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Old August 12, 2009, 03:17 AM   #1
chemgirlie
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Another open carrier has been charged with disorderly conduct

http://www.madison.com/tct/top5/461607
As a somewhat-close-to-Madison, WI resident this one hits close to home for me. To sum it up Travis Yates was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct for legally openly carrying. Brad Krause from West Allis (a town not too far away) successfully fought disorderly conduct charges for open carrying a few months ago. http://www.jsonline.com/news/crime/39722082.html

I'm somewhat torn on what I'm hoping the outcome of the case will be. Of course I want the issue resolved for this poor guy ASAP and with as little fuss and legal fees as possible. On the other hand a ruling from a higher court might have a bit more influence over the policies of the Madison PD.

The WI Attorney General issued a memo stating open carry is perfectly legal a while back. Unfortunately, it doesn't carry any legal weight.

Some of the more interesting bits of the rather slanted article inclde:
Quote:
Madison Police Department Capt. Victor Wahl, in writing the Spring edition of the department's "Legal Update," said bluntly that the memo made no difference in how Madison would enforce its law.
Quote:
Wahl said Madison Police Department officers should not change how they respond to calls of people with guns, as they did before Van Hollen's memo.Wahl said the person with a gun should be detained, with officers ensuring both the public's safety as well as their own, and police should then investigate the situation to see if any laws were violated.
Funny thing is I have open carried right past where this guy was arrested on several occasions and never once had a problem.
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Old August 12, 2009, 04:49 AM   #2
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It's the same here in NH. That's why I rarely open carry. The only time you'll see me with an openly carried firearm is on my way to my truck to go to the range, at the range, and on my way back into my house. It's just not worth the hassle. Or when I'm backpacking. I hardly ever see anyone out in the places I like to go. Sometimes the only people I see are packin' too!
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Old August 12, 2009, 09:05 AM   #3
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Disgusting. They openly admit they're violating the Terry laws, and nothing is done about it.


Guy walking around, breaking no laws. He will be stopped, detained, and investigated to see if any laws are violated. Problem was he isn't stopped with a suspicion of crime to start. Maybe suspicion of exercising his rights


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Old August 12, 2009, 09:08 AM   #4
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Sounds like a Wal-mart?

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Old August 12, 2009, 09:34 AM   #5
JWT
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At least the LEOs didn't consfiscate the poor guys gun and gave him the chance to take it back to his home. The unfortunate part is that he'll end up with legal fees to fight the charge when he didn't break the law. If the AG has acknowledged that open carry is legal it should have some impact on cases like this.

If he was brandishing the gun a disorderly conduct chage might be appropriate. Just having it in a holster hardly seems to fit the charge.
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Old August 12, 2009, 11:32 AM   #6
chemgirlie
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Sounds like a Wal-mart?
Nope, just a plain ol' bit of sidewalk. Granted a fairly busy bit of sidewalk though. It's about 9.5 blocks away from the edge of the nearest 1000 foot no-gun school zone.

One of the first people I made friends with when I moved to my current location was my neighbor, who's a LEO for one of the suburbs. He's always been very supportive of me open carrying for lack of another legal option.

I really hope that this was an isolated incident, as most of the LEOs I have talked to here range from Terry stopping an open carrier in a polite manner to simply watching the open carrier a bit closer in response to calmly open carrying.
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Old August 12, 2009, 11:47 AM   #7
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Good luck to the man!
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Old August 12, 2009, 12:10 PM   #8
unloading
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It's madison, WI. He'd probably have more luck not being arrested if he was carrying a bag of weed on his hip.
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Old August 12, 2009, 12:18 PM   #9
Sportdog
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Law Suits

A few law suits for police harrassment or false arrest against the city of Madison could change his mind.
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Old August 12, 2009, 12:19 PM   #10
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I just found out (thank you NavyLT) that OC is legal here; well, more specifically it is not illegal... but I have been wan to try it yet. I love to carry my big ol' revolver on a separate gun belt on my hip, but usually only do so when out in the woods. In town I opt for off body carry, holstered and in a messenger bag. The former requires no permit, the latter does. Stories like this make me wary, but I feel that we have to exercise our rights if we want to keep them. I am glad my state offers a concealed weapons permit, but I would rather not hassle with having to worry about printing, cover garments, and all that hoo hah. What is more honest, open carry on the hip or concealed carry under a trenchcoat? Whatever happened to "an armed society is a polite society"?
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Old August 12, 2009, 01:01 PM   #11
maestro pistolero
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A credible legal threat to the disorderly conduct statute as written may get LE to back off. Do it legally and politically through the state legislature. It would give OCers leverage with LE to change their policy. LE wouldn't want to lose the broad latitude that such a catch-all law gives them. It's like loitering or vagrancy, it's too broad, and can be interpreted to include anything the department says. It's the stuff of a police state and has no place in a democracy.

Also, from a PR standpoint, they may need more open carry outings to desensitize the public. Some picnics, trash clean-up events, etc.

Last edited by maestro pistolero; August 13, 2009 at 02:28 PM.
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Old August 12, 2009, 01:23 PM   #12
chemgirlie
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Quote:
Also, from a PR standpoint, they may need more open carry outings to desensitize the public. Some picnics, trash clean-up events, etc.
I'm doing my best to desensitize people. There's a trash pickup in late Aug. if anyone is interested and in the area.

