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Thread: Wisconsin's Quirkiness

  1. #1
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    It appears that open carry is required in some circumstances. You generally cannot carry concealed and under the definition given in the case below, an unloaded, encased handgun is still a concealed “dangerous weapon” and you cannot have it on your person (or next to you on the seat of a car). Now you can transport it in the trunk but how do you get it to/from the trunk? I suppose under Hamdan, it is not problem if your starting/ending points are your home and/or business but what if you want to go to a commercial range?

    941.23 Carrying concealed weapon. Any person except a peace officer who goes armed with a concealed and dangerous weapon is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.

    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. State v. Keith, 175 Wis. 2d 75, 498 N.W.2d 865 (Ct. App. 1993).

    939.22(10) " Dangerous weapon " means any firearm, whether loaded or unloaded; any device designed as a weapon and capable of producing death or great bodily harm; any electric weapon, as defined in s. 941.295 (4); or any other device or instrumentality which, in the manner it is used or intended to be used, is calculated or likely to produce death or great bodily harm.

    167.31(2)(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 the firearm is unloaded and encased or unless the bow or crossbow is unstrung or is enclosed in a carrying case.

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    apjonas wrote
    I suppose under Hamdan, it is not problem if your starting/ending points are your home and/or business but what if you want to go to a commercial range?
    I was told by an investigator from the DA's office (Note: he was an investigator, not a prosecuter) that Hamdan is being considered a defense for CCW in ones home and/or business, not an absolute right, and there were certain conditions that needed to be met for it to be a valid defense. After re-reading some of Hamdan I can see where he might get this idea, but I still think it's a ridiculous attitude.

    There should be no debate whether OC is disorderly conduct/disturbing the peace, and there should be no reason for a "defense" for CCW!

    As a citizen/voter/taxpayer/peace officer I'm really getting ****ed off over this state staying in the dark ages over gun rights, especially when those rights are very clearly spelled out in the State Constitution!

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    I have to disagree. There is absolutely no legal requirement in Wisconsin that the gun be in your trunk. It only has to be encased and unloaded. That case can be on your lap, on the seat next to you or under the seat. I drive with mine on the seat next to me all the time. Madison Police Department told me this is legal because (as stated above) the only requirements to transport are "unloaded" and "encased."

    To quote from the Wisconsin State Patrol website:

    What is the legal method of carrying a weapon in my vehicle in Wisconsin?

    With the weapon cased and unloaded. Applies to firearms and bow hunting equipment.


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    I'll have to browse the Wisconsin statutes when I have time, as I'm not sure, but I don't believe there is an exception to off duty cops carrying while driving unless they are going to/from work.

    I'm thinking that an off duty police officer with a pistol in his pocket while driving on his day off is breaking the law under 167.31. But like I said, I'll have to look it up.

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    Well, you can disagree all you like. Under the case cited above carrying as you describe is carrying a concealed weapon. I would not like to have to use a website as a defense. And I'm sure the WSP or MPD is not going to show up on your behalf.



    Shotgun wrote:
    I have to disagree. There is absolutely no legal requirement in Wisconsin that the gun be in your trunk. It only has to be encased and unloaded. That case can be on your lap, on the seat next to you or under the seat. I drive with mine on the seat next to me all the time. Madison Police Department told me this is legal because (as stated above) the only requirements to transport are "unloaded" and "encased."

    To quote from the Wisconsin State Patrol website:

    What is the legal method of carrying a weapon in my vehicle in Wisconsin?

    With the weapon cased and unloaded. Applies to firearms and bow hunting equipment.


  6. #6
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    I think I would rely on my lawyer and the plain language of the law. If someone can citea statute or even a court decisionthat shows there's a requirement to keep a gun in the trunk in WisconsinI'd be very interested in seeing that. I even remember seeing an episode of "Cops" several years ago where they were tagging along with the Wisconsin State Patrol, they stopped a semi trucker and found a shotgun in the cab in a case and the trooper took it out, checked that it was unloaded and put it back in the truckand said "it's unload and encased, that's all that's required." I was pleased that at least that particular cop knew the law. The police I know, and I know a few, do generally know the laws here. I'll start quizzing that I see but don't know.

