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View Full Version : Wisconsin Atty General Van Hollen's "Open Carry Legal", gets lots of Press!


Liberty1
04-28-2009, 8:15 PM
hat tip to opencarry.org

http://activepaper.olivesoftware.com/Repository/ml.asp?Ref=Q1RGLzIwMDkvMDQvMjUjQXIwMDYwMA==&Mode=HTML&Locale=english-skin-custom

OPEN CARRY HYSTERIA by JESSICA McBRIDE

Some in the media and other anti-gun emotionalists are tearing apart Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen for his – somewhat belated, but very correct – advisory opinion on open carry.

What provoked the open carry hysteria? Van Hollen simply reminded people about a settled fact. He reiterated a point that Jim Doyle and the state Supreme Court once freely recognized. He repeated the state Constitution. That’s controversial?

It’s not illegal to carry a firearm openly in Wisconsin in and of itself, Van Hollen said. Cops can’t slap someone with a disorderly conduct arrest solely because they are carrying a firearm openly.

No statute prohibits open carry (there are still limitations on where open carry can occur). The state Constitution grants people the right to bear arms for lawful purpose. Since this state doesn’t allow concealed carry, if people can’t open carry either, how can they exercise their constitutionally protected right? They can’t. It would be a gun ban, which the U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled unconstitutional in Washington, D.C.

Maybe the newspaper columnists and bloggers should take up their complaints with the Constitution, not the attorney general. Some people get upset about supposed constitutional violations when it comes to the interrogation and surveillance of terrorists, but they are perfectly fine with abridging the Constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens.

It’s true that the right to bear arms is not absolute. Most people agree, for example, with regulations barring felons from possessing guns. But when police and prosecutors use their power to prohibit any exercising of the right to bear arms for lawful purpose, they go too far.

In Milwaukee, police are now planning to put people down on the ground who legally carry a firearm in the open. We live in a state where the Supreme Court has increasingly restricted cops’ ability to stop cars and search drug dealers. The police need to have a reasonable, articulable suspicion of criminal wrongdoing, which the Abrahamson court has increasingly defined restrictively. But now police are saying they’re going to toss people on the ground for doing something the attorney general (and Constitution) says is perfectly legal, and Van Hollen’s the controversy?

In Racine, the sheriff outlined a more reasonable approach: If dispatchers receive a call about a person with a gun, they will obtain additional information. Is the person agitated? Is an argument going on?

Gov. Jim Doyle acted apoplectic about Van Hollen’s opinion. But it wasn’t that long ago that Doyle, speaking out in opposition to allowing concealed carry, patted his hip, and said, “If you want to carry a gun in Wisconsin, wear it on your hip.” When Doyle was attorney general, his office argued that concealed carry could be outlawed because open carry was not. A person could walk down State Street with a gun, and not face a problem, the office argued.

In a legal brief in a concealed carry case, Doyle’s then office argued, according to a state Supreme Court summation, that “ ... a person lawfully in possession of a firearm will always retain the ability to keep the firearm in the open ...”

Milwaukee police concern about open carry is not patently unreasonable, of course (although putting people down on the ground without suspicion of criminality is). Most homicides in Milwaukee are by (unlawful use of) firearm.

But Van Hollen didn’t put guns on the streets. Criminals already have guns. He just stated what was already lawful. The overzealous action of other police agencies prompted the opinion.

In one West Allis case, a man faced disorderly conduct allegations for wearing a firearm in a holster in his own yard while peacefully planting a tree. A municipal judge correctly tossed out the citation. A West Milwaukee man has filed a federal lawsuit because police took his gun after stopping him for carrying it in a holster while shopping at a local Menards. The man was quietly loading his purchases into his vehicle in the parking lot, according to the suit. Another time, the same man was carrying the holstered gun in Walmart, when an officer pointed a gun at him, handcuffed him, searched him and took him to the police station.

And Van Hollen’s the controversy? Please.

Van Hollen’s office had initially delayed releasing an opinion, angering pro-Second Amendment advocates, like the Lakeland Times newspaper, which took him to task. And even now, Van Hollen only issued an informal opinion, when a formal one would have had far more impact, such as creating a legal precedent. Why not issue a formal one?

In his opinion, Van Hollen wrote that open carry could be criminal only if other circumstances came into play, such as if the person was also “barking” at a passerby.

I understand police wanting to question a person strutting down the street with a firearm (which the opinion says is fine). But I would think there should be evidence of a crime before the person ends up sprawled face down.

One could argue that Milwaukee’s firearm violence makes open carry more of a necessity there for law-abiding folks. If I was a crook, the last person I’d rob would be the guy with a pistol in a holster.

(Jessica McBride is a member of the journalism faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, a blogger and a Merton resident. Her column runs Saturdays in The Freeman.)

