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Thread: Madison Police Department Capt. Victor Wahl issues hunting license for all gun owners

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    Madison Police Department Capt. Victor Wahl issues hunting license for all gun owners by stating all gun carriers may be detained by police without even reasonable suspicion of crime.

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    http://www.madison.com/tct/news/stories/461607

    Court case expected for man cited in carrying handgun downtown
    Mike Miller — 8/11/2009 12:07 pm

    Madison's ordinance on disorderly conduct and the rights of citizens to carry firearms could be headed for a clash in court after a man was cited Saturday forallegedly openly carrying ahandgun in a holster on his hip near State Street.

    Police were sent to the area late Saturday afternoon after a caller reported a man was walking on South Carroll Street toward the busy area with a gun in a holster on his hip. Police found Travis F. Yates, 28, with the gun and issued him a disorderly conduct citation, which will mean a court appearance for Yates in Madison Municipal Court in about a month.

    Yates told officers that "he believes law-abiding citizens should be able to openly carry firearms," and said he was making a political statement by doing so, according to a police report, whichstated that the handgun was loaded.

    The police, on the other hand, told Yates his actions disturbed others and that is why he was being given a citation for disorderly conduct.

    Yates was taken home by an officer so he could "put the gun away," Madison police spokesman Joel DeSpain said.

    If Yates, who couldn't be reached for comment,was staging the event to get a test case of the ordinance and the views of state Attorney General J. B. Van Hollen, who earlier this year issued a memo on the subject, he has apparently succeeded. Madison City Attorney Michael May said Tuesday that it is highly unusual for his office to change the citation before an initial appearance, which for Yates will come in about a month.

    May declined to comment on the case beyond that, because it is one his office is likely to prosecute as it moves forward.

    It could become a challenge to the validity of the ordinance and other such ordinances in various communities, which could also have a ripple effect on the state law against disorderly conduct. All of those contain language which makes it a violation to engage in conduct which tends to create a disturbance. On the other hand, Van Hollen seemed to say that is not illegal to carry a visible weapon in the state, at least in some cases.

    State law clearly makes it illegal to carry a concealed weapon, and it prohibits convicted felons from possessing firearms. Recent attempts in the legislature to make it legal to carry concealed weapons have failed.

    Except for the regulation of hunting weapons, the law says nothing about openly carrying guns, and gun advocates have argued for years that it is legal and a constitutionally protected right.

    Van Hollen appeared to say the same thing in his memo: "mere open carry of a firearm, absent additional facts and circumstances, should not result in a disorderly conduct charge," he wrote.

    But Van Hollen seemed to waffle in that assessment when he discussed specific situations in his memo.

    "A hunter openly carrying a rifle or shotgun on his property during hunting season while quietly tracking game should not face a disorderly conduct charge," the attorney general wrote. "But if the same hunter carries the same rifle or shotgun through a crowded street while barking at passerby, the conduct may lose . . . its protection."

    In a case similar to the Saturday situation in the State Street area, Van Hollen wrote that "a person openly carrying a holstered handgun on his own property while doing lawn work should not face a disorderly conduct charge." But, Van Hollen said, if that same person "brandishes a handgun in public, the conduct may," become a violation.

    While nothing indicates Yates "brandished" his gun, his conduct did tend to create a disturbance, police said.

    Madison Police Department Capt. Victor Wahl, in writing the Spring edition of the department's "Legal Update," said bluntly that the memo made no difference in how Madison would enforce its law.

    "First, it is important to realize that the memorandum is advisory only," wrote Wahl, who has a law degree, and "does not in any way restrict the legal authority of officers to take action or of individual prosecutors to pursue charges."

    Wahl said the memo only addresses the disorderly conduct law and ordinances, and not the numerous other firearms laws on the books, that it confirms that in most cases officers can stop a person carrying a gun to investigate possible criminal charges. The central theme of the memo, Wahl says, "is simply that a disorderly conduct charge is not automatically appropriate anytime someone is openly carrying a firearm."

    Wahl said Madison Police Department officers should not change how they respond to calls of people with guns, as they did before Van Hollen's memo.

    Wahl said the person with a gun should be detained, with officers ensuring both the public's safety as well as their own, and police should then investigate the situation to see if any laws were violated.

    "To support a disorderly conduct charge it will continue to be necessary to show that the carrying of the firearm -- under those particular circumstances -- was the type of behavior that caused, or tends to cause, a disturbance," Wahl said.

