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Thread: A plan of action.

  1. #1
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    Last summer I mailed my town police chief, the police chief in a neighboring city and the county.. The town leo reply was extremely hostile to open carry, the city leo was much more reasonable about it and after two attempts, the county just ignored me and never responded. I then phoned the town leo in order to convince him he was wrong in his stance. No dice. I then met with him in person to show him supreme court cases. No dice. So nothing changed, I still do not open carry because I do not want to get arrested, nor do I want to have guns pointed at me.

    I am tired of having my rights denied me and being a spectator waiting for someone else to do something. I plan on getting on the agenda at a town board meeting in April to explain the error in the police departments policy towards not only a lawful act, but a constitutionally protected act of lawfully carrying a gun openly.

    All of these board members and possibly the police chief took an oath of office where they swore to support the constitution. I am going to ask them to honor that oath and either make a resolution declaring open carry lawful and constitutional. or develop a rational and legal policy on how the department handles a citizen lawfully carrying firearm.

    I will point out that unlawful or unconstitutional behavior on the town's part leave them vulnerable to a very costly civil suit and needlessly endangers the lives of those simply exercising a right.



  2. #2
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    You might start your reading of the law at the Wisconsin Constitution Article XI Section (3) that guarantees home rule except as prescribed by the constitution or legislation. Then read Chapter 60 (Towns), Chapter 61 (Villages) and, in the matter of the Oath, Chapter 19 , General Duties of Public Officials for legislation prescribed to prevent actions that you believe is taking place. (I apologize for any errors in the preceding written from memory.)

    I took a class in ordinance writing prior to writing my first ordinance that will go into effect soon. I was taught, without a case law citation that I recall, that a judge will "tie himself into a pretzel" to support and implement the clear legislative intent of an ordinance and be sure to include a statement of intent as an early specification in an ordinance. Read Village powers (5) CONSTRUCTION OF POWERS.
    For the purpose of giving to villages the largest measure of self−government in accordance with the spirit of article XI, section 3, of the constitution it is hereby declared that this chapter shall be liberally construed in favor of the rights, powers and privileges of villages to promote the general welfare, peace, good order and prosperity of such villages and the inhabitants thereof.
    (I have a Xerox copy of the minutes of a 1976 Town Board meeting adopting village powers)

    Notice, "rights, powers and privileges" of the government to "promote, the general welfare, peace, good order and prosperity

    You may gain standing against a greater subdivision, against a city, county or the State than has pockets deep enough to afford an attorney but I doubt that you will be able to bring action against a minor subdivision that is presumed to be doing the best it can.



  3. #3
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    Oops. Forgot my comment on the oath. It is to "support the constitution" that I would be glad to argue either which way.

  4. #4
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    Re Town Board agenda, how do you imagine the agenda is written and how does the Chairman exert his control? He would be extremely compliant to put you on the agenda on request.

    Try making a public comment first to state your point and see if any of the board members are interested to argue and they may get it on a later agenda.

    I guarantee that my Supervisors and Chairman know of my pro-gun stance. I take a lot of friendly grief about my empty holster. My best control of our gun ordinance is to leave it as it is - vacant for gross error. There is a paragraph in the middle of it that says 'if you're a resident this chapter doesn't apply' in more words.

  5. #5
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    Re 'policy', look at 66.0511

    66.0511 Law enforcement agency policies on use of force and citizen complaint procedures. (1) DEFINITION. In this section, “law enforcement agency” has the meaning given under s. 165.83 (1) (b). (2) USE OF FORCE POLICY. Each person in charge of a law enforcement agency shall prepare in writing and make available for public scrutiny a policy or standard regulating the use of force by law enforcement officers in the performance of their duties. (3) CITIZEN COMPLAINT PROCEDURE. Each person in charge of a law enforcement agency shall prepare in writing and make available for public scrutiny a specific procedure for processing and resolving a complaint by any person regarding the conduct of a law enforcement officer employed by the agency. The writing prepared under this subsection shall include a conspicuous notification of the prohibition and penalty under s. 946.66. History: 1987 a. 131; 1997 a. 176; 1999 a. 150 s. 366; Stats. 1999 s. 66.0511.
    This is a charge to your OIC and not to the Town.

  6. #6
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    Re 'your rights', you need to find your RKABA in the Wisconsin Constitution and Statutes because the COTUS BOR 2A has not yet been incorporated into the 14A yet. The process is just starting.

  7. #7
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    Re 'e-mail', read Chapter 19 section on Open Records. I make damn sure that, if someone sends me an e-mail mentioning an issue that may come up in meeting that I delete it instantly and admonish the sender to Chapter 19. There are also Open Meetings and Open Records Compliance Guides at the WI DoJ.

    The only charges successfully brought against my Town's officers that I know of are two for Ch. 19 violations from years ago. There is a 'verified warrant application' to the DA for prosecution in the Open Meeting Compliance Guide mentioned above.

  8. #8
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    I would respectfully suggest the county resolution.

    http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/forum57/17914.html

    I would also suggest this thread.

    http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/forum57/17127.html

    Informing the town, on the record you intend to exercise your rights may actually remove their individual immunity, so they could be personally sued.

    I also could be totally wrong.

  9. #9
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    Well Doug, you sure covered a lot of ground.

    It would be easy to get on the agenda, all one does is go to the town hall and ask to be put on the agenda with a brief description of the matter to be discussed.

    As far as legal standing goes, it seems it is what was done, not who did it that gives one legal standing. That fact that it is town does not exempt them from obeying the law and honoring constitutional rights of its citizens, nor do I know of any legal precedent known as the, "we're doing the best we can" exemption.

    We do have a town attorney.

    I found 66.0511 interesting. I will have to look into that.

    I am confident that towns are required to obey the law (4th amendment us constitution, and the Wisconsin constitution) the same as any other governmental body.

    I do not understand the email thing regarding chapter 19.

    My goal is not end up in lawsuit but to just be treated lawfully for open carrying in my community. Ultimately it will be the local leos treatment of me that will decide whether a lawsuit happens or not.



  10. #10
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    As I said, for your Chairman to make an agenda item on your request is exceedingly compliant. Best wishes.

  11. #11
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    I suspect for a town board to start prohibiting people from addressing them in regards to issues the citizen thinks important would be seen as bad government, which it would be, imho.

  12. #12
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    Somewhere in the Wisconsin Statutes, near where I tried to send you, the structure of a town board meeting is at least mentioned, very likely Chapter 19 (but not necessarily). The only requirement for you to be heard that I recall is "public comments" to which the board is not required to respond but only to listen.

    Our typical comment is from a waterfront land owner trying to get the taxpayer to clear his phragmites. 'Course he phrases it as "the town crew should clear the phragmites while they do the adjacent public property." If I thought that we had so much excess man hour capacity then I'd be asking who we could dismiss from our crew of four.

    As a measure of economic belt tightening, we're considering returning some paved roads, that we are required to maintain in a particular useable condition, to gravel that have no such requirements. Last summer, before the asphalt crunch hit, a mile of our road cost ~$80K, 2% of our entire budget and we have 100 paved miles.

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