We've had a recent string of assaults on campus, so I emailed the UW CoP and the Dane County DA and asked about the open carrying of a firearm. The UW asst: CoP said "yes" you will get arrested for DC, possibly other things. The DA said the same thing in less clear terms (I will post everything below).
So, a couple of things:
1) the CoP saying they would arrest someone for open carry allows the CCW law to be challenged constitutionally - the only way to reasonably carry a weapon for defense (as guaranteed by WI constitution) would be to have it concealed. Well, that's illegal, but if you do it in plain sight, you'll be arrested. So, contrary to what the constitution says, the people of WI have no practical way to carry a weapon for self-defense.
2) What can we do with this to either support the PPA or challenge the current law banning CCW? Can we do anything, or am I just wasting my time?
3) Does anyone have the audio arguments of Hamdan? I was trying to find them but can't
oh, the letters... i'll just add them to the thread below so they are easier to read.
My pleasure, and good luck with your studies and with any steps you can take
to encourage safety on campus.
Thanks for getting back to me again. I guess I understand the CCW inside
one's house - I think that applies to more of a "castle doctrine" idea -
it's your house, you can, for the most part, do what you want. Thanks for
explaining the business situation too, I had known a bit about it after
reading about the Hamdan case.
As for felons carrying weapons, carrying weapons to be used in a crime,
posessing illegal weapons, etc is all covered by laws already in place at
the state and federal level.
What I'm really curious about is the average Joe walking down the street,
going about his daily business who, (while he might be a little overly
paranoid about his safety) is doing nothing else wrong. If the state
constitution guarantees the individual the right to bear arms for defense,
but one can't do so in a concealed manner because of state law, and one
can't do so openly because of likely DC charges - isn't that in essence
preventing them from exercisig that right?
I understand neither of us is a Supreme Court justice, and we may be getting
a little deep into this conversation - but it seems to me that in a case
where no crime was committed, other than a weapon being carried (either
concealed or in plain sight), something has to give, either the DC charge,
CCW charge, or the "right to bear arms for self defense" clause in the state
constitution. How can one exercise that right if there are different,
competing laws that in essence, make one's technically legal actions,
Again, thank you for your correspondence on the issue, as you might be able
to tell, im quite interested in the law and seriously considering law school
Thanks again, I really appreciate the time you've given me on this matter.
> There are many potential variations, but here are a few highlights
> of the
> law as I see it. I agree with you that this is an interesting
> area of the
> Wisconsin courts have created an exception under the CCW law to
> allow a
> person to carry a concealed weapon while s/he is on the premises
> of his/her
> privately owned home or privately owned business, but this
> exception applies
> only if the person shows a substantial need to carry a concealed
> weapon and
> that there was no reasonable alternative to concealing the weapon.
> This constitutional right does not apply under circumstances in
> which the
> person is engaged in unlawful behavior, such as disorderly conduct (I
> appreciate that this can look like a circular argument, based on
> what I said
> in my first e-mail, but in the end some sort of "community
> standard" does
> have to be applied). It does not allow a convicted felon to
> possess a
> firearm under these circumstances, and any person would still be
> prohibitedfrom possessing illegal firearms such as a short-
> barreled shotgun / rifle or
> fully automatic firearm.
> In the business setting, it does not allow the owner to impart
> this "right"
> to an employee. It also does not impart this right to family
> members of the
> owner unless they are documented actual co-owners of the business
> or a
> spouse (under Wisconsin Marital Property Law, a current spouse
> would be
> considered a "co-owner"). It also does not allow a business owner
> to carry
> a concealed weapon off the premises of the business even if that
> act is
> related to the business, such as going to make a deposit of business
> receipts at a bank or other financial institution.
> I hope that gives you some feel for the direction of the law at
> this point.
> Best Regards,
> Brian Blanchard >
> Attorney Blanchard,
> Thank you very much for getting back to me so quickly, and thank
> your for
> answering my question. For me, it was largely academic, I would
> NEVER myself
> go about openly carrying a firearm in public - I think there are
> too many
> practical or tactical reasons to outweigh the possible protection
> that one
> could gain from it. Some people I've talked to, however, I think
> were a
> little more seriously considering the idea than myself, though I have
> forwarded them your response and given them my opinion that it
> wouldn't be a
> good idea for practical and legal reasons.
