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At the end of July, an open-carry activist in Calumet County strolled through a state park near Lake Winnebago and ended up in a shouting match with police, who drew their own weapons in anticipation of a showdown.
Wisconsin’s Open-Carry Laws
Calumet County officials have met and agreed that it was all a mistake; over a decade ago, it became illegal in the county to open-carry in state parks, which conflicts with state laws. Open-carry has never been illegal in Wisconsin.
That’s why it was also a bit of a surprise to the general public when two men carrying AR-15s and holstered handguns were cuffed and detained in Appleton’s downtown farmers’ market last fall. Police released the pair after 45 minutes. According to officers, there’s a point where the right to openly carry a firearm becomes disorderly conduct – and that point is when it’s done with the intention of upsetting people.
What Happens if Police Violate Open-Carry Advocates’ 2nd Amendment Rights?
In 2011, the City of Madison agreed to pay $10,000 to people who were cited or arrested for bringing firearms to a restaurant. Another $10,000 was paid to a man who was arrested for having a holstered gun on his own porch in Racine, and $7,500 was awarded to a Brookfield woman who was arrested for bringing her gun to church.
These aren’t the only cases, either, leaving some people to claim that Wisconsin courts are being used as a political stage.
What’s your take on our open-carry laws? Are you behind the idea of carrying military-grade rifles in public places, do you think that people shouldn’t be carrying deadly weapons, or are you somewhere in-between?
Attorney Carlos A. Gamiño is a big advocate for individual rights; he’s been following the open carry debate very closely. Recent events in Wisconsin bring up all kinds of legal and ethical questions, including whether it’s against the law to open carry in a Wisconsin state park.
Open Carry Protests in Wisconsin - What's Your Take?
Copyright 2014 by Attorney Carlos Gamino
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