Wisconsin Judge Rules Concealed Carry Ban Unconstitutional

Wisconsin still remains one of only two states in the Union that bars its citizens from some method of legally carrying a concealed handgun. I learned through Says Uncle that a Milwaukee Country judge ruled the ban unconstitutional yesterday:

In the ongoing evolution of Wisconsin gun law, a Milwaukee County judge has ruled the state’s ban on concealed weapons unconstitutional as applied to a man who had an unloaded, encased gun under his car seat three days after he had been robbed at gunpoint in the same area of the city.

In an eight-page decision and order, Circuit Judge J.D. Watts agreed that for Jeremy Pinnow to exercise his right to bear arms for security and self-defense, he had few other choices.

What’s interesting is the fact a cased and unloaded gun was considered a form of concealed carrying. In my book that qualifies as transportation of a firearm in a legal manner (had he been driving a pickup this would have been kosher under federal laws as there is no place to store the firearm separate from the driver).

Either way I’m hoping this ruling sticks through the appeal process that is likely to happen (this is in Milwaukee Country after all). If this ruling sticks it could offer the ammunition pro-gun organizations need to get carry legislation moving through the Wisconsin political black hole.

Thankfully Most Criminals are Morons

If you’re a criminal and want to obtain a gun how do you go about doing it? According the the anti-gunners you go to a gun show. What they don’t tell you though is the fact most people at gun shows are dealers and thus required to perform background checks thus most criminals usually try to get somebody with a clean record to purchase guns for them. This is known as a straw purchase and is illegal. Thankfully most criminals are rather simple minded and don’t think things all the way through so they often raise a bunch of red flags when trying to skirt the law. The guys at Monsoor’s Sports Shop encountered one of these idiot criminals trying to obtain a gun through a straw purchase:

Monsoor’s Sport Shop owner Pat Wendling contacted the bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives last week about a possible “straw purchase” after the 28-year-old La Crosse man came in to look at handguns.

What do you think was the red flag that caused them to call the ATF was? I’m betting it was this:

When shown a 9 mm Taurus pistol, Damon Taylor lifted his shirt, tucked the gun in his waistband, commenting it would fit nicely, according to an ATF agent’s affidavit unsealed Friday. He said he wanted to buy the pistol for his fiancĂ©e and asked how to go about it.

Ah yes the waistband carry test followed by an excuse that he wanted to buy the gun for somebody else. Yup, that won’t raise any attention at all.

Beyond this story though I’d also like to give a shout out to Monsoor’s. The La Crosse area is where I was born and spent a good chunk of my life. During my time living there I did quite a bit of business with them and they were always great people to deal with. If you’re ever in the area and need something gun related I highly recommend them.

Wisconsin Carry

I’ve found some good news via Says Uncle for those of you living in the state east from mine. It seems Illinois will be the last state in the union that disallows any form of carry a concealed handgun as Wisconsin is planning on passing carry legislation:

Wisconsin, one of two states in the nation that prohibits citizens from carrying a concealed weapon, is expected to reverse this law during the upcoming state legislative session, according to a local newspaper.

Only Illinois and Wisconsin forbid carrying concealed weapons. A Republican was elected governor and Republicans won majorities in both houses of the Wisconsin legislature in November, bringing many more supporters of gun rights to the state government.

“You’re going to see a concealed carry bill pass the Legislature, I have no doubt,” Chris Danou, a Democratic legislator from Trempealeau, Wisconsin, told the LaCrosse Tribune newspaper. “The question is what kind of bill it’s going to be.”

Personally I can’t wait. I’m also hoping for reciprocity with Minnesota since Wisconsin is a state I visit with some semblance of frequency and really hate the fact I can’t carry there. It looks like Illinois will be the last holdout for allowing citizens a means of legal self defense.

Three Gun Competition

Yesterday I partook in my first three gun competition. For my maiden voyage I accompanies a friend and a group of his friends down to Holmen, Wisconsin. First I must say the competition was a ton of fun. I shot heavy metal using my Glock 21SF, Springfield M1A SOCOM 16, and my friends bright yellow Remington 870.

The pistol potions gave me little trouble thanks to USPSA. Shotgun portions provided me some trouble as reloading an 870, like most shotguns, is tedious. I feel I did so-so on the rifle portions except for the last stage where a combination of a really fat front sight, small targets at 90 yards, and my lack of ability to shoot caused me some headaches. Most of the people there agree the stages were all design by a sadist but honestly I found them to be incredibly fun. It was certainly a challenge and I can’t wait for the next one. I’ve only found one downside to three gun and that is the price; it’s going to cost me a lot of money in the future.

I also learned a couple of lessons. First make sure you don’t place your body anywhere near those clay pigeon throwers activated by falling steel plates. If the plate falls and hits you in the shoulder it’s going to suck really hard for the rest of the day. The second lesson is the fact that the laws of thermodynamics haven’t changed so grabbing the top rail on the SOCOM after shooting a lot of rounds is going to lead to a burning sensation in your hand. Finally I learned that continuing to shoot a 7.62x51mm battle rifle when your shoulder is already very sore is not a sound tactical choice.

This is Why I Keep it Concealed

A Wisconsin man was held a gun point while he was open carrying. Now I’m all for open carry but there are consequences to every action. Open carrying a gun probably does work as a deterrent most of the time, but if it doesn’t deter the criminal they are going to see all the cards in your hand. That’s the main reason I don’t open carry most of the time (sometimes if I’m really lazy I’ll open carry while taking my trash out or something along those lines), I like the element of surprise.

I’m cagey with information to begin with and the last thing I want some random criminal to know is that I’ve got a gun (of course if that criminal knows me and reads this page he’ll know I have a gun but that’s targeted not random). This means I’ll have a few seconds upon drawing it where the criminal will be dealing with the new and unexpected criteria of an armed victim whom was thought a harmless threat.

But again if a criminal believes somebody is armed they are most likely going to go after somebody easier. Heck the story is so scarce on details we don’t even know if the criminal targeted the man because he was openly carrying or didn’t see the gun (you would be surprised how many people lack basic perception) until he was already sticking the man up.

One of the comments made by somebody who apparently knew the guy was interesting:

“It was kind of scary to just see him walking around all the time with that gun kind of just out in the open,” said Shambria Mayham Autman. She lives near Teutonia and Good Hope and said they called him “The guy with the gun.”

Well if it’s scary seeing the gun you should be helping to get concealed carry laws passing in Wisconsin. Right now the only way to carry a gun for protection in Wisconsin is openly. They are one of only two states that lack any form of concealed carry laws (even The Peoples’ Republic of California has a form of concealed carry law on hand).

Castle Doctrine Bill in Wisconsin

I just saw this come over the NRA-ILA site this morning. A bill has been presented in Wisconsin that would enact castle doctrine.

Currently the bill, AB 193, is sitting in the Assembly Rules Committee. I know little about Wisconsin politics but those of you living there may want to find out who’s on that committee and urge them to vote yes on this bill so it can get out to a vote by the state representatives.

In case you’re new to the self defense terminology castle doctrine means you are able to defend your home from invaders without fear of legal repercussions. In states without castle doctrine (such as Wisconsin and Minnesota) if a criminal breaks into your home and you injure him (in other words you defended your home) the invader can take legal action against you (although it’s not a guarantee that the invader will win it’s still legal headaches for the home owner regardless).