    Such things as the location of the incident, the conduct of the suspect and the reactions of those nearby would all figure into the determination of whether a violation had occurred.

    If Yates loses his case in Madison Municipal Court, he could appeal that decision to circuit court, beginning a challenge to the disorderly conduct laws as they apply to those carrying guns visibly.




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    The 1911 pistol remains the service pistol of choice in the eyes of those who understand the problem. Back when we audited the FBI academy in 1947, I was told that I ought not to use my pistol in their training program because it was not fair. Maybe the first thing one should demand of his sidearm is that it be unfair. Col. Jeff Cooper, GUNS & AMMO, January 2002

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    You would think that with state and local budgets as tight as they are...they would do anything to avoid having to pay out in a lawsuit that is as blatantly violating the RKBA as this is.

    Yet another case of "Rights?.... You don't got no stinking rights!"mentality.

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    Time to bring up removing him at city council meetings. If they don't, keep pushing it until they do.

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    Wahl has a law degree and is only a Captain? Sounds like a politician in the making. We have too many of those kind in office all ready. How is the rights of a woman being alarmed to an OC'r more important the the rights of the person OC'ing?

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    So, no one on this board? It had to be one of us on here, or is it a "loner".

    I can't wait to see how this plays out.
    Ecclesiastes 10:2 - "A wise man's heart inclines him to the right, but the fool's heart to the left."

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    TexasShooter wrote:
    How is the rights of a woman being alarmed to an OC'r more important the the rights of the person OC'ing?
    Rights of the woman? None of her rights were violated or anything was done to her by the arrested person.
    She simply saw a man exercising his guaranteed 2a rights, and she called the police so they could violate his rights.

    I understood the AG's memo very clearly, as I mentioned in another post, many police departments took that exactmemo as a challenge to find ways to arrest O-C'ers.

    The lieutenant and the city attorneyallegedly have college educations, but no obviously no intelligence. I hope the arrested individual gets a multi-million $$$ settlement from this incident and all the police and city personnel involved get fired and are out on the street very quickly.

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    pvtschultz wrote:
    So, no one on this board? It had to be one of us on here, or is it a "loner".

    I can't wait to see how this plays out.
    It could very well be an OCDO contributor, but they may not want to be part of a discussion of the incident. If this was me, I wouldn't be talking to anyone but my lawyers about it until it was done.

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    Nutczak wrote:
    TexasShooter wrote:
    How is the rights of a woman being alarmed to an OC'r more important the the rights of the person OC'ing?
    Rights of the woman? None of her rights were violated or anything was done to her by the arrested person.
    I think you miss understood what I meant. I agree with you whole hearted. He did nothing wrong to her or anyone else yet he has to take a ride in the police car. I hope he wins a nice chunk of change from them.

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    Here is a thought to push things along. Find a member, maybe a college student with no bills/job, who is willing to OC where DC tickets are likely to be written and have support lined up for this individual.

    Then he doesn't sign the ticket which will makethem physically arrest him. Once in lock up don't sign a ticket and don't waive time for trial. The issue will get resolved much more quickly and the individual whowas lockedup (what two weeks + / -) will have some real damages. Throw in a hunger strike and I see a real winner .



    art work by oleg volk:

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    I think the woman should be listed as a co-defendant in his civil suit. Maybe that will get some ones attention.

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    J.Gleason wrote:
    I think the woman should be listed as a co-defendant in his civil suit. Maybe that will get some ones attention.
    Might have to be separate, it's slander.

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    Wahl said the person with a gun should be detained, with officers ensuring both the public's safety as well as their own, and police should then investigate the situation to see if any laws were violated.
    I thought police investigated crimes, not to "investigate the situation to see if any laws were violated."



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    N6ATF wrote:
    J.Gleason wrote:
    I think the woman should be listed as a co-defendant in his civil suit. Maybe that will get some ones attention.
    Might have to be separate, it's slander.
    How so?