    At least one justice on the WI Supreme court did say perhaps the laws on firearms in vehicles need to be examined and overhauled during oral arugment. So there is some hope that there's a glimmer of recognition that the current statutes are problematic at the very least.

    Just to add a little story... I like to test security at different facilities. Until recently the Madison/Dane County "City-County" Building had rent-a-cops at the entrances, with X-rays and walk-through and handheld metal detectors. I always made sure I had lots of metal things on me to see how well-trained these people were. They were not particularly well-trained as I soon found out. While state law says one cannot take a firearm into a municipal building, there's no prohibition against taking ammo in, although they liked to act like there was. My first attempt to take ammo in was hilarious. I put .44 mag ammo into the tray with my keys, etc. and listened in "awe" to the guard explain how his metal detector could "detect a pin head." Then I smiled and said thanks as he handed me the tray with the ammo that they never bothered to look at.

    Then next time, I tried to be more obvious, byhanding aloaded magazine to the guard. They noticed it this time "duh!" and as I was trying to leave the building after conducting my business they said "we have police coming to talk to you." So I waited until a Madison police officer arrived. He took me aside and said "I'm going to pretend like I give a **** for the benefit of those idiots." He pretended to take notes and said "name?" I said "real name?" He said "I don't care..." Then he handed memy loaded magazine back and off I went.
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    Well you might try reading the case I quoted at the beginning. No, there is no law that says "trunk." However carrying a weapon, even if unloaded, next to you on the seat meets the definition of carrying a concealed weapon. Perhaps my analysis is incorrect but it would take more than the opinion of a random LEO to convince me. Mr. Shotgun, please read the OP and tell me why I'm wrong.

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    I believe according to the law if your not hunting a weapon in plain view is OC. A handgun on the dashboard in plain view seems to me the best way and thats what I do. A rifle on a gun rack in the window of a truck or the rear window of your car seems to be the only method. I certainly remember when alot of trucks had gun racks, with guns. Not much anymore but if more do it will catch on Im sure.

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    apjonas wrote:
    It appears that open carry is required in some circumstances. You generally cannot carry concealed and under the definition given in the case below, an unloaded, encased handgun is still a concealed “dangerous weapon” and you cannot have it on your person (or next to you on the seat of a car). Now you can transport it in the trunk but how do you get it to/from the trunk? I suppose under Hamdan, it is not problem if your starting/ending points are your home and/or business but what if you want to go to a commercial range?

    941.23 Carrying concealed weapon. Any person except a peace officer who goes armed with a concealed and dangerous weapon is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.

    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. State v. Keith, 175 Wis. 2d 75, 498 N.W.2d 865 (Ct. App. 1993).

    939.22(10) " Dangerous weapon " means any firearm, whether loaded or unloaded; any device designed as a weapon and capable of producing death or great bodily harm; any electric weapon, as defined in s. 941.295 (4); or any other device or instrumentality which, in the manner it is used or intended to be used, is calculated or likely to produce death or great bodily harm.

    167.31(2)(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 the firearm is unloaded and encased or unless the bow or crossbow is unstrung or is enclosed in a carrying case.
    I believe you are missing the difference between the definitions of "hidden" and "encased"

    'Encased' is layed out in wisconsin statues as this:
    167.31(1)(b)
    (b) "Encased" means enclosed in a case that is expressly made for the purpose of containing a firearm and that is completely zipped, snapped, buckled, tied or otherwise fastened with no part of the firearm exposed.

    'Hidden' however, to my knowledge, is not described in the statutes

    So, if the firearm is "encased" it is NOT "hidden", and therefore is not concealed.

    This is only my take on the laws, and how they read. I am no lawyer, nore do i pretend to be.