> I do have one more largely academic question. I know a few years
> ago the
> state legislature passed an ammendment to the state Constitution
> saying that
> people of WI have a right to bear arms for various things, among them
> protection. Since carrying a weapon in a concealed manner is
> highly illegal
> because of state laws, and one should expect to be arrested, possibly
> prosecuted, or at the very least have police respond to their presence
> (which I agree would be justified in downtown Madison) if they
> were openly
> carrying a firearm in plain view - if someone wanted to exercise
> that right
> to carry a firearm in Dane county for personal protection, how
> would they be
> able to do it?
> Again, this is just an academic question, but after looking in to
> it, I'm
> kind of curious about the whole thing.
> Anyways, thank you again for taking the time to respond to my
> emails, I know
> you are very busy and a UW student's academic questions aren't
> always top
> priority. Thanks again, I think the city of Madison is very
> fortunate to
> have you as our DA.
> Best wishes,
> > Mr. A,
> > Thank you for your interest in the topic of how to reduce
> > in the
> > campus area, which is a big challenge. This office, the Dean's
> > Office, UW
> > Police, the Madison Police, the circuit court and municipal
> > judges, and city
> > officials are all keenly interested in strategies to prevent
> > incidentswhere possible, and to respond strongly and effectively
> > when they do occur.
> > I encourage you to explore education efforts to increase safe
> > behaviors in
> > the dorms and apartment buildings and on the streets around
> > campus.
> > Turning to your specific area of interest, I don't accept what
> > seems to be a
> > premise in your question. Open carry of dangerous weapons in
> the city
> > (including the campus area) generally would be, in my view, "out
> > of the
> > ordinary," and possibly disturbing for others, depending on the
> > location,who is present, the manner of carry, the weapon(s)
> > involved, suggestions of
> > mental illness or substance abuse, suggestions of a specific
> > "target" for
> > the weapon use, etc. I don't think one is going to get much
> > argument from
> > anyone that a person walking toward Bascom Hall with a nickle-
> > plated .38, or
> > a respondent with a domestic abuse or harassment injunction
> > lurking around
> > the petitioner's apartment building with a holstered pistol,
> > should attract
> > law enforcement attention on the double. In contrast, the
> > apparent hunter
> > or farmer carrying a long gun out in a field on the far west
> > of the
> > city is likely to disturb only the deer, the rodent, or the tin
> > can that is
> > the target. I take you to be asking about the non-officer
> > alongLangdon Street with a holstered gun.
> > Should police officers typically respond to that person, and
> > a DC
> > ordinance violation or criminal charge available depending on
> > facts? I
> > think yes. That is because someone carrying a firearm has a
> > purpose in
> > carrying the weapon, and that purpose is to use the weapon in
> > manner,if only to display it. We know from stalking and other
> > behaviors that
> > display can itself be an intentional and highly abusive threat.
> > How can
> > police find and deter stalkers, abusers, and the dangerously
> > mentally ill or
> > inebriated if they cannot make inquiries of those who take the
> > unusual step
> > of openly carrying a firearm? But even short of the stalker,
> > abuser, or
> > delusional or intoxicated person who actively seeks to upset another
> > identified person or persons, the law recognizes the social harm
> > in conduct
> > that tends to provoke a disturbance in others, whether they are
> > strangers to
> > the subject or not. So I believe it is fair law enforcement
> > inquiry to ask:
> > What is the intended use of this lethal weapon, is it legitimate
> > or lawful?
> > This is not an overreaction to guns, in my view; I would have
> the same
> > reaction to someone carrying an exposed (unsheathed) knife of
> > sort used
> > to injure people. As I say, on the other hand, if the average
> > citizen saw
> > someone carrying a long gun or a hunting knife outside city
> > limits, I think
> > as a general rule that citizen would not be similarly concerned or
> > disturbed, since one can readily imagine safe and non-disturbing
> > reasons for
> > someone to do that.
