Saturday, April 15, 2017

WI: Serious Push for Constitutional Carry

Wisconsin legislators are mounting a serious push to bring Wisconsin into the Constitutional carry club. Two weeks ago, on 28 March, 2017, the Right to Carry Act LRB-2039/1, was announced in the legislature. I have been hearing rumors about such a bill, but details were lacking.

The Wisconsin legislature is catching up with what the people voted for in 1998.  In 1998, Wisconsin finished an arduous process to pass a right to keep and bear arms amendment to the Wisconsin Constitution.  It ended any argument about weather the Second Amendment applied to Wisconsin. From Article I Section 25:
 The people have the right to keep and bear arms for security, defense, hunting, recreation or any other lawful purpose.
There is no qualifier on bearing arms in the amendment.  All but six states have some constitutional provision protecting the right to arms. Many states who wished to restrict concealed carry, put a qualifier in their amendment specifically granting the state the power to regulate bearing concealed weapons.

Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, and Utah have or had such provisions. Wisconsin voters and legislators did not include such qualifiers.

Louisiana and Missouri have acted to remove those qualifiers.

The Wisconsin Supreme Court was dominated by anti-rights liberals until recently. They refused to accept the clear meaning of Section 25. Most of the leftist justices have been replaced. A recent Supreme Court decision has strong hints that the majority on the Court are now willing to enforce Section 25.

Two different sources have informed me that the Constitutional Carry bill in Wisconsin has the votes to pass the legislature, and that Governor Walker will sign the bill. The bill is a well thought out reform that changes numerous provisions in Wisconsin law, removing statutory restrictions on the carry of arms that are unsupportable under Section 25.

The bill would repeal the silly Wisconsin gun free school zone law, a direct copy of a proposed federal statute. The  statute has provisions that make no sense for a state law. The statute bans the carry of guns within a thousand feet of a school, directly violating section 25 of the Wisconsin Constitution.

The bill reforms laws banning the carry of weapons will shining a light on wildlife, removes numerous "gun free zones", and expands the state "shall issue" permit to non-residents. In a nod to the Federal Supreme Court decision in Caetano, it removes restrictions on electric weapons. Here is the comprehensive legislative summary of what the bill does.

From the bill:

Current law generally prohibits an individual from carrying a concealed weapon unless the individual has a license to carry a concealed weapon that is issued by the Department of Justice or unless the individual has a law enforcement identification card indicating that he or she is a qualified current or former law enforcement officer. This bill eliminates the general prohibition against going armed with a concealed weapon without regard to licensure status. This bill also eliminates current law prohibitions against carrying firearms in specified places, but retains the current law that allows certain persons to post buildings and grounds so that individuals who carry a firearm in violation of the posting commit trespass. For instance, this bill eliminates the prohibition on carrying a firearm on school grounds and, for persons without a license to carry a concealed weapon, in a school zone. Instead, this bill allows schools to post their buildings and grounds under the trespassing laws. An individual who violates the trespassing provision is guilty of a Class C misdemeanor if the individual is in a posted school building and a Class B forfeiture if the individual is on the posted grounds of a school.

Likewise, the bill eliminates the general prohibition against carrying a firearm in other buildings, such as a police station, a house of correction, or a secure mental health facility, but allows the appropriate governmental entity to post the buildings against carrying a firearm. This bill also eliminates the prohibitions against carrying a firearm, bow, or crossbow in a wildlife refuge and eliminates the prohibitions against carrying a firearm, bow, or crossbow while engaging in certain activities, such as operating an all-terrain vehicle. In addition, current law prohibits an individual from shining wildlife while the individual is hunting or possessing a firearm, bow and arrow, or crossbow. This bill maintains that the individual may not shine wildlife while hunting but eliminates the prohibition on shining while possessing a firearm, bow and arrow, or crossbow. The federal gun-free school zone law generally prohibits the possession of a firearm in a school zone but exempts an individual who is licensed to possess a firearm by the state in which the school zone is located if the license involves a background check on the individual. For purposes of being able to possess a firearm in a school zone under federal law, as well as for purposes of being allowed to carry a firearm in other states that require licensure, this bill maintains the license to carry a concealed weapon and the law enforcement identification cards. This bill makes two modifications to the process to obtain a new license to carry a concealed weapon.

First, under this bill, DOJ may issue a license to an applicant who is not a Wisconsin resident; under current law, only a resident may be issued a license. Second, although current law requires proof of completing a training program for a license, under this bill, if an otherwise qualified applicant does not provide proof of completing a training program, DOJ must issue the applicant a license that indicates that the license is a basic license. For in-state purposes, the license and the basic license are indistinguishable, and, under this bill, both are optional. The bill also provides that, if the federal government creates standards that would allow a license to carry a concealed weapon to be recognized by other states and the license issued by DOJ does not comply with the federal standards, DOJ must create an optional enhanced license to carry a concealed weapon that complies with the federal standards.

Finally, current law generally prohibits the possession of electric weapons, commonly known as tasers. This bill eliminates that prohibition except the prohibition is maintained for an individual who is prohibited from possessing a firearm. This bill also changes the definition of “firearm” by specifically excluding antique firearms, as defined under federal law, which excludes firearms manufactured before 1898 and muzzleloading firearms. For further information see the state fiscal estimate, which will be printed as an appendix to this bill.

Wisconsin was the second to last state to pass a "shall issue" concealed carry statute. The legislation had been repeatedly stopped by former AG and Governor Jim Doyle, who twice vetoed carry bills. Because of the delay, the final bill became one of the best "shall issue" statutes in the nation.

