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    People testing constitutional right

    http://www.iwantthenews.com/main.asp...76&TM=39861.11


    10/7/2010 3:57:00 AM
    People testing constitutional right


    By Mark Sherry
    TC News editor


    A New Holstein man has been walking around the community and entering stores and restaurants with a handgun holstered by his side.
    That has prompted several telephone calls to the New Holstein Police Department, not unlike a recent incident in Madison where a 62-year-old woman visiting a local Culver's restaurant saw several people outside with guns in holsters. She also called the police, who arrived and cited two of the men for obstructing an officer.




    In New Holstein, Madison and elsewhere in Wisconsin, people are seeing other people wearing guns at their side. The answer they get when they call the police is the same and often surprises them-it is perfectly legal to do so, as long as some obvious conditions are met.
    In April 2009, Wisconsin Attorney General J. B. Van Hollen released an advisory memorandum which received some media attention at the time but which since has been largely forgotten. Now that some people are testing their constitutional right to openly carry a firearm, Van Hollen's informal opinion is being dusted off by law enforcement and others around the state.
    As amended in 1998, the Wisconsin Constitution provides that the "people have the right to keep and bear arms for security, defense, hunting, recreation or any other lawful purpose." A Wisconsin citizen has the right to openly carry a firearm for any of those purposes "absent the application of a reasonable regulation properly imposed as an exercise of police power."
    Some early tests of the law resulted in police officers issuing disorderly conduct charges, which spurred Van Hollen to issue his statement in 2009. Van Hollen pointed out that in order for a person to be displaying disorderly conduct, they must be engaging in "violent, abusive, indecent, profane, boisterous, unreasonably loud, or similar disorderly conduct. Second, it must prove that the defendant's conduct tends to cause or provoke a disturbance."

    Circumstance must be weighed
    Van Hollen said the decision on whether or not to charge a person with disorderly conduct depends on the totality of the circumstances, but he added, "The Department believes that mere open carry of a firearm, absent additional facts and circumstances, should not result in a disorderly conduct charge."
    Van Hollen used this example: A hunter opening carrying a rifle or shotgun on his property during hunting season while quietly tracking game should not face a disorderly conduct charge. But if the same hunter carries the same rifle or shotgun through a crowded street while barking at a passerby, the conduct might lost its constitutional protection. He said the same concepts should apply to handguns.
    A man in West Allis wore a holstered handgun while doing lawnwork. He was cited for disorderly conduct but was found not guilty.
    New Holstein Police Chief Brian Reedy said his department received a phone call recently about a man walking on Hoover Street with a holstered handgun. The caller was informed that the man was not breaking the law, but the chief said he does not want to inhibit such phone calls, either.


    This is a nice article, The New Holstein man mentioned here is my brother Bob Gleason. I recently got him interested in OCing and he has done it daily every since. Way to go Bobby! And thanks Mark for the article.
    Last edited by J.Gleason; 10-12-2010 at 11:19 AM.

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    Campaign Veteran rcawdor57's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Great news Mr. Gleason!

    Wow! That is great news! My bother and sister would never wear a handgun openly. I have tried talking to them both and my sister is interested but is afraid of the "police interaction" that may (will?) result in her exercising her right. My brother has never been into firearms and doesn't own a single one (but his kids do!).

    Great article and great news!

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    nice work to your brother and Mark both.

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    Good.

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    Founder's Club Member bnhcomputing's Avatar
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    That's how we win J, one person/reporter at a time.

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    Awesome! Carry On!

    Looking forward to the day when going armed daily isn't considered by the news to be "testing" anything.

    Edited to add:

    Maybe thats the next question I'll pose to a reporter during an interview when they ask me if we are "testing" the law. I've carried thousands of times thousands of places over the past year and a half. Do you really think that still qualifies as "testing" anything?
    Last edited by Wisconsin Carry, Inc. - Chairman; 10-12-2010 at 01:57 PM.
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    Yeah, I still don't understand where all the "testing" comes from.
    It is good coverage though as this paper covers 3 counties.
    Last edited by J.Gleason; 10-12-2010 at 02:09 PM.

