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Thread: Forest for the trees

  1. #1
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    This is a comment I posted on the Digg website. It's located under John's folder.

    "See the forest for the trees"

    I am a Wisconsinite. I don't have any objection to concealed carry in Wisconsin, but only if it is an elected option to open carry or only if it replaces open carry with no additional restrictions. I
    am often puzzled when I read or hear comments such as "Wisconsin and Illinois are the only two states that don't have some kind of provision authorizing concealed carry". The comment is usually said in the context that Wisconsin is a maverick state because it does not allowconcealed carry. Almost as if the poor Wisconsin citizens have no way of protecting themselves and are at the mercy of the criminal elements. Of course nothing is farther from the truth. Certainly those factions that are trying to sell concealed carry and certainly the Wisconsin politicians and law enforcement don't want us to know it, but the fact is Wisconsin citizens have more capability to defend themselves with firearms than possibly any other state in the union. The only condition is that the carried firearm must be visible.

    No other state has more relaxed firearm carry laws than Wisconsin with the exception of possibly Alaska and Vermont. In Wisconsin there are only four restricted locations; inside goverment buildings, in a facility that serves on sale alcohol(without owner permission) and restriction on handguns only, open carry in a vehicle and finally prohibition of unloaded and uncased firearms on public property within 1000 feet of a 1-12 school property. The state has a right to bear arms amendment in it's constitution that states in clear and consise words that "The people have the right to keep and bear arms for security, defense, hunting, recreation or any other lawful purpose". The state also has a preemption statute that prevents any local goverment from enacting firearm regulation more strict than those at the state level. The state supreme court has ruled open carry is a constitutionaly protected right and that ruling has been voiced by the attorney general office. Less than three weeks ago a court case judgement found that open carry is a constitutional element and a charge of disorderly conduct for doing so is not permitted.

    So Wisconsin has nothing to be ashamed of when it comes to providing it's citizens the right to keep and bear arms for personal exception. The only thing keeping it from being practiced more frequently is statewide recognition by law enforcement that open carry rights exist and the continued harassment by law enforcement of those individuals that dare exercise those rights.

    To eviserate our constitutional right to open carry firearms for personal protection in order to say that Wisconsin has now joined the fold of concealed carry would be absurd.

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    Founder's Club Member bnhcomputing's Avatar
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    The only thing keeping it from being practiced more frequently is statewide recognition by law enforcement and the public in general that open carry rights exist and the continued harassment by law enforcement of those individuals that dare exercise those rights.





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    Lammie –



    I respect a lot of what you say BUT I have to disagree with you on this one. Places like Nevada, Arizona and New Mexico O.C. is everywhere along with C.C. (Ok Nevada minus “The Strip” in Vegas.) As you may recall I was out there for awhile. Also you can C.C. or O.C. in a place that serves alcoholic beverages as long as your B.A.C. is not above .10 (I have been told that on this board but have never seen the law.)





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    FLR72:

    The intent of the article was not to start a debate on which states have better or worse open carry conditions. I am aware that 44 out of the 50 states have various provisions that allow open carry. The restrictions and prohibitions of open carry among those 44 states vary considerably. The purpose of the article was to call attention to the fact that when the rights and restrictions of firearms are considered in total Wisconsin's are near the top of the listfor being most liberal and least restrictive. I realize that there are individual restrictions from state to state that are debateable.

    You made a comment about Handguns being allowed in places that serve alcohol as long as the BAC is lower than .10. Surely you weren't talking about Wisconsin.

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    From my research, I interpreted that a holstered firearm is allowed in a business that serves alcohol as long as you have consent from the owner of the establisment.

    Drinking alcohol while in posession of a firearm is another matter altogether though.

    And a personal note, WhenI used to tend bar in Milwaukee, I carried concealed with the owners blessings.

  6. #6
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    Nutczak wrote:
    From my research, I interpreted that a holstered firearm is allowed in a business that serves alcohol as long as you have consent from the owner of the establisment.

    Drinking alcohol while in posession of a firearm is another matter altogether though.

