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Thread: open carry in a small city

  1. #1
    Regular Member
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    May 2008
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    NE Wisconsin, Wisconsin, USA
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    I have a question about part of my correspondence with the police dept. in my town, I'll put forth the background first if you will bear with me.

    About the middle of May I went down to the local police department and inquired if there were any ordinances about open carry on the books that might be a problem if I were to exercise that right. The duty officer told me it was illegal to do so, and I would be breaking the law. When I asked him to show me where this was stated, he could not. He then stated he would check into this matter and get back to me.

    June 5 I e-mailed the police officer and said if it was easier he could e-mail me back at his convenience when and if he had discovered anything of importance in his conferences.

    His reply: June 24. I apologize for not getting back to you as soon or as quick as you would like. After speaking to Chief Buntrock and the Outagamie County District Attorney's Office as well as the City of Seymour's Attorney, you are as well as others who wish to exercise their second Constitutional Right have the right to do so as long as it's within the scope of the Wi State Statutes. I hope this answers your question.

    I take it that "the scope of the Wi State Statutes" means school and alcohol restrictions, along with the usual gov. buildings. Anyone have something to add to this, please do.

  2. #2
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    Oct 2007
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    Waukesha, Wisconsin, USA
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    Due to the preemption law, open carry in any wisconsin city has the same restrictions as the state statutes.

    No OC in a car
    no OC in a place with class B liquor license
    no OC in a govt building
    no OC within 1000ft of a school zone
    no OC in a state park

    This applies statewide, and always will as the preemption law is on the books.

  3. #3
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    Feb 2007
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    Smithman:

    Your response is correct. I would like to add a couple of comments to them. Carry of firearms in State parks is lawful during a hunting season at the descretion of the DNR. Carry of firearms in a scool zone is lawful if you are on private property within the 1000 foot perimeter.

    Now that the open carry initiative is picking up steam and more and more LEO's are changing their attitudes; the documented statement by the Seymour law authorities is extremely helpful to the OC cause. Somehow we have to work on getting that stupid "school zone" statute changed. Also the open carry in vehicle prohibition.


  4. #4
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    Lammie wrote:
    the documented statement by the Seymour law authorities is extremely helpful to the OC cause. Somehow we have to work on getting that stupid "school zone" statute changed. Also the open carry in vehicle prohibition.
    Good point about private property within a school zone. I have a friend in West Allis and he is across the street from a school, and I was always apprehensive about OCing there when over for a cookout. Then I read that in the statutes awhile ago and said to myself "I can, just stay off the sidewalk in front of the house, don't know how that would be considered."

    The school zone restriction is the most severe of all of them...1000' is a long distance and can severly limit where we can walk in a town. This one will need to be the focus for change, along with vehicle carry.

  5. #5
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    I'm not sure about the sidewalk issue either. I have not been able to find a "good" definition of private property in the state statutes. The only definition I can find on public property is that it is all property that is not private. I live in a rural area where there are no sidewalks but I do know from my abstract that my property line extends to the middle of the roadway and is an easment to the township. I then pay them taxes to maintain it. I haven't been able to determine if that is the same situation in the cities. I know that property owners are responsible for maintaining the sidewalks, repairs, ice control, snow clearing etc. but I don't know if that implies ownership. The only thing I can find in the statutes related to sidewalks is that they appear to fall under the definition of "public place" which is decribed as private property that is in general use by the public. Maybe some other members can shed light on the sidewalk issue. It is quite important because if sidewalks and streets are considered public property a person is at risk of being charged with a felony as soon as they step out of a vehicle on to a sidewalk or street if they are within 1000 feet of a school and the weapon is loaded and not enclosed in a carrying case.

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