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Thread: Local ordinance vs. state law

  1. #1
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    Hunters this year are able to use rifles for hunting deer in CWD areas, the local muncipalities are not happy about this and are trying to make an ordinance to make it unlawfull in the areas not to use rifles. I use a rifle for coyote hunting in southern kettlemoraine, i thought local ordinances cannot trump state laws that deem how you carry use and own a weapon.

    from jsonline-

    Local ordinances on rifles, shotguns and handguns can supersede the rule change, and those laws may change to restrict rifle use before special and regular deer hunting seasons, Trawicki said. He advised hunters to obtain updates from municipalities before hunting.



    full article- http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=791287

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    No local government can supersede state laws concerning firearms, the article erred.


    Wisconsin Statute 66.0409

    Except as provided in..........no political subdivision may enact an ordinance or adopt a resolution that regulates the sale, purchase, purchase delay, transfer, ownership, use, keeping, possession, bearing, transportation, licensing, permitting, registration or taxation of any firearm or part of a firearm, including ammunition and reloader components, unless the ordinance or resolution is the same as or similar to, and no more stringent than, a state statute


    The local subdivision could not even enact the ordinance much less enforce it because of this statute.

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    I have tried to address this, shotguns versus rifles, locally and discovered that it is entrenched traditional prejudice. The Island became shotgun only at the behest of a town father that suffered a tragedy and to change that would be dishonoring his memory.

    The grandmothers are convinced that their sons and grandsons will shoot them if they aren't wearing their blaze orange.

    I'll work with rifles but have no hope of hunting with one.

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    I'm afraid I might have to disagree on this. Para, you need to look at the entire statute, including 66.0409(3)(b) which states:

    "Nothing in this section prohibits a city, village or town that
    is authorized to exercise village powers under s. 60.22 (3) from
    enacting an ordinance or adopting a resolution that restricts the
    discharge of a firearm."


    They can prohibit you from shooting a gun, in this case they'd be prohibiting the shooting of rifles. I don't believe hunting per se is illegal in downtown Milwaukee or Madison, but it's certainly illegal to discharge firearms in those places, even if you're shooting a squirrel during hunting season with a small game license.

    Maybe those towns that don't like the hunting rule change would make the restriction only apply to deer, and not to other species, such as coyote, squirrels et al.
    A. Gold

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    60.22(3) Village powers. If authorized under s. 60.10 (2) (c), may exercise powers relating to villages and conferred on village boards under ch. 61, except those powers which conflict with statutes relating to towns and town boards.

    I don't think huntingcan be regulated byneighboring towns and is the at the sole purview of the DNR, and either way the discharge is not what they are focusing on.

    The suggested ordinances are not for the discharge of rifles but of their use. That is to say if I took my rifle to hunt but didn't shot I would still be guilty of violating the ordinance, while if they only regulated the discharge it wouldn't be easy to enforce, as simply possessing a rifle in a hunting area wouldn't be a violation.

    So they CANT restrict the use of rifles for hunting, and restricting the discharge would be kind of a meaningless inconvenience to hunters.




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    Parabellum wrote:
    60.22(3) Village powers. If authorized under s. 60.10 (2) (c), may exercise powers relating to villages and conferred on village boards under ch. 61, except those powers which conflict with statutes relating to towns and town boards.

    I don't think huntingcan be regulated byneighboring towns and is the at the sole purview of the DNR, and either way the discharge is not what they are focusing on.

    The suggested ordinances are not for the discharge of rifles but of their use. That is to say if I took my rifle to hunt but didn't shot I would still be guilty of violating the ordinance, while if they only regulated the discharge it wouldn't be easy to enforce, as simply possessing a rifle in a hunting area wouldn't be a violation.

    So they CANT restrict the use of rifles for hunting, and restricting the discharge would be kind of a meaningless inconvenience to hunters.
    So what does that mean, except that town boards can exercise the same powers as villages, unless specifically prohibited by statute. Well, villages can prohibit the discharge of firearms, so can towns.

    I would say restricting the discharge is far more than a meaningless inconvenience to hunters. It meaningfully entails that you can carry your rifle all day, but cannot shoot it. Kinda takes the heart out of hunting with a rifle, doesn't it? If you think towns cannot regulate the discharge of a firearm, then what makes you think a city such as Milwaukee can regulate it? Or do you think that Milwaukee cannot?

    If you believe hunting is the "sole purview" of the DNR, then I should be able to shoot the squirrels that run through my yard within the City of Madison, there's nothing in the DNR hunting rules that states that I cannot do that. But I'll guarantee you there's stuff in the Madison ordinances that says I cannot, and it's valid and enforceable.
    A. Gold

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    Ill grant you that I didn't not explain myself properly. What I meant by highlighting "relating to villages" was that the law making power of the town, village, or any other political subdivision doesn't stretch past a certain physical point, usually(not always)city limits. Although the the city does own land outside its limits they cannot forbid the discharge of firearms there as 66.0409(3) doesn't grant that power. They are permitted toenact ordinances that regulate thedischarge of firearms under powers granted in 60.22(3), and that limits them to ordinances that relate to the city itself. How is the hunting of deer outside citylimits within their power to affect given the limitations of those statutes?

