A growing national Internet community with more than 17,000 registered members

April20, 2009



Wisconsin AG Opinion on Open Carry is "Spot On"[/b]

J.B. Van Hollen's Opinion Consistent with Other State Attorneys General

The summary of the opinion at http://www.doj.state.wi.us/news/file...nCarryMemo.pdfsays it all:

"Under Article I, § 25 of the Wisconsin Constitution, a person has the right to openly carry a firearm for any of the purposes enumerated in that Section, subject to reasonable regulation as discussed herein. The Wisconsin Department of Justice (the Department) believes that the mere open carrying of a firearm by a person, absent additional facts and circumstances, should not result in a disorderly conduct charge from a prosecutor."
"AG Van Hollen's opinion is spot on" says OpenCarry.org co-founder Mike Stollenwerk, and "consistent with other state AG opinions," see e.g., Virginia AG Bob McDonnell's opinion in 2008 at http://www.vaag.com/OPINIONS/2008opns/Sept08opnndx.html (striking down state park open carry ban because "A person’s right to carry a firearm openly is considered universal within the Commonwealth, subject to definite and limited restrictions upon certain locations and classifications of individuals."). Bob McDonnell is now running for Governor of Virginia.

Van Hollen's opinion isactually the second heapin'good news for gun owners today asthe Federal Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit in Nordyke v. King at http://www.ca9.uscourts.gov/datastor...20/0715763.pdfsaid that the Second Amendment applies to constrain **state** (and not just federal)power. The DC gun ban case of DC v. Heller only applied to a federal district - in that case the Supreme Court explained that the Second Amendment provided an individual right to keep and bear arms and that bear means "carry," but that the carry right was historically limited to open, and not concealed carry.

But there are still 2 major problems that need to be resolved for open carriers in Wisconsin:

The first is the state ban on carrying openly in vehicles - unloading and encasing your gun every time you get in your car makes no sense and promotes unnecessary gun handling in public. All states save Wisconsin and Illinois allow gun carry in vehicles, most without any permit. See map at http://www.opencarry.org/travel.html.

The second is the 1,000 foot school zone gun carry ban. Only a couple states have such "school zones" and the federal Supreme Court struck down the federal school zone gun ban in 1995 in the case of US v. Lopez.


Media Contacts:

OpenCarry.org co-founders:
John Pierce: John@OpenCarry.org
Mike Stollenwerk: Mike@Opencarry.org