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Thread: Prairie du Chien Open Carry

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    The annual "Rendezvous" (sort of a fur trapper era reenactment) is scheduled to be held at the middle of next month. In anticipation of possibly attending it, I looked at the Prairie du Chien website and found a horrible ordinance that prohibited any sort of carry including no carry on "public land." It's even worse than it sounds, because by "public land" they include not only government-owned land, but PRIVATELY-owned property that is open to the public (such as businesses.) [The ordinance does allow carry in private businesses only with the written permission of the owner.]

    I wrote to the PdC PD to ask for some assurance that the department is aware of the preemption and unenforceability of most of the city's ordinance. Chief King (yes, he's not only a chief, he's a king!) responded with a single sentence: "We are current with state law...in spite of the controversy these days."


    A. Gold

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    This is exactly what the preemption statute covers isn't it??

    Statute 66.0409 "......no political subdivision may...regulate the ...use, keeping, possesion, bearing...unless the ordinance is the same as or similar to, and no more stringent than, a state statute. "

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    Woodchuck wrote:
    This is exactly what the preemption statute covers isn't it??

    Statute 66.0409 "......no political subdivision may...regulate the ...use, keeping, possesion, bearing...unless the ordinance is the same as or similar to, and no more stringent than, a state statute. "
    Yes, precisely that. But, as we've seen often on this forum, there's no assurance that the local constables are aware of the preemption of their ordinances and won't make an issue of your sidearm. I wrote to the Chief to make sure that his department is aware of the preemption to hopefully decrease the chances that they will have an issue with my sidearm.
    A. Gold

    Failure to comply may result in discipline up to and including termination.
    The free man is a warrior. - Nietzsche "Twilight of the Idols"

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    I do most of my shopping in Beaver Dam and they have a similar ordinance that all firearms need to be unloaded and uncased. I am still a little hesitant about carrying. I might make a trip over to walmart tonight but am unsure due to this ordinance. I know they can't enforce this due to the state statute and I just wonder if the Beaver Dam PD knows about this. Do I write a letter to the cheif informing him of this or do I just go carry and they can find out through that? I have heard that writing a letter to him will do me no good because he is ALL POWERFUL CHIEF and I am just asimple civilain. Any opinions???

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    I know they can't enforce this due to the state statute and I just wonder if the Beaver Dam PD knows about this. Do I write a letter to the cheif informing him of this or do I just go carry and they can find out through that? I have heard that writing a letter to him will do me no good because he is ALL POWERFUL CHIEF and I am just asimple civilain. Any opinions???
    Writing a letter to the chief is pointless. (in my opinion)

    They know. They'd have to be living under a rock not to know. I'm SURE the Beaver Dam PD knows about this.

    That doesn't mean that they want you to know and in all likelihood they would REALLY prefer to be ambiguous at best, and outright fear-inducing at worst.

    The law is 100% on your side. If you want to open-carry I hope that you would.

    If you decide not to open-carry its your own fear you are being a victim of. Not the government.



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    hugh jarmis wrote:
    I know they can't enforce this due to the state statute and I just wonder if the Beaver Dam PD knows about this. Do I write a letter to the cheif informing him of this or do I just go carry and they can find out through that? I have heard that writing a letter to him will do me no good because he is ALL POWERFUL CHIEF and I am just asimple civilain. Any opinions???
    Writing a letter to the chief is pointless. (in my opinion)

    They know. They'd have to be living under a rock not to know. I'm SURE the Beaver Dam PD knows about this.

    That doesn't mean that they want you to know and in all likelihood they would REALLY prefer to be ambiguous at best, and outright fear-inducing at worst.

    The law is 100% on your side. If you want to open-carry I hope that you would.

