Did you know that Wisconsin, along with Illinois, there is no legal provision for citizens to carry concealed weapons? In the old days, it was socially acceptable to carry a firearm openly, but it was considered “sneaky” to carry concealed. Times and social mores have changed. Now, many people are frightened of the sight of an openly carried weapon, unless carried by an authorized agent of the State. Since they never see the concealed weapon, most people are more comfortable with concealed carry. Wisconsin outlaws concealed carry, and permits open carry. A few days back, 5 guys were eating at a local establishment while openly carrying their pistols. Naturally, this pissed off the local constabulary. A lady saw the guns, called 911 and was told that open carry is legal, but the cops would be there directly to check it out. The normal thing with cops happened. Cops demanded ID, OC’ers refused. Cops threatened arrest, 2 still refused and were arrested, charged with obstructing, searched, traced, and released. In all actuality, they were charged with “Contempt of Cop.” They had audio recording during the arrest.
Eventually the police department realized that they have on their own website a PDF that says that refusing to give ID is not a crime. Rather than just tear it all up, apologize (grovel) a bit and hope to get off lightly, Madison PD decided to double down on stupid. They issued Disorderly Conduct tickets to all 5 OC’ers. This is where my favorite hoplophobe comes in.
Several weeks ago, some open carriers decided to enter a Culver’s restaurant in Madison with guns in holsters displayed openly. Needless to say, it was of such concern to some of the patrons that one called the police. Naturally, the police challenged the men to show their paperwork to prove that they were not felons. Several of the men stupidly refused. What did they expect? If everyone starts carrying guns around in public places, how will we know the bad guys from the good guys?
Here’s my comment on her blog. Let’s see if she posts it.
Would you like to listen to the 911 call?
In addition to being a 2nd Amendment fan, I am also a huge fan of the 4th Amendment. You know the one that says
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
You may not be aware of this, but a police officer is not empowered to demand your “papers, please.” He has to have a reasonable articulable suspicion of wrongdoing to justify even detaining these men. Since exercising a fundamental constitutional right can never be grounds for police harassment, I predict a large check will be issued to each of the 5 Madisonians who were unlawfully stopped, searched, and cited for a crime that not only did they not commit, but they could not have committed.