Olive Branch, MS asked in Criminal Law and Employment Law for Tennessee

Q: Is a gun gesture with no accompanying mitigating gestures considered a threat if it happens in the workplace?

I sent a complaint to my manager. He talked me out of going to HR with the complaint. I over heard some people involved in my complaint make comments that suggested my complaint was leaked to them. On the day of, I heard him talk about being worried about being fired and after lunch he tapped my shoulder and made a gun gesture towards me. I was alarmed by this and worked from home the next day. When I reported this to my supervisor, I was told to not take it that way.

Related Topics:
2 Lawyer Answers
Mr. Kent Thomas Jones Esq.
Mr. Kent Thomas Jones Esq.
Answered
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Cleveland, TN
  • Licensed in Tennessee

A: That appears to be a very fact-based question that may need some more development by witnesses that were around, if any, and/or the strength of your own testimony.

If you knew that there was truly no gun and that the guy was just simply harassing you, it may not rise to the level of a threat. However, if you think you can show that based upon your angle of sight, etc., that you thought there was a gun and were scared that you might get shot, then it would more than likely constitute a threat. Taking the facts on your end as true, it sounds similar to a case where someone robs a convenience store with a BB pistol that looks like a gun. If you can't tell that you were not being threatened with a gun, and the actions of the other person were intentional in that they wanted you to think there was a gun, then I would say, once again, that it is more probable than not that it was a threat.

Gary Kollin
Gary Kollin
Answered
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Fort Lauderdale, FL

A: Regardless, it is a STUPID thing to do.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.