    And a personal note, WhenI used to tend bar in Milwaukee, I carried concealed with the owners blessings.
    I don't believe there is a prohibition against drinking alcohol while possessing a firearm, but 941.20(1)(b) makes it a class A misdemeanor to operate or go armed while under the influence of an intoxicant. Bottom line, you need to stay under the legal limit. Best advise, do not mix alcohol and gun powder! If needed to discharge your gun in defense, you can be pretty certain they'll be testing you for drugs and alcohol, it would be wise to have no trace of either in you at the time. Intoxication is a legal defense of your actions only if you were involuntarily intoxicated, what are the odds of that happening?
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    Everyone, it seems, is focusing on alcohol. Yes, Wisconsin may appear to be very liberal in its gun laws - except you can't carry concealed! What, then, do you do when you're out and about and the temperature is below freezing? Are you forced to carry your handgun outside your cold weather gear? You can't cover it up or wear it under your overcoat since concealed carry is prohibited! So, effectively, once winter hits, you can't carry. So much for touting Wisconsin's "liberal" gun laws.

    P.S. What happens to anyone who open carries in Madison, the state capitol?

  8. #8
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    Statkowski wrote:
    P.S. What happens to anyone who open carries in Madison, the state capitol?
    Assuming you mean "capital", so far, nothing. Why do you ask?

    "Capitol" is the building, you'd be arrested for sure.
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    Lammie-



    I was referring to Nevada for the .10 BAC. Personally if I was carrying I only had one beer and I mean only one.



    As for Wisconsin laws pertaining to OC on paper you may be right, I don’t know. As for reality the truth is you have to contend with the all powerful DNR, witch considers an empty gun in one place with a loaded magazine in another to be a loaded gun. (Many other states have a certain number of steps for a gun to be considered loaded like 1. unlock case 2. get gun and loaded mag. 3. insert mag. 4. chamber round, in Utah and Nevada this would not considered a loaded gun) Then we have my local police force that won’t stop shoplifters at the mall but will happily arrest you for OC.



    So if your point is on paper we have excellent OC laws in this state ok I believe you. But if put my gun on to go fetch my garbage can from down the road I may go to jail.

  10. #10
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    FLR72 wrote:
    ... you have to contend with the all powerful DNR, witch considers an empty gun in one place with a loaded magazine in another to be a loaded gun.
    What?? Can you cite a source for that?
    A. Gold

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    The free man is a warrior. - Nietzsche "Twilight of the Idols"

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    I hate to say it Shotgun but does he really need a citation? The DNR wardens make up the rules as they go along and there are no legal repercussions for them. I've had local cops get the federal amnesty in travel law confused with Wisconsin's "unloaded and encased" law, and have no reason to doubt that a DNR "only one" would be just as vapid and ignorant of the actual state of the law.

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    Lammie wrot
    I am often puzzled when I read or hear comments such as "Wisconsin and Illinois are the only two states that don't have some kind of provision authorizing concealed carry". The comment is usually said in the context that Wisconsin is a maverick state because it does not allowconcealed carry. Almost as if the poor Wisconsin citizens have no way of protecting themselves and are at the mercy of the criminal elements. Of course nothing is farther from the truth. Certainly those factions that are trying to sell concealed carry and certainly the Wisconsin politicians and law enforcement don't want us to know it, but the fact is Wisconsin citizens have more capability to defend themselves with firearms than possibly any other state in the union. The only condition is that the carried firearm must be visible.
    I disagree. Aside from the fact that in many places within WI you will be be cited for DC for openly carrying, the fact that you can not openly carry while in a motor vehicle is inhibitive. Because WI law does not allow me to OC while driving, I am required to remove my sidearm from its case, load it, and finally holster it at every stop. This is not only a major inconvenience, it does not allow me to protect myself while driving. Also, the act of holstering/unholstering, loading/unloading and encasing/uncasing draws attention to myself at each stop. These requirements draw unneccessary attention to anyone attempting to OC while going about their daily business.

    Therefore, I must disagree with your statement of: "...but the fact is Wisconsin citizens have more capability to defend themselves with firearms than possibly any other state in the union."