    (Whoops...forgot to check the dates on this thread...Sorry)

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    eclark53520 wrote:
    apjonas wrote:
    It appears that open carry is required in some circumstances. You generally cannot carry concealed and under the definition given in the case below, an unloaded, encased handgun is still a concealed “dangerous weapon” and you cannot have it on your person (or next to you on the seat of a car). Now you can transport it in the trunk but how do you get it to/from the trunk? I suppose under Hamdan, it is not problem if your starting/ending points are your home and/or business but what if you want to go to a commercial range?

    941.23 Carrying concealed weapon. Any person except a peace officer who goes armed with a concealed and dangerous weapon is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.

    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. State v. Keith, 175 Wis. 2d 75, 498 N.W.2d 865 (Ct. App. 1993).

    939.22(10) " Dangerous weapon " means any firearm, whether loaded or unloaded; any device designed as a weapon and capable of producing death or great bodily harm; any electric weapon, as defined in s. 941.295 (4); or any other device or instrumentality which, in the manner it is used or intended to be used, is calculated or likely to produce death or great bodily harm.

    167.31(2)(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 the firearm is unloaded and encased or unless the bow or crossbow is unstrung or is enclosed in a carrying case.
    I believe you are missing the difference between the definitions of "hidden" and "encased"

    'Encased' is layed out in wisconsin statues as this:
    167.31(1)(b)
    (b) "Encased" means enclosed in a case that is expressly made for the purpose of containing a firearm and that is completely zipped, snapped, buckled, tied or otherwise fastened with no part of the firearm exposed.

    'Hidden' however, to my knowledge, is not described in the statutes

    So, if the firearm is "encased" it is NOT "hidden", and therefore is not concealed.

    This is only my take on the laws, and how they read. I am no lawyer, nore do i pretend to be.



    (Whoops...forgot to check the dates on this thread...Sorry)
    since you brought this up (Wisconsin fourm gets little action), listen to the hamdan case oral arguments. especially when one of the justices clarifies weather or not she conceals a gun in her office depending on if its visable or not.

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    The Wisconsin supreme court laid down three conditions that define concealment. It did so in two different cases. Stae v Kieth and State v Mandan. The conditions are:

    The person is aware the weapon is present.
    The weapon is within reach.
    The weapon is hidden.

    Therfore a weapon that is encased so that no part of the weapon is visible is hidden therefore it is considered concealed according to the Wisconsin Supreme court.


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    On my last post State v Mandan should read State v Hamdan. Sorry.

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    apjonas wrote:
    Well, kiddies I'm gone. OCDO has finally reached PDO condition. The newest technique is for a moderator to prevent comment on, corrections to, or other response to demonstrably false and silly claims. If the members want this board to be a mutual admiration society (or more crudely, a circle jerk) so be it. At the beginning, I had much hope for this endeavor but it seems (any psychologist chime in) that there is always a slow, steady migration to group think and control by the most vocal posters. Thus, once it has been established that the correct position (also know as the "party line") is A, anybody who suggests B, or heaven forfend, C-Z is pounced upon. Name calling and insults become the order of the day rather than a rational, logical and calm discussion of the issues. Sometimes people throw out communication stopping words (a la "Nazi") because they have no counterargument. This type of "winning" may be comforting to some but it simply undermines the effort towards (what I thought was) a common goal. People at LCAV, TBC, etc. must laugh their posteriors off when they read (and they do) some of the posts here. With such people as opponents they must be encouraged. I sometimes think that the posters who engage in undermining tactics are really moles. Would that be paranoid? I sincerely hope that OCDO can pull out of its death spiral. I won't offer suggestions because they will be attacked by those who see themselves in my words (then again some may be so oblivious to their actions that they think I'm talking about the "other guy.") Apologies for any errors here. I don't want to take the time to edit. I will read posts from time to time to see if the atmosphere has changed but I have little hope. Good luck to all.

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