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    Wisconsin AG: Open Carry Allowed

    MILWAUKEE COUNTY, Wis. -- As WISN 12 News was interviewing a West Allis man about his past arrest for carrying a gun in the open, police confronted him again Tuesday night -- one day after the state's attorney general ruled it's legal. See Comments Below
    "Somebody called the police that somebody was walking around with a gun on their hip," a West Allis police officer said. "I would fit that description," Krause said. "That would be you," a West Allis police officer said. Police arrived up to investigate Krause while 12 News was interviewing him about his previous arrest for carrying a holstered gun on his hip outside his home. One officer saw Krause's gun and asked what agency he's affiliated with. "I'm the same guy I was when you arrested me the last time," Krause said. The officers asked for his name and called dispatch. "The reason I'm checking is because felons can't have guns in Wisconsin," West Allis police said. Krause is not a felon. He's a certified firearms instructor. "Pretty much any time my pants are on, I'm armed," Krause said. That includes carrying a gun outside his home as Wisconsin's attorney general has ruled is legal. "I'm totally opposed to it. I do not think we need more guns on the streets," state Rep. Leon Young said. Young, a former Milwaukee police officer who represents part of Milwaukee's north side, said he's working on fast track legislation to clear up confusion with Wisconsin's gun law. "If you're walking down the street with a gun in your hand and people can see it or you've got one in your holster here and people can see it, it's going to create a disturbance," Young said. But until there's a new law, the officers explained to Krause, the attorney general's ruling is brand new to them and they'll act accordingly. "How it was explained to us is that if somebody calls and makes a complaint -- in other words, they feel threatened -- they feel it's causing a disturbance or they feel that it's disorderly in some fashion. They call us and we respond and we investigate it," a West Allis police officer said. "This is America. If we don't stand up for our rights, you know, what are we doing here? What have people fought and died for? Why'd we found this country?" Krause said. Krause was not arrested, and he said the officers Tuesday night acted professionally, although he disputes whether they should have confronted him. The officers said in a different situation they would likely still order someone carrying a gun to the ground until they could make sure the situation is safe. Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen said his memo was simply intended to "clarify" the law, and he does not believe more people will start openly carrying guns because of it. Gov. Jim Doyle hopes it won't change how police officers respond when they see weapons. "Our advice was people are permitted to openly carry firearms -- that it wasn't in and of itself disorderly conduct. We intentionally didn't go into any factual-based scenarios because they're all different," Van Hollen said. "I assume that local DAs and local police departments are gonna continue to act as they already have," Doyle said.
    Police Response

    Milwaukee's police chief said he'll go on telling his officers to take down anyone with a firearm despite Van Hollen's finding that people can carry guns openly if they do it peacefully. Chief Ed Flynn said officers can't assume people are carrying guns legally in a city that has seen nearly 200 homicides in the past two years. He said that means officers seeing anybody carrying a gun will put them on the ground, take the gun away and then decide if the person has a right to carry it. Flynn said it's irresponsible to send a message that if someone carries a weapon openly, no one can bother them. Milwaukee-area police chiefs have a monthly meeting on Wednesday, and they're expected to discuss this issue. Shorewood Police Chief David Banaszynski is the leader of the state chief's association. He said many departments are asking questions about how to deal with people openly carrying firearms. He said it may end up being a community-by-community, case-by-case issue fraught with the potential for danger. "Now, with open carry, which is legal, there may be no training. I could hand you my handgun, you could walk down the street carrying it with no training whatsoever. To me, there is a lot more danger now with people thinking, 'I have the right to carry it so I'm going to carry it, and not have the training,'" Banaszynski said. Guns are still prohibited in schools and any private property owner, including businesses, can ban firearms.

    While I'm not a big fan of openly carrying a weapon, when it comes down to open carry being permitted and concealed carry being prohibitted (although the state supreme court has ruled that law unconstitutional) I'd rather be armed and legal then unarmed or illegal.
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  2. #2
    213th's Avatar
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    Follow up Article

    Police chiefs in 19 different municipalities in the Milwaukee metro area said if their officers see someone carrying a gun out in the open, that person will be stopped and questioned to make sure they are legally allowed to do so.

    This decision comes after a meeting Wednesday in Bayside -- despite a Monday memo from the Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen that stated that carrying a gun in public doesn't constitute disorderly conduct.

    "I would expect and I will direct my officers to stop and talk to anybody observed carrying a gun, just to determine if that open carry is within the law," Franklin Police Chief Rick Oliva said.

