Letter: Has law enforcement been educated on open, conceal carry, he asksTO THE EDITOR: On November 2011, the Wisconsin conceal to carry bill was signed into law.
By: Sanjeev Dhawan, Ellsworth, Pierce County Herald
TO THE EDITOR: On November 2011, the Wisconsin conceal to carry bill was signed into law.
Since then, thousands of Wisconsinites have applied and received their permits. Act 35 spells out the details of what was and now is under the new law.
The right to keep and bear arms is enshrined in the US second amendment and under Article 1, section 25 of the Wisconsin constitution.
Constitutional carry is not new to Wisconsin. Prior to act 35, Wisconsinites open carried their handguns on their hips. As former Gov. Doyle said: “If you want to carry a gun in Wisconsin, wear it on your hip.”
However, and not surprising, many in the law enforcement community did not recognize that law-abiding Wisconsinites could exercise the right and thus were detained, arrested, etc., under two broad-based police powers: disorderly conduct and disturbance of peace.
Remember, the Constitution gives us neither the right to bear arms nor the right of free speech. It affirms these rights which already exist and prohibits them from being infringed upon.
Thus, Attorney General Van Hollen in April 2009, sent an advisory memorandum titled: The Interplay Between Article I, § 25 Of The Wisconsin Constitution, The Open Carry Of Firearms And Wisconsin’s Disorderly Conduct Statute, Wis. Stat. § 947.01, in which he stated: “Under Article I, § 25 of the Wisconsin Constitution, a person has the right to openly carry a firearm for any of the purposes enumerated in that Section, subject to reasonable regulation. The mere open carrying of a firearm by a person, absent additional facts and circumstances, should not result in a disorderly conduct charge from a prosecutor.”
So Wisconsinites can still open carry without a permit and conceal carry with a permit. Have our law enforcement officers been educated on these issues? The silence is deafening.