Liberty1
04-28-2009, 8:16 PM
http://activepaper.olivesoftware.com/Repository/ml.asp?Ref=V0JETi8yMDA5LzA0LzI4I0FyMDA2MDM=&Mode=HTML&Locale=english-skin-custom

Only one way to bear arms – openly

‘Conceal carry’ needs to become law




An issue blew up last week that had me thinking of the line from Willie Nelson’s and Merle Haggard’s Poncho and Lefty, “He wore his gun outside his pants for all the honest world to feel.” The issue is that of open carry, which has been brewing for years.

First, I must issue a disclaimer. I grew up in Texas. It was not uncommon for me to openly strap a sidearm to my belt when going to practice shooting. I also obtained a license to carry concealed and almost always carried a pistol with me. Fortunately, I never had to pull it and I was never harassed by the police.

The gun laws in Wisconsin are in a contradictory ludicrous shambles, which is causing problems for citizens and law enforcement alike.

At the heart of the issue are our constitutionally protected rights. Both the U.S. and the Wisconsin Constitutions guarantee us “the right to keep and bear arms.” While the “keep” part of that is pretty easy, the “bear” part of it is a problem in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin is one of only two states that has an outright ban on carrying a concealed firearm. The ban was in place before the Wisconsin Constitution was amended to guarantee the right to keep and bear arms. Several years ago, the Wisconsin State Supreme Court made some exceptions to the ban but came just short of throwing out the whole statute. Instead, they strongly recommended that the legislature bring the statute in line with the constitution or it might be thrown out next time.

The Legislature stepped up to the plate and twice passed bills that would have allowed Wisconsinites to carry a concealed firearm after training and a background check. Gov. Jim Doyle vetoed the bill both times.

Since concealed carry is illegal, and Wisconsinites have a right to bear arms, then the only other option is to carry openly. In fact, Wisconsin’s statutes do not forbid open carry, so it is perfectly legal. The problem is that although open carry is legal, Wisconsin’s law enforcement agencies have grown accustomed to arresting people for “disorderly conduct” if they do actually carry openly.

In fact, there have been several recent cases of people being arrested for disorderly conduct. In most cases, the district attorneys declined to press charges. In one case, the case of Brad Krause of West Allis, the D.A. pressed charges and the judge threw it out. The law is pretty clear that it is utterly legal to openly carry a firearm in Wisconsin.

Last week, Wisconsin Attorney General J. B. Van Hollen stepped in to state what should have been obvious to everyone with a passing knowledge of this issue. He issued an advisory memo last week for law enforcement saying that absent any other unlawful action, a person openly carrying a firearm is not engaging in disorderly conduct.

Unfortunately, some law enforcement officers reacted with the bravado of school yard bullies. Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn, of whom I’ve been a fan, reacted by saying that if his officers observe someone openly carrying a firearm, they would be instructed to “put them on the ground, take the gun away and then decide whether you have a right to carry it.” Several other police chiefs reacted in similar veins.

The reaction is chilling. Openly carrying a firearm is one of our rights enshrined and protected in not one, but two Constitutions for Wisconsinites. Yet here we have law enforcement officers openly declaring that they will make it a policy to harass, physically accost and seize the property of people who are merely exercising their rights. If such a policy were enacted against those exercising their First Amendment rights, it would be universally condemned.

We are now faced with the prospect of civil rights suits being filed against police departments that unconstitutionally deprive citizens of their right to openly carry a firearm, disruption in the lives of law-abiding citizens, and the specter of someone ending up shot. In fact, one such suit has already been filed in federal court in Wisconsin.

Openly carrying a firearm is legal and constitutionally protected. If the police and lawmakers don’t want guns in the open, I invite them to aggressively advance sensible legislation for concealed carry. Until then, I will wear my gun outside my pants for all the honest world to feel.

(Owen B. Robinson, a West Bend resident, is a blogger who publishes at www.bootsandsabers.com. His column runs Tuesdays in the Daily News.)

Liberty1
04-28-2009, 8:24 PM
Wisconsin Open Carry Intervew Pod Cast 04-28-09
http://podcast.loyalears.com/wtdy.php?task=new_files

&

Wisconsin Public Radio (half way through the pro-rights side gets a chance to counter the elected hack)

http://www.wpr.org/webcasting/audioarchives_display.cfm?Code=jca

Monday
4/27/2009
6:00 AM


Joy Cardin - 090427A
After six, Joy Cardin and guests examine the fallout from the Wisconsin Attorney General’s statement on openly carrying firearms. Her first guest lawmaker wants communities to issue their own gun laws. Joy's guest after six-thirty says "open carry" is the law of the land in Wisconsin, and shouldn’t be limited by local governments.

Guests:
- Leon Young, Democratic State Representative, Milwaukee.
- Mike Stollenwerk, co-founder, OpenCarry.org.