    TITLE 42 > CHAPTER 21 > SUBCHAPTER I > §1983 Prev | Next §1983.
    Civil action for deprivation of rights
    Every person who, under color of any statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage, of any State or Territory or the District of Columbia, subjects, or causes to be subjected, any citizen of the United States or other person within the jurisdiction thereof to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws, shall be liable to the party injured in an action at law, suit in equity, or other proper proceeding for redress, except that in any action brought against a judicial officer for an act or omission taken in such officer’s judicial capacity, injunctive relief shall not be granted unless a declaratory decree was violated or declaratory relief was unavailable. For the purposes of this section, any Act of Congress applicable exclusively to the District of Columbia shall be considered to be a statute of the District of Columbia.
    The code says every person and that includes the woman who called the police and caused Yates to be subjected to a deprivation of his 2nd Amendment Rights. Her call caused the officer, who should also be listed as a defendant to subject Yates to deprivation under color of a city ordinance which qualifies for a suit in equity.

    Doesn't get any easier than that!

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    Unless she did a private persons arrest, she did not deprive him of any rights; the agents of the city did.





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    Wrong. She called the police and in fact "caused him to be subjected" to deprivation because he was arrested under the color of a city ordinance. This is exactly as it is written in the Code.

    This isn't that complicated.

    In this day and age all anyone understands is money. Make them pay and you will get their undivided attention.

    From what I gathered from the news the woman that called isn't even from Wisconsin she is here visiting. Maybe she should know the law before calling the police on some one who is not violating the law. As they say ignorance of the law is no excuse.

    Making her come back for a trial may just help her to understand that.



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    Why hasn't she been identified? & where is the 911 transcript? Her actions have subjected Travis to public scrutiny, she should be subjected to the same.
    When in danger you can dial 911 and hope for the police to arrive a few minutes later armed with guns.
    Why do police carry guns?

    The Joyce Foundation funded firearm control empire:
    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...lFundingR1.png

    "Everything that we see is a shadow cast by that which we do not see." - Martin Luther King Jr.

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    J.Gleason wrote:
    Wrong. She called the police and in fact "caused him to be subjected" to deprivation because he was arrested under the color of a city ordinance. This is exactly as it is written in the Code.

    This isn't that complicated.

    In this day and age all anyone understands is money. Make them pay and you will get their undivided attention.

    From what I gathered from the news the woman that called isn't even from Wisconsin she is here visiting. Maybe she should know the law before calling the police on some one who is not violating the law. As they say ignorance of the law is no excuse.

    Making her come back for a trial may just help her to understand that.

    Incorrect. She was not the arresting / citing officer. She was merely the means by which they learned of the gentleman with a gun.

    That said, she's not innocent of wrong-doing IMO. She's just not agent that caused the deprivation. She's at best (or worst depending on your POV), an accessory to the action.

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    McX wrote:
    Has, or can anyone contacted the guy envolved to find out if he's chosen a lawyer yet, and where donations can be sent for his defense? It sounds like it would be in all our best interests to see him adequately defended, and a victorious outcome for him. I am willing to help.
    Yes, in the 'Paging Travis Yates' thread in the Wisconsin sub-forum

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    Are we being too hard on the officer involved? The issue is the lack of clear direction from the command structure. The Madison street cops are pretty good, I have had nothing but courteous contact with them.

    They have a tough PR job in acitylikeMadison where a societal change is taking place - with the influx of violent gangs intoa white collar government - college - insurancetown.

    Madison's major David Cheesywedgees is a former community organizer who is rabidly against the right of self defense and is unwilling to acknowledge the change that has taken place in the city.
    When in danger you can dial 911 and hope for the police to arrive a few minutes later armed with guns.
    Why do police carry guns?

    The Joyce Foundation funded firearm control empire:
    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...lFundingR1.png

    "Everything that we see is a shadow cast by that which we do not see." - Martin Luther King Jr.

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    Flipper wrote:
    Are we being too hard on the officer involved? The issue is the lack of clear direction from the command structure. The Madison street cops are pretty good, I have had nothing but courteous contact with them.

    They have a tough PR job in acitylikeMadison where a societal change is taking place - with the influx of violent gangs intoa white collar government - college - insurancetown.

    Madison's major David Cheesywedgees is a former community organizer who is rabidly against the right of self defense and is unwilling to acknowledge the change that has taken place in the city.
    No we are not being too hard on any of them. Each cop took an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution. "Just following orders" is not an excuse. Ignorance of the Constitution is not an excuse for LEO's!

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    Flipper wrote:
    Madison's major David Cheesywedgees is a former community organizer who is rabidly against the right of self defense and is unwilling to acknowledge the change that has taken place in the city.
    Kick him out of office then. Anyone who is against the right of self defense is unfit for public office, period.

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