Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Open Carry, No It's Not About Beer

Another fine article from Richard Moore and the Lakeland-Times.
Sooner or later this will come to a head and we will lose our right to bear arms. It goes in depth about the case of West Allis resident Brad Krause.

Do you care about your gun rights, read the article.
"1/20/2009 9:41:00 AM
'Open-carry' becoming central gun-rights issue Visible firearms bring disorderly conduct charges" 'Open-carry' becoming central gun-rights issue
Richard Moore
Investigative Reporter

News Analysis

For most of this decade, the most contentious gun issue in Wisconsin has been that of concealed carry, or the legal sanction to carry a firearm in public in a hidden manner, either on the body or in close proximity.

But this year that affair may take a backseat to a rapidly intensifying debate about the legality of open carry, or the act of publicly carrying a firearm in plain view.

Ostensibly, Wisconsin is an open-carry state, meaning there is no law against a law-abiding citizen openly carrying a legal firearm. Theoretically, at least, one could strap on a holster and pistol and go buy groceries, or plant trees in one's own yard, whether or not such an action might be wise.

Indeed, Wisconsin remains one of only two states in the nation not to allow some form of concealed carry, and one of the most-repeated arguments used by concealed-carry opponents is that it is not necessary because citizens can openly carry their guns.

Then attorney general Jim Doyle used that precise argument before the state Supreme Court in Wisconsin v Hamdan, in which the state carved out a concealed weapon exemption for small business owners.

As governor, Doyle reportedly reiterated his belief at a Lake Delton press conference, in which The Wisconsin Dells Events quoted him as saying, "If you want to carry a gun in Wisconsin, wear it on your hip."

Then again, maybe not, if the attitudes of other state officials, not to mention more than a few police actions, are any indication.

Doyle's proclamation notwithstanding, others in his administration take a wary view of wearing a gun openly on the hip, and their message is, if you do it, you're inviting trouble.

For example, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources hunter education administrator Timothy Lawhern wrote last year that openly carrying a gun would likely provoke an unsympathetic and severe response from law enforcement officers.

"Note that the officer on the street doesn't expect to see firearms openly exposed," Lawhern wrote in the April 2008 issue of the Wisconsin Hunter Education newsletter. "In most cases when they do see a firearm, they draw theirs and tell the person 'Let me see your hands! Don't move!' In some cases they yell, 'Put the gun down,' or 'Drop the gun!'"

Please go to Lakeland-Times for the whole article.

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