Liberty1
04-28-2009, 8:38 PM
http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/forum57/24854.html

http://www.fox6now.com/news/witi-090421-gun-carry,0,4745908.story

http://www.wisn.com/video/19238892/index.html

http://www.cbs58.com/index.php?aid=7171&

http://www.fox11online.com/dpp/news/news_wluk_van_hollen_promotes_gun_law_200904211735 _rev1

http://www.todaystmj4.com/news/local/43382687.html

http://www.wsaw.com/home/headlines/43394982.html

http://www.jsonline.com/news/statepolitics/43347632.html

http://www.jsonline.com/news/wisconsin/43302252.html

A forum/response form "Should police give more scrutiny to those who open carry"
http://www.jsonline.com/forums/43337042.html

An anti-gun columnist at the Journal Sentinel
http://www.jsonline.com/news/milwaukee/43400292.html

Another anti-gun editorial
http://www.jsonline.com/news/opinion/43389622.html

An audio-link of Vicki McKennas interview with JB van hollen
click here part 1

click here part 2


Mark Belling discusses open carry takes calls 4-21-09:

click here


Jay Weber WISN discusses JB Van Hollen Memo 4-21-09

click here

charlie sykes 620wtmj radio discussion JB Van Hollen Memo and takes calls

http://www.620wtmj.com/podcasts/charliesykes go to 4-21-09 part 2 and part 3. topic starts 2/3rds of the way through part 2 and continues into the whole segment of part 3


Here's a great segment showing Brad being interviewed by CH. 12 as West Allis police roll up to ask a few questions. Way to go Brad!

http://www.wisn.com/news/19245377/detail.html


http://www.nbc15.com/home/headlines/43303152.html

http://www.todaystmj4.com/news/local/43655547.html

Brad Krause on the radio (its on the 2nd hour link)

http://www.sportsradio1250.com/CUTTING-EDGE-OUTDOORS/1115758

http://wpt2.org/npa/hereandnow.cfm

Opinion piece by Jessica McBride:

http://activepaper.olivesoftware.com/Repository/ml.asp?Ref=Q1RGLzIwMDkvMDQvMjUjQXIwMDYwMA==&Mode=HTML&Locale=english-skin-custom


letters to the editor April 26:
http://www.jsonline.com/news/opinion/43648212.html

Interview on "Sly in the Morning"

http://podcast.loyalears.com/wtdy.php?task=browse&file_id=4316

West Bend Daily News, Owen Robinson Column on Open Carry (visit Owens blog at http://www.bootsandsabers.com also)

http://activepaper.olivesoftware.com/Repository/ml.asp?Ref=V0JETi8yMDA5LzA0LzI4I0FyMDA2MDM=&Mode=HTML&Locale=english-skin-custom

CCWFacts
04-28-2009, 10:10 PM
I read one of the "anti" articles there, and all they could do was make insipid claims that Wisconsin start looking like the Old West and it would frighten tourists. That's absolutely absurd. Even though OC is legal in WI, it is and will be a very rare occurrence, due to the school zone and vehicle issues there, which render it infeasible in any urban area. Probably the only time anyone is going to see OC there will be when they do Ohio-style OC walks.

Other than that, the article couldn't come up with any arguments on it. The AG was just stating what the law says. If Wisconsinites are so unhappy about the way the law is, all they need to do is amend their state constitution and also the Federal constitution. Or, if that's too much effort, gee, they could pass a CCW bill.

CitaDeL
04-29-2009, 8:14 AM
Even though OC is legal in WI, it is and will be a very rare occurrence, due to the school zone and vehicle issues there, which render it infeasible in any urban area. Probably the only time anyone is going to see OC there will be when they do Ohio-style OC walks.

On the contrary, Wisconsin members of OCDO are beginning to post their experiences of exposed carry while they do everyday things. There is no 'march' or 'walk' necessary.

glockman19
04-29-2009, 8:24 AM
Since this state doesn’t allow concealed carry, if people can’t open carry either, how can they exercise their constitutionally protected right? They can’t. It would be a gun ban, which the U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled unconstitutional in Washington, D.C.

Could that same logic be uesd in CA?


I can't CCW in CA and Can't OC. Does this in and of itself violate my Constitutional Rights?

CitaDeL
04-29-2009, 8:42 AM
Since this state doesn’t allow concealed carry, if people can’t open carry either, how can they exercise their constitutionally protected right? They can’t. It would be a gun ban, which the U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled unconstitutional in Washington, D.C.

Could that same logic be uesd in CA?


I can't CCW in CA and Can't OC. Does this in and of itself violate my Constitutional Rights?

Yes, your rights are being impaired by issuing authorities for non-issuance of a 12050 license and bans on loaded (read: complete or functional), or prohibition of firearms that are not locked in a secure container.

bulgron
04-29-2009, 9:54 AM
Yes, your rights are being impaired by issuing authorities for non-issuance of a 12050 license and bans on loaded (read: complete or functional), or prohibition of firearms that are not locked in a secure container.