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    Wisconsin Carry, Inc. Wisconsin Carry, Inc. - Chairman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.Gleason View Post
    Yeah, I still don't understand where all the "testing" comes from.
    It is good coverage though as this paper covers 3 counties.
    Great coverage. Eventually the media will evolve their descriptions.

    Without sounding patronizing, please pass along our thanks to your brother for living free!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wisconsin Carry, Inc. - Chairman View Post
    Maybe thats the next question I'll pose to a reporter during an interview when they ask me if we are "testing" the law. I've carried thousands of times thousands of places over the past year and a half. Do you really think that still qualifies as "testing" anything?
    Or, said to the reporter, "No more than this interview is you testing the freedom of the press."
    Last edited by DanM; 10-12-2010 at 03:36 PM.
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    bleeeeeep, bleeeep, bleeeeep, for the next 60 seconds this forum will be conducting a test of the Open Carry system, remember this is only a test.

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    Regular Member IcrewUH60's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by McX View Post
    bleeeeeep, bleeeep, bleeeeep, for the next 60 seconds this forum will be conducting a test of the Open Carry system, remember this is only a test.
    ".... if this were an actual event of Exercising Your Rights, you would be directed to the nearest Culver's where you will receive further instructions, Butter Burgers, fries and custard. This concludes our test of the Open Carry system. bleeeeeep, bleeeep, bleeeeep"
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    "Regard all further alarms."

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    ironically had an email this afternoon from the editor of the Chilton Times Journal & The Scene.

    He heard of the New Holstein "incident" and had some questions about the larger movement in Wisconsin in general. I presume there will be a story coming out in his paper shortly.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wisconsin Carry, Inc. - Chairman View Post
    ironically had an email this afternoon from the editor of the Chilton Times Journal & The Scene.

    He heard of the New Holstein "incident" and had some questions about the larger movement in Wisconsin in general. I presume there will be a story coming out in his paper shortly.
    That was because I talked to Mark Sherry this morning and I mention both WCI and OCDO to him. He said he would be checking them out. They all work in the same office. He said there would probably be more articles on this.

    I will let you know if any articles come out in the Chilton Times.
    Last edited by J.Gleason; 10-12-2010 at 06:41 PM.

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    Very well good indeed, Thank you Bob for educating the public in your area, And Mark for writing the story,
    And last but not least New Holstein Police Chief Brian Reedy .

    Thank you all!

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    Quote Originally Posted by J.Gleason View Post
    http://www.iwantthenews.com/main.asp...76&TM=39861.11


    10/7/2010 3:57:00 AM
    People testing constitutional right


    By Mark Sherry
    TC News editor


    A New Holstein man has been walking around the community and entering stores and restaurants with a handgun holstered by his side.
    That has prompted several telephone calls to the New Holstein Police Department, not unlike a recent incident in Madison where a 62-year-old woman visiting a local Culver's restaurant saw several people outside with guns in holsters. She also called the police, who arrived and cited two of the men for obstructing an officer.




    In New Holstein, Madison and elsewhere in Wisconsin, people are seeing other people wearing guns at their side. The answer they get when they call the police is the same and often surprises them-it is perfectly legal to do so, as long as some obvious conditions are met.
    In April 2009, Wisconsin Attorney General J. B. Van Hollen released an advisory memorandum which received some media attention at the time but which since has been largely forgotten. Now that some people are testing their constitutional right to openly carry a firearm, Van Hollen's informal opinion is being dusted off by law enforcement and others around the state.
    As amended in 1998, the Wisconsin Constitution provides that the "people have the right to keep and bear arms for security, defense, hunting, recreation or any other lawful purpose." A Wisconsin citizen has the right to openly carry a firearm for any of those purposes "absent the application of a reasonable regulation properly imposed as an exercise of police power."
    Some early tests of the law resulted in police officers issuing disorderly conduct charges, which spurred Van Hollen to issue his statement in 2009. Van Hollen pointed out that in order for a person to be displaying disorderly conduct, they must be engaging in "violent, abusive, indecent, profane, boisterous, unreasonably loud, or similar disorderly conduct. Second, it must prove that the defendant's conduct tends to cause or provoke a disturbance."

