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Thread: PACKIN' WITH PRIDE

  1. #1
    Campaign Veteran StogieC's Avatar
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    http://www.wiscnews.com/portagedaily...tml?mode=story

    One man's actions with a gun recently led to a change in city law.

    Justin Johnson was stopped in April by police while completing his shopping with his wife and four children at the Portage Walmart.

    What prompted police to stop him was that he was openly carrying a handgun, held in a holster on his thigh.

    A shopper spotted Johnson and called police. They responded to the store at 6:24 p.m. and encountered Johnson, 22, of rural Portage, who indeed had a handgun - a .44 magnum Taurus, fully loaded.

    "One of them just notified me that Portage had an ordinance banning carrying firearms," Johnson said.

    Police asked Johnson to leave the store and put his gun away. He did.
    Johnson "was compliant," according to the police report, and left the store at the request of employees.
    But later, his research told him that the ordinance was in conflict with state law and probably wasn't valid.

    "Wisconsin Act 72 said ... all gun laws have to be same or similar, but no more stringent" than the state statute, Johnson said.

    Johnson's encounter prompted city officials to change the ordinance forbidding people from openly carrying weapons.

    The Common Council voted unanimously last month to bring the city's law into line with the state's. The change in the ordinance went into effect May 27 after the Council suspended the rules governing changes to an ordinance, which typically require three readings of the ordinance over two separate meetings, to vote for it immediately.

    "We want to get in line with the state statutes as quickly as possible," said Fred Reckling, chairman of the city's Legislative and Regulatory Committee.

    Portage Mayor Ken Jahn said he did not know about Wisconsin's open carry law.
    "It was quite a surprise to me," Jahn said. "I've always assumed that you can't have an open gun on a street."

    The change in the ordinance pleased Johnson.
    "It feels like a nice victory for gun rights," Johnson said.

    Feeling safe
    Johnson is an open-carry advocate.
    "I pretty much just decided to carry whenever possible, as long as I'm not within the gun-free zones," Johnson said.

    While Wisconsin and Illinois are the last two states to forbid residents from carrying a concealed weapon, Wisconsin allows them to openly carry a holstered gun. Strict laws, however, govern those who do carry handguns; violations of those laws could result in criminal charges, fines, jail or prison.

    Johnson's encounter April 23 wasn't the first time he had carried the handgun in the open around Portage, including to Walmart, but it was the first time Portage police were called because of it.

    "I've open-carried at plenty of places, and I've never had any place that banned it," Johnson said.

    A construction electrician, Johnson recently moved from the Kingston area to rural Portage; married just more than a year, he is the father of four children, ages 8 months to 8 years.

    Johnson said he has never felt more safe than knowing he doesn't have to rely on others for protection.

    "I feel it's my responsibility to be equipped the best to defend me and my family. It's written clearly that I got the right to," Johnson said.

    Police aware
    Police officers are now aware of the ordinance and statutes; the encounter with Johnson prompted additional training for officers in how to respond to a report of someone carrying a gun in a holster.

    Officers always are wary of people carrying weapons on their hips or thighs, according to Police Chief Ken Manthey.

    "Usually if we get a call of a weapon, it's in relation to a crime," Manthey said.
    Police officers also have a right to question anyone carrying a gun in the open, to ensure that the person does not fall into the category of people not allowed to carry weapons, he said.

    Business owners may post signs asking for no firearms to be carried in by customers; a police officer responding to a call from a business about someone carrying a gun will point out the sign, Manthey said.

    "Our goal is to politely ask the person to leave," Manthey said.
    An arrest can only take place, however, when the person carrying the firearm commits a crime with it, such as pointing it at a person, brandishing it in the air or creating a disturbance by not leaving a business when asked.

    "(The arrest is) not based on the gun, it's based on conduct," said Assistant Police Chief Kevin O'Neill.

    How to carry

    The best way to carry a weapon in the open, according to Johnson, is on a thigh holster; a gun carried at the waist risks being covered up if your shirt accidently covers the gun.

    "That way I don't have to tuck in my shirt all the time," Johnson said.
    His .44 Magnum Taurus handgun is one of several weapons he has; a hunter, he also owns three rifles, a shotgun, and a .45-caliber Colt pistol.

    Although the state does not require a permit or weapons safety class for anyone to carry a handgun, Johnson said it is smart to take the class.
    "If you're going to be carrying, you're responsible for it," Johnson said.
    Johnson shoots his guns on public land or at the Portage Rod and Gun Club.
    His wife, Ashley, is also thinking of getting her own gun to carry. For his kids, he plans to teach them gun safety himself, so he knows they've been taught properly.

    Know the rules
    Johnson said he believes that the world would be a safer place if more people carried guns. A law preventing people from carrying guns simply disarms only those who are law-abiding, he said.

    "Criminals ... are not going to care if they break some gun law," Johnson said.
    His advice to anyone considering carrying a weapon openly is simple.
    "Make sure they know the rules and look into it," Johnson said. "I strongly encourage it."

    Carrying firearms in Wisconsin
    Wisconsin law allows people to carry firearms, but there are some restrictions.
    If a person publicly displays a firearm in a threatening way, the person may be subject to action by police officers.

    An officer may stop and briefly detain a person for investigative purposes if the officer reasonably suspects the person is violating the law.

    Not all firearms are legal to possess. Prohibited firearms include machine guns, short-barrelled or "sawed-off" shotguns and rifles, assault rifles, armor-piercing ammunition, and plastic weapons that cannot be sensed by metal detectors.