Edit: If forgot to mention that the trash pickup is an opencarry.org sponsored event.

Last edited by chemgirlie; August 12, 2009 at 07:31 PM.
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Old August 12, 2009, 04:56 PM   #13
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Folks are scared of a weapon, so seeing one on a hip scares folks. What is needed is education. Educate everyone on weapons and this would be a better place for us all.

Gal the other day shot her bro in the head with a gun loaded with blanks.....

If she was educated on firearms he might still be OK and not in ICU maybe dying.

TV and the media paint a horrible picture of weapons and folks that use em.
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Old August 12, 2009, 05:41 PM   #14
srt 10 jimbo
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After he was Aquitted, he should of sued the city, Maybe that would change the minds on the way they handle each case.
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Old August 13, 2009, 09:32 AM   #15
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+1 - srt 10 jumbo -

If the police are using the catchall "Disorderly Conduct" charge against someone who's open carrying, it's possible that a lawyer could go to a judge, and persuade him/her to issue an injunction against the police, the police chief specifically.

Police chiefs usually don't like to go to court on a "show/cause" hearing.

Contact a lawyer who understands gun laws. They love this stuff.
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Old August 13, 2009, 02:31 PM   #16
maestro pistolero
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After he was Aquitted, he should of sued the city, Maybe that would change the minds on the way they handle each case.
No acquittal yet, it's a new case. But yes, this nonsense should come with a heavy price.
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Old August 13, 2009, 02:53 PM   #17
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Why should it be the responsibility of the victim of false arrest/prosecution to pony up the legal fees to take the city government to court? Is the ACLU going to pay his legal fees? I think not. Maybe a cadre of Wisconsin OCers should rally at their next congressional town hall while using their right to be armed... Also, I think the armed community service that the OP mentioned in her 3rd or 4th post is a great idea. Peaceful, productive demonstration is far more effective than antagonistic letters to congressmen or 'make a point' lawsuits, and they cost a lot less.
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Old August 13, 2009, 06:13 PM   #18
pendennis
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IAN0351 -

The person, in this case, is not yet a "victim of false arrest/prosecution". Absent malice on the part of the prosecutor, you are required to pay for your own defense, or if you are unable, have counsel appointed by the state.

Proving malicious prosecution is a tough nut. Authorities have immunity from law suits when they're acting in their official capacities, and judges tend not to pi$$ off the folks they work with daily.

The ACLU nationally still does not recognize the right to keep and bear arms as an individual right. They still believe in an oxymoronic concept of group rights. The exception to this is the California branch. They have formally stated that they will now handle Second Amendment cases.

However, at the end of the day, authorities may only respond to being forced into court. Never omit the possibility of court action.
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Old August 13, 2009, 08:28 PM   #19
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Quote:
The WI Attorney General issued a memo stating open carry is perfectly legal a while back. Unfortunately, it doesn't carry any legal weight.
If a lawsuit were filed, and this "opinion" entered as evidence, it might well carry a great deal of "legal weight".

ETA: The LE around here used to try this same tactic, after a few lawsuits were filed and the AG's opinion, (which was quite similar to the one you referenced) was cited, the harassment stopped. Sometimes it takes a kick to the "nads" to get the proper respect.
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Old August 13, 2009, 11:06 PM   #20
Jim March
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Quote:
If a lawsuit were filed, and this "opinion" entered as evidence, it might well carry a great deal of "legal weight".
More than that, to convict on a criminal charge the DA has to show willful misconduct. If a letter from the TOP COP in the state says the action is legal, it's damned hard to convince a jury that the guy "knew" he was breaking the law.
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Old August 13, 2009, 11:33 PM   #21
chemgirlie
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Quote:
If a letter from the TOP COP in the state says the action is legal, it's damned hard to convince a jury that the guy "knew" he was breaking the law.
It might get sticky because the open carrying isn't in question, it's the idea that he probably knew that OCing in that area might ruffle a few feathers. That certainly doesn't mean that his rights should be violated because of public opinion, but it does complicate it.

Here's the disclaimer from the AG's memo:
http://www.doj.state.wi.us/absoluten...asp?a=1209&z=3
Quote:
This informal Advisory Memorandum does not constitute a formal opinion of the Wisconsin Attorney General or the Wisconsin Department of Justice under Wisconsin statute ยง 16.015(1). The department offers this advisory memorandum for educational and informational purposes only. It does not prevent the Attorney General, the Wisconsin Department of Justice, or any Wisconsin district attorney, special prosecutor or municipal prosecutor from bringing any particular charge or making any particular argument in the course of litigation.It does not create any rights beyond those established under the constitutions, statutes, regulations, and administrative rules of the United States of America and the State of Wisconsin.
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Old September 14, 2009, 08:17 AM   #22
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ok... I know this thread is old, but im from Wisconsin and will be moving back in december after my ETS. Anybody care to let me know a quick refresher on the carry laws? Is it a state wide thing or are the different by city and county? any advice would be helpfull thanks.
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