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Thread: What is the exact definition of a building

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    State Statute says


    941.235 Carrying firearm in public building. (1) Any
    person who goes armed with a firearm in any building owned or
    leased by the state or any political subdivision of the state is guilty
    of a Class A misdemeanor.




    Merriam Webster Online has this

    Main Entry: build·ing
    Pronunciation: \ˈbil-diŋ\
    Function: noun
    Date: 14th century
    1 : a usually roofed and walled structure built for permanent use (as for a dwelling)
    2 : the art or business of assembling materials into a structure


    Are the roofed open structures at parks legal to carry in?

    Barring any ordinance from the local township banning guns in the park of course.

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    I would think those open shelters would be fine but stay away from the public bathrooms.

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    Founder's Club Member bnhcomputing's Avatar
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    There are 632 mentions of "building" in the online Wisconsin Statutes, but it doesn't look like the actually define building.

    The issue is, reading the definition stated, what is a wall?

    Using "Merriam Webster Online," one definition is:
    one of the sides of a room or building connecting floor and ceiling or foundation and roof.
    So wall is used to define building, and building is used to define wall, almost as convoluted as Wisconsin law.

    I am not a lawyer, but I would say it is generally held that those "buildings" are buildings, as a private citizenwould need to get a building permit to construct one and thus they are government buildings that should not be entered while armed unless, of course, you have permission.



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    J.Gleason wrote:
    I would think those open shelters would be fine but stay away from the public bathrooms.
    Until a legal opinion is submitted by the DOJ on this or you get a definitive answer from a district attorney, stay away from open government owned shelters. For sure the bathroom is a no-no. But the building may or may not be; it has not been tested yet in court or other places to my knowledge. If it is not clear, then chances are an aggressive DA can prove one way or another in the benefit the state.



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    bnh:

    I didn't get to your picnic but I am wondering, didn't you use a park? and if so did you have a shelter in your area? Because if you reserved an area in the park and you notified the city or county what your event was about and they approved your reservation wouldn't that clear the way for you to use the shelter?

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    Yes, the event took place at a town park. I did not inform the government of my intentions and did not seek government permission, so no we didn't use the building, it was closed and locked. Rather, I sought and got permission to put up a tent in the park. The tent, paid for by me, is private and not a building.

    It ismy understanding that, the government building statute is intended for individual enforcement. Meaning, when I teach Hunter Ed, I have permission, not the students. If my interpretation is correct, then each individual who attended would have to get specific permission (individual permission).

    I arrive at this conclusion because Article 1, Section 25 is an individual right, not collective, and the firearms statutesappear to apply toindividuals as well.

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    Well then bring your own shelter wouldn't be a bad idea.
    In my town If I reserved the area in the park I can use the shelter. That is not to say that every town is that way.

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    I brought this up because I have been to a few graduation parties in open shelters. Just got me thinking.

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    Founder's Club Member bnhcomputing's Avatar
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    J.Gleason wrote:
    Well then bring your own shelter wouldn't be a bad idea.
    In my town If I reserved the area in the park I can use the shelter. That is not to say that every town is that way.

    That is correct, worked the same here, I actually had to reserve the building, and then not use it, go figure.


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    bnhcomputing wrote:
    There are 632 mentions of "building" in the online Wisconsin Statutes, but it doesn't look like the actually define building.

    The issue is, reading the definition stated, what is a wall?

    Using "Merriam Webster Online," one definition is:
    one of the sides of a room or building connecting floor and ceiling or foundation and roof.
    So wall is used to define building, and building is used to define wall, almost as convoluted as Wisconsin law.

    I am not a lawyer, but I would say it is generally held that those "buildings" are buildings, as a private citizenwould need to get a building permit to construct one and thus they are government buildings that should not be entered while armed unless, of course, you have permission.