    Van Hollen told 12 News he agrees with that stance to a point, but suggested officers need more of a reason than simply that someone is carrying a gun.

    "Whether they have a firearm on their side or they don't, law enforcement is entitled to stop people for limited questioning," Van Hollen said. "I would hope they wouldn't avoid questioning people just because they have a firearm, and I would also hope that they wouldn't question people just because they have a firearm."


    http://www.wisn.com/news/19245377/detail.html

    Van Hollen issued a memo to the state's district attorneys this week saying someone openly carrying a gun can't automatically be charged with disorderly conduct. But he also said police have full rights to stop and question the person.

    Flynn said his officers will do more than that in their efforts to fight crime.
    The police chiefs said they aren't trying to undermine the attorney general's opinion, and they will work with him the best they can. They stressed, however, that public safety is the top priority.

    "Each case must be taken on its own facts and circumstances. I guess what's agreed upon is every call for a person with a gun will be investigated," Oliva said.

    WISN 12 News did check with some local police departments on Wednesday that said there had not been any incidents with open carry.



    ------------

    I bet that will spur some lawsuits.
    He who has the money, signs the cheques.
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    He who makes the rules, has the power.
    He who has the power, has the money.

  3. #3
    213th's Avatar
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    Being as this is a new law, I'd like to ask the opinion of police officers. I'm not sure how quickly this would be dissiminated to all law enforcement. While I prefer to be armed, as I said before, I'm not a big fan of open carry. But if it comes down to not being armed and open carry I'll choose the latter. However, I would rather not have to try and prove my legality in carrying while proned out on the street. What would you all recommend to avoid this? Not carrying at all?
    He who has the money, signs the cheques.
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    He who makes the rules, has the power.
    He who has the power, has the money.

  4. #4
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    I'm of 2 opinions on this. I think open carry is a dumb idea, why not just paint a target on your forhead? On the other hand, if you can stop and check the legality of someone carrying, then you should be abe to just stop any car to check for that too. Since we can't do one we should do the other. Just another in the long line of idiocy that is prevelent in this day and age.

    To answer your question, untill someone like the ACLU (like that would ever happen) makes a stink about it, the only way to avoid being proned out is to not carry openly.

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    Morris is offline Chief Wheaties Pisser
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    It's been pretty normal up here. The bright line is what constitutes "alarm" and "concern." Naturally, it's a gray area. The rule of thumb in our area is that unless they are actively brandishing or acting in a way to obviously intimidate others, then there really is no reason to contact them. Monitor them, definitely.

    While I support a person's right to carry, I also believe that from a practical and tactical standpoint, it's foolish to open carry a firearm, especially in a flimsy holster.

  6. #6
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    I wouldn't expect that information to be disseminated quickly. Stuff like that never is around here. And when that information may or may not end up with you looking down the barrel of a police officers gun, I'd err on the side of caution and assume it won't be disseminated quickly.

    On that note, I'm not a big fan of open carry either. I do like the idea because it's an even bigger deterrent for the shit head who just walked into the gas station intending to rob it, BUT it can also a big cause for panic for people, I would assume.

    If I came across someone openly carrying a firearm in a holster, I wouldn't prone them out if he/she was just walking down the street, or sitting at a bus stop. I'd very likely enter into a consensual/casual encounter with them and ask to see their carry permit as open carry around here is incredibly uncommon.

    Which brings up a question for you Jake. WI doesn't have carry permits...so do these folks who are openly carrying firearms, do they have to get some sort of permit for that?? Or is anybody anywhere allowed to openly carry in WI?
    No one has greater love than this, to lay down ones life for ones friends - John 15:13

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    Morris is offline Chief Wheaties Pisser
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    One more thing to pass along for those dealing with the open carry crowd: you can view their big forum website, OpenCarry.org - A Right Unexercised is a Right Lost!. Some pretty militant folks who will carry openly just to provoke a response. Assume they are carrying audio and video recording devices. Be cool but sure of your contacts.

    In one case for a Washington state event, a forum poster posted his side of the story without fully posting the full details of the contact. Naturally, this spun up the more militant folks who probably wouldn't be as supportive if they knew "the rest of the story."

  8. #8
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    I do like the idea because it's an even bigger deterrent for the shit head who just walked into the gas station intending to rob it,
    Two pronged. While it may be true in some instances, in others it could prove to be fatal as the POS walks in and puts a bullet in the person with a gun's head first thing. Hell, cops get complacent off duty. We all know that most people, including most CCWers, go through life in condition white. Most don't get any more training than thier initial day or two.

