Thread: Changes to open carry laws considered Communities look at gun ordinances after statement from AG
So, who even mentioned 'brandishing', that does not occur in Wisconsin State Statutes? Some ex-spurt in Green Bay is talking out of turn, out of school, and out his I-ANAL!
Many communities in the Green Bay area are taking a close look at their firearms ordinances.
The review comes a few months after Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen issued a statement saying state statutes did not indicate that openly carrying a firearm is illegal and that the state constitution gives people the right to keep and bear arms.
The rule means guns can be carried in public within municipal limits, as long as they meet a number of guidelines. They must be holstered and in plain view and they cannot be taken into a school zone, public building or a place where alcohol is bought or consumed.
De Pere recently reversed its law that prohibited people from openly carrying firearms to meet state statutes.
Green Bay didn't have a law prohibiting people from openly carrying holstered firearms. But a City Council committee recently gave preliminary approval to a plan to ban guns from being openly carried in city parks.
The draft ordinance is similar to a state law banning guns in state parks, according to assistant city attorney Tony Wachewicz.
Under state law, brandishing a firearm or carrying it concealed still is illegal. So is firing a weapon, although communities have some exceptions.
Green Bay and De Pere, for instance, allow shooting if you've received state and municipal permission to kill a nuisance animal. Green Bay allows shooting in a licensed shooting gallery, and De Pere allows duck hunting in the Fox River in some parts of the city.
Leaders in other communities, such as Allouez and Ashwaubenon, are considering changes to their firearms ordinances.
Ashwaubenon is drafting an ordinance, and Allouez likely will review its law that forbids firearms from being carried unless they're in a case.
Bellevue administrator Aaron Oppenheimer said the village's attorney is reviewing its law for a potential change. It currently bans uncased firearms from being carried in certain areas of the village.
Officials in Howard, which bans carrying, using or discharging a firearm or dangerous weapon in the village, have talked internally about changes, but haven't officially considered the ordinance, said assistant administrator Adam Helms.
The village of Suamico and Brown County already conform to the state law.
Although open carry is legal, local police said it isn't common and acknowledge that they might question a person carrying a gun.
"We don't run into it too often," Brown County Sheriff's Chief Deputy John Gossage said. "But if someone is walking down the street with a gun, we may ask them about it. It is out of the norm to see someone doing that.
"When people see that, it is a concern for them. We'd have to investigate on a case-by-case basis. They do have a right to carry a gun."
Police rarely see it, said Capt. Todd Thomas of the Green Bay Police Department.
An officer wouldn't necessarily stop and question a person legally carrying a gun, but might if the circumstances were suspicious, Thomas said.
"So much of it is incident-specific — time of day, where you're at, things like that," he said.
Ashwaubenon Public Safety Chief Eric Dunning expects citizens will call police if they see someone with a gun.
"If we receive a complaint, we have to investigate. We can ask who they are and, if they're not doing anything illegal, let them go about their business."