    A "building permit" is not a permit to put up a building, it is a permit to build something. You may need to get a buidling permit in order to pour a concrete patio, or to build a wooden deck in your backyard. These two things while they are permanent structures that have been "built", they are not in and of themselves buildings.

    Thus your arguement that if a private citizen would need to get a building permit to construct one kind of falls apart.

    Not saying the shelter is or isn't a building, just commenting on the logic.

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    I don't believe there's a statutory definition of "a building." However I spent 13 years in a job with the state where we had to routinely make determinations of whether a particular construction project was classified as "building construction" or some other type of construction, e.g., heavy construction, sewer and water construction, street or highway, etc. Generally, within the construction industry, if it has a ROOF, it is a building. A school is a building, a dam is not. A bridge is not a building, but a draw bridge operator's "house" is a building. A park is not a building, but park shelters are. Obviously the statute prohibiting guns in government buildings is flawed because it is too broad. There's certainly a distinct difference in prohibiting guns in city hall, versus prohibiting guns being worn into a public rest room at a park. But the law makes no such distinction and is unreasonable.
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    I tend to agree with Dicoligny but also won't dare make an assumption. We get taxed on a garage but we don't get taxed on carports even if they are the same size. Seems to me I read somewhere that a building must have at least 3 complete walls. I wonder if you would need to go down to the local level to get a definition of building?

    I guess this is another one of those "depending on the good graces of the police and DA" type of things. I H8 that.
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    Brass Magnet wrote:

    I guess this is another one of those "depending on the good graces of the police and DA" type of things.* I H8 that.
    I just got off the phone with the AG's office trying to get the definition for "concealed" and thats pretty much what he told me.

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    I would have to wonder if a judge would side with the DA on an issue where a law abiding citizen received a citation for having a fire arm under a shelter in the park.

    What if a thunder storm came in? Would you not be allowed to seek shelter for safety?

    I am hard pressed to believe anyone would cite you for using a shelter. now the bathrooms I think may be a different story. Although I do not believe this is what the statute was written for. I think the intentions were for buildings such as city hall, the court house, the post office, etc. not bathrooms in the park. What do they want you to do crap on the grass? We have to be very careful not to read to much into the statutes. In doing so we could become our own worst enemy.

    Any thoughts Mike?

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    Removal of the government building carry-prohibition for highway reststop restrooms was a significant accomplishment liberalizing carry laws in South Carolina.

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    I wonder what steps they took for that Doug.

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    If the building in question is not specifically designed for human occupancy, I doubt itcould be consideredan valid offense of current law under the "Government Building prohibition" clause by anyone judge that does not have an agenda.

    yes it is built on Govt property, it is a building of sorts. But there is no way business could legally be conducted there.

    before anyone starts asking for cites, there isn't anything to cite! But lets be reasonable here and use some common sense.A library, courthouse, or police station are a totally different item altogether.

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    I agree Nutczak, we should not over read the statutes.

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    I've got to try to dig up the case law reference, but I know there was another State that had to clarify the "leased" language, because the whole building was a strip mall (or other office building, I can't recall), and it was found unconstitutional to ban firearms possession in the entire building, making the law only applicable to the section of the building housing the gov't. offices...

    I want to say it was a south central state like OK or KS.

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    Talked to the AG's office today and got this all straightened out.

    Basically, they weren't sure or weren't gonna tell me if the open shelters are "buildings". They said I was to contact my local police chief and ask them. If I got a unsatisfactory answer, I am to write the DOJ and the will put someone on it.



    Whew, so glad that they've been so helpful. Only called them twice in my life and they were quick to get both issues resolved. Don't know what I'd do without them.

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    Like I said before, we need to be very careful not to read to much into these statutes. We will become our own worst enemy if we do. As I said in a previous post, What would they have you do, Crap on the grass? We need to be realistic here. I realize that the statute says any government building. I just don't see a cop waiting for you outside the pooper and I sure don't see one arresting you because you stood under a shelter. Now if someone was selling alcohol for consumption under said shelter that would be a different story.