    If you decide not to open-carry its your own fear you are being a victim of. Not the government.
    I wouldn't be quite as quick to assume they know. Back when I worked for the state I worked with a law that dated back to the 1930's and we still encountered some municipalities that were ignorant of it. There are plenty of rocks under which some people live. But there is NO excuse for any police department to NOT know the law! I worded my correspondence to the Prairie du Chien police very carefully. They were limited to saying either "yes we are aware of the current laws" or "why no, we didn't know that!" (which would make them look foolish.) I kept it simple, I quoted their ordinance, then I stated that it was void and unenforceable for the past 14 years, and then told them that I wanted them to assure me that they were aware of that fact. If any police department replies that they cannot assure you that they are aware of preemption statute, then I would make a complaint to city hall about the police chief. If you look in municipal ordinances, you will often find under "powers and duties" of the chief of the police that they have a duty to stay abreast of the law to ensure that their department is up-to-date. If they are not up-to-date then the chief is negligent in his or her duties.

    So I don't consider it a waste of time. You might just educate someone, perhaps more importantly it puts them on notice that you are aware of the law and won't be jerked around by some double speak they might try to lay on you if they don't like the sight of you with a gun. There's a hard way to educate them and a gentle way, this is the gentle way. Either may work, take you pick.
    A. Gold

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

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    So I don't consider it a waste of time.
    I guess more important than anything (especially my opinion) is that people do what they feel is best when it comes to exercising their rights and standing up for them.

    I worry that people would be deterred by getting a letter back form police that would cause them apprehension. So that is another reason not to ask.

    I also think that given the attitude in police departments, if they don't support your rights, they'll just be more pissed that you 'defied' them. I see more merit to writing letters to Police and Fire Commissions and city council/alderman who make up or appoint the PFC. People who are elected. I'd rather talk to the person who HAS power over the police chief because I have power over them. (by voting)

    I'd rather put the Police and Fire Commission on notice that they should make sure their police chief knows the law before their police chiefs expose the city/village to liability (and then I might direct them to a copy of the lawsuit against Chilton and West Milwaukee)

    I think this is best for 2 reasons. Police and Fire Commissions AND City Councils are made up of NON LEO's. So they don't have the "blue attitude" that too many police officers do. They don't have the same proclivity to feel that you are "challenging their authority" and get an knee-jerk defiant response. THEY are the police chiefs boss. They hire, and they can fire. And THEY are elected. They have a totally different frame of mind than a law-enforcement official.

    Anyway. I just think it would be more effective to deal with people who have to answer to us instead of a police chief that doesn't.

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    Wow another town with pre-empted laws. This is rediculous, I mean milwaukee county, madison, prarie duchein, minouqua and others have pre-empted laws. I'm guessing that once the Wisconsin firearm pre-emption law was enacted nobody changed a thing. We have to find a way to effictively deal with all of these pre-empted local regulations. I'm just trying think of what the best plan of action would be. Could we possibly find a lawyer and legally fight the local ordinance?I'm sorrybut everyone I called regarding this issue got me no where. I called my county representative and everyone but no luck. Thinking time.



    Ben

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    Well I would only add that I can only OC in one municipality at a time, but I can raise awareness in many municipalities simultaneously without leaving my house. Nik is right, the law IS on our side. If you get a response that is less than, um warm, from any official that you may contact, be it an LEO, DA, city attorney, council member, I would not let that stop me from exercising my rights. Because the law is on your side, if they do not learn the easy way, they can learn the hard way. I agree, the very act of open carry is the most powerful way to strengthen the acceptance of this right, but I do not think it is fruitless to wage the battle in multiple ways and on many fronts.

    Sidenote: I spent the last few days in Minnesota.... my gun was loaded and in my holster the moment I crossed the state line. I didn't even wait until I was off the bridge. I took two pairs of shoes, but, for the sake of fashion, three guns.

    I can't wait for the day when I see that "Wisconsin welcomes you" sign and don't have to put my gun in a case. Yeah, it welcomes you, just not your gun....
    A. Gold

    Failure to comply may result in discipline up to and including termination.
    The free man is a warrior. - Nietzsche "Twilight of the Idols"

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    BJA wrote:
    Wow another town with pre-empted laws. This is rediculous, I mean milwaukee county, madison, prarie duchein, minouqua and others have pre-empted laws. I'm guessing that once the Wisconsin firearm pre-emption law was enacted nobody changed a thing. We have to find a way to effictively deal with all of these pre-empted local regulations. I'm just trying think of what the best plan of action would be. Could we possibly find a lawyer and legally fight the local ordinance?I'm sorrybut everyone I called regarding this issue got me no where. I called my county representative and everyone but no luck. Thinking time.



