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Thread: OC Minocqua, WI

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    Regular Member cirrusly's Avatar
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    OC Minocqua, WI

    First time poster here. I've recently gained interest in "open carry" throughout this past year. My interest stemmed from the recent attacks on our second amendment rights, and the rise in publicity in gun rights.

    I was visiting northern Wisconsin with some friends. This year I want to demonstrate my rights, and publicly OC. However I wanted to verify a few things. Here is a summary of what I have found thus far:

    A. Handguns

    The law allows a person to do the following without a CCW permit:

    place, possess, or transport a handgun in a vehicle without being unloaded or encased. Wis. Stats. § 167.31(2)(b).
    load a handgun in a vehicle. Wis. Stats. § 167.31(2)(c).
    operate an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) with a handgun in the operator‘s possession. Wis. Stat. § 23.33(3)(a).
    place, possess, or transport a handgun in or on a motorboat with the motor
    running without being unloaded or encased. Wis. Stats. § 167.31(2)(a), (b), place, possess, or transport a handgun in or on a noncommercial aircraft.
    IMPORTANT NOTE: Persons who do not have a CCW license may still not
    carry weapons concealed. In a vehicle this means that the firearm cannot be
    hidden or concealed and within reach.

    Questions:

    1. I am a private pilot, and fly myself. I'll be departing Virginia and landing first in Madison, WI airport (MSN). I will be refueling then landing at Minocqua / Woodruff (ARV) airport. Can I open carry at the airport? I will not be in the commercial terminals if that makes a difference. I can not OC at the airport in Virginia, but in flight over Wisconsin airspace I can legally OC. Thus, can I step out of the plane on the tarmac OCing in WI?

    2. I understand OC in a car has recently become legal as Wisconsin adopted the Castle Doctine. This is reflected in Wis. Stats. § 167.31(2)(b). What's the common practice for OCing in the car? If I leave it holstered is that in "visible" enough for WI law?

    3. I often bike ride on the bear skin trail, (a state trail) that run through Minocqua. I called Minocqua police dept. and they advised I can not carry on the trail. Probably because it is considered state park? If I carry my Glock unloaded, cased in my backpack, where is a good spot to switch from cased to loaded and holstered? From my research it sounds as though I could get a "disorderly conduct" charge for moving from cased to holstered under LEO practice of their laws?

    4. I understand I cannot carry in WI: Establishments with Class B liquor licenses, 1000' of schools, on state parks (and apparently trails?), and establishments with a sign posted. Are there any other places I can not open carry that I'm blatantly overlooking?

    5. Any thing else I should be aware of?

    My understanding is I have no obligation to give ID to a LEO unless being issued a summons, thus I may politely decline. OC in Wisconsin of a holstered handgun is not "disorderly conduct." However, this article concerns me: http://www.fox11online.com/dpp/news/...cident-Pulaski
    Is OC really that uncommon up there that it makes news?

    On a different note (I'll kick-off another thread) too.. I'd like to organize an OC event in Arlington VA sometime.
    Last edited by cirrusly; 06-14-2014 at 08:15 AM. Reason: Typo
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  2. #2
    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Here is a good primer for getting you started:
    http://forum.opencarry.org/forums/sh...ou-should-know

    I'm sure that some locals will be along shortly to answer some of your state specific questions.

    Insofar as open carry meet n' greets in Virginia, just check out the stickies on the Virginia sub-forum. Many of them are in the Arlington/NoVa area. We do enjoy the camaraderie of them - lots of good info to be had at these.
    http://forum.opencarry.org/forums/fo...p?130-Virginia
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    Regular Member Eeyore's Avatar
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    Virginia airports

    Quote Originally Posted by cirrusly View Post
    1. I am a private pilot, and fly myself. I'll be departing Virginia and landing first in Madison, WI airport (MSN). I will be refueling then landing at Minocqua / Woodruff (ARV) airport. Can I open carry at the airport? I will not be in the commercial terminals if that makes a difference. I can not OC at the airport in Virginia, but in flight over Wisconsin airspace I can legally OC. Thus, can I step out of the plane on the tarmac OCing in WI?
    Depends on where you are at the airport. Discussion of OCing at Virginia airports at http://forum.opencarry.org/forums/sh...rts-with-carry
    Guns don't kill people. Drivers on cell phones do.