> > My untested assumption is that the above views are generally
> > shared by the
> > vast majority of Dane County's residents, regardless of their
> > specific views
> > about, or familiarity with, guns or gun laws. While a majority of
> > residents' "feelings" should not determine the law, to a large
> > degree what
> > we consider "disorderly" is a community standard and is heavily
> > contextual(e.g., naked folks at Mazomanie beach are not, in my
> > view, disorderly, but
> > walking naked down State Street probably would be). And
> > regardless of my
> > personal views, under our system of justice what matters in the
> > end would be
> > the opinions of 12 Dane County citizens, since we have a strong
> > jury system
> > that is available to set community standards and prevent
> > overreaching or
> > oppressive prosecutions.
> > The campus and surrounding neighborhoods are places where: many
> people> gather in close quarters; alcohol and substance abuse
> often run
> > high, and;
> > sophomores sometimes predicatably enough act sophomoric. In
> > addition, on
> > top of all that, there are too many people (students and non-
> > students) who
> > see the campus environment as a fertile one for committing
> > such as
> > sexual assault, domestic and/or dating violence, robbery (armed and
> > unarmed), other physical violence, and property crimes that can
> > highlydangerous, such as burglary. I think the police and this
> > office are
> > obligated to consider the social costs and risks of introducing
> > firearmsinto this environment in deciding who to lawfully
> > and who to
> > lawfully charge with open carry of dangerous weapons in the form of
> > disorderly conduct.
> > Finally, for what it is worth to you, I believe your question is
> > largelyacademic. I cannot recall a "close call" disorderly
> > conduct for weapon use
> > or possession referred to this office, either on campus or off.
> > It might
> > have happened on occasion, and could happen tomorrow, but in any
> > case we
> > have not seen any trend of these in recent years.
> > Again, I wish you the best in any efforts you can make to
> > safetyfor the campus community, and this office would be happy
> > help with
> > referrals or suggestions on any other initiatives in this area.
> > Best Regards,
> > Brian Blanchard
> > > >
> > Dear Attorney Blanchard,
> > I am writing on behalf of a group of UW-students concerned with
> > the string
> > of violent assaults in downtown Madison recently. The issue of
> > self-protection has been brought up, and along with it, the
> > carrying of
> > firearms. I am aware that it is illegal to carry a concealed
> > weapon in
> > Wisconsin for self defense or otherwise, unless it is in your
> home or
> > business (I belive).
> > However, I haven't been able to find any state law or local
> > ordinance that
> > prohibits the open carrying of a firearm in plain sight. After
> > doing some
> > research, however, I discovered a rumor that carrying a firearm
> > plainsight could possibly get one arrested for disorderly
> > (even if they
> > wern't doing anything out of the ordinary). Can you tell me if
> > this is true
> > or not - or I suppose you would be better able to answer, would
> > someone be
> > prosecuted for this?
> > Thank you for your time. A speedy response would be greatly
> > appreciated as
> > there are many students who would like to take steps to ensure
> > their safety
> > in the downtown area, but do not want to violate any other laws
> in the
> > process.
> > Thank you very much for your time,
> > -Adrian
As you mentioned the short answer is that
possession of any firearm, concealed or
in plain view, is prohibited on university
property. Carrying a firearm in plain view
in the City of Madison would indeed get
you cited for Disorderly Conduct or worse
depending upon other factors.
I also happen to be of the opinion that the
possession of a firearm, whether concealed
or not, does not automatically make one
safer. In fact I think it increases your risk,
either by making you a target or by drawing
you into a conflict that you otherwise would
have avoided if unarmed.
There are many ways to reduce risk and avoid
becoming a victim that don't involve the introduction
of a firearm into the equation. If you or your
acquaintances feel unsafe in your environment,
we (any of our UW police personnel) would be happy
to discuss alternative measures and resources available
that would help alleviate those fears.
Thanks for asking the questions Adrian and I appreciate your
concern for the safety of your peers and citizens of Madison.
