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Thread: OC in Car Wthout CCW Permit

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    Regular Member cirrusly's Avatar
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    OC in Car Wthout CCW Permit

    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.
    Quote Originally Posted by cirrusly View Post
    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.
    In a thread on a different thread I inquired about "open carry" in a vehicle (quoted above). I have heard conflicting information regarding the legalities of: OC in vehicle without a permit. Specifically:

    I called the Wisconsin State Patrol and spoke with a Sargent whom was very polite and informative. He when he was answering my question about open carry on the Bearskin trail he had also remarked the laws "been changing a lot on us" and that open carry in a vehicle is legal, but not if the gun is concealed.

    In another positive conversation between my mom and a local PD in Wisconsin she was initially told OC in a vehicle is not legal. But I encouraged her to have a follow-up conversation and cited the Wis. Stats. § 167.31(2)(b) The local detective admitted, yes, this would permit open carry in a vehicle without a permit. He recalled it may have become legal with the adoption of the Castle Doctrine. I also believed the OC without a permit was due to the Castle Doctine, something about extending a person's "abode" to their vehicles.

    So my question being: Why the confusion around the legality of OC without a CCW in a vehicle? Wis. Stats. § 167.31(2)(b) seems pretty straightforward to me. Yet, even on this website for WI it states "You may NOT open carry in a car."

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    Regular Member cirrusly's Avatar
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    I'll kick this thread one more tim. It looks like the Wisconsin page does state some case law...


    In Wisconsin, a gun in plan sight inside a vehicle is both in violation of the encased requirement, Section 167.31, and considered unlawfully concealed.
    State v. Walls, 526 N.W.2d 765 (Wis. App. 1994) (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). See also State v. Keith, 498 N.W.2d 865 (Ct. App. 1993) (To .go armed. does not require going anywhere. 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).An encased gun is unlawfully concealed in a vehicle if the case is not “out of reach,” arguably wingspan plus lunge distance.
    ...
    http://www.opencarry.org/?page_id=316
    So we're talking about two statues here:

    First, Wisconsin Stat. § 167.31, as the page refers to the "encased requirement." I'm not seeing an "encased" requirement for handguns in a car. All I see is the exception that allows "a handgun to be possessed or transported in or on a vehicle." Thus, I do not see validity in the "encased requirement" for handguns. Secondly, the Wisconsin Stat. § 941.23 referring to "concealment." Now, if the situation of "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" per case law, a handgun on a seat could be interpreted as "concealed."

    So it's a matter of interpretation of "what is concealed." And if it's only a matter of interpretation of "concealment" then OC with a WI recognized CCW would be perfectly legal, and OC without a permit would be gray water.

    That page is referencing old case laws, there has to be something more recent. Thoughts?...

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    Quote Originally Posted by cirrusly View Post
    That page is referencing old case laws, there has to be something more recent. Thoughts?...
    Walls and Keith are legal precedent until overturned by a court of competent jurisdiction, in Wisconsin that's an appellate court or above. Yes, it would appear that current Chapters 167, 175 and 941, recognizing Wisconsin 2011 Acts would moot these and many other precedential cases but that's not the way (Wisconsin) case law works.

    http://wilawlibrary.gov/topics/witopicindex.html#l

    A hypothetical sequence overturning these precedents might be; someone is indicted for 941.23, tried and found guilty. The arguments against Keith and Walls might be basis for an appeal - reversible legal error is a cause for appeal. The appeal would have to be heard by an adequately senior court (a hierarchy is municipal, circuit, appeals and superior) and reversed. Then that opinion must be published to overcome the previous precedent.

    In the case closest to hand, from 2011, the defendant was acquitted of 941.23(2). The acquittal removed the right of appeal. The MKE police recommended the charge based on their observations at the time of the arrest, and the DA upheld their recommendations and so charged.
    Last edited by Nightmare; 08-13-2013 at 07:44 AM.
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    I've been in law enforcement for 31+ years and I do not recommend asking for information regarding the law from any cop.


