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 More On The Madison Open Carry Incident 
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 Post subject: More On The Madison Open Carry Incident
PostPosted: Tue Sep 21, 2010 2:15 pm 
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Yes, I know, the police always mean well, and they always want to protect rights and the Constitution of the United States — NOT!

http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/local/article_eacaa046-c571-11df-a52c-001cc4c002e0.html

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Restaurant incident reveals confusion over open carry

Posted: Tuesday, September 21, 2010 7:15 am

An incident at a Madison restaurant on Saturday has revealed confusion over Wisconsin's open carry law.

Wisconsin law generally allows people to carry firearms for security, defense, hunting, recreation or any other lawful purpose. It does not allow people to openly carry a firearm in a car, and generally does not permit people to carry a concealed weapon. Felons are not allowed to possess firearms.

A 62-year-old woman visiting a local Culver's sees several restaurant patrons with guns on holsters in plain view.

She doesn't know that Wisconsin law allows people to openly carry a firearm, so she notifies authorities, later telling them, "I didn't want to be that one person that saw guns and didn't call and something horrible happens." (I am not a lawyer, but isn't there something about "ignorance of the law is no defense"? Maybe the old lady should educate herself and tone down the busybody stuff.)

Officers arrive to find five armed men at the restaurant near East Towne Mall. In an effort to determine whether there is any threat to public safety, they ask to see the men's identification to make sure they're not felons, who are prohibited from possessing firearms.

To some, the actions by Madison police Saturday evening are reasonable. But members of gun rights organizations say police had no reason to suspect the men were felons. And what happened next, they say, amounted to the illegal search and detention of two of the men when they refused to provide their IDs.

Shawn M. Winrich, 33, of Madison, said he remained silent when police asked if he would provide his ID. Police then told him he was being placed under arrest, and he was handcuffed, disarmed, searched and held until police determined he was not a felon, Winrich said.

Winrich and Frank R. Hannan-Rock, 53, of Racine, were then given municipal citations for obstructing an officer, Madison police spokesman Joel DeSpain said.

But Auric Gold, secretary of Wisconsin Carry, and Mike Stollenwerk, cofounder of OpenCarry.org, said police do not have the right to demand that people identify themselves without probable cause to believe they've committed or are about to commit a crime.

That was not the case with the five Wisconsin Carry members who had simply gotten together to meet and have a meal, Winrich said.

Winrich said he began carrying a gun about four months ago for personal safety and routinely takes it anywhere it is lawfully permitted without incident.

"People know it is legal and it's not something to be concerned about," he said. "Most people really don't have much of a problem with it. They're just kind of curious."

But Winrich, who made an audio recording of the encounter with Madison police, said he carries a recorder in case a problem arises. He said he chose not to give his ID to Madison police because of "the attitude and the overstepping of authority that they had."

Wisconsin Carry won a $10,000 judgement against the city of Racine and its police department after Hannan-Rock was involved in a similar incident there, Gold said.

Openly carrying a firearm is "just like anybody else carrying a carrot down the street, or a cell phone," Stollenwerk said, adding that police in the 43 states that allow some form of open carry have become accustomed to people's right to have a firearm. "This stuff doesn't happen in the rest of the country anymore." (Well, not quite. Talk to the Las Vegas police department if they can take the time away from their current whitewash chore.)

Madison Police North District Capt. Cameron McLay said he believes officers acted appropriately in responding to a report of armed men in a public place in an urban setting, and the caller's concern that something might happen.

McLay said police were going into "a highly ambiguous situation" and had to determine if a crime had been or was about to be committed and preserve public safety, while assuring the rights of all involved. "This is what the officers did in this case to the best of their ability."

But McLay questioned whether obstruction was the correct citation given the circumstances. On Monday, detectives were sent to Culver's for further investigation to determine if another criminal charge, such as disorderly conduct, is warranted, McLay said. (Nevertheless, they will try to find something to hang on one or more of the guys. As I was admonished in another forum: Everyone is a felon. :roll: I guess the Madison police were listening to that. If reality doesn't work, make something up.)

Based on initial police reports, he acknowledged, "There is no indication that a disturbance had taken place."

McLay declined to comment on the legality of searching and detaining Winrich and Hannan-Rock until the police investigation is completed.


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 Post subject: Re: More On The Madison Open Carry Incident
PostPosted: Tue Sep 21, 2010 6:40 pm 
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If I were the prosecuting attorney I would argue there WAS a disturbance, since SOMEONE was alarmed and called in "men with guns."

Interesting case. I wonder if it will go anywhere.