And as soon as The Right People give us the green light, we should all start applying for permits and suing the issuing authorities over it. They might not like the constitution, but they damn-well have to obey it.

CCWFacts
04-29-2009, 10:20 AM
On the contrary, Wisconsin members of OCDO are beginning to post their experiences of exposed carry while they do everyday things. There is no 'march' or 'walk' necessary.

I wasn't aware of that. Cool! I guess they're just being very careful of school zones. School zones wouldn't be too much of a problem in suburban areas.

Liberty1
04-29-2009, 11:31 AM
WI has state preemption so any proposed ordinances are void already.

http://www.livinglakecountry.com/sussexsun/news/43891112.html

You can 'take your guns to town' (for now)
Sussex, Lisbon might write new gun carry laws
By KELLY SMITH

Posted: Apr. 28, 2009

Town of Lisbon – In 1958, country singer-songwriter Johnny Cash pleaded with a young, restless cowboy named Billy Joe: "Don't take your guns to town."

Fifty years later, Waukesha County Sheriff's Lt. James Gumm says Billy Joe can bring his guns to Lisbon or Sussex, as long as he behaves himself.

Gumm told Lisbon officials Monday that individuals can show up in town – and in Sussex, too – with openly displayed pistols in holsters.

Lawmakers in both communities, however, may take steps to control the carrying of unconcealed fire arms.

Gumm said he will discuss an ordinance that would regulate carrying guns on local government property with Sussex village trustees.

He said communities can also adopt ordinances that enforce property owners' rights to prohibit carrying firearms on private property and in local businesses.

Supervisor Dan Fischer said he might consider proposing such an ordinance.

Newly elected Town Chairman Matt Gehrke said if Fischer, or anyone else, proposed such an ordinance, the board would consider it.

Gumm said the sheriff's office is abiding by a recent advisory opinion by Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen, which says individuals, as long as they remain lawful and are not suspected of criminal activity, may carry unconcealed sidearms.

"The state constitutional right to bear arms extends to openly carrying a hand gun for lawful purposes," Van Hollen wrote in an April 20 advisory memo.

He argued that merely carrying a weapon did not constitute disorderly conduct or any other crime.

The constitutional right does (not) apply, however, to an individual who brandishes the gun in public or whose conduct would otherwise be considered criminal.

Police officers may question an individual carrying a sidearm if they have reason to believe the individual might be, or has been, engaged in criminal activity, the attorney general wrote.

The individual cannot be detained and does not have to cooperate, however, if the only reason he is being stopped or questioned is because he is carrying a sidearm, according to Van Hollen.

Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn has told his officers to ignore the advisory opinion, and if they see someone carrying a gun, "Put them on the ground, take the gun away, and then decide if the person has a right to carry it."

During Monday night's Town Board meeting, Fischer asked Gumm if that would be the Waukesha County Sheriff's policy.

"No," Gumm replied.

He added, however, that a U.S. Supreme Court decision allows police officers to remove firearms from individuals under some circumstances in that manner.

Since Lisbon and Sussex are not high crime communities with dangerous criminals prowling their streets, Gumm added, it should not be necessary for an officer to take a gun-toting citizen to ground, confiscate the weapon, and ask questions later.

Officers will respond more aggressively, however, if they have reason to believe a crime is being committed.

By the way, the restless cowboy who took his gun to town? He was shot dead by another cowboy who brought his gun to town.

Dark&Good
04-29-2009, 12:04 PM
"...Wisconsin start looking like the Old West and it would frighten tourists"

"FREIGHTEN TOURISTS"! My @rs*... :D
Even this ridiculous "danger" could be eliminated by truth in the media, good advertising ("Visit one of the safest states of the US!"), etc. How many tourists would be curious to see something like the Old West, if they KNEW how much more safe it is with 2A than without it?

nicki
04-29-2009, 12:42 PM
Perhaps people in Wisconsin should look to Ohio for inspiration.

When the Ohio Supreme court ruled upheld a ban on "concealed carry", they did so because they said the people of Ohio had the right to open carry and that OPEN CARRY was preferred for the PUBLIC SAFETY.

I figure a few open carry marches will get enough votes to finally override the Veto of Gov Doyle.

If not, Open carry will become the norm and we will see the streets run with the blood of criminals.

Of course, in times of budget crisis, this will force a diversion of money to the Coroner's offices.

What other vital government spending will have to be sacrificed to take care of all the bodies that are going to be on the street:rolleyes:

And if the bad guys are dead, this may cause job stress for the police because if crime drops, someone may want to cut their budgets?

And motorists will be mad because it will mean more traffic ticket extortion.

Yes, OPEN CARRY is a bad idea.:43:

Nicki