St. Francis alderman wants to limit open carrying of firearms
By Tom Kertscher
of the Journal Sentinel
Posted: May. 4, 2009
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- An alderman who hunts and owns guns plans to seek an ordinance to limit the open carrying of firearms in the city.
Ted Jarosh, who describes himself as a strong defender of the right to own and legally carry guns, said last week he will ask the city attorney Tuesday whether the city could classify certain acts of so-called open carry as disturbing the peace.
Jarosh cited a case from earlier this year in which a West Allis man was ticketed for carrying a gun in a holster while working in his yard. Police issued a ticket, but a judge dismissed it.
"I think that if you carry a firearm to mow your lawn - unless you fear polar bears or pterodactyls are going to attack you - you're disturbing the peace," Jarosh said.
Attention to the open carry issue is growing.
Last month, a lawsuit challenging the statewide police practice of arresting people who openly carry handguns was filed in federal court
Several days later, state Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen issued a memorandum
saying that openly carrying a gun is legal and does not, in itself, warrant a charge of disorderly conduct.
'Misuse of the law'
Jarosh, 52, a nine-year alderman and president of Kyle Central Credit Union in South Milwaukee, said he wants to prohibit the open carry of guns when there is no apparent purpose for doing so.
"Carrying a firearm just to incite the public or prove that you have the right to do it, that is a misuse of the law," Jarosh said.
The Common Council is expected to have a limited discussion of the issue Tuesday. The city attorney will likely be asked to research the issue, which would then be considered at a future council meeting.