    I NEVER said that a town could not regulate the discharge of firearms, where did I says so?

    The reasonyou CANT shoot the squirrels in the city is because the city can and does regulate the discharge of firearms with in its city limitsand within a certain range thereof.

    The DNR has sole purview of hunting in places where hunting takes place, not in cities, was this even a valid counter argument, really? And how do you suppose they enforce no discharge of arifle during hunting season if they cant keep people from taking a rifle into the hunting grounds? Its unenforceable by logic if not by law. Thats why its an inconvenience, although from a legal standpoint, yes they would kind of take the point out of hunting with a rifle by prohibiting the discharge thereof. But I don't think local municipalities can place such a restriction on land usually governed by the DNR which is a state agency. So if 66.0409 doesn't stop them, the fact that hunting in public lands IS purview of the DNR would supersede any local firearms relatedordinance in opposition to their rules.

    On a completely unrelated matter, 100th post:celebrate

    EDIT:Spelling



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    TOWN OF CHRISTIANA, Wis. -- Town of Christiana officials have unanimously voted to prohibit rifles larger than .22 caliber within town limits after concerns about the safety of the distance of fire.This ordinance comes after new Department of Natural Resources regulations allowing rifles to be used for deer hunting in all chronic wasting disease management zones.A ticket for breaking the ordinance will cost about $200.

    Para, call them up and tell them they can't do this!
    A. Gold

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    I will call them does anyone have some specific notations from statutes other than the state vrs. local regulation. I can't believe this!!!!!!! People cannot even own them there?? wth.....





    Ben

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    Not on the town web site

    Your search - rifles site:www.twp.christiana.wi.us - did not match any documents.

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    BJA wrote:
    I will call them does anyone have some specific notations from statutes other than the state vrs. local regulation. I can't believe this!!!!!!! People cannot even own them there?? wth.....





    Ben
    Calm down. I believe the news report was poorly worded. You certainly can own rifles bigger than a .22 in the Town of Christiana. But they don't want you to hunt with them. The town's website is very limited, and the minutes to that meeting probably won't appear on it for some time....

    The story I posted was clipped from the Channel3000.com website, and I already contacted them about the poor wording and they agreed to fix it. I also pointed out misinformation they wrote in a earlier piece on the same topic (they wrote that shotgun rounds travel only 150 yards-- which may be close to the truth if you're talking about the smallest birdshot, but certainly not true of slugs or buckshot used in deer hunting.) They said they would verify my information and get back to me.
    A. Gold

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    Got some time to calm down lol, I just knew sum stupid stuff like this would happen I may be SOL when it comes to coyote hunting if laws like this become become prevalent. I thought 66.0409 would make so this wouldn't happen, it is directly contradicting a state agencies law. I hope to get more infromation togther and give them an informative call.



    Ben

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    Well as Parabellum and I have discussed above, Para is of the opinion that this sort of ordinance is invalid, but I respectfully disagree. Municipalities CAN regulate the discharge of firearms within their jurisdiction--- in this case they're regulating the discharge of rifles more powerful than a .22. I think it's a valid ordinance and not preempted. I don't like it, but I think it's legal under current state law.

    Since we don't have the precise language of this ordinance it's hard to say much more. Maybe it applies only to deer hunting and your coyote hunting is still fine-- I don't know! --- but just to be safe, I'd suggest that you stay out of Christiana until you know!
    A. Gold

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    Shotgun wrote:
    to prohibit rifles larger than .22 caliber within town limits
    Nothing about discharge and no publicly accessible URL citation either.

    And their 'range risk' argument is specious. ISTR .22 LR range >1760 yards, just not 'effective'. Is a .223 a '.22'?

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    Yeah exact letter of law would help, but I mean the law is directly contradicting two state laws, I didn't think they could do that.... The state just said you could use a rifle for the first time since i can remember for deer hunting these areas then teh local muncipalities say nope state law doesn't mean a thing you will be ticketed.

    As our population grows another 100 million in America at 2040 making americas population 400,000,000 I'm guessing we will see big conflicts on rules like this I wish they would make precident now!!



    Ben

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    ss660409(3)(b) allows political subdivisions to regulate the discharge of firearms within their jurisdiction.

