Saturday, January 24, 2009

Open Carry, Wisconsin AG Silent

Again from the Lakeland-Times. In the pastI attended a AFP get together in Pewaukee and heard our AG speak.

I will say it today as I said back then, J B is an empty suit!

Read the whole article.
"1/23/2009 9:30:00 AM Email this article • Print this article
Attorney general won't say whether open carry is legal
Disorderly conduct charges blossom across state"
Attorney general won't say whether open carry is legal

Richard Moore
Investigative Reporter

News Analysis

As conflicts over of the open carry of firearms mushroom in the state, Wisconsin attorney general J.B. Van Hollen is declining to issue a legal opinion about whether the practice is legal.

In a Nov. 6, 2008, letter to then state Rep. Terry Musser (R-Black River Falls), deputy attorney general Raymond Taffora acknowledged a number of requests for just such an opinion, as well as a growing number of arrests for carrying firearms in plain view, mostly on the charge of disorderly conduct.

On behalf of an unnamed constituent, Musser had specifically asked for an opinion about the open carrying of firearms for personal defense, but Taffora told him there were prudent legal reasons for the attorney general not to get involved.

For one thing, Taffora said, many requests for a formal opinion had been prompted by disorderly conduct charges brought by district attorneys. In general, he wrote to Musser, private citizens wanted an opinion to cite at trial or at the appellate level to defeat the charge.

There are procedural reasons not to give them those citations, Taffora wrote.

First, he noted, state statutes provide that the attorney general can only provide formal opinions to the governor, the Legislature, state officers and agencies, corporation counsels, and district attorneys. The attorney general cannot issue formal opinions to cities, towns, villages or other municipal attorneys or private citizens.

"We also discourage authorized requestors from acting as proxies for private citizens seeking a formal opinion," he wrote. Musser was in fact acting as such a proxy when he asked for the opinion.

Moreover, Taffora went on, an opinion should not be requested on an issue that is the subject of current or reasonably imminent litigation, since an opinion of the attorney general might affect the case.

"That limitation protects the right of Wisconsin litigants to obtain a definitive ruling on their matter of controversy," Taffora stated. "A formal opinion of the Wisconsin attorney general is not a judicial ruling. While formal opinions may be considered persuasive authority, they are not precedent for any court."

Indeed, Taffora said, the attorney general's office is aware of "various court actions" in which the defendants may challenge the factual basis for a disorderly conduct citation, or raise constitutional challenges to the charge. Given that, he stated, the attorney general should not issue an opinion.

Where are you JB?

And then this.

"Jim Doyle (when he was attorney general) has done more for us than Van Hollen will do," says German, who is the state director of the American Association of Certified Firearms Instructors and one of the founders of Wisconsin Patriots, a grassroots organization whose declared mission is to "encourage our fellow citizens to restore, exercise and preserve their individual rights, including the right to be safe."


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