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    Regular Member cirrusly's Avatar
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    Good Afternoon,

    Grapeshot, thank you for the welcome and meet 'n greet information. And Eeyore, thank you for the clarification on Virginia airports.

    I'll bump my own message thread here. I followed-up on my first question:
    1. I am a private pilot, and fly myself. I'll be departing Virginia and landing first in Madison, WI airport (MSN). I will be refueling then landing at Minocqua / Woodruff (ARV) airport. Can I open carry at the airport? I will not be in the commercial terminals if that makes a difference. I can not OC at the airport in Virginia, but in flight over Wisconsin airspace I can legally OC. Thus, can I step out of the plane on the tarmac OCing in WI?
    I called Wisconsin State Patrol South West region. The law WI Statue: 175.60.16(a) states: "Prohibited activity. (a) Except as provided in par. (b), neither a licensee nor an out-of-state licensee may knowingly carry a concealed weapon, a weapon that is not concealed, or a firearm that is not a weapon in any of the following places: [...] 8. A place beyond a security checkpoint in an airport."

    The State Police Sargent I spoke with was very informative. He explained, per his interpretation, as long as I do not intend to, or do pass through a 'security checkpoint,' It is legal to open carry the firearm. So in my situation, since I will not be in the commercial flight terminal, and going through a security checkpoint I may carry to and from my aircraft, legally.

    If any Wisconsinite has information on any of my other inquiries, it's greatly appreciated!!

  5. #5
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    Which VA airport are you flying out of? I've open carried at most of them. I'm a pilot too. I keep my plane at KHEF (Manassas). Everyone at the FBO where Ikeep it knows I carry and several have favorably commented on it. A few have asked questions about VA gun laws etc.

    Anywhere on the flight line or terminals at Dulles and Reagan are out. There are only a few others with passenger terminals. Don't carry in the terminals and stay clear of the secure area on the tarmac, which is clearly marked and posted. Any place else on airport grounds is fair game.

    I've never been hassled at any airport in VA.

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    If I am not mistaken as of Jan 1 2013, it is now legal to carry a firearm in state parks without a license. I would call the state park rangers to verify with them over the local pd. For all I know maybe there is a school nearby so unlicensed carry would be prohibited anyway and that was what he was referencing?

    ETA: you should post this to the Wisconsin sub forum, your likely to get more results there from upstaters and people much better versed in the laws than I.
    Last edited by trailblazer2003; 06-27-2013 at 04:40 PM.

  7. #7
    Regular Member cirrusly's Avatar
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    OC Minocqua, WI

    trailblazer2003
    If I am not mistaken as of Jan 1 2013, it is now legal to carry a firearm in state parks without a license. I would call the state park rangers to verify with them over the local pd. For all I know maybe there is a school nearby so unlicensed carry would be prohibited anyway and that was what he was referencing?
    Correct. I did a bit more homework and sure enough, unlicensed open carry in Wisconsin "state parks" is now legal in Wisconsin. I called the Wisconsin DNR and confirmed the game wardens have the same understanding. The Wisconsin DNR representative was very polite and well-read as to the current statues. She informed me although still uncommon in Wisconsin, open carry in state parks without a permit is legal, and the DNR game wardens will not legally summons an ID of a law-abiding individual with a holstered handgun.

    Now, to figure out why Minocqua PD initially stated carry on the Bearskin Train is "illegal." I again called Minocqua PD again and politely asked to speak with the police chief at a mutually convenient time. He returned my call and explained because the bearskin trail is a state park it is out of Minocqua PD jurisdiction, and thus his officers do not patrol it. He confirmed my understanding of the Wisconsin preemption on the carrying of firearms. Furthermore, he mentioned that due to an recent high-volume of calls inquiring about the "open carry" of firearms he briefed all of his officers on the current Wisconsin statues and how to respond to citizens "concerned" with the open carriers.

    jegoodin
    Which VA airport are you flying out of? I've open carried at most of them. I'm a pilot too. I keep my plane at KHEF (Manassas). Everyone at the FBO where Ikeep it knows I carry and several have favorably commented on it. A few have asked questions about VA gun laws etc.there is a school nearby so unlicensed carry would be prohibited anyway and that was what he was referencing?
    Good to hear from a fellow general aviator! .