Perhaps, because of the prior refusal of the Supreme Court to enforce the right to arms amendment, the legislature will enact this strong Constitutional Carry statute, enforcing the will of the people.  The legislators expect Second Amendment supporters to continue to push for this bill.

Opponents of the right to arms are pushing against enactment in the Milwaukee and Madison papers.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch


Anonymous said...

I realize the right to carry is a confusing issue for many. we can not expect to educate everyone on what the constitution actually says. BUT common English is very easy to read so the ignorant must simply want to be ignorant for political reasons. very recently there was a video on U-Tube that showed a cop beating a black man for J-Walking. Why would this cop even challenge the J-Walking issue? The United States Supreme Court ruled all J- walking and vagrancy laws across the nation are unconstitutional many years ago. that cop is guilty of criminal assault under color of law. these states that refuse to enforce the second amendment are just as ignorant as that incompetent cop. face it there is no authority for states to amend what the second amendment requires. there is no states rights to change the second amendment. there is a requirement in the constitution for states to enforce the second amendment as written. It is called the tenth amendment, the separation of powers between the federal government and the states governments. the second amendment and the tenth amendment have never been amended to allow the states to make changed to either amendment. the federal government and the state governments have no authority to add any kind of a qualifier. Age, carry , kind, where, permit, tax no qualifier is valid. the authority to add qualifiers simply does not exist. laws and acts are not legally ratified amendments. the only thing these laws and acts accomplish is to increase the beaurocracy. me and my own big brother did not get along all that well I damn sure do not need government to be a big brother. Further more the U.S. Constitution forbids one state to tax a person from another state, Your rights cross all boundaries or state lines. these facts are guaranteed by the US constitution.

Dean Weingarten said...

The bill of rights is designed to protect people from overreach by the government.

State bills of rights are designed to protect people from state governments.

It is perfectly rational to have protection from both. It does not violate common sense.

Governments have routinely ignored the law for their own purposes for most of history. The founders and writers of the Constitution understood that men in power are fallible and often refuse to follow the law. Checks and balances in the Constitution are designed to pit some powers of various governments and agencies against other governments and agencies in order to protect the people and to keep government power in check.

It is a simple concept.

Sandra Jean said...

Just wondering...if constitutional carry should be recognized, will places of business still have the right to refuse you if you are carrying? Seems to me that is depriving you of your constitutional right. The courts say bakers have to make wedding cakes for gays so as not to discriminate, so wouldn't the courts say businesses have to allow conceal and/or open carry if that's your right under the law? Otherwise they are discriminating against gun owners. Right now I boycott stores that post the "No Weapons" sign. I am within the law to carry and I feel they are depriving me of my right, so they do not get my business.

Anonymous said...

When people begin to read the constitution for themselves and their own benefit, we will have a far better educated public. How many people can actually recite the information in the Bill of right let lone know what the seven article in the constitution contain. There are ten amendments in the bill of rights. very few people ever quote the tenth and ninth amendments and far more have no idea of what their importance is. the ninth amendment purpose is to explain the importance of the bill of rights and that the bill of rights is not all of the rights the government must protect. The purpose of the tenth amendment is to tell the states that the states must enforce the federal constitution above their own. the tenth amendment is a federal guarantee that states can not deny any of what the federal constitution is required to guarantee. States rights have no authority over what the federal constitution stipulates, including all of those un enumerated rights in the ninth amendment. to understand what the ninth amendment applies to. think about all of the inventions since the constitution was ratified, for instance automobiles and computers and weapons with more than a muzzle loaded round. the tenth amendment makes it clear if the U.S. congress has no authority to infringe neither do the states.

Anonymous said...

I think the first time an open carrier saves that business from being robbed that sign would come down. I do believe a business owner has the right to deny anyone to enter his business for any reason. His business is going to suffer a loss but that is his choice. enough of a loss and he will be out of business. Gays have no more rights than any one else. it comes down to individual choice, I have the right to choose to refuse to associate with gays and gays have the right to choose to be gay. God has never made a mistake, no one is born gay. Muslims learn to be radical Islamists and children learn to be gay. It is all related to what a person is exposed to at a very early age.

Anonymous said...

If you can not understand the tenth amendment you should never get involved in a discussion about the separation of powers. the only rights that states could address are any rights not listed in the federal bill of rights, then all you have to do is prove those rights are not defined by the ninth amendment. states do not get to define rights. that is why we have a federal government. that is why our rights travel with us where ever we go in this nation.

Anonymous said...

An interesting thing about being a business owner is being the owner. as an Owner I can charge any amount I want for my work or services. If I post a sign that states I can refuse service to any one for any reason I can be very particular about my customers. I can think of a number of ways to be selective and effective on what customers I choose to serve without breaking the law. As a specialized business owner like a bakery. I may not have the special equipment to make a cake for a gay couple that would me my standards of excellence. If I cast my own cake top ornaments such as a bride and a groom. to set up to cast a Groom and a groom or a bride and a bride may be an extreme amount of cost. who wants to pay up front for a one hundred thousand dollar cake. there is no law that can force you to buy from another supplier any thing you do not choose to make. If you do not have the products a customer wants you can not be force to carry those products.

Anonymous said...

Creating any thing by hand is a very special kind of a business. the person doing the creating can develop the pricing structure for his or her work. You do not have to work for any one that refuses to pay your price. I could bake a cake and have different prices for how I use my skills to ice that cake or how I decorate that cake. You can have standard designs for one price and custom designs for a different price. a custom price can be any thing you please. custom work must be as perfect as possible. My worry about getting it correct may cost as much as 100k or more. That price would not include delivery. If they do not like my pricing they can always take their business else where or try to do it themselves. I made custom matching wedding bands for my sister and her husband for a wedding gift.