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Thread: Town of Burlington open carry problem

  1. #1
    Regular Member paul@paul-fisher.com's Avatar
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    Town of Burlington open carry problem

    Anyone on this forum involved in this? This is the 1st I'm hearing about this.

    We need to get on this.

    Man's urge to bear arms collides with chief's sensibilities

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    That's about the response that I got, first as citizen and then as elected board member of my town. "I don't want just anyone parading around Town with a gun."

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    Anyone on this forum involved in this?
    Tom is a forum member, though he doesn't post too often.

    He brought the situation to our attention a couple weeks ago but asked that we give him a week or two before getting involved until he had a chance to see if he could make progress diplomatically with the town board.
    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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    I guess Burlington did not get Van Hollen's memo.

  5. #5
    McX
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    sounds like 70 of us or so need to stop at a coffee shop in burlington.

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    Quote Originally Posted by McX View Post
    sounds like 70 of us or so need to stop at a coffee shop in burlington.
    I'm always up for a good cup of coffee with friends.

  7. #7
    Regular Member paul@paul-fisher.com's Avatar
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    I posted a comment on the article as well. I haven't seen it show up though.

    I'm going to the Burlington Clinic today but that's the city, not the town.

    I'm all for showing up in the town.

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    So far I have not found an ordinance prohibiting legally carried firearms and must suspect an discretionary charge like 'disorderly conduct' or 'disturbing the peace'. I'm still rummaging through their peculiarly posted ordinances. Note that the news article doesn't specify the charge at issue.

    I'm done looking. They're all DOC's and I'm not going to search inside each one individually.

    I renew my comment that 66.0409 does not enforce non-enforcement of local ordinances more stringent than statutes.
    Last edited by Doug Huffman; 08-30-2010 at 12:21 PM.

  9. #9
    Regular Member paul@paul-fisher.com's Avatar
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    9.24.010 Discharging of firearms restricted.
    No person except a sheriff, constable, police officer or their deputies shall fire or discharge any firearm, rifle, spring or air gun within any residential zoned district in the town or have any firearm, rifle, spring or air gun in his possession or under his control unless it is unloaded and knocked down or enclosed within a carrying case or other suitable container. (Prior code 9.02)
    Emphasis added.

    Clearly non enforceable.

  10. #10
    McX
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    so, Mr. Chairman, are we all getting thirsty yet?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by paul@paul-fisher.com View Post
    Emphasis added. Clearly non enforceable.
    You found it. Good.
    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Huffman
    I renew my comment that 66.0409 does not enforce non-enforcement of local ordinances more stringent than statutes.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by StandardPress.com
    Town Chairman Ralph Rice said the board could commit to studying the issue, but it would likely cost money. Reda wanted the town to consult an attorney to find out the legal issues involved.
    And this is precisely the situation in my Town, Board and budget. We spend $35 per year from our 'legal' budget line of $7000. Our ordinances have never been vetted by an attorney that I can tell.

  13. #13
    Regular Member paul@paul-fisher.com's Avatar
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    I sent this email to the Supervisors who had email addresses listed:

    I saw in the newspaper an issue with one of your residents and the chief of police regarding his right to open carry in public.

    You need to consult with your corporation counsel to verify this, however, your resident is right. The state of Wisconsin does not allow any municipality to have a more restrictive firearm law than the state. In most cases, the only thing a municipality can regulate is the discharge of a firearm. The carrying of the firearm is the pervue of the state.

    State statute 66.0409 is the statute that relates to preemption.

    In addition, the attorney general of the state of WI has issued a memo that declares that solely openly carrying a weapon does not rise to the level of disorderly conduct. If a person is walking down the street with a properly holstered weapon and is doing nothing illegal, even if the police get a man with a gun call, the police cannot even stop and question the person with a gun unless the police believe that the person has or is about to commit a crime, and, by the way, open carrying the gun isn't a crime so that can't be used.

    Specifically, you need to change your ordinance 9.24.010 Discharging of firearms restricted. No person except a sheriff, constable, police officer or their deputies shall fire or discharge any firearm, rifle, spring or air gun within any residential zoned district in the town or have any firearm, rifle, spring or air gun in his possession or under his control unless it is unloaded and knocked down or enclosed within a carrying case or other suitable container. (Prior code 9.02)

    If you remove the words "firearm, rifle," from the part highlighted, I believe your ordinance will be brought into compliance.

    Please take this seriously. Other municipalities have been found civilly liable for enforcing unenforceable laws.

    If I can be of any assistance in this matter, please let me know. I worked with the City of Elkhorn and got their ordinance re-worded.

    http://www.wisconsincarry.org/pdf/Fi...nCarryMemo.pdf is the Attorney General memo.

    --
    Paul L Fisher
    Last edited by paul@paul-fisher.com; 08-30-2010 at 12:37 PM.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by paul@paul-fisher.com View Post
    I sent this email to the Supervisors who had email addresses listed:
    Good letter. It is without insubstantial claims.

  15. #15
    Regular Member paul@paul-fisher.com's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Huffman View Post
    Good letter. It is without insubstantial claims.
    A glowing endorsement!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by paul@paul-fisher.com View Post
    I sent this email to the Supervisors who had email addresses listed:
    I like it; and would go further. I'd recommend they remove everything you bold-faced. (Since the relevant definition of firearm is something discharged by force of gunpowder.)

    Someone doing gas-powered airsoft Force on Force training in their backyard crosses the line, as does mere possession of your 4H rifle while oiling it and watching the joggers go by. Some municipalities' legacy statutes tend to forget about things like private property. As they were often written based on implied intent of enforcement, rather than some downstream interpretation. That's a pretty draconian possession statute they've got there.

  17. #17
    Regular Member paul@paul-fisher.com's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WIG19 View Post
    I like it; and would go further. I'd recommend they remove everything you bold-faced. (Since the relevant definition of firearm is something discharged by force of gunpowder.)

    Someone doing gas-powered airsoft Force on Force training in their backyard crosses the line, as does mere possession of your 4H rifle while oiling it and watching the joggers go by. Some municipalities' legacy statutes tend to forget about things like private property. As they were often written based on implied intent of enforcement, rather than some downstream interpretation. That's a pretty draconian possession statute they've got there.
    I understand but I believe what I had posted would bring them into compliance with state law. Obviously removing more of it would be good but I wanted to emphasize what they HAD to change or at least not enforce. If I threw in the kitchen sink and their lawyer disagreed with what I said they could think I don't know what I'm talking about and might ignore the whole thing.

  18. #18
    Regular Member MKEgal's Avatar
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    I've tried to post this comment, but keep getting a "connection timed out" error msg.


    "his officers will respond with appropriate force if they receive a complaint."

    Well, that's reassuring!
    The appropriate force to use on a citizen who isn't committing a crime is: none at all.

    To the good side, there is now a very public record that the Chief & city council are aware of the state law prohibiting their enforcement of the city law. So if there are any more illegal actions by the police, they will be liable along with the department & city.

  19. #19
    McX
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    respond with appropriate force to a criminal, not an open carrier.

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