    I am not able to protect myself with my firearm during the mintute or two before I get into my vehicle or get out of my vehicle, nor am I able to defend myself while in my vehicle.

    Imagine if you were required to go through that routine with your wallet each time you get into your car. Remove the wallet from your pocket, take out the cash and credit cards, put everything in the glove box before driving away. Get to your destination, reverse actions, rinse, repeat. Ridiculous !!

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    Eric:

    Go back and read the many posts on this forum that address vehicle carry. You will find that no one agrees with you more than shotgun, smithman, Doug Huffman, WG19, Pointman, Myself and others. Again I repeat that my intent on this post was not to incite debate on individual restrictions but to evaluate carry restrictions in total.

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    For those that may be interested attached is an email exchange I had with Corey Graf of Wisconsin Gun Owners. The exchange took place in October of 2005. Keep in mind some of my opinions expressed then may or may not be those I have today. Time changes things. The exchanges are in ascending order.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    DL - WGO isn't anti-NRA, we're anti gun control and the NRA happens to have a
    long track record of pushing gun control into law (http://www.nrawol.org]www.nrawol.org[/url]). To answer
    your question, many NRA affiliates have used open carry as a media ploy tactic
    - But these expend a great deal of resources with limited - if any -
    measurable
    results. It doesn't address the issue and is not good strategy. Regardless of
    mode of carry, the right to bear arms is a natural right and is the last check
    and balance against governmental tyranny. If we give government the ability to
    regulate that check and balance, it destroys the check and balance. You won't
    hear that from the NRA.


    Corey Graff, Executive Director

    Wisconsin Gun Owners Inc.
    P.O. Box 338
    Green Bay, WI 54305

    http://www.wisconsingunowners.org]http://www.wisconsingunowners.org[/url]

    [phone] 888.202.1645
    [fax] 866.208.1346
    [e-mail] executivedirector@wisconsingunowners.org

    "Wisconsin's Only No-Compromise Gun Rights Organization"



    Quoting Dale Lamminen <dale@baldwin-telecom.net>:

    > Thank you for your fast response. I gather from your tone on your web site
    > and email you have sent me that you are not a fan of NRA.Well they have my
    > reluctant support as well, but one thing they do that I do approve of is
    > challenge some of the stupid laws in this country in court, via the ILA. If
    > what you say is true, that is, that the average citizen cannot afford to
    > challenge Wisconsin gun laws, then why doesn't the Wisconsin GAO or the
    > National GAO finance a court test? I have asked the same question to other
    > groups and although they don't say it outright the between the lines answer
    > is that they're afraid they'll lose. Duh! that's what democracy is all about
    > The rule of law.
    >
    > Again I repeat why aren't the various Gun Right groups using the "open
    > carry" validity as a legislative pressure point.
    >
    > As I said in my previous email. I have been contacted by a number of gun
    > right groups for financial support, and I have contributed to a number of
    > them, but I don't see any results.
    >
    > Dale
    > ----- Original Message -----
    > From: <executivedirector@wisconsingunowners.org>
    > To: "Dale Lamminen" <dale@baldwin-telecom.net>
    > Sent: Friday, October 14, 2005 8:23 AM
    > Subject: Re: CCW
    >
    >
    >> DL - Thanks for writing. You are correct about open carry, sir! Every
    >> year over
    >> 650,000 deer hunters take to the woods proving this. The way this works
    >> out for
    >> the average gun owner is: 1) legal to open carry in all WI cities
    >> (except gov't
    >> buildings, etc.) 2. Most larger cities have ordinances against carry 3.
    >> Even if
    >> they don't, you will still be arrested and have SWAT teams all over
    >> you, and be
    >> prosecuted 4. But (due to pre emption) local ord. can't trump State law so
    > 5.
    >> After a lengthy and expensive legal defense you'l likely be okay until
    >> the next
    >> time you carry, at which point you go back to point 1.
    >>
    >> Most gun owners aren't prepared for that sort of legal expense. But we
    > will be
    >> exploring this issue in more depth. I hope you're a member - we need your
    >> support now: Most gun rights group actually march to the same drummer -
    > not
    >> being trained in proper strategy, they seek access to politicians. ONLY
    >> GOA and
    >> WGO operate on sound principles. They must unite with us, or suffer more
    > gun
    >> control. I hope you're a member! I'm sure you're an excellent gunsmith
    > because
    >> you received the proper training/instruction. We're excellent political
    >> tacticians - for the same reasons. Join us and see if you haven't already.
    >>
    >>
    >> Corey Graff, Executive Director
    >>
    >> Wisconsin Gun Owners Inc.
    >> P.O. Box 338
    >> Green Bay, WI 54305
    >>
    >> http://www.wisconsingunowners.org]http://www.wisconsingunowners.org[/url]
    >>
    >> [phone] 888.202.1645
    >> [fax] 866.208.1346
    >> [e-mail] executivedirector@wisconsingunowners.org
    >>
    >> "Wisconsin's Only No-Compromise Gun Rights Organization"
    >>
    >>
    >>
    >> Quoting Dale Lamminen <dale@baldwin-telecom.net>:
    >>
    >> > Why all the hulla baloo about concealed carry when in all likelihood
    >> > we Wisconsin residents can open carry. There is no law against open
    >> > carry (except the DNR regulation about open carry in vehicles).
    >> >
    >> > I base my opinion on the following :
    >> >
    >> > Article 1 chapter 25 of the State Constitution " The people have the
    >> > right to keep and bear arms for security, defense, hunting,
    >> > recreation and any other lawful purpose". and the Wisconsin Supreme
    >> > Court findings on July 15, 2003 concerning the Hamdan case.
    >> >
    >> > In the Hamdan findings the Court defined the word "keep" to mean
    >> > "possess and the word "bear" to mean "carry'. In that regard Article
    >> > 1 chapter 25 would then be interpreted to read "The people have the
    >> > right to possess and carry arms for security, defense, hunting,
    >> > recreation and any other lawful purpose".
    >> >
    >> > The court in Hamdan also said there were only two ways to transport a
    >> > firearm "open" and "concealed".
    >> >
    >> > In Hamdan the Court made the statement that it is constitutional for
    >> > the State to regulate the manner of carry therefore 941.23 is
    >> > constitutional. The Court also said that 941.23 is a "strict
    >> > liability" law. Meaning concealed carry is illegal by anyone other
    >> > than police officers. No exceptions.
    >> >
    >> > The Court in Hamdan also said that if the State was going to dictate
    >> > the manner of carry it had to provide an alternate method.
    >> >
    >> > Being that 941.23 was declared by the Court to be a "strict liability
    >> > law" so that only police officers can concealed carry, then the only
    >> > other method available to citizens is open carry. As I said above The
    >> > Court said there are only two methods, open and concealed.
    >> >
    >> > There are other instances that imply open carry is valid:
    >> >
    >> > In Hamdan the police that arrested him acknowledged that had Hamdan's
    >> > firearm been hanging on the wall in the "open" that there would not
    >> > have been a problem.
    >> >
    >> > If 941.23 is in fact a strict prohibition of concealed carry then
    >> > there is no need for statutes 942.235 and 941.237. The fact they
    >> > exist is some evidence that there is a legislative recognition that
    >> > open carry is valid.
    >> >
    >> > The Hamdan case is extremely important to our CCW cause. Most other
    >> > gun right groups I say this to blow me off by saying that Hamdan only
    >> > applies to CCW on or in your property or business. Of course the
    >> > specifics and judgment of the case do apply to the issue of security,
    >> > but the Court findings are more broad. They address the issues of
    >> > defense, hunting, recreation and other lawful purposes by the simple
    >> > fact that the Court itself injected Article 1 chapter 25 into the
    >> > Hamdan decision.
    >> >
    >> > In conclusion it is my opinion that although Wisconsin does not have
    >> > a statute that specifically says it's citizens have the right to open
    >> > carry a firearm in all places except a government building, a place
    >> > that sells liquor and in a vehicle, there is a de-facto right that
    >> > they do. One that would probably have some State Supreme Court
    >> > acknowledgement.
    >> >
    >> > Why aren't you gun right organizations voicing that argument. I think
    >> > that if the legislature was aware that there may be an implied
    >> > de-facto statute supporting open carry with nearly no restrictions
    >> > they would be very quick to endorse a more restrictive concealed
    >> > carry law.
    >> >
    >> > In am a Gunsmith and FFL holder. I don't endorse everyone walking
    >> > around with a gun on his hip. I do think that it could change a lot
    >> > of legislators opinion on CCW if they thought that could be a risk.
    >> >
    >> > I am aware of most of the gun right groups GOA, WGOA, Second
    >> > Amendment Foundation, NRA, Wisconsin Concealed Carry, Packing.org,
    >> > JfF. All dancing to a different drummer. Why don't you get together
    >> > and developed a united cause. A bundle of sticks is stronger than one
    >> > alone.
    >> >
    >> > Thanks for your attention,
    >> > Dale Lamminen
    >> >
    >> >
    >> >
    >>
    >>
    >>
    >>
    >>
    >
    > ----------------------------------------
    > I am using the free version of SPAMfighter for private users.
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    > Paying users do not have this message in their emails.
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    >