    It amazes me how so few people understand firearm ballistics. Typically centerfire rifles used in Wisconsin for deer hunting are sighted to hit point of aim at 100 yards. It is a large deer that stands 36 inches high at the shoulder. The kill area of that size deer is about 25 inches from the ground. A standing hunter is shooting at that 25 inch point from a shoulder height of about 60 inches. A fairly steep angle. A 165 grain bullet shot from a 30-06 rifle at 2800 feet per second will hit the ground at 370 yards if it was sighted to hit point of aim at 100 yards. Under the same conditions a 36 grain 22 rimfire long rifle hyper-velocity bullet leaving the barrel at 1700 feet per second will hit ground at 250 yards only 120 yards shorter than the 30-06. The .22 bullet will still have 148 foot pounds of energy. More than enough to seriously injure or kill a person. Under the conditions described a 150 grain 30-30 bullet would only travel about 330 yards, only 80 yards farther than the .22. It is not about caliber or centerfire versus rimfire. It is about weight + velocity as acted on by gravity.


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    So does that mean I am getting worked up over nothing? how does taht statute stand under this new law?

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    In my opinion it means the Town of Christiana can not prohibit ownership, possesion, or carry of any firearm but it can prohibit and regulate the discharge of any firearm. If the Town decides it wants to prohibit the discharge of any firearms larger than .22 caliber ss660409(3)(b) gives it the authority to do so, no matter how stupid the prohibition is.

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    I have not read the Christiana ordinance but based on the info in this thread I presume it specifically relates to rifles. If so, here are examples of it's stupidity. Handguns are allowed stewide for the taking of deer, shotgun zone as well as rifle zones. Under Christiana's ordinance one could not discharge a rifle of .44 magnum while deer hunting but could use a hangun chambered for the same caliber. Also, the Thomsen Center Contender, which is considered a handgun, can be purchsed in many centerfire calibers 30-30, 30-06, 270, 45-70, 300Win just to mention a few. The Contender would supposedly be exempt from the ordinance if it is true that the ordinance only applies to rifles.

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    When I found that Washington Island was a 'special' shotgun-only zone, I beat my head on the wall until I discovered the reason.

    The most revered, currently, founding father of the Island had a hunting accident early in his life, the details of which I don't know. I know that he politicked to ban rifles. Until this is forgotten or overcome, this prejudice is inculcated in Department of Never-ending Regulations.

    I don't recall anyone addressing the differentiation between statute and regulation but they are not the same.

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    Doug:

    Article I section 26 of the Wisconsin Constitution gives us the constitutional right to hunt, fish and trap. Unfortunately the DNR was sucessfull in lobbying to have the conditional phrase added "Subject to reasonable regulation".


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    Yes. Thank you. I rank DNR equal with NRA, GOP and LAB. Thank goodness my DNR 'constable' is a likable good ol' boy.

    Right to fish, hunt, trap, and take game. SECTION 26.
    [As created April 2003] The people have the right to fish, hunt,
    trap, and take game subject only to reasonable restrictions as
    prescribed by law
    . [2001 J.R. 16, 2003 J.R. 8, vote April 2003]

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    Doug Huffman wrote:
    I don't recall anyone addressing the differentiation between statute and regulation but they are not the same.
    My understanding: They are not the same. But state agencies are authorized by statute to make administrative rules, which have the same force as law. But the rules should not have anything that is contrary to statute in them, and if they do, they can be challenged. Administrative rules are generally adopted after public hearings and must be legislatively approved.

    Once adopted, rules are presumed to be legal and enforceable unless a court rules otherwise.
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    At least our RKBA doesn't have this "subject to reasonable restrictions" language. In some states that language exists.

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    Doug Huffman wrote:
    Yes. Thank you. I rank DNR equal with NRA, GOP and LAB. Thank goodness my DNR 'constable' is a likable good ol' boy.

    Right to fish, hunt, trap, and take game. SECTION 26.
    [As created April 2003] The people have the right to fish, hunt,
    trap, and take game subject only to reasonable restrictions as
    prescribed by law
    . [2001 J.R. 16, 2003 J.R. 8, vote April 2003]
    Let's compare hunting to voting. Supposedly in WI they are both rights.

    Can you show up and vote for president at the polls tomorrow? No. You have a right but a window of time in which to exercise it. The time-window restriction won't be found in any laws that I know of. Note that there is no license to vote, since that would make voting a privilege.

    This theoretically means that your right to hunt could have a time window associated with it, but that you don't need to get a license to go hunt or fish. But this is not the case. I took the DNR test on Thursday and indeed in that test is a question on rights vs. privileges regarding hunting, and the correct answer is that hunting is a privilege. This is of course because you must get a hunting license to legally hunt. But reading the state laws you will find out differently. IMO, the only reasonable restriction specified by the state law is a window of time, and perhaps the method of hunting such as bow/gun/muzzleloader, etc....but NOT a hunting license.

    I wonder if the DNR thinks they are truly enforcing the state laws.

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