    Circumstance must be weighed
    Van Hollen said the decision on whether or not to charge a person with disorderly conduct depends on the totality of the circumstances, but he added, "The Department believes that mere open carry of a firearm, absent additional facts and circumstances, should not result in a disorderly conduct charge."
    Van Hollen used this example: A hunter opening carrying a rifle or shotgun on his property during hunting season while quietly tracking game should not face a disorderly conduct charge. But if the same hunter carries the same rifle or shotgun through a crowded street while barking at a passerby, the conduct might lost its constitutional protection. He said the same concepts should apply to handguns.
    A man in West Allis wore a holstered handgun while doing lawnwork. He was cited for disorderly conduct but was found not guilty.
    New Holstein Police Chief Brian Reedy said his department received a phone call recently about a man walking on Hoover Street with a holstered handgun. The caller was informed that the man was not breaking the law, but the chief said he does not want to inhibit such phone calls, either.


    This is a nice article, The New Holstein man mentioned here is my brother Bob Gleason. I recently got him interested in OCing and he has done it daily every since. Way to go Bobby! And thanks Mark for the article.

    WOW, All in the Family out standing.. My Brother had to give his up do to a Frame of Mind Problem [Nam Vet/ Tunnel Rat ] But his Daughter is picking up where he left off ! I just Started my Girl on her Training Classes too.

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    Yep, My sister and her husband that live in Racine are shopping for handguns as well. Won't belong and the majority of my family will be carrying.

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    Regular Member johnny amish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.Gleason View Post
    Won't belong and the majority of my family will be carrying.
    That must just about bring a tear to your eye. How cool.

  19. #19
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    Here is the newest Article in the Chilton Times Journal


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    Here is the newest Article in the Chilton Times Journal

    http://www.chiltontimesjournal.com/

    http://www.chiltontimesjournal.com/c...carry-law.html


    WRITTEN BY JEREMY OTT
    THURSDAY, 21 OCTOBER 2010 12:34
    You're at your local coffee shop when five non-uniformed guys walk up to the counter with handguns strapped to their waists.
    Do you:
    Take cover and pray.
    Dial 911.

    Thank James Madison as father of the Bill of Rights, which includes the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, affirming the right of citizens to keep and bear arms; then shake hands with the armed quintet on your way out.

    The correct answer really depends on your attitude to guns. While many might choose the first two options, or both, gun advocates pick No. 3 because, they will tell you, strapping on a weapon is simply exercising a Constitutional right.
    "People ask, 'Why do you carry a gun? Are you being threatened?'" said Bobby Gleason, 53, of New Holstein. "That ain't why I carry it. I carry it because it's my Constitutional right."

    Gleason goes out into the world each day strapped with either a 9 mm, .45 or .357 handgun, "depending on how I feel that day," he said.

    Gleason is a Racine native who has been around guns all his life.

    "I was brought up with guns. My dad was a hunter and fisher, you grow up with them and learn to respect them," he said.

    He also spends time in Arizona, where guns are abundant and citizens are free to carry guns openly or concealed, without a permit.

    "Everybody carries in Arizona," he said. "To me, it knocks the crime rate right down to nothing."

    Gleason is well known to the New Holstein Police Department due to people calling to report an armed man in their community.

    "We've had citizens calling with concerns, more than one call. I'd say in the last two months we may have gotten a half-dozen calls," said New Holstein Police Chief Brian Reedy. "We're taking the public's concerns and checking into it, but there's nothing he's doing wrong."

    Gleason doesn't begrudge the folks who call the police about him. Going into public armed is not just an exercise of his rights, but of all our rights, he says. He sees the act of wearing a gun as an educational tool for the many who are ignorant of their rights.

    "Hundreds of thousands of people just don't understand it's your Constitutional right," he said. "A Constitutional right not exercised is a Constitutional right lost."

    Strict constructionists of the U.S. Constitution maintain U.S. citizens have had the right to carry arms since the Bill of Rights was ratified in 1791, but that ignores the rights of states to create their own gun laws.