People such as yourself who make safety and security a priority
in their lives are usually less likely to become a victim.
take care and have a great day, Assistant Chief Dale Burke
At 09:13 PM 9/24/2004 -0500, you wrote:
>Dear Assistant Chief Burke,
>This is a question that I should probably be asking the Chief, but I did
>not see her email address so perhaps you could answer my question, or pass
>it on to someone who could.
>With the string of violent assaults in recent days, the topic of
>self-protetion has come up in many campus circles. Obviously, it is
>illegal to carry a concealed firearm in Wisconsin, but some people have
>brought it to my attention that openly carrying a firearm in plain sight
>is not illegal. I myself know that this opens an entirely different can of
>worms in regards to tactics and such (I am CCW licensed in several places
>out of state so I am well informed of these issues). However, I have also
>heard that one could be arrested for disorderly conduct if they were to
>carry a firearm in plain sight. Can you tell me if this is true, or at
>least what your department's policy on the open carrying of firearms is? I
>know it is illegal in campus buildings because of UW regulations, so I'm
>not worried about that part, but rather in areas where firearms are not
>strictly prohibited by UW codes.
>Thank you, I would really appreciate a speedy reply, as there are many
>students who fear for their safety and would like to know the full legal
>ramifications if they took steps to ensure their own safety in Madison.
>Thank you for your time,
Well AFAIK the only way you could do anything would be to openly carry and get arrested for it.
Though by having it in writing from these people that you will be arrested could be enough to file suit because they are telling you that they will arrest you for doing something perfectly legal in this state. And you would have standing to do that because the state of wisconsin recognises the INDIVIDUALS RKBA.
So you could just try and file a suit and see what happens, or go outr and open cary and get arrested and go through all the BS. Contact the NRA-ILA and see what tye sway. AFAIK the UW madison (and any UW system school)campus is public porperty and it's not listed as one of the areas exempt from open carry.
You may have something.
Posted something in the legal section about this thread, we'll see what we get. maybe someone a little better versed in the law will be able to help out a bit.
thanks man, we'll see if someone comes along...
What is "DC," as in, "You will be arrested for DC?"
Get rid of JD.
Isn't that nice. You ask a question, you get their PERSONAL FRIGGIN OPINION.
And damn right, if I'm carrying a weapon, I have an intention to use it. I WILL use it to DEFEND myself IF AND ONLY IF my only other options are major bodily harm, or death. Guess thats too much for them to handle.
So instead, you're supposed to alter YOUR life and cry for po-po to protect you, except that if you need 'da man' you're screwed because their response times aren't fast enough to prevent bad things from happening.
Ya'll are lucky your state recognizes your individual right to bear arms for personal defense. Best of luck to ya.
Are you serious?! You were carrying a firearm in plain view in downtown Madison?
If you get arrested, you are more than welcome to use those emails I got to challenge the constitutionality of the law.... in fact, i will do whatever I can to help you.
are you serious?
i just carry concealed. er, i mean i would..uh..if it was legal. yeah that's it.
Remember the open carry marches that they did in Ohio durring their push for CCW?
Maybe it's time we did something similar in the heart of liberal cheeseheadville, I mean Madison. I'm mean really what are they going to do arrest a bunch of people who are all packing guns on their hips? And I'm sure we could get some help from our LE members too, which would add a bit of legitamicy to the whole thing at least in the sheeples minds.
I totally agree. They can't arrest 50 people at the same time. If we could get a big turnout, it could work.
Getting the big turn out would be the problem I think plus we totaly would have to have some gun friendly LEOs involved, partialy because as I said it would/could ad credibility to the thing with some of the sheep "since the cops are involved it can't be that bad" type thing.
Adrian, you and I had this discussion via email awhile back (WI-CCW @ Packing here).
I took the idea of open carry to a lawyer, along with legal CCW via Hamdan, carrying for out-of-state permitees based on "full faith and credit", etc., and the basic response was; "Don't do it without a boatload of money".
Should the DC statute be challenged? Absolutely, but who's going to bankroll it?
Far cheaper would be to file an acius breif with the SC (but it still feeds money to the sharks), and try to get a response from the AG, to be distributed far and wide to WI DA's and LEO's.