  15. #15
    Founder's Club Member bnhcomputing's Avatar
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    I talked with the Wisconsin Rifle and Pistol Association (WRPA) now calling themselves (WI-Force). I had opportunity to talk directly to the entire board now headed up by a Mr. Jeff Nass in February of 2009. They will not, and do not, support the county resolutions and will not even include mention of the resolution in a mailing to their members. Further, they are only "watching" the Krause case.

    Maybe the WGO can/will help move open carry forward, maybe not, but WI-Force/WRPA has no interest in the fight, only the outcome.

  16. #16
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    WGO should because they use the NRA business model (send money to be spent as we will).

    WGO is perfectly positioned to take up leadership of Wisconsin's pro-gun movement but I suspect that it is supported by very few, meanwhile supporting paid and un-named, with one exception, staff.

    Name the Board of Directors with on point biographies. WGO has not released the names of those with whom you may be associating if you 'join'.

  17. #17
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    bnhcomputing:

    As I said the email exchange I posted is 3 1/2 years old. I have been in this game for quite some time. The one thing I have been most intent on and the one thing I have failed most at is to convince the many gun factions in the state to form a coalition of interest. AS said I have failed miserably at that. I don't know what it is. In my opinion it seems to be largely a condition of arrogance. It seems like none of the organizations argue the benefits of a combined voice but each seems to want to be "tall hog at the trough" and call the shots. The various organizations don't seem to comprehend just what power their unified voice would have. I compare the circumstance we are in today as a swarm of mosquitoes. If you have a bunch of them swarming around your head they present a nuicanse but you can swat them one at a time and be rid of them, however if you were confronted with one 500 pound mosquito you would probably pay more attention to the problem.

    The response you got from Wi-Force doesn't suprise me in the least. It is similar toresponses I have received from North American Hunting Club, WGO, NRA, Sierra Club. In fact the "hunting" and "shooting" organizations seem to be the most reluctant to get involved in gun rights. Many seem to just want to take a Que Sera, Sera position.

    I belong to close to a dozen hunting, shooting and gun rights forums. The only ones I feel have a genuine interest in our open carry rights, an interest in which the moderators and members aren't afraid to get proactive, are Open Carry.org and The High Road.

    All that being said I am firmly of the belief that until we can get a statewide coalition of gun right organizations and speak with a single voice we will just continueto bea swarm of pesky mosquitoes.

  18. #18
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    Statkowski wrote:
    Everyone, it seems, is focusing on alcohol. Yes, Wisconsin may appear to be very liberal in its gun laws - except you can't carry concealed! What, then, do you do when you're out and about and the temperature is below freezing? Are you forced to carry your handgun outside your cold weather gear? You can't cover it up or wear it under your overcoat since concealed carry is prohibited! So, effectively, once winter hits, you can't carry. So much for touting Wisconsin's "liberal" gun laws.
    Two words... Thigh Rig.

