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Liberty1
05-06-2009, 11:02 AM
http://www.journaltimes.com/articles/2009/05/05/local_news/doc4a00cc4767cb9957429120.txt

Biker scares away robbers with gun, legal question remains

By Marci Laehr Tenuta
mtenuta@journaltimes.com
Tuesday, May 5, 2009 9:08 PM CDT


RACINE — Four teens knocked a 42-year-old Racine man from his bike Friday night. He thought they were going to rob him.

The man pulled a Smith and Wesson revolver from his side holster, pointed it at the sky and yelled, “Gun!”

The four suspects ran, and the man flagged down a Racine police officer.

The incident will perhaps mark the first time a new opinion allowing open carry of firearms is put to the test here, as it conflicts with another state statute that makes it illegal to possess a gun within 1,000 feet of a school, if not on private property.

The Racine man involved, who asked not to be named and declined to comment on the alleged robbery attempt when contacted by The Journal Times, was assaulted in the 1100 block of Grand Avenue, which is within 1,000 feet of Walden School, 1012 Center St.

Police did not arrest the man. After he was treated for head and wrist injuries at the scene by Racine rescue, officers escorted the man home and returned his gun to him.

But that doesn’t mean charges won’t be filed against the man, and police are questioning how such situations should be handled in the future.

“It’s difficult with the way the laws are written to carry (a gun) and not get into trouble,” said police spokesman Lt. Jim Dobbs.

He said the new open carry ruling will probably prompt more and more people to wear firearms, but in many places in the city, even stepping off their front porch would mean they are breaking the law.

“People will break the law inadvertently,” Dobbs said. “We want clarification from the state on what we should be doing.”

Last month, Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen sent out a memo saying openly wearing a holstered gun is not illegal. While Wisconsin law states a person cannot legally carry a concealed weapon, it does not address carrying a firearm in plain sight.

The opinion has created many questions, now including the apparent conflict between the existing statute over possessing a firearm near a school.

Racine County District Attorney Mike Nieskes said Tuesday that he has been briefed on the incident and has talked to the state Attorney General’s Office about it. “We don’t have all the information,” he said. “It’s still under investigation.”

Bill Cosh, spokesman for the state Department of Justice, said the Attorney General's Office wouldn't comment on specific cases or fact-pattern scenarios.

According to the police report, just after 10:30 p.m. an officer on patrol saw a bike lying in the roadway in the 1100 block of Grand Avenue. He then saw the victim walk out from between two houses holding a revolver. The man flagged the officer down as he set the gun on the concrete.

The man told the officer that he had just been assaulted. He said he was openly carrying his black and silver revolver in a side holster while riding his bike west on 12th Street toward Grand Avenue. He saw a group of teens on the corner of 12th and Grand and said, “Bike coming through,” to warn the group.

As the man turned onto Grand Avenue, he turned around to look at the group and was hit in the back of the head, the police report said. The man was knocked from his bike and hit in the head again.

The man told police he drew his revolver, pointed it to the sky and yelled out, “Gun!”

The four suspects ran west on 12th Street and the man went to hide between the two houses. He told police he intended to contact authorities, but then saw the squad car pulling up.

According to the report, the man believed the teens were trying to rob him. He could not give police a description other than the suspects were four black, male teens.

note: Wisconsin and Illinois are the only two states which totally prohibit concealed carry. Open carry is the only legal way to carry for self defense. Wisconsin has a state prohibition on possession of a firearm in a 1000' School Zone.

AEC1
05-06-2009, 11:04 AM
score 2 for the good guys, man so much great news!!!

CCWFacts
05-06-2009, 11:06 AM
Good for him that he's ok. Unfortunately he is likely to be facing a serious felony charge.

This GFSZ thing is a very problematic law, in Wisconsin, here in CA, everywhere. It's kind of a "sleeper", something that doesn't get so much attention, but it's actually one of the most dangerous gun control laws out there, because there are school zones everywhere in urban areas, and it's a felony.

nicki
05-06-2009, 11:16 AM
The "Sensitive Zone" issue will probably go to the "Supreme Court" for another ruling.

Something tells me "Scalia planted that" to "encourage follow up suits" just like the "common arms" comments.

Nicki

CCWFacts
05-06-2009, 11:26 AM
The "Sensitive Zone" issue will probably go to the "Supreme Court" for another ruling.

It's very obvious that "sensitive zone" means things like the "sterile areas" of airports, court houses, and secured government buildings. That's all. The language was put into the ruling because no one wants to see a bunch of lawsuits about "why can't I carry my gun to my court appearance".

There's no way a public street is a "sensitive area". If it doesn't have security, it's not a sensitive area. Security means things like guards, an enclosed space, and metal detectors. The court made the Heller ruling so that the 2A would be restored to having some meaning. If the government can declare that public roads and any other place outside the home is a "sensitive area" then the right to bear arms would be rendered meaningless. They did not write that 157 page ruling just to stimulate the ink industry.

jamesob
05-06-2009, 11:32 AM
Good for him that he's ok. Unfortunately he is likely to be facing a serious felony charge.

This GFSZ thing is a very problematic law, in Wisconsin, here in CA, everywhere. It's kind of a "sleeper", something that doesn't get so much attention, but it's actually one of the most dangerous gun control laws out there, because there are school zones everywhere in urban areas, and it's a felony.

exactly, they will give him a 1 year prison term and the real criminals will get 6 months probation.

CCWFacts
05-06-2009, 11:35 AM
exactly, they will give him a 1 year prison term and the real criminals will get 6 months probation.

Unfortunately it is very possible he will get a longer sentence than the perpetrators, due to school zones and the fact that his crime involved a gun.

That's so obviously unjust that it might help get Wisconsinites angry enough to finally fix their laws on that.

demnogis
05-06-2009, 3:58 PM
Q: So, how did the area being a "Gun Free School Zone" prevent the assault?

A: It didn't. The armed individual did.