Two-bill package addresses open-carry definition

Categories: Johnson News

Johnson, Dillon bipartisan effort puts ‘brandishing’ in context

Michigan citizens and police agencies will have a legal definition to help decide if a person is breaking a state gun law through a pair of measures recently introduced by Reps. Joel Johnson and Brandon Dillon that will clarify the term ”brandishing.”

House Bill 5091, sponsored by Johnson, amends the penal code to state an openly carried firearm that is holstered or on a sling shall not be considered brandishing. Dillon’s HB 5092 defines brandishing as pointing, waving about or displaying in a threatening manner.

“Our bills are needed to clarify the existing statue so everyone, residents and law enforcement officers, understand what is allowed and what is not allowed,” said Johnson, R-Clare. “This change will help law-abiding citizens by providing a consistent application of the law while respecting the tough job that our law enforcement professionals face every day to protect us and keep us safe.”

Johnson’s bill adds that the person exercising the right to open-carry must not be prohibited from owning or possessing a firearm, and that they are in lawful possession of the gun.

Dillon, D-Grand Rapids, said creating a legal definition for ‘brandishing’ is necessary because it is a term that is used in many state laws, but never clearly defined.

“By creating a definition, both gun owners and law enforcement officers will understand how a weapon can legally be carried, and the law will be more fairly applied,” he said.

The bills will be assigned to the House committee for review.