    With that said I can attest that at both of the 2 of the training conferences I attended regarding Act 35 we were told that open carry in a vehicle without a permit was legal. We were then shown scenarios as to what vehicle open carry was and was not. This was by no less than the Wisconsin Assistant Attorney General Dave Perlman.

    But this, of course, is not the same as a court ruling or a statute codifying vehicle open carry.

    At one time a video of one of these conferences was available on WILENET. It has since been taken off and I cannot find it on the web.
    Last edited by pkbites; 08-13-2013 at 04:25 PM.

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    Regular Member MKEgal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cirrusly
    detective admitted, yes, this would permit open carry in a vehicle without a permit. He recalled it may have become legal with the adoption of the Castle Doctrine. I also believed the OC without a permit was due to the Castle Doctine, something about extending a person's "abode" to their vehicles.
    The confusion only exists in the minds of some DAs & LEO.
    The statute clearly says that loaded unencased pistols are legal in / on vehicles.

    There's a sticky in the WI forum which contains references to many WI laws:
    http://forum.opencarry.org/forums/sh...ou-should-know


    Quote Originally Posted by cirrusly
    941.23 referring to "concealment."
    Now, if the situation of "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" per case law, a handgun on a seat could be interpreted as "concealed."

    So it's a matter of interpretation of "what is concealed."
    And if it's only a matter of interpretation of "concealment" then OC with a WI recognized CCW would be perfectly legal, and OC without a permit would be gray water.
    OC is legal nearly everywhere without a license. The only places it's needed are a school zone or taxpayer-owned building.
    The problem comes when some DA or LEO tries to interpret "discernable to ordinary observation" to mean "visible from anywhere outside the car".
    IMO, "ordinary observation" does not mean that the officer standing behind the left shoulder of the driver is able to see the pistol on her right hip - that would mean being able to see through everything comprising the seat as well as the driver. That's not ordinary observation.
    Ordinary observation means that someone standing where he can see through the window to the person's belt is able to see the pistol because there's only a window in the way.
    What makes that old court ruling even more absurd is that if there's a pistol sitting on the passenger seat, and next to it is a bag of marijuana, the officer will claim that the dope was in plain sight but the pistol isn't.

    That page is referencing old case laws, there has to be something more recent.
    No, there's nothing more recent.
    No DA has been dumb enough to try a case where the person was OC in a car & try to use the old standards with our new laws. (In my case, the cops lied & said I was cc when I was really OC... otherwise they couldn't have seen it.)
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    Quote Originally Posted by pkbites View Post
    I've been in law enforcement for 31+ years and I do not recommend asking for information regarding the law from any cop.


    With that said I can attest that at both of the 2 of the training conferences I attended regarding Act 35 we were told that open carry in a vehicle without a permit was legal. We were then shown scenarios as to what vehicle open carry was and was not. This was by no less than the Wisconsin Assistant Attorney General Dave Perlman.

    But this, of course, is not the same as a court ruling or a statute codifying vehicle open carry.

    At one time a video of one of these conferences was available on WILENET. It has since been taken off and I cannot find it on the web.
    Even a brief summary of what was said about it would help. That is, after all, the OP's question.
    "I can only be held responsible for my own stupidity." - Captain Nemo

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    Quote Originally Posted by pkbites View Post
    I've been in law enforcement for 31+ years and I do not recommend asking for information regarding the law from any cop.


    We were then shown scenarios as to what vehicle open carry was and was not.
    What were the scenarios?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Law abider View Post
    What were the scenarios?
    It's an absolute conglomeration of waste material. Listening to them describe where one could OC in a car w/o a permit was like listening to Steve Martin in The Jerk.

    It has to be identifiable to anyone outside the immediate area of the car. But that can be tricky. First, it has to be above the door handle. So that means it has to be at least waist high. But wait....! If you're carrying on your left hip nobody would be able to see it from any angle. If carrying on your right hip someone on the left side of the car wouldn't be able to see it.