    Careful guys, you are suppose to enjoy exercising your rights, not be miserable when doing so.

    I think for those of you who are new to OCing, the nervousness of starting out can cause you to elaborate on every letter of the words in the statutes. In some cases it might be rightly so. I suggest knowing the basic rules of OC here in Wisconsin and some common sense will take you a long way. Could something happen and you get arrested? Hell Yes! But then you could carry for the rest of your life with out incident too.

    If you walk around looking new at this, then people are going to think you are new at this. If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck and looks like a duck........

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    J.Gleason wrote:
    snip........

    I understand the point your making but I don't think you fully understand why this is important to me and probably a few others.


    Careful guys, you are suppose to enjoy exercising your rights, not be miserable when doing so.

    When I OC I am in a state of happiness well above that then when I'm not. I take great pleasure in educating people of our rights. I am in this state because I KNOW that I am 110% legal.

    I think for those of you who are new to OCing, the nervousness of starting out can cause you to elaborate on every letter of the words in the statutes. In some cases it might be rightly so. I suggest knowing the basic rules of OC here in Wisconsin and some common sense will take you a long way. Could something happen and you get arrested? Hell Yes! But then you could carry for the rest of your life with out incident too.

    I am not in a big rush to risk losing my wife, job and CCP over the possibility of me being rightfully prosecuted and sitting in jail. You may have the job security and financial funding to not worry so much about this issue but thats not the case here. You may just be more willing to be a test case than some of us. Either way, GREAT, your one on the very front line, I'm back on the second line. If it wasn't for the few that really tested the law in the last year most of us wouldn't be doing it at all. We all have our place and that for me doesn't include being a test case.

    If you walk around looking new at this, then people are going to think you are new at this. If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck and looks like a duck........

    I know I'm new to this but with the help of you and many others here I don't "look" new to this. I don't shake like a leaf when I'm at the checkout or when a store employee approaches me. (I did the first couple times) I go out of my way to be courteous and polite to those I encounter when OCing. I can't educate people on the subject if I'm not educated myself.

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    Don't get me wrong Wood chuck. We all have to pay attention to the law, however, we need to use common sense as well. Think of it this way, You walking on the public trail and suddenly you have to use the bathroom. You go in and do your formal duties and when you come out, a police officer is coming in. He notices you have a fire arm on your belt, so he arrests you for carrying a fire arm into the public bathroom. You go to court and the judge feels to embarrassed to even be hearing the case. This is common sense. You could have just as easily left a yard biscuit on the public trail, but instead you acted like a normal everyday law abiding citizen and used the public facilities for what they are intended for. I am sorry but I don't think prosecution would be an option for any DA. they have more important things to worry about. Besides I don't think any of them like being embarrassed by a judge and that is more than likely what would happen here.
    As far as the shelter goes, It does not meet the definition someone posted earlier for a building and again I don't think a DA will even consider taking this to court.
    Now if you walk into city hall, the library, the post office or any other building owned by the state, county or city and you are going to become a "test case" as you put it.

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    LOL


    I am in no way questioning city hall, post office or anything like that. I think you have alot more faith in gov't than I do. I believe Benjamin Franklin said it best when he said "There's nothing more uncommon than common sense"

    All it takes is 1 anti-gun cop, an anti-gun DA and an anti-gun Judge. In this liberal state that's not hard to come by. Especially in a town as liberal as LaCrosse.

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    Alright Gleason!!
    you owe me a monitor wipedown and a mouthful of Coca-Cola for the "yard Biscuit" comment!

    I think a public restroom even though owned or maintained by the local govt. can inany way be considered having the same standing as a courthouse (same amount of fecal matter present in many cases though) Library, or town-hall. I owuld be very willing to put myself in front of a judge for that one.

    Seriously, was it the vegas case where it was ruled that A persons right to self-defense outweighs the states position of concealed carry, and concealed is a misdemeanor!

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