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 Post subject: Re: More On The Madison Open Carry Incident
PostPosted: Tue Sep 21, 2010 7:06 pm 
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tman065 wrote:
If I were the prosecuting attorney I would argue there WAS a disturbance, since SOMEONE was alarmed and called in "men with guns."

Interesting case. I wonder if it will go anywhere.


Hmmm. Five armed men. Three go on about their business after they identify themselves. No disturbance there. Two of the men essentially tell the uniformed officers "There's nothing to see here. Take a hike." Now those two are under threat of charges of creating a disturbance or something else along those lines.

I'm just speculating here, of course, but it appears to me as if that would be pure, unadulterated, spiteful payback, or something similar.

Everything we have come to expect from those with large necks and a small hat size.


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 Post subject: Re: More On The Madison Open Carry Incident
PostPosted: Tue Sep 21, 2010 9:29 pm 
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Seems to me they were clearly arrested for Contempt Of Cop.

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 Post subject: Re: More On The Madison Open Carry Incident
PostPosted: Tue Sep 21, 2010 11:12 pm 
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I've never looked at the WI open carry law. Is it a requirement to ID oneself when so requested by law enforcement?

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 Post subject: Re: More On The Madison Open Carry Incident
PostPosted: Tue Sep 21, 2010 11:17 pm 
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tman065 wrote:
I've never looked at the WI open carry law. Is it a requirement to ID oneself when so requested by law enforcement?


As far as I know, they don't have a law, it's in their state constitution. So, I can't imagine that they would have written a requirement to ID yourself within it.

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 Post subject: Re: More On The Madison Open Carry Incident
PostPosted: Tue Sep 21, 2010 11:50 pm 
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Aquaholic wrote:
tman065 wrote:
I've never looked at the WI open carry law. Is it a requirement to ID oneself when so requested by law enforcement?


As far as I know, they don't have a law, it's in their state constitution. So, I can't imagine that they would have written a requirement to ID yourself within it.



Here's what I found. Please be advised that I know nothing of WI's criminal code, but this looks like the correct statute to me.

WI SS 968.24

Quote:

968.24 Temporary questioning without arrest. After having identified himself or herself as a law enforcement officer, a law enforcement officer may stop a person in a public place for a reasonable period of time when the officer reasonably suspects that such person is committing, is about to commit or has committed a crime, and may demand the name and address of the person and an explanation of the person's conduct. Such detention and temporary questioning shall be conducted in the vicinity where the person was stopped.

...
I do see this, as well:

Quote:
This section authorizes officers to demand identification only when a person is suspected of committing a crime, but does not govern the lawfulness of requests for identification in other circumstances. State v. Griffith, 2000 WI 72, 236 Wis. 2d 48, 613 N.W.2d 72, 98-0931.

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 Post subject: Re: More On The Madison Open Carry Incident
PostPosted: Wed Sep 22, 2010 6:39 am 
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968.24 Temporary questioning without arrest. After having identified himself or herself as a law enforcement officer, a law enforcement officer may stop a person in a public place for a reasonable period of time when the officer reasonably suspects that such person is committing, is about to commit or has committed a crime, and may demand the name and address of the person and an explanation of the person's conduct. Such detention and temporary questioning shall be conducted in the vicinity where the person was stopped.

And, exactly what crime was being committed, about to be committed or had been committed?

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 Post subject: Re: More On The Madison Open Carry Incident
PostPosted: Wed Sep 22, 2010 8:42 am 
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Notice the law seems to allow a "demand" for ID and "explaination of conduct". It does NOT say the detainee may refuse both requests, (obviously because then the statute would be plainly unconstitional and invite a court challenge to throw it out). The Statute is an attempt to overreach, and is misleading.

An example of bad law that continues the struggle between good citizens and their government.


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 Post subject: Re: More On The Madison Open Carry Incident
PostPosted: Wed Sep 22, 2010 5:56 pm 
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Dick Unger wrote:
Notice the law seems to allow a "demand" for ID and "explaination of conduct". It does NOT say the detainee may refuse both requests, (obviously because then the statute would be plainly unconstitional and invite a court challenge to throw it out). The Statute is an attempt to overreach, and is misleading.

An example of bad law that continues the struggle between good citizens and their government.


Dick, I don't see a demand for ID- merely that a person must give his name and address. Two very different things, to me.

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 Post subject: It Appears They Took Tman's Advice
PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2010 6:41 pm 
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Hmmm, let's parse this out a bit, shall we? Initially the badged picadors charged only two men, because they had the temerity to tell them to "bugger off" after a demand was made for identification. As the uniformed buffoons thought it over, they decided that since there was no crime being committed, nor could they articulate some sort of plausible crime that might be committed in the