Tuesday, February 17, 2009

"Open Carry" Legal in West Allis

I don't advocate "open carry," but it appears to be legal in West Allis.

A West Allis municipal judge today ruled in favor of a local man arrested for disorderly conduct after a neighbor complained that he was carrying a gun while planting a tree.

Judge Paul Murphy found Brad Krause not guilty of disorderly conduct

... West Allis Police Chief Mike Jungbluth could not be reached for comment this afternoon.
West Allis Assistant City Attorney Jenna Merten, who prosecuted the case, was in trial today and was unavailable for comment. City Attorney Scott Post declined to comment because he had not yet learned the basis for the judge's decision, he said

Man, that's a lot of Ducking and Weaving...

West Allis police responded to Krause's home last August after a neighbor called to ask about the legality of him openly carrying a gun in a holster on his property. Police responded, arrested Krause and ticketed him for disorderly conduct, an offense he and his attorney, Steven Cain, fought during a court trial in December. Police also seized his gun

But it's not really a question of "open carry."

The case is also one that has been watched closely around the country, particularly by the co-founders of the Virginia-based OpenCarry.org, John Pierce and Mike Stollenwerk.

Said Pierce: "Really, the larger issue is not even a gun rights issue. It's the issue of having a disorderly conduct statute that is a catchall statute for otherwise legal behavior."

One suspects that Mr. Krause was just edgy enough with the cops to find himself arrested, but not edgy enough to 'make a case' out of it. At the same time, it appears that the West Allis officers were at about 110% of the recommended daily adrenaline allowance when they hit the scene.

Which is precisely why I don't run around with a 9mm fixed on my belt. The natural response of the police in the Greater Milwaukee area is to assume the worst (not entirely unreasonable), show force like crazy, and ask questions later.

This case, however, has the merit of forcing some re-training. Like "when to ask questions" and "what questions to ask," for example. Obviously, DC charges without really solid substantiation are not going to be the cure-all any more.

At least in West Allis.

HT: Badger


Disgruntled Car Salesman said...

The beginning of something good.

Neo-Con Tastic said...

At first I was very happy to see this occur. This is a good move towards concealed carry.

However, I am concerned over the safety of those that choose to OC. It won't take long before the police force will end up exerting too much police force...

Anonymous said...

The judge obviously made the correct decision in this case. If you have any doubts read Article I, Section 25 of the Wisconsin Constitution. The officers of the West Allis PD obviously were over zeolous and untrained when it comes to the constitutional rights of Wisconsin citizens. All they had to do was holler for the guy and ask questions. But instead they came blazing down the driveway with guns drawn. It's a shame.

And police have very little to fear of a person carrying openly. They already know he/she is armed (pretty obvious to be exact) and can be quite assured that he/she has decent intensions. It is those who are hiding their guns (until concealed carry is passed anyways) that they should fear. All the governor had to do was sign the concealed carry legislation and those carrying would be trained and licensed. Now everyone can carry (always could to be exact) and there is that question of safety. Although I would guess that carrying isn't quite as dangerous as people make it out to be. At least I never saw anyone shoot themselves during my two years carrying an M16 everyday in the sand.

Dad29 said...

All they had to do was holler for the guy and ask questions.

I think that's what I said in the post.

With his vetoes, Doyle has made it entirely likely that there will be MANY untrained gun-carriers in Wisconsin. SCOWI is forced to allow more and more concealed carry, and there is no "training" required when those decisions are handed down.

But we all know Doyle is a damn fool--no use belaboring the point.

And, young'un, you shoulda carried a REAL gun--an M-14--in the sand. The good news: the M-14 fired each and every time you pulled the trigger, sand or no.

Not like that -16 piece of crap.