Concealed and Open Carry
“False is the idea of utility that sacrifices a thousand real advantages for one imaginary or trifling inconvenience; that would take fire from men because it burns, and water because one may drown in it; that has no remedy for evils except destruction. The laws that forbid the carrying of arms are laws of such a nature. They disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes.”
—Cesare Beccaria, as quoted by Thomas Jefferson’s Commonplace book
It is disappointing to me that Wisconsin, along with our southern neighbor Illinois, are the only two states left in the country that have not yet passed some form of concealed carry legislation. Throughout the country law abiding citizens have proven time and time again that an armed populace is an amicable populace. Without exception, violent crime rates have been proven to go down when provisions for concealed carry are adopted. I believe that the citizens of Vilas County are entitled to the means of defending themselves, and as Sheriff, will be a vocal advocate of concealed carry until we successfully convince our representatives in Madison to pass this long overdue legislation.
I should note that while a provision for concealed carry is currently not available to Wisconsin residents, the right to carry openly has long been recognized as an acceptable means of exercising one’s second amendment rights here in Wisconsin. Attorney general J.B. Van Hollen recently issued a clarification on the practice of citing charges of disorderly conduct in scenarios involving the open carry of firearms:
“Under Article I, § 25 of the Wisconsin Constitution, a person has the right to openly carry a firearm for any of the purposes enumerated in that Section, subject to reasonable regulation as discussed herein. The Wisconsin Department of Justice (the Department) believes that the mere open carrying of a firearm by a person, absent additional facts and circumstances, should not result in a disorderly conduct charge from a prosecutor.”
I fully concur with this conclusion as put forth by the Attorney General’s office, and as Sheriff will ensure that citizens exercising their 2nd amendment rights via open carry are not unfairly harassed or restricted from doing so.
I would also like to openly clarify that I will not voice support for any concealed carry legislation that seeks to eliminate the current provisions allowing for the open carry of firearms. While the passing of concealed carry legislation is certainly a desire of many here in the state of Wisconsin, a government regulated privilege
such as concealed carry should never come at the expense of