May 6, 2014

Wisconsin Statutes: Knowing the Law is Important and So is Accurate "Reporting"

There seems to be confusion about the Wisconsin state concealed-carry permit; mostly as to when or where one with a permit can carry. So here it is from the Wisconsin Bar website:
Concealed Carry Restrictions (Wis. Stat. Section 175.60):
  • Residence: Owner may prohibit firearms on property, either oral or posted. There is no law prohibiting either way.
  • Multifamily Residence (condos & apartments): No posting is required & notice may be oral. Common areas must post any restrictions by owner of building & property; but does not include parking area on grounds. Conceal Carry with permits is allowed in parking area.

  • Nonresidential Building (nursing homes, community facilities, hospices, etc): Prohibiting signs must be posted prominently at all entrances. May not prohibit firearms on grounds used for parking. In the case of schools: concealed carry licensees are allowed to carry within 1000 feet of school grounds, but NOT on school grounds. Taverns: Concealed carry licensees are allowed only if they are not consuming alcohol on the premises. Business owners can decide whether to post a “No Firearms” sign at all entrances to let concealed carry persons know their wishes.
  • Vacant Land: In general, “No Trespassing” signs must be posted, either written, posted, or oral. Sign must be posted in a prominent place at all access points to the property. No laws are applicable in regards to any restrictions. For example, if you have oral or written permission to hunt on a citizen's private land and you carry a concealed weapon with permit – it is legal.
  • Special Events (These are events that are 3 weeks or less, open to public, with either entrances locked when event is closed or admission fee): The law states that there be no prohibition of firearms (with concealed carry) in any part of a special event building or grounds used as a parking facility; however the owner of the property or municipal authorities can post signs at all entrances prohibiting firearms and places “reasonably expected to see the sign”.
  • State/Local Government Unit: Firearms are prohibited and signs will be posted near all entrances; but may not prohibit firearms on governmental “grounds or land” like parks, unless being used for a special event. May not prohibit firearms in parking facilities. In addition: Open firearms without concealed-carry license is prohibited in all government buildings and concealed carry licensee with firearm is prohibited in police stations, prisons/jails, mental health facilities, courthouses, airports (beyond security checkpoint).
  • University/College: Signs prohibiting firearms must be posted near entrances where entrant can see them. May not prohibit firearms on campus grounds (outside building) and may not prohibit firearms in parking facilities. Campus administrators have authority to allow conceal-carry firearms in buildings with permit; but don't expect that to happen.
Persons not paying attention to posted “No Firearms” signs can be fined both for trespassing and carrying a firearm in a prohibited area; in the case of trespass to land, Section 943.13.
An employer may prohibit employees who have valid conceal-carry licenses from carrying a weapon (concealed or not) or a particular type of weapon in the course of his/her employment. However, an employer may not, as a condition of employment, prohibit a licensee from carrying or storing a weapon in the licensee's motor vehicle used to drive to work or park on employer's parking area. Employers may ban concealed weapons from employer-owned vehicles and persons who do not possess a concealed-carry license.
  • Municipalities: Municipalities are barred, by Wis. Stat. Section 66.0409(2) from adopting ordinances or resolutions regulating concealed carry beyond state laws. Municipal buildings are local government, therefore they are areas where firearms are prohibited, and the municipality must post “No Firearms” signs at all entrances and according to the State Law. Proper sign posting is important for places that do not want firearms on the premises – by law and their choice.
Oddly, firearms are allowed with conceal carry license in places where the state has prohibited smoking in restaurants, bars/pubs, and hotels/inns/motels within the state of Wisconsin (passed before Walker was governor), unless posted, whether the owner chooses to allow smoking or not or divides a section of the business establishment into “Smoking” and “Non-Smoking” sections. Governor Walker and the State Assembly has done nothing to repeal that law passed by Jim Doyle and his cronies; clearly a travesty against constitutional rights of a business making the decision, not the government, as to whether or not to allow customers to smoke on their premises.
Recently a person who calls himself a “journalist” posted an article that declared that concealed carry licensees were prohibited from carrying firearms in public parks of the Village of Milwaukee; but it is not true and if it were, it would not be acceptable in a court of law because unless there are special events going on in that park, municipal regulations or laws cannot counter the state law. Just as state constitutions and state laws cannot counter the US Constitution and its amendments.
A video was taken of a man in a park by a woman (Heather Karenz) who was with her son while he used the slide - was carrying a firearm in a holster in plain sight – not concealed. Heather posted the photo on Facebook and commented:
There's a lot of debate. There are people saying that's his right, and I agree, 100 percent. But when it's illegal for it to be on city property, everybody needs to obey that.
Why he would not conceal it is beyond me, but that is his right to do so if he has a legal carry permit. The whole object of carrying concealed is to make sure the bad guys don't know you have a firearm.
Of course, the person (Steve Chamraz) who wrote the article made a big deal about it and says it presents a great debate. He did not correct the person because the city park is a public place, not a government building – and therefore, if he carried a legal permit, he was not breaking any law.
The media pundit goes on to say …
While the sign in the park does not explicitly state a ban on firearms, a spokesperson for the city said local law banning guns applies.
Not only is this false, but if there was a ban on that property by local municipality, which is illegal for public property, they also failed to abide by state law by posting at every entrance to the part signs that state “No Firearms”.
Wisconsin Carry is a state organization that has fought to have constitutional, 2nd Amendment rights for a while; and helped greatly in the passing of a concealed carry law. Their motto is:
The people have the right to keep and bear arms for security, defense, hunting, recreation or any other lawful purpose.
The organization also sponsors free concealed carry classes open to the public and provides a “proof of training” as part of the requirements of a concealed carry license from the State of Wisconsin. The training stresses upon safely carrying firearms and their use.
They also keep Wisconsin citizens informed, like in the article posted today, May 6th: The Difference Between “Reporting” and “Journalism”.
Wisconsin Carry read the article and presented the truth about his “report”. They cited Wisconsin Statute 66.0409 that declares local municipalities may not have gun laws stricter than state law. The local reporter provided a series of tweets in response. Not only did he not do his homework (or lied about talking to a municipal employee/attorney) – but he clearly does not know the law that he was writing about. Actually, the lady that took the picture was not complaining about the right to carry concealed firearms, but being more prudent to keep it concealed in places like a public park where children are playing. Not a requirement, but a request.
Of course, like most of the media, Chamraz made it a “great debate”. He also refused to retract the story, and thus providing inaccurate information to his readers. But that is okay because that is what anti-constitutionalists do in order to make their points and get people to do what they want.
Wisconsin Carry presented it more nicely than I did; but media pundits like Chamraz do not deserve a break. I have yet to find any regulation in Milwaukee, village or otherwise that matches what Chamraz professes that the city officials have such a law. In that case, they need to post the proper signs required by state law. And like Steve at Wisconsin Carry put it, concerning their “tag-line”: “You ask, we investigate” as to the motto of that media organization – that too is misleading, apparently according to Steve Chamraz.
That story needs retracting and notify readers that they were mistaken and do not know what the law is. Notice that the reporter did not disclose the name of the official or provide quotes in his “investigation”.
Note that since this writing, the municipal authorities have stated that the ordnance prohibiting firearms in public parks was BEFORE the state law, and they intend to repeal that ordnance, and, of course, not enforce the outdated ordnance.

No comments:

Post a Comment

No SPAM, please. If you wish to advertise or promote website, contact me.