To make a group carry work; "Friendly LEO's" must also come with "Friendly CLEO's", "Friendly DA's", "Friendly Judges" and "Friendly Media". A group carry in Madison might get each of us more than DC charges and loss of a piece, as well. It could concievably be be looked at as an "armed insurrection", and you know how the press would react to that.
Since the lobby groups like WICCW/WICCM and the NRA are unwilling to pony up the cash, and are just interested in spending money to get "their guys" elected (Panzer over Grothman, ironically) regardless, it looks like we'll have to wait for another attempt at the PPA.
ETA: Adrian, thanks for publishing the letters. I appreciate the legwork, but it looks like the people you contacted are just confirming for us what we already knew.
There is another way to fund the legal challenge.I'll throw out my idea F2F sometime.
Adrian, I look forward to meeting you,you are doing some good work.I've never tried to press the open carry issue,I make sure I have a spotsman's license with me and coyote season is year round...
I think a reason for no open carry rally might be a loophole in "some law" about armed groups.I'll have to look into my files and search the statutes.
On a real bright note I asked my Dem Assembly candidate what his stance on the 2nd ammendment was,after a pause and a (deleted) look he asked me to fill him in on what the 2nd ammendment was...(where is the "smiley's head up his @ss" icon?).
The "armed insurrection" thing would be a bitch, but one of the things they did in ohio IIRC was that you don't carry a mag in the gun.
Either way the letters have pretty much confirmed what we all knew all along, there is no real legal way to carry a firearm in this state. Which is a conflict with the state constituion. If openly carrying a firearm will get you arrested, even though it's perfectly legal, and CCW is flat out illegal execpt in some instances, than our right to bear arms has been effectivly infringed. I still think an open carry march is doable, we just have to find out how, and the best way to do it.
Ok according to the wisconsin DOA website there are 71 DAs in this state. And we have 72 counties. Wierd. So here is an idea. We draft a letter regarding open carry and send it to every DA in the state. We also send a copy of the letter to every sheriff in the state. We than also send the letter to say the Police chief of the 10 largest cities/villages/towns in the state and see what they say. Oh and of course we have to send oe to Peg as well being the "top cop" in the state and also who ever is in charge of the State patrol. If we can get a letter drafted I'd print it up and send it out to everyone on the list, the price of the postage would be well worth seeing what all the responces would be, or we could email it out to all of them which would be quicker and easier. What do you guys think?
If you guys do get anything arranged, I'd be more than willing to partake. I think the open carry as a group idea is a good start. I only wish i could do more.
PM, If you're talking about what to do before
From my talks with the lawyer;
The "proper" way to do it would be to file an amicus ("friend of the court") brief with the SC, copy the AG, then get an opinion letter from the AG (optional for her to respond, but would be required for us), then publish (if favorable to our side) the opinion to the DA's, Couty Sherriffs, and CoP's.
Alternately, one of us could get arrested for DC, and we could hope for a huge outpouring of money from the Arfcom community while we fight our way to the SC....
you guys be careful about carring in public to try to get arrested, because if they sent out the Dane County equivilent of a SWAT team out over a kid with a bolt action .22, I'd hate to think what they would do for a bunch of guys packing handguns. . .
(I was the kid with a .22, and I wasn't doing anything illegal.)
No I'm talking about "survying" the State AG, the county DAs and sheriffs and the police chiefs of the largest say 10 cities in this state as to how they look at open carry and how they would handle it. I think those responces would go a long ass way in filing any brief with any court because they would show that our only means to bear arms is actually being treated as if it were a criminal act, when it's not. It would show that we have no viable way to bear arms because in either case we could very well get arrested. Hell right now CCW on public property is not illegal in a senc, as it would be up to the judge to decide if your reason for going CCW trumped the states intrest in keeping you from going armed with a concealed weapon(Affermative defense or something like that). Which we all know would be pretty slim for a judge to agrre that a pions intrest in going CCW out weights the police powers of the state.
So a "survey" more or less is what I'm tlaking about.
Thing is I'm not good at wording things, so Like I said if we collectivly could draft up this letter I'd be willing to snail mail it to all the people. Or we could email it.