    Wisconsin joined the growing number of "open carry" states in 1998 when voters approved – 79% to 21% – a Constitutional amendment mirroring the U.S. Constitution's Second Amendment.

    Still, there was confusion across the state about how law enforcement should react to gun-toting citizens. Some gun wearers found themselves facing charges such as disorderly conduct when confronted by police.

    That mostly changed on April 20, 2009, when state Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen issued an advisory memorandum to the 72 county district attorney offices around the state that clarified the issue once and for all. The memo said, in essence, anyone with the legal right to openly carry a handgun in Wisconsin should be able to do so without being hassled or charged by local police.

    Most places got the memo. Some did not and lawsuits resulted, such as the $10,000 awarded earlier this year to a Racine man who was arrested on the porch of his own home after police driving past noticed he was wearing a weapon in a holster. The man refused to answer questions – as he is allowed to do according to the state Constitution – and was arrested for obstructing justice.

    "I've carried literally to thousands and thousands of places in the year and a half since the attorney general's memo, and nobody's ever called the police, at least not that I know of," said Nik Clark of New Berlin. "We kind of chuckle to ourselves amongst the group. We've got thousands of members across the state and most of them open carry on a daily basis. Ninety percent of the time, no one notices or no one calls police."

    and thousands of places in the year and a half since the attorney general's memo, and nobody's ever called the police, at least not that I know of," said Nik Clark of New Berlin. "We kind of chuckle to ourselves amongst the group. We've got thousands of members across the state and most of them open carry on a daily basis. Ninety percent of the time, no one notices or no one calls police."
    The group he refers to is Wisconsin Carry, Inc., and Clark is its chairman. The rapidly growing advocacy group was incorporated in January of this year to challenge the constitutionality of the law barring open carry within 1,000 feet of schools.

    "We've had spectacular growth in less than a year. Every demographic you can think of. Probably a third of our members are women. It's people from all walks of life, old, young, blue collar, white collar and everything in between. Its something very well supported in Wisconsin," Clark said.

    The group was a co-plaintiff in the Racine open carry case, and is involved in several other cases, including high profile incidents in Madison and Brookfield.

    "It's really driven membership when they see we're actually doing something to protect the right to carry," Clark said. "We want to expand the awareness that open carry is legal in Wisconsin. We have a few rare circumstances where the police seem to not have gotten the memo, like in Madison, where the police have operated outside their authority. Part of our goal is to seek legal remedies."

    One legal remedy being sought by WCI is for Krysta Sutterfield, the Milwaukee woman who was arrested on July 4 after attending a Unitarian church service in Brookfield while wearing her 9 mm handgun. A church staff member used a non-emergency number to call Brookfield police about Sutterfield. She was arrested after leaving the church, and was cited for the non-criminal offense of having a loaded gun in her car.

    "Police arrived with guns drawn and pulled her from car. They had no legal authority to do that and that's why we filed the lawsuit against Brookfield," Clark said.

    Grant him a point on that one, but why would anyone in their right mind pack a gun in church?

    "In 2005 there was a mass shooting at a church in Brookfield. You can say, who needs a gun in church, but in 2005 there were eight people dead because they couldn't defend themselves," Clark said.

    OK, but is it not the height of paranoia to assume your life is going to be threatened to the point where you are going to arm yourself to go to church?

    "Am I paranoid about a fire because I have a fire extinguisher in my house? No, I'm just prepared," Clark said. "It really is a safety measure for law abiding citizens. People who carry in self defense don't live in fear. They sleep better at night and are more comfortable when they're out and about."

    Clark and other open carry advocates often point to the 1998 Constitutional amendment and its 79% support as justification for their decision to open carry, but you could argue that some in the 79% bracket were voting philosophically in support of the American way of life, rather than in support of the idea that everyone and their neighbor start packing heat.

    And those who did not support the Constitutional amendment? Clark said they have been written off as untouchable by he WCI message.

    "We call them the 21 percenters," he said. "I think those 21 percenters, it really doesn't matter what you do. They're just kind of antigun and it doesn't seem they're going to change their minds."


    LOL I taught him so well!
    Last edited by J.Gleason; 10-21-2010 at 03:14 PM.

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