    ----

    I carried a my Glock G26 several times while up in Minocqua that weekend. Upon entering WI airspace I holstered the firearm and had an uneventful landing and parking at the Minocqua/Woodruff (ARV) airport. My friends and I rode bikes into the town on the Bearskin for breakfast two of the days. Fortunately no negative encounters, but no curious or positive encounters either.

    In summation, my previous conversations with the WI DNR, WI State Patrol, and WI Minocuqa PD were positive and given the absence of negative encounters, I deem this open-carry "event" was a success. Wisconsin has seen a lot of firearm legislation changes over the past few years which have slowly been restoring the 2A rights of Wisconsinites and visitors. Only several years ago individuals were being charged with "disorderly conduct" for legal OC, however it is evident there has been much positive change. Thank you Scott Walker (WI Governor - R) for implementing changes to the legislation, the WI District Attorney office for emphasizing that "OC is not disorderly conduct," and Wisconsinites who exercise 2A.

    On a similar note, if an administrator could please review the WI Open Carry page: http://www.opencarry.org/?page_id=316
    It current states "However, you may not openly carry a firearm in a vehicle." This was pre-adoption of the Castle Doctrine. Open carry is a vehicle is legal.
    Last edited by cirrusly; 06-15-2014 at 02:20 PM. Reason: typo
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    Quote Originally Posted by cirrusly View Post

    [ ... ]

    On a similar note, if an administrator could please review the WI Open Carry page: http://www.opencarry.org/?page_id=316
    It current states "However, you may not openly carry a firearm in a vehicle." This was pre-adoption of the Castle Doctrine. Open carry is a vehicle is legal.
    I take it from your post #1 6/15 0611 in this thread that you do not have a Wisconsin recognized/reciprocated concealed weapon license.

    Wisconsin Statutes ss 941.23 Carrying concealed weapon. (2) Any person, other than one of the following, who carries a concealed and dangerous weapon is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor: (d) A licensee, as defined in s. 175.60 (1) (d), or an out−of−state licensee, as defined in s. 175.60 (1) (g), if the dangerous weapon is a weapon, as defined under s. 175.60 (1) (j).

    Wisconsin case law appended to the statute law at https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/doc...utes/ch.%20941

    The elements for a violation of s. 941.23 are: 1) a dangerous weapon is on the defendant’s person or within reach; 2) the defendant is aware of the weapon’s presence; and 3) the weapon is hidden. State v. Keith, 175 Wis. 2d 75, 498 N.W.2d 865 (Ct. App. 1993).

    A handgun on the seat of a car that was indiscernible from ordinary observation by a person outside, and within the immediate vicinity, of the vehicle was hidden from view for purposes of determining whether the gun was a concealed weapon under this section. State v. Walls, 190 Wis. 2d 65, 526 N.W.2d 765 (Ct. App. 1994).
    Some will argue that Wisconsin 2011 Act 35/93/94 somehow mooted these precedents. In Wisconsin, if no other state, case law can be overturned by a court of appeals or more superior court on reaching an on point contrary decision. The one recent case with potential standing for an appeal was acquitted by a petite court.
    Last edited by Nightmare; 07-22-2013 at 01:29 PM.
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  9. #9
    Regular Member cirrusly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nightmare View Post
    I take it from your post #1 6/15 0611 in this thread that you do not have a Wisconsin recognized/reciprocated concealed weapon license.