That's exactly the kind of response we can expect without an amicus brief, and published AG's letter, along with "friendly" media attention beforehand.
That's why I mentioned "armed insurrection". With Doyle at the helm, expect the NG to get called out...
I'm ok with that.
I don't see what filing the brief would do without first getting something that would show that x number of DAs would prosecute and X number of SOs would arrest and site for DC or what ever else, somone for legaly openly carrying a firearm.
Either way, how much would it cost to get the brief filed?
Adrian, do you know any law students at UW that might be gun friendly and looking for something to do in their spare time????
Tatoo, I didn't know you had such huge cajones man!
Unfortunately for me, I'm stuck in a familiar third world country until April. However I would be happy to help in anyway. I myself plan to open carry in my hometown when I return. I wonder how the local po-dunk PD would respond to that. They're pretty JBT-ish.
I think this is a great idea. I wouldn't mind doing the work, writing and mailing, but I could sure use some help with postage. I suppose we could send emails, but they aren't as official looking. What would we want to include in such a letter? Obviously our basic argument that there is no way in WI to carry a weapon for self defense.. would we be asking for an opinion, or asking for action, or what?
Oh, and I look forward to meeting you all sometime - I'm actually fairly new to the whole gun culture thing - I've only been seriously shooting for a year, though Ive always had an interest in guns. I'm going to try to make the next ARFCOM WI shoot now that I have an evil black rifle:)
FMD - I do remember talking to you before about this. I agree, it pretty much just confirms what we already know, but that's a start.
Prety much something simple just asking how they currently handle open carry issues. But we have to stress open carry when there is no crime being commited or intended to be commited, so we'd have to stress the carrying for personal security/defense.
Alright - I'll try writing something up in the next couple of days, and then post it for you guys to look at.
We'd love to have you and your husband (if I read the SAFER site correctly) come out. Hopefully you took a look at the August shoot thread and saw that there are some females in the group as well.
My wife and I will both be going to the DE training.
Sorry - I posted my last reply regarding the SWAT team reaction to a "kid with a .22".
I hadn't even thought of a "survey" before the amicus brief...hmmm...(smoke coming out of ears).
Can anyone point me to the specific parts of WI state law that allow open carry?
In discussions with local LE they claim that WI State statutes do not allow open carry since it is not specificly stated.
LOL - shit! The SAFER site hasn't been updated yet. The secretary who is pictured there is Anthony's (our Prez) wife, Holly, who was the last secretary. My WIFE (fiance) graduated a year before me, and moved out to SD for a job (why I have SD in my profile). Right now, Im actually a SD resident, though Im in Madison for school, and Ive lived in WI for all my life until this summer. Not sure if Ill be here or in SD, or east coast after school. So, I'm actually not a female (though I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night). I hope you are all still interested in meeting me to go shooting - LOL...
Here I am at the state IDPA championships
shooting my friend's AR
shooting my USP
Ok, now that's cleared up - don't worry about it - it's my parents fault for giving me an ambiguous name... back on topic.
I'll draft a letter, hopefully by tomorrow night - depends on class and shit. After we figure out if we like it, we can look up who we want to send it to, and figure out postage, and Ill make a post asking for donations. Who should we sign the letter as? I possibly could do it as the UW-Gun club - or we could just start our own organization and give it a name or something. Ideas?
There is NOTHING that specifically ALLOWS open carry. It is just not prohibited. Check this out - it's a bit dated now with AWB sunset, but its a good guide
"Carrying firearms in Public: Wisconsin law does not specifically pohibit the open carrying of loaded or unloaded firearms in public, but a person doing so may risk being arrestedand charged with disorderly conduct, on the grounds that the display threatens the public peace or safety"
LOL....HOPE THAT CLEARS A FEW THINGS UP
Well see thats the thing there isn't one. it's because it is NOT spesificly porhibited in any state law that it is legal. So basicly it's legal cause there is no law against it. However, by state law no one can prohibit it legaly as far as a county/city/town law. Only the state legislature can create a lwas prohibiting open carry. The bitch is that the prohibition on concealed carry really should have become unconstitutional(and is no matter what anyone says) when the state constitution was amended with the RKBA amendment.
