Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Schimel Overrules Shirley Abrahamson. Good!

This turned into a bit more than just another gun-in-church case.

Brad Schimel also sent a signal to Screechin'Shirley Abrahamson that her re-invention of the Wisconsin Constitution is just plain nuts.

A woman walked into a church openly carrying a loaded 9mm pistol. Church members called the Brookfield cop shop.

Sutterfield had gotten into her car and was leaving. Police pulled her over and found that she had the gun, still loaded, inside a zippered case on her passenger seat. Wisconsin law requires all guns to be unloaded and encased during transport in a vehicle. Police handcuffed Sutterfield, processed her at the station, released her and referred the matter to prosecutors, suggesting that she be ticketed for having the loaded gun in her car.

The weapon was "on the passenger seat" but "in a zippered case."

Waukesha County District Attorney Brad Schimel explained that while Sutterfield did violate the letter of the firearm transport law, he was not going to formally issue the ticket, for several reasons...

First was 'intent', (or lack thereof); she meant and did no harm to anyone.

Further, Schimel wrote, the statute in question, which is a non-criminal infraction that carries a maximum forfeiture of $100, was passed before the Wisconsin Constitution was amended to clearly specify residents' rights to keep guns for various purposes. He said he did not think the facts of Sutterfield's case made it the right one to prosecute in an effort to set the limits of gun restrictions

Interesting. Schimel thinks that Waukesha County would lose the case given the facts and circumstances outlined.

There was another factor: it's likely that the cop shop's "discovery" of the gun would lead to evidence troubles for the DA. Schimel thought that the cops did the right thing, BUT that the right to keep-and-bear trumps Screechin'Shirley's made-up-from-whole-cloth 'restrictions.'

I've met Schimel and I do not think that he is a "gun rights zealot."

Now it's clear that he has better judgment than Shirley Abrahamson, too.

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