

    Why would that matter?

    Attorney Adrew Branca said recently that a large portion of his consulting caseload involves threats with firearms that do not result in violence.
     
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