Hey, that would be awesome... email me and we can set something up. I'm free most afternoons, and I'll be around this weekend. email@example.com
How is this?
Dear Mr. So and So:
I am writing because I have an academic question regarding the carrying of firearms in the State of Wisconsin. I would like to know your current department policy regarding the carrying of a firearm in plain sight by a civilian purely for defensive purposes. I can lay out a scenario if it would be helpful. A citizen is going about his daily business armed with a pistol that he is legally allowed to own. The gun is securely holstered on their hip, and they are not in the process of committing any crime. They are carrying the firearm solely for self-defensive purposes, as someone in another state may likely do in a concealed fashion. They are not intending to provoke a reaction or to intimidate anyone (though since the weapon is in plain sight, it is possible another citizen could react adversely or unpredictably to the firearms presence). In fact, the person is going about his or her daily business as if the firearm was not even there. If asked about the weapon by a law enforcement officer, or another citizen, the person would respond that they are a normal citizen, not a law enforcement officer, nor a security guard, do not mean to cause anyone harm or alarm, and are simply carrying the weapon for self-defense.
If such a scenario occurred, how would your department/office respond?
I ask this because I have recently received responses from officials in Madison, of whom I asked the same question, and was told with little hesitation, that such a person would surely be arrested and charged with disorderly conduct, even if they had followed the law to its very letter and had not intended to provoke any kind of reaction or disturbance. I am curious to see if this is the stance taken state wide, if it is an opinion of officials in urban areas, or if it is simply the personal feelings of a few individuals in Madison.
Underpinning all of this, I believe there is a conflict between the State Constitution, Wis. Statute 941.23 banning the concealed carrying of dangerous weapons, and the threat of a DC arrest/charge for openly carrying a deadly weapon for self-defense in plain sight.
The Wisconsin State Constitution as amended in 1998 states in Article I, §25 “The people have the right to keep and bear arms for security, defense, hunting, recreation or any other lawful purpose.”
The concealed carrying of firearms is of course prohibited by Wis. Statute 941.23 “Any person except a peace officer who goes armed with a concealed and dangerous weapon is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.”
Some departments/DA offices have stated a DC arrest/charge would be made if one carried such a weapon in plain sight.
So, there is a situation where 1) the Wisconsin constitution provides the people the right to bear arms for self-defense, but 2) restricts the carrying of said arms in a concealed manner, thus, the only way to carry such a firearm for legal, defensive purposes would be in plain sight. With that knowledge, would 1) your department still raise a DC charge for the open carrying of a pistol, and 2) if your department would raise such a charge, would it then instead not raise charges for carrying a concealed weapon (again with no other legal violations) on the grounds that because of the threat of a DC arrest, carrying the weapon in a concealed manner would be the only reasonable way to exercise the right to bear arms for defense, as stated in the Wisconsin Constitution, or 3) make arrests and press charges for both instances where a weapon was carried in plain sight (DC arrest/charge – where no other crime or disturbing action was committed) or CCW (where the weapon was concealed, but again, no other crime was committed), this third situation, essentially prohibiting citizens from carrying firearms for self-defense in any circumstances.
Your opinions on the legal aspects of this matter would be greatly appreciated. Again, this is a purely academic question, so as of now I am not concerned with tactical or practical aspects of carrying a firearm whether in plain sight or concealed, I am just curious to know how such instances would be handled by your department.
Thank you for your time, I look forward to hearing from you.
HAHAHAHAHA!!!! I guess I need to get the SAFER "communications committee" to update that webpage!
You poor, poor bastard. Think of all the guys on arfcom who've been fantasizing about a diligently pro-ccw woman in this state, with your name and personality.
BTW guys, Holly IS diligently pro-ccw, but she's mine.
Adrian, This is a great thread you have going. The notion of sending a letter to everyone important in the state is a fantastic idea. I'd even include the governor, but we already know what he thinks (remember his comment about the "adults stepping in" when he vetoed the PPA?). There is a chance that we could rearrange some of our funding to get postage through SAFER. I'm not sure if this is possible since our funding is restricted to non-political activism and funding. Technically this would be a question of law in each municipality/county/etc... so we might be able to do it.