    Ben
    Somewhere on the Wisconsin forum a few months back I posted the details of the 40 largest cities in Wisconsin. About half still have preempted ordinances on the books, so it's no surprise to continue to find more among the smaller communities.

    The one municipality that really irks me is the little city (maybe a village) of Alma, which had the audacity, or perhaps ignorance, to pass a preempted ordinance AFTER the preemption statute took effect. It's not like they merely neglected to remove a preempted ordinance like many cities, they actually passed a new ordinance!

    This was years ago, and I asked for an explanation at that time and got only crap back from their city attorney.
    A. Gold

    Failure to comply may result in discipline up to and including termination.
    The free man is a warrior. - Nietzsche "Twilight of the Idols"

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    I believe that beaver dam passed this ordinance just last year.

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    The Minocqua PD, and the town supervisor are both well aware that the town ordinance banning O-C into any building in the town is null and void. In fact, Our town supervisor (forum member named "Jhandrick) used to be a state representative, and he co-authored the preemption bill to make Minoquas ordinance null and void.

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    xdfan83 wrote:
    I believe that beaver dam passed this ordinance just last year.
    Well, just how much are they paying their city attorney? And for what?
    A. Gold

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

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    I decided to just go open carry in Beaver Dam without sending a letter. No matter what the reply would have been I would open carry either way so I decided no point to write a letter. I might try to find out who is on the police and fire comission and either send them a letter or attend some sort of city council meeting so they get rid of this so it doesn't scare anyone else away.

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    xdfan83 wrote:
    I decided to just go open carry in Beaver Dam without sending a letter. No matter what the reply would have been I would open carry either way so I decided no point to go carry. I might try to find out who is on the police and fire comission and either send them a letter or attend some sort of city council meeting so they get rid of this so it doesn't scare anyone else away.
    When I wrote to the Madison city council members back in April I pointed out that I believed there is an actual harm in maintaining a unenforceable ordinance on the books. Namely, it has the effect of discouraging citizens from exercising a constitutional right. I then stated that I did not believe it was appropriate for a governmental unit to do anything that discourages the exercise of a constitutionally protected right. I think that is a pretty powerful argument. How many elected public officials are going to respond that they believe it IS appropriate to discourage the exercise of a constitutional right? Well, not many, but some will. And when they do, then we should make sure that everyone, particularly the electorate, are made aware that the discouragement of a constitutional right is exactly what they did. Do you hear that Flynn, Barrett, Young, Doyle, et al?
    A. Gold

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

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    I have attend the PDC's Rondezvous for the last 30 years and have open carried virtually everyday there. Granted it has been black powder pistols and rifles as well as tomahawks knives and spears, plus an few war clubs here and there right next to PDC police officers and have never had a problem. The only problem came from a LEO that got so nervous at the shooting range he had to leave, He was visibly shaking after about 100 rounds had been sent down range. At the tomahawk throw this same officer while not paying attention was standing to close to the target and almost got hit by a tomahawk the glanced off the target. I will be at the rondezvous this year.

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    Yeah Grizz, I wouldn't have many worries carrying a black powder gun around the Rendezvous, but my Glock might not fit in very well with the period costumes.

    Your story about the cop who was shaken by the shooting competition is funny! Having spent the first 19 years of my life in PdC, it doesn't surprise me. I have a funny story about a former PdC officer that dates back to my younger years that I won't post on here, but I'll have to tell in a PM or maybe I'll run into you at the event this year.

    I'm not 100% positive that I'll be attending, but I do have an interest in going there to do some photography, so there's a pretty good chance of my attendance. I probably won't make a final decision until a day or two before it begins.

    I'd like to observe the shooting events because I have some cap and ball revolvers that I enjoy shooting, and I might want to try my hand at the competition one of these days.

    With luck, I hope to meet you there!
    A. Gold

    Failure to comply may result in discipline up to and including termination.
    The free man is a warrior. - Nietzsche "Twilight of the Idols"

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    Has anyone OCed in Cabela's and gotten a negative response?

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