The state constitutional right to bear arms is fundamental, but it is not absolute.
This section does not affect the reasonable regulation of guns. The standard of
review for challenges to statutes allegedly in violation of this section is whether the
statute is a reasonable exercise of police power. State v. Cole, 2003 WI 112, 264
Wis. 2d 520, 665 N.W.2d 328, 01−0350.
The concealed weapons statute is a restriction on the manner in which firearms
are possessed and used. It is constitutional under Art. I, s. 25. Only if the public
benefit in the exercise of the police power is substantially outweighed by an individual’s
need to conceal a weapon in the exercise of the right to bear arms will an
otherwise valid restriction on that right be unconstitutional. The right to keep and
bear arms for security, as a general matter, must permit a person to possess, carry,
and sometimes conceal arms to maintain the security of a private residence or privately
operated business, and to safely move and store weapons within those premises.
State v. Hamdan, 2003 WI 113, 264 Wis. 2d 433, 665 N.W.2d 785, 01−0056.
A challenge on constitutional grounds of a prosecution for carrying a concealed
weapon requires affirmative answers to the following before the defendant may
raise the constitutional defense: 1) under the circumstances, did the defendant’s
interest in concealing the weapon to facilitate exercise of his or her right to keep
and bear arms substantially outweigh the state’s interest in enforcing the concealed
weapons statute? and 2) did the defendant conceal his or her weapon because concealment
was the only reasonable means under the circumstances to exercise his
or her right to bear arms? State v. Hamdan, 2003 WI 113, 264 Wis. 2d 433, 665
N.W.2d 785, 01−0056.