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Thread: Open carry on a bicycle to and from a range?

  1. #1
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    Open carry on a bicycle to and from a range?

    So I asked a year ago and I expressed I felt really depressed that I couldn't go shooting as much as I wanted. Then I started to pass the time by making my own slugs. Turns out, I live just a few short blocks away from a shotgun range!

    So the question now becomes: How do I get there and back? Can I just sling my shotgun (cased? uncased?) to my back, hop on my bike and peddle down there? Or can I only drive or walk down there? It would take me maybe 15 minutes to get down there if I walked. Can I walk down?

    And, here's the biggest wrench in the works:
    The closest route down there goes by our high school. I could take the long way around, but that would take me almost twice as long on foot, but that would be fine if I could still get down there without having to drive (long story.) Should I call the police chief and ask how I should get down there?

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    167.31 Safe use and transportation of firearms and
    bows. (1) DEFINITIONS. In this section:
    [ ... ]
    (h) “Vehicle” has the meaning given in s. 340.01 (74),

    << 340.01 VEHICLES—DEFINITIONS(74) “Vehicle” means every device in, upon, or by which any
    person or property is or may be transported or drawn upon a highway, except railroad trains.
    >>

    167.31(2) PROHIBITIONS; MOTORBOATS AND VEHICLES; HIGHWAYS AND ROADWAYS.
    [ ... ]
    (b) Except as provided in sub. (4), no person may place, possess
    or transport a firearm, bow or crossbow in or on a vehicle,
    unless the firearm is unloaded and encased or ...

    There is case law suggesting that a legally transported firearm must be out of lunge reach.
    This is supported by 941.23 Carrying concealed weapon. Any person except
    a peace officer who goes armed with a concealed and dangerous
    weapon is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor. To “go armed” does not require going anywhere.
    The elements for a violation of s. 941.23 are: 1) a dangerous weapon is on the defendant’s person
    or within reach; 2) the defendant is aware of the weapon’s presence; and 3) the weapon is hidden.
    941.23 does not contain an exception for transport.

    Whether the chief law enforcement officer allows an action or not does not alter its effect in law, violation or not.
    Last edited by Doug Huffman; 06-28-2010 at 02:54 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Huffman View Post
    (4), no person may place, possess
    or transport a firearm, bow or crossbow in or on a vehicle,
    unless the firearm is unloaded and encased or ...
    Is this exclusionary to a firearm being within lunge reach? Can I then open carry while on a bicycle if it's unloaded and cased?

    Though some of the other parts of that law make me think that if it's strapped to my back, that would be "within lunge reach."

    Well, in any case, I guess I'll just outright ask for advice.
    How should I get to my local range?
    Can I walk?
    Can I take a bike?

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    Quote Originally Posted by andros80 View Post
    Can I then open carry ... cased?
    That's an oxymoron.
    Well, in any case, I guess I'll just outright ask for advice. How should I get to my local range?
    Can I walk? Can I take a bike?
    Walking you must comply with 941.23. Bicycling you must comply with 941.23 and 167.23. There is still the issue of the school zone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Huffman View Post
    That's an oxymoron.Walking you must comply with 941.23. Bicycling you must comply with 941.23 and 167.23. There is still the issue of the school zone.
    Ah, of course, silly me.

    The school zone I can get around (literally, there's another route that doesn't go near the school)

    The question is:
    If I bike and openly carry a shotgun slung over my back, that will satisfy 941.23, but will that satisfy the requirements of 167.23 if it is unloaded? Would it being within "lunge reach" be an issue?

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    i feel your pain........i live on a dead end road......with a elementary school at the business end of it......means i have to either drive, or walk in the opposite direction through the woods for a 1/4 mile and pop out further up the road. school zones are tricky, and a pain in the butt. my town has 8 schools in it so i always have to pre-plan my route before i actually go anywhere.

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    Well, not sure if I can just walk around town open carrying or take my bike with ammo in a lockbox or something in one of the back baskets.

    I'm far from a legal expert, so I guess the simple yes or no question here is:
    Can I bike to the local shotgun range as long as I go around the school zone?
    If not,
    Can I walk?

    Do I have to use a car?

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    You can legally transport a firearm on a bicycle-vehicle if the firearm is unloaded, encased in a purpose built case and out of reach.

    You can legally open carry a firearm while walking with limitations, e.g., school zones.

    You do not have to use a car. Indeed, a properly transported/carried firearm cannot be entirely legally moved between holster and transport encasement.

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    Quote Originally Posted by andros80 View Post
    Is this exclusionary to a firearm being within lunge reach? Can I then open carry while on a bicycle if it's unloaded and cased?

    Though some of the other parts of that law make me think that if it's strapped to my back, that would be "within lunge reach."
    There is neither binding case law nor actual examples of individuals being found guilty of concealed carry with a legally encased firearm when the case is not hidden from ordinary view.
    This means that you should not have great anxiety over either strapping the encased firearm over your back or attaching it safely to your bicycle for travel purposes.

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    Do you want to be the test case?

    Quote Originally Posted by andros80 View Post
    I'm far from a legal expert, so I guess the simple yes or no question here is:
    Do you want to be the test case?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Don Quixote View Post
    Do you want to be the test case?
    I already walk the talk. I travel with my lawfully encased handgun within my reach. I go on foot through GFSZ with my lawfully encased firearm in my hand. I have seen no evidence of the boogy man (overly zealous LEO you lay awake at night afraid of).

    IANAC....

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    best advice would be to ask a lawyer that is pro gun. different states have different laws. only ones you can be certain of right now are federal regulations. However here in maine. you can OC on a bicycle because it has no engine, if it did you would need a CCW. Lawfully encased is a touchy phrase. to be most safe i would use a case that meets TSA airline transport specifications and has a locking mechanisim just to be sure. School zones are a pain. some states you cant be within 500 others 100 some 1000..... but if your unsure and chose to do so anyway, retain a good pro-gun lawyer incase you happen to be mistaken, tis what i do :-)

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    The OP is in Wisconsin that has peculiar laws with a particularly odd interplay between vehicle transportation (bicycle is vehicle in most states), concealed carry prohibition and anomalous open carry. Wisconsin has its own definition of a proper case for a gun. Wisconsin's gun free school zone extends a thousand feet from the property excluding private property.

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    yep sounds like a non-fun situation

  15. #15
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    had one here locally that got 'pearl harbored' by some kids while riding his bike- while oc-ing, they knocked him to the ground, and he warned them 'gun'! the kids took off. i don't know if he was in a school zone or not, but nothing came of it. then something happened further up north, which i guess you guys are talking about.

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