    Personally, I don't open carry and won't if I can carry concealed. However, if I lived in a place where it was either open carry or not, I probably would. There are ways to be as descreet as possible about it. Carrying a small black handgun in a black holster while wearing dark pants will draw less attention than carrying a stainless steel Beretta 96 with an aftermarket 6 inch barrel in a drop holster strapped to their leg.

    I read an article in a gun rag a few years back by Mas Ayoob on this very topic. They showed a guy who carries a S&W 44 mag stainless steel mountain gun as his open carry. The guy is a nubbed off MFer at that, so the gun looks huge on him. Ayoob told a story of when he was teaching in some state before HB218 and had to carry openly. He carried a G27 in an inside the pants holster. He tucked in his black shirt so the handle of the gun was still visible, therefore still open carry.

    I'm all for as many good people carrying guns as possible. However there's a reason that when I go out, I look like a kid from one of the local colleges (yeah I'm only 26). The less attention I get the better.
    The world would be much cleaner if blind people carried brooms instead of sticks.

    At communion, when the priest says "Body of Christ", I say "Thanks, I've been working out", then I grab the cracker and run back to my seat

    An amateur practices until he gets it right. A professional practices until he cant get it wrong.

    They've got us surrounded? Good. Now we can fire in any direction. Those bastards won't get away this time.

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    I'd hate to be the legal advisors to those police chiefs right now.

    They have to be cringing at open defiance to a court ruling or attorney general opinion printed in the papers.
    I'm your huckleberry...

    Quemadmoeum gladis nemeinum occidit, occidentus telum est!

    You can be the weapon, and the gun in your hand is a tool - or the gun is a weapon and you are the tool.


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    adamdude04 is offline Rookie
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    I myself find OC to be a great right. BUT I also feel it depends on where you live. I have OC my firearm many times while out and about doing my normal day to day things. I notiiced the farther away from downtown Denver, the less and less people cared that I had a XD40 duo-tone on my hip. But closer I got to downtown, I had people stare at me, question me, even had a walmart employee kick me out of their store. No proof of policy, nor was I breaking the law.

    I think OC is a great thing but again, depending where you live. People not ocmmon with it in Seattle, WA will frown upon you. As to where people in AZ will notice it to be normal like a shoe on your right foot.

    ..As far as the officers stopping every person with a firearm, I can understand officer saftey, and if I was on duty, I think I'd be on edge as well. Only takes 1 person to blend in with everyone else, to get the upper hand on their objective.
    Not an LEO. But hopefully soon

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  11. #11
    MacLean's Avatar
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    After you have been hired and properly trained, you will assume everyone is armed.

    The guns you see are not the ones you need to worry about.

    In the mean time, I would avoid open carry while you pursue getting hired.
    I'm your huckleberry...

    Quemadmoeum gladis nemeinum occidit, occidentus telum est!

    You can be the weapon, and the gun in your hand is a tool - or the gun is a weapon and you are the tool.


    I was looking for a saint who was a devil of a lover,
    but every girl I found was either one way or the other...



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    adamdude04 is offline Rookie
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    Quote Originally Posted by maclean View Post
    After you have been hired and properly trained, you will assume everyone is armed.

    The guns you see are not the ones you need to worry about.

    In the mean time, I would avoid open carry while you pursue getting hired.
    That is true. Which I havn't been on a ride-a-long where we had pulled someone over who has a concealed license.. I assume that their "licensed to carry" will show up with their other information, correct?

    Yeah I don't open carry much anymore now that I live in the metro area. But when I head up north to grandparents or friends properties I OC, mostly just for the critters up there and the coyots
    Not an LEO. But hopefully soon

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    A CCW in Colorado will show up during a warrants check. What does that have to do with open carry?
    "If anything worthwhile comes of this tragedy, it should be the realization by every citizen that often the only thing that stands between them and losing everything they hold dear... is the man wearing a badge." -- Ronald Reagan, in the wake of the deaths of 4 CHP troopers in the Newhall Incident, 1970

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    adamdude04 is offline Rookie
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    Quote Originally Posted by 121Traffic View Post
    A CCW in Colorado will show up during a warrants check. What does that have to do with open carry?
    Oh I was just wondering (learning actually..) and it was related to the OC topic so thought I'd just sneek it in.
    Not an LEO. But hopefully soon

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  15. #15
    10-42Adam's Avatar
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    Open carry is legal here in Delaware but I've never seen anybody ever actually do it.
    Calm Like A Bomb...

