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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.
. . .
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mark edward marchiafava wrote:Correction, which should be the goal, can occur without punishment. It did so in this case. That is good.Despite the town's violation of state law, NObody was punished over it.
Someone needs to remind the mayor ignorance of the law is no excuse.
If correction occurs and one still wants punishment, that is called revenge.
My personal preference? Correction without revenge and punishment only when necessary to cause correction.
mark edward marchiafava wrote:Terrified of being caught, hence the attempt at anonymity.--Edited--
Wow you really like bashing people for things that you said they were thinking.
Stick to a posters actual comments.
illegal ≠ immoral legal ≠ moral
[SIZE=1]"I never submitted the whole system of my opinions to the creed of any party of men whatever in religion, in philosophy, in politics, or in anything else where I was capable of thinking for myself. Such an[ addictionis the last degradation of a free and moral agent." - Thomas Jefferson
G19 Gen 4; Bersa Thunder 380; Sig Sauer P238; Kel-Tec su-16c
simmonsjoe wrote:Consider the source(s), and give him (them) all the lack of credit they are due.Wow you really like bashing people for things that you said they were thinking.
Stick to a posters actual comments.
mark edward marchiafava wrote:Find a criminal who deliberately commits a crime without being aware that he's committing a crime, and then we'll talk. Until then, your comments are out of line. Your contributions toward the rule of law do not entitle you to ridicule everybody who disagrees with you.--Edited--
mark edward marchiafava wrote:You have no idea with whom anyone here has stood toe-to-toe. You have no idea what anyone here has accomplished as a result.--Edited--
I suggest you back down your judgmentalism just a tad.
Politician's can pass as many bad laws as they can/want as long as there are no penalties. The burden then lies upon the citizenry to try to understand and overturn these laws, and until such a time, more freedom is lost.
Analogy: A person who steals, but simply returns the stolen property has no incentive to change their behavior -- unless other "negative" reinforcement is also applied. They will simply try to find better ways to steal playing the odds they will not get caught and their agenda (self profit) continues.
In the case highlighted by the thread, again, suing would only enrich the plaintiff. Any correction that one could hope for has already happened.
In both cases, I recommend maintaining the option to sue, but not suing as long as the city/county continue to remain corrected.
If I were to sue now, it would be pure selfishness on my part.
What stops the policitians from, again (e.g. GFSZ), passing such a law and someone being forced to sue in order to overturn such law? Nothing.
Policies by a police organization are not similar to the laws passed by a legislative body. The police organization is attempting to work within the confines of the changing law. The laws pertaining to freedoms and rights should change little. I do not have an issue with organizations attempting to work within the law, the issue is the politicians who are blatantly violating the letter and spirit of existing laws.
No, don't make money out of it, but these guys need to pay their pound of flesh for failing to understand the fundamentals of their job, a job they swore to perform to the best of their abilities (which may not be much I suppose).
If there are no penalties to bad acts, apart from a reset or a return to the prior status, then there's nothing to stop those bad acts from recurring in the future. Violating any individual(s) rights should come with a penalty.
Maybe you can justify how/why you feel there shouldn't be any other consequences, as that could be interesting to hear.
We do not want to see ANY attempt in the future to restrict individual rights. Any attempts by a city, council or mayor which restricts rights MUST fully be researched instead of assuming it's accurate. In order to ensure this occurs, punishment must be included.Correction is not the analog of returning the stolen property. It is comparable to not ever stealing again. For example, Montgomery now has a policy and training in place to properly deal with OCers. As a result, I see no need to sue. If I were to sue, the situation would not be made any better; I would just get richer. However, I am convinced that it was the possibility that I could sue that prompted the correction.
What just happened? The city just returned, by striking the law from the books, to what it was before. There was no civil nor criminal penalty making these folks think twice before creating another law without doing their due diligence.
Again, no incentive for prevention of this in the future. That's the point made by me and the other poster, whereas you seem to think, unfortunately, "corrective action"
Maybe what needs to happen is that the state should pass a law that puts a punishment on passing laws that violate state law. I don't want to get in the middle of this, but I would agree that there should be repercussions for legislators attempting to violate constitutional rights. Just my opinion.
How would you punish the city govt for unlawfully having on ordinance?
Would it be financial compensation? If so, that punishes the taxpayers.
Would it be arresting the entire city got?
Would it be arresting just the mayor?
I don't know how one would punish the city govt and not punish the taxpayers inadvertently.
I think they did a fine job personally. Once they were notified that they were in violation of State law, they amended their own ordinance fairly quickly instead of having to be taken to court and spending millions of dollars in court costs.
Your only choices, recall the Mayor.