UPDATE March 22, 2010: Fox 39 News Video Report athttp://www.mystateline.com/fulltext/?nxd_id=146834

WIFR CBS News 23 report: http://www.wifr.com/news/headlines/88787587.html



Let's roll!


Open carry advocates to gather

Published: Saturday, March 20, 2010 2:57 AM CDT
By Hillary Gavan
To raise awareness of the rights of gun owners and current laws, an open carry litter cleanup and friendly gathering will be held 12:30 - 4 p.m. Sunday at Armstrong-Eddy Park.

The park is located at the intersection of South Riverside Drive and Valley Road.

If weather cooperates, the group will clean up litter, and possibly leaves and sticks along Riverside Drive.

“If you can bring a rake, you should do so, just-in-case,” said ICarry.org Executive Director Shaun Kranish.

There will be dinner at an open carry friendly establishment in Beloit. The location of the dinner has yet to be announced.

In addition to cleaning up the park, Kranish said the event will give gun owners the opportunity to get to know one another. Anyone who would like more information about the issue is invited to stop at the park and talk.

“Open carry is legal in Wisconsin and more are doing it,” he added.

The group will make sure to stay out of school zones which will be marked off. Kranish noted that local police have been very helpful working with the group to ensure a safe event. The Town of Beloit has given the OK for the event and is providing reflective vests and bags.

“As long as they aren’t breaking any laws, we don’t have a problem with it,” said Town of Beloit Sgt. Richard Felger.

Kranish said the open carry of guns is highly encouraged at the event, but not required.

“ If you’ve never open carried, this is a perfect chance to give it a try. It’s a lot of fun,” he said.

In Illinois, only container carry is allowed. The gun has to be unloaded and in a concealed container such as a purse, bag or fanny pack.

Kranish said that Illinois and Wisconsin are the only states which don’t have a concealed carry law to allow citizens to carry a hidden or concealed weapon.

Under concealed carry, weapons could be hidden in more accessible spots such as a pocket, or under a jacket.

“We are in favor of giving the person who wants to carry a gun for self defense the choice to do it openly or concealed. Right now they don’t have that choice,” he said. “Criminals are going to carry anyway and not open carry.”

Openly carrying a gun on the street is legal in Wisconsin, according to an advisory issued by state Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen in 2009. However, there are many restrictions.

People must be at least 18 years old to do it. When in the car, the gun must be unloaded, in a case and out of reach. It cannot be carried within 1,000 feet of school property, in an establishment which serves alcohol or a public building. Businesses also have the right to refuse the open carry of guns.

Convicted felons, those with domestic violence charges and those who are intoxicated are also prohibited from open carry.

Felger added that the holstered gun can’t even slip under a shirt flap in Wisconsin. If someone is found with a concealed dangerous weapon in Wisconsin, it’s a Class A misdemeanor.

ICarry.org is working to raise more awareness of gun laws and has launched a gun giveaway. Each month, ICarry.org is giving away a different pistol to one resident of Wisconsin or Illinois to promote concealed carry in the last two holdout states.