    So the best areas are on the center console, or on the dash (yeah, no soccer moms are going to call the police after you drive past them with a gun on your dash )

    So the center console it is as long as one can clearly and immediately see it upon approaching that area of your car.

    What a bunch of hooey. This state desperately needs to go to constitutional carry. Or at very least ones vehicle needs to be a domain extension and no permit for CCW in it needed.

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    What a bunch of hooey. This state desperately needs to go to constitutional carry. Or at very least ones vehicle needs to be a domain extension and no permit for CCW in it needed.[/QUOTE]
    You are spot on constitutional carry. My leo Sergent buddy will agree with you. I say to the op. Just get a CCL. Why subject yourself to the MPD syndrome?

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    Regular Member HandyHamlet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pkbites View Post

    What a bunch of hooey. This state desperately needs to go to constitutional carry.
    Uh, we HAD Constitutional Carry. Pam Galloway's bill WAS Constitutional Carry. "I'll sign anything that crosses my desk" Walker pleaded for mandatory training on TV the Sunday before the vote. Some of us don't forget.
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    Re: OC in Car Wthout CCW Permit

    Quote Originally Posted by HandyHamlet View Post
    Uh, we HAD Constitutional Carry. Pam Galloway's bill WAS Constitutional Carry. "I'll sign anything that crosses my desk" Walker pleaded for mandatory training on TV the Sunday before the vote. Some of us don't forget.
    Any relation to "I'll repeal the smoking ban" Walker? Or to "If it doesn't have anything to do with making me look like the Job Creation Master of the Universe I'm sticking my fingers in my ears and going la-la-la until you go away" Walker?

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    Regular Member cirrusly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NoTolerance View Post
    Any relation to "I'll repeal the smoking ban" Walker? Or to "If it doesn't have anything to do with making me look like the Job Creation Master of the Universe I'm sticking my fingers in my ears and going la-la-la until you go away" Walker?
    Scott Walker shot down constitutional carry? Really?! My parents are Walker backers and very pro 2A. I'm surprised.
    I want to keep our founding fathers' visions and rights for this country pure. I implore you to do the same.

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    Re: OC in Car Wthout CCW Permit

    Quote Originally Posted by cirrusly View Post
    Scott Walker shot down constitutional carry? Really?! My parents are Walker backers and very pro 2A. I'm surprised.
    The Scott Walker that ran for governor is a far cry from Governor Scott Walker, in my humblest of opinions.

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    Regular Member HandyHamlet's Avatar
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    Madison - Momentum shifted away from a "constitutional carry" bill on Friday and toward a measure that would allow Wisconsin residents to carry concealed weapons if they obtain permits and training.

    Gov. Scott Walker, who had been silent on the specifics of a bill he would support, issued a statement that formalized his position: "If a concealed carry bill reaches my desk, it should include a permit and training provisions."
    http://www.jsonline.com/news/statepo...123110233.html
    Last edited by HandyHamlet; 08-15-2013 at 11:27 PM.
    "Don't interfere with anything in the Constitution. That must be maintained, for it is the only safeguard of our liberties."
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    Follow the money, the root of all evil.

    Momentum shifted away from a "constitutional carry" bill on Friday and toward a measure that would allow Wisconsin residents to carry concealed weapons if they obtain permits and training.
    Follow the money to P4P, bureaucrats, lobbyists, and wannabe "elites".

    It strains the meaning - beggars - of freemarket capitalism to include state mandated trainers.
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    Quote Originally Posted by pkbites View Post
    I've been in law enforcement for 31+ years and I do not recommend asking for information regarding the law from any cop.
    I've been saying that for years and people look at me like I'm nuts.

    Nice to see an experienced cop say that himself and at least you for one won't take offense that I have the same opinion.

    Saying that isn't an insult ("Don't ask a cop about the law"). Enforcing the law is not the same as knowing/practicing law.
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