Thursday, July 2, 2009

Progress in Wisconsin?

Gene German, Wisconsin Gun Rights Examiner,
explains why plans to push for a ban on open carry in
Wisconsin
may blow up in anti-gun faces:

One month ago, Attorney General J B Van Hollen said in a memo to law enforcement publicly what has been the law in Wisconsin since forever. Open carry is lawful and is not by itself, disorderly conduct.
His memo has (predictably) prompted talk at the Capitol of a bill to ban open carry. This is good. The people of Wisconsin passed an amendment in 1998 to protect their rights to bear arms for self defense and other lawful purposes. They have been prohibited from carrying a gun concealed for 137 years but since open carry is allowed, the states law and constitution worked well together. If open carry becomes prohibited, it will be impossible for anyone to exercise their constitutionally protected right and the Wisconsin Supreme Court will get to decide which (or perhaps both) law to overturn. This outcome will give some anti-gun democrats serious heartburn because they know your good judgement can’t be trusted (you did elect them after all) but it is not likely to stop them from trying to deny you your rights anyway. You can fix this problem at the polls.

Back in the bad old days when most courts in the U.S. took the 2nd Amendment at face value, it was widely held that governments could regulate either the open carrying of weapons, or the concealed carrying of weapons, as long as one or the other was legal. It was not considered important which style of bearing arms was allowed as long as people could bear arms legally, and it often came down to invalidating whichever statute came along second (the first statute, by this reasoning, only regulated the manner of carry by prohibiting one or the other . . . .but the second statute, no matter which style of carry it addressed, represented a de facto ban on carrying weapons altogether and was thus forbidden. ) Whether this thinking will make a comeback in the coming years remains to be seen, since we don't actually have a ruling on how important the "and bear" part of the right to keep and bear arms is . . . . but I like German's optimism.

3 comments:

Matthew said...

I imagine the democrats in Wisconsin running back an forth like gerbils in a glass cage and a cat outside.

Great perspective!

Don Gwinn said...

Thanks. I've been enjoying your blog this week.

Strings said...

Actually, it's even better than you think...

Doyle made a statement at a press conference a couple years back, suggesting that if you wanted to carry a gun, you could (and patted his hip). He was saying open carry IS legal, without using the words...

In the first concealed carry case we had after the KABA amendment was ratified, the steta Supremes told the legislature to address the issue, and pass some form of licensing system (so that some control could be maintained). The legislature tried, but Doyle blocked. Should they ban open carry, it's likely that Wisconsin would become another Vermont...