    Wisconsin Statutes ss 941.23 Carrying concealed weapon. (2) Any person, other than one of the following, who carries a concealed and dangerous weapon is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor: (d) A licensee, as defined in s. 175.60 (1) (d), or an out−of−state licensee, as defined in s. 175.60 (1) (g), if the dangerous weapon is a weapon, as defined under s. 175.60 (1) (j).

    Wisconsin case law appended to the statute law at https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/doc...utes/ch.%20941



    Some will argue that Wisconsin 2011 Act 35/93/94 somehow mooted these precedents. In Wisconsin, if no other state, case law can be overturned by a court of appeals or more superior court on reaching an on point contrary decision. The one recent case with potential standing for an appeal was acquitted by a petite court.
    Yikes after perusing through the WI thread: http://forum.opencarry.org/forums/sh...a-car-is-legal "Defense Fund For Determining OC In a Car is Legal" it appears certain municipalities (like Milwaukee PD) have attempted to intimidate Wisconsinites into not exercising OC without a permit in a vehicle. Looks like I better get my Utah non-resident CCW before OCing in a vehicle within the city limits of Milwaukee.

    The travesty of this is, they know it's legal. When speaking with the WI State Police (this thread, 06-21-2013, 02:29 PM) in discussion he mentioned how OC in a vehicle without a permit IS legal. As did the police of the suburb in which my parents reside when my mom wanted information on purchasing and carrying a gun awhile back. So, either Milwaukee PD didn't get the memo or they unlawfully flex their authority.

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    The police do not determine the legality/illegality of an action, that's the job of the state prosecutor. The police observe, investigate, detain and recommend charges. A poster here used to be notorious for writing this, "You may beat the rap, but you will not beat the ride." You may avoid the extra-legal charges but you can't avoid their extra-legal harassment.
    I am responsible for my writing, not your understanding of it.

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    This discussion and explanation is appropriate to the Wisconsin forum. Links to Wisconsin Department of Justice documents, as well as Wisconsin forum Open and Concealed Carry guides are there.

    The Wisconsin "Castle Doctrine" law does not affect the legality of Open Carry in a vehicle.

    The definition of what is "Open Carry" in a vehicle in Wisconsin, is what is not clear. What many people would normally call open carry, may be considered concealed in a vehicle, in Wisconsin.

    The story regarding Pulaski Wisconsin was from 2010, long before our "Handgun Carry" law was changed, including new limits on what can be considered Disorderly Conduct, when carrying a handgun.
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  12. #12
    Regular Member cirrusly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by E6chevron View Post
    This discussion and explanation is appropriate to the Wisconsin forum. Links to Wisconsin Department of Justice documents, as well as Wisconsin forum Open and Concealed Carry guides are there.

    The Wisconsin "Castle Doctrine" law does not affect the legality of Open Carry in a vehicle.

    The definition of what is "Open Carry" in a vehicle in Wisconsin, is what is not clear. What many people would normally call open carry, may be considered concealed in a vehicle, in Wisconsin.

    The story regarding Pulaski Wisconsin was from 2010, long before our "Handgun Carry" law was changed, including new limits on what can be considered Disorderly Conduct, when carrying a handgun.
    Interesting. It was my understanding the Castle Doctrine was the catalyst for the legality changes around vehicle carry. After further review it looks like Castle Doctrine adopted civil and criminal immunity for certain self-defense encounters, Wis.Stats. 895.62, and Wis. Sec. 939.48, respectively. I (wrongly) assumed that it had something to do with extending a person's "abode" to their vehicles for the specific purpose of open carry.

    Whereas WI statues relating to vehicle carry is:
    Wis. Stats. § 167.31 Safe use and transportation of firearms and bows:
    (b) Except as provided in sub. (4), no person may place, possess, or transport a firearm, bow, or crossbow in or on a vehicle, unless one of the following applies: 1. The firearm is unloaded or is a handgun.

    I'm guessing given the lack of clarity around "open carry" in vehicles (for state of WI) is because there is no definition such as "clearly visible" within the statues specifically relating to persons in vehicles? I'm just curious at this point. It's a moot point for me, as I now finally applied for my Utah CCW and live in VA. So I'm not frequenting WI as much as I'd like.

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