    What law forbids

    Wisconsin law 941.20, endangering safety by use of a dangerous weapon, forbids:

    • Endangering the safety of another by negligent operation of a dangerous weapon.

    • Going armed while under the influence of an intoxicant.

    • Going armed with a detectable amount of a controlled substance.

    • Pointing a firearm at another.

    • Pointing a firearm toward law enforcement officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians, first responders, ambulance drivers or wardens.
    Wisconsin law forbids going armed:

    • Into a building owned or leased by the state or a political subdivision, such as a city building or a county courthouse.

    • Within 1,000 feet of the grounds of a school: school zones are gun-free areas. Firearms are prohibited on public property within 1,000 feet of the grounds of an elementary, middle or high school.

    • Into taverns or bars: weapons generally cannot be carried into bars or other places licensed to serve alcohol.

    • Into any vehicle: Wisconsin law requires that firearms being transported in motor vehicles must be unloaded and encased.

    • If the firearm is concealed: any person except a peace officer who goes armed with a concealed and dangerous weapon, including a firearm, is in violation of Wisconsin's law prohibiting concealed weapons.

    Businesses may exclude individuals who wish to openly carry firearms. They may post a sign, for example, notifying visitors that firearms are not permitted, or they may orally inform individuals of that policy.
    Who can't carry?

    Those who may not possess firearms,
    according to a brief written by the Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau:

    • Felons. Wisconsin and federal law prohibits anyone convicted of a felony from possessing firearms. Wisconsin law requires that a felon must generally receive a pardon from the governor before being given a permit to own a gun.

    • Minors younger than age 18. Exceptions are long guns used for hunting or firearms used during adult-supervised activities such as target shooting. Children adjudicated delinquent based on a felony may not own any type of gun.

    • Mentally ill. People charged with a felony but found not guilty or not responsible or the crime due to mental illness may not possess firearms. This ban extends to a person who has been involuntarily committed for treatment of mental illness, drug dependency or developmental disability if the court deems the person to be a threat to self or others.

    • People under abuse or harassment injunctions. Wisconsin law bars possession of a firearm in cases where a person is under a court-ordered injunction or restraining order for domestic abuse, child abuse or harassment. Federal law also prohibits a person under a restraining order due to domestic violence from possessing a firearm.

  2. #2
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    StogieC wrote:
    An arrest can only take place, however, when the person carrying the firearm commits a crime with it, such as pointing it at a person, brandishing it in the air or creating a disturbance by not leaving a business when asked.
    "Brandishing", per se, is not prohibited in Wisconsin. The word or the concept does not appear in Wisconsin statute and political subdivisions may not be more stringent. I'm sure that discretion may be abused to charge disorderly conduct for brandishing.

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    Doug Huffman wrote:
    StogieC wrote:
    An arrest can only take place, however, when the person carrying the firearm commits a crime with it, such as pointing it at a person, brandishing it in the air or creating a disturbance by not leaving a business when asked.
    "Brandishing", per se, is not prohibited in Wisconsin. The word or the concept does not appear in Wisconsin statute and political subdivisions may not be more stringent. I'm sure that discretion may be abused to charge disorderly conduct for brandishing.
    Sure the concept does:
    941.20
    "(a) Endangers another’s safety by the negligent operation or
    handling of a dangerous weapon; or"

    "(c) Except as provided in sub. (1m), intentionally points a firearm
    at or toward another."

    That certainly embraces the concept of brandishing, which is defined as "to exhibit in an ostentatious or aggressive manner." The benefit of Wisconsin law is that it's more explicit than, say, Washington with regards to laws which could be interpreted by feelings.
    "If we were to ever consider citizenship as the least bit matter of merit instead of birthright, imagine who should be selected as deserved representation of our democracy: someone who would risk their daily livelihood to cast an individually statistically insignificant vote, or those who wrap themselves in the flag against slightest slights." - agenthex

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    Kudos to Mr. Johnson. His example should serve as an inspiration to all of us here for responsible and assertive carry which achieve positive results without the need for inflammatory confrontations which get us nowhere.



  5. #5
    Regular Member johnny amish's Avatar
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    Great article, it good to see an ocer getting some positive press time for a change.
    "To sin by silence, when we should protest makes cowards out of men."
    Ella Wheeler Cox


    We must contact our lawmakers today, tomorrow and the next day to remind them of Constitutional Carry.
    Laws are not written because of the actions of many, they are wrtiten because of the inactions of many.

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    johnny amish wrote:
    Great article, it good to see an ocer getting some positive press time for a change.
    The lamestream press has taken the good opportunity and ruined it by repeating and promulgating dis-information.

    There is a reason that the sanbiki no saru, the three wise monkeys are iconic, because they embody a great truth.

    In the western world the phrase is often used to refer to those who deal with impropriety by looking the other way, refusing to acknowledge it, or feigning ignorance.
    The conspiracy of ignorance masquerades as common sense.
    [img]file:///C:/DOCUME%7E1/DOUGHU%7E1/LOCALS%7E1/Temp/moz-screenshot-4.png[/img][img]file:///C:/DOCUME%7E1/DOUGHU%7E1/LOCALS%7E1/Temp/moz-screenshot-5.png[/img]

  7. #7
    Wisconsin Carry, Inc. Wisconsin Carry, Inc. - Chairman's Avatar
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    There were a whole lot more people than just Mr. Johnson who made that change happen.

    http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/view_to...09&forum_id=57
    www.wisconsincarry.org Wisconsin Carry, Inc. is not affiliated with opencarry.org or these web forums. Questions about discussion forum policy or forum moderation should be directed to the owners of opencarry.org not Wisconsin Carry, Inc.

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