    Two more words... Long gun.
    "An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life." Robert A. Heinlein

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    Why do we need an organization beyond what we enjoy right here? What tasks are there that cannot be effectively coordinated from right here?

    The single stumbling block that I see is rice-bowl politics with the 'rice' feeding various egos that demand 'credit' for the actions of the many.

    Consider rather the blind cells, dead drops and plausible deniability of a guerrilla force. We listen to those who would be leaders suggest actions and pick and choose from them depending on our personal interests and capability.

    The County resolution effort is a fine example of a baby-step. Just think how it might have flown without the weight of other interests?

    Want an OC walk? Don't argue but propose one? Small turn out? Why? Fix it and get a bigger turn out.

    Want letters to newspapers or legislators? Post it and there will be abundant help with spelling, grammar and rhetoric.

    Want to buy a legislator/lobbyist? Propose it and see if money flows from the faithful or do they need more convincing of the pay to play model of politics.

    Want training in activism? It's on line.

    Want free legal research? Wanna a PAC?

    WTF does someone want to do that can't be done from right here?



  20. #20
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    Doug:

    I'm not going to take you bait. I will only repeat it is my opinion that "A bundle of sticks is stronger than a single stick".

  21. #21
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    Rick Finsta wrote:
    I hate to say it Shotgun but does he really need a citation? The DNR wardens make up the rules as they go along and there are no legal repercussions for them. I've had local cops get the federal amnesty in travel law confused with Wisconsin's "unloaded and encased" law, and have no reason to doubt that a DNR "only one" would be just as vapid and ignorant of the actual state of the law.
    Yes, I'd like a citation, although I don't believe such exists. Nobody would dispute that there could be inconsistency among DNR wardens or that there are no wardens who simply have a poor understanding of the law. But no individual warden speaks for "the all powerful DNR." The posting implied that the DNR, as an agency, has inconsistent regulations regarding when a firearm is loaded and not loaded. If that's true, then spell it out. If all he meant to say is that some wardens understand the law and some do not, then there is no dispute. It's probably true.
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  22. #22
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    Lammie wrote:
    Eric:

    Go back and read the many posts on this forum that address vehicle carry. You will find that no one agrees with you more than shotgun, smithman, Doug Huffman, WG19, Pointman, Myself and others. Again I repeat that my intent on this post was not to incite debate on individual restrictions but to evaluate carry restrictions in total.
    Lammie, I am glad you agree with me about the foolishness of the laws surrounding firearms and vehicles in the state of WI. However, I stand by my comments. There is no way I can go along with a statement such as "...but the fact is Wisconsin citizens have more capability to defend themselves with firearms than possibly any other state in the union."

    That, in my opinion, is simply not true. You give several reasons why that isn't true in your original post:


    ...open carry in a vehicle and finally prohibition of unloaded and uncased firearms on public property within 1000 feet of a 1-12 school property.
    The only thing keeping it from being practiced more frequently is statewide recognition by law enforcement that open carry rights exist and the continued harassment by law enforcement of those individuals that dare exercise those rights.
    I've already commented on the vehicle restriction.

    If I'm going about my daily business, I don't have the time in the day to plot out a route that ensures that I am not on public property within 1000ft. of a school. A 1000ft radius around a school is a large area. In some towns, it is awfully hard to find property where I am not within 1000ft of a school. Please educate me, because I honestly don't know, do many states have laws like ours?

    Then the fact that many in law enforcement continually harass Wisconsinites for openly carrying totally negates your argument. Yes, the laws may be lenient, but the enforcement/interpretation of them greatly inhibits my ability to protect myself with a firearm while in the state of Wisconsin.


  23. #23
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    Here's an idea for those of you who want to DO something:

    Contact your county board supervisors and re-submit the resolution.

    http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/view_topic.php?id=17914&forum_id=57

    Press them to act on it. If they refuse, catch them after a meeting, with video camera running, and ask them why you/me/we have no rights. Then post their answers on You-Tube.

    The cost is almost non-existent and because you were asking a question about rights, and did so without a firearm, if they try to quash you that would be a violation of your first (1st) amendment rights.

    Will you start by taking this first unarmed stand?

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