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:
(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)