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    It is catching on here in Washington after someone finally figured out the RCW didn't say what the anti-gun police chiefs told them it said.

    I support the right, but find it tactically unsound.
    I'm your huckleberry...

    Quemadmoeum gladis nemeinum occidit, occidentus telum est!

    You can be the weapon, and the gun in your hand is a tool - or the gun is a weapon and you are the tool.


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    but every girl I found was either one way or the other...



  17. #17
    keith720's Avatar
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    There are a few places where open carry isn't allowed, such as Public buildings, bars and schools. Also, any weapon transported in a motor vehicle in Wisconsin has to be unloaded and placed in a case. So, if some John Wayne straps his .45 on and gets in his car, he's broken the law. If he gets cold and throws on a coat, it's now a concealed weapon. It's gonna be a headache.
    For the morning will come. Brightly will it shine on the brave and true, kindly upon all who suffer for the cause, glorious upon the tombs of heroes. Thus will shine the dawn.

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    Quote Originally Posted by adamdude04 View Post
    I myself find OC to be a great right. BUT I also feel it depends on where you live. I have OC my firearm many times while out and about doing my normal day to day things. I notiiced the farther away from downtown Denver, the less and less people cared that I had a XD40 duo-tone on my hip. But closer I got to downtown, I had people stare at me, question me, even had a walmart employee kick me out of their store. No proof of policy, nor was I breaking the law.

    I think OC is a great thing but again, depending where you live. People not ocmmon with it in Seattle, WA will frown upon you. As to where people in AZ will notice it to be normal like a shoe on your right foot.

    ..As far as the officers stopping every person with a firearm, I can understand officer saftey, and if I was on duty, I think I'd be on edge as well. Only takes 1 person to blend in with everyone else, to get the upper hand on their objective.

    Out of curiosity, why open carry if you can easily get a CCW permit?
    The world would be much cleaner if blind people carried brooms instead of sticks.

    At communion, when the priest says "Body of Christ", I say "Thanks, I've been working out", then I grab the cracker and run back to my seat

    An amateur practices until he gets it right. A professional practices until he cant get it wrong.

    They've got us surrounded? Good. Now we can fire in any direction. Those bastards won't get away this time.

  19. #19
    213th's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmur5074 View Post
    I wouldn't expect that information to be disseminated quickly. Stuff like that never is around here. And when that information may or may not end up with you looking down the barrel of a police officers gun, I'd err on the side of caution and assume it won't be disseminated quickly.

    On that note, I'm not a big fan of open carry either. I do like the idea because it's an even bigger deterrent for the shit head who just walked into the gas station intending to rob it, BUT it can also a big cause for panic for people, I would assume.

    If I came across someone openly carrying a firearm in a holster, I wouldn't prone them out if he/she was just walking down the street, or sitting at a bus stop. I'd very likely enter into a consensual/casual encounter with them and ask to see their carry permit as open carry around here is incredibly uncommon.

    Which brings up a question for you Jake. WI doesn't have carry permits...so do these folks who are openly carrying firearms, do they have to get some sort of permit for that?? Or is anybody anywhere allowed to openly carry in WI?
    Not from what I could tell. The AG is just pretty much saying that open carry doesn't explicitly break any laws on it's own. I believe WI is moving to a CCW process, as the law prohibiting all concealed carry has been ruled unconstitutional and the AG has been issuing CCW permits, albeit only to retired police officers that qualify to carry under that house bill.

    The only reason why I would consider open carry is because I am not the type of person to roll over and be a victim, and therefore would like to have at my disposal the means to meet any threat, not just hand to hand threats. However, I won't break the law to do this, and even if it is unconstitutional, the law still says you can't carry concealed for any reason. I don't want to ever need it, but plan for the worst while hoping for the best, right?
    He who has the money, signs the cheques.
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    He who has the power, has the money.

  20. #20
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    As long as Jim Doyle is the Gov. in Wisconsin, he'll veto any CCW laws that are put in front of him. There aren't very many P.D.s that offer C.C.W. to their retired officers under 218 in Wisconsin either.
    For the morning will come. Brightly will it shine on the brave and true, kindly upon all who suffer for the cause, glorious upon the tombs of heroes. Thus will shine the dawn.

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