As for a group rally... I'm all for it. The hard part is going to be getting enough people together who are willing to risk being arrested. I imagine that if we did this anywhere near the capital in Madison we'd probably get surrounded, the streets would be closed down, and a state of emergency might be called into effect. And I would definitely not recommend anyone having a SINGLE live round of ammunition anywhere on their person during this. The chances of it being construed as intention of a violent act would shoot through the roof if you get arrested and they find ammo on you.
tattoo, check your email man. I sent you a question a couple of days ago. I thought you'd fallen off the face of the planet or something.
yeah, I'm flattered.... ... fuckin parents... you know my dad wanted to name me Bruno.... I suppose the shit like this and the all too frequent "Yo Adrian!" are a lot better than being named Bruno.....
I've got some guys on packing.org who are into it as well, but I cant get to the site right now. Might have to try again tomorrow. Let me know what you think about the letter... we can make changes if you think a different approach would work better.
Adrian great letter, the only thing I saw that you might want to change was this
Word it so it doesn't sound like the state constitution forbids CCW as it does not, the state constitution says we can carry but does not limit the manner in which we can carry. It's a state statute that prohibits CCW, one that should have been ruled unconstitutional but wasn't(I wouldn;t add that last part though. Thats about all I'd do with it is just add that distinction. Also as Tattoo said I'm in on paying for the postage too just let me know how you want me to get you the money.
We could also do this by splitting up all the counties amongst us and than we each print out the letter and send it to the DA and Sheriff of those counties as well as the police chiefs of say, Milwaukee, Madison, Racine, Kenosha, Green Bay, LaCrosse and a couple more. What do ya think?
Adrian, I thought you were to good to be true!
Actually, I understand your dilemma. My first name is "Kris". At least mom refrained from calling me "Summer" or "Rainbow", which were both in the running.
The SAFER site even has Holly preferring a USP 9mm. Sorry for the assumption, I just figured "Adrian" was some sort of nom-de-guerre. Without being a weasel, I was excited. It seems there a few women who enjoy the hobby, and anyone who shoots a USP is okay in my book (my wife prefers hers in .45, however).
Anthony and Adrian, by all means, get your wives involved here at Arfcom (if they're willing). I know my wife would appreciate the company!
Back on topic:
I like the letter, but would shorten it up, and remove the reference to "academic questions". A better strategy may be to pose the question as an academic survey, without explicitly stating so. If it came from SAFER, so much the better...
I think it may be more effective if we sent something where the top cops and DA's could run through check boxes in 5 minutes or less, pop it in a SASE, and get it in the mail. If it doesn't cost them anything but time, and they don't have to write a letter, I think they'll be much more likely to respond.
ETA: PM, you always beat me to the post by 5 min or so, damn you! Also, I'd be willing to foot the bill for the entire amount of postage.
I think you should change all of the plural "they" pronouns to the singular "he", "she", or "one."
I also think that it might be a good idea to include some of the oral arguments and/or decision from Hamden. I think I have the transcript saved somewhere at home. Pay special attention to the wording of the justice that recommends changing the state law to avoid future conflicts.
What we (you) don't want to do is send out a letter that leaves a lot of room for interpretation. Pin down the problems as you see it such that each respondant has to research the constitution, statutes, and case law to argue against your point.
Ok, I'll make up some changes, and put her back on.
slightly off topic.....Open carry in a vehicle falls under DNR jurisdiction does it not? No loaded firearms uncased (read the holster clause) in a motorized vehicle. You would have to unholster, unload, and zip it into a case PRIOR to getting in your car. Would that raise eyebrows if someone saw you in a parking lot/garage pulling it out?
Just playing Devil's advocate.
BTW...I'll chip in for postage as well. Where do I send it?
Correct. If someone saw you, the Madison ERT would probably swoop in from black helicopters. We would probably need to have an indoor meeting point, at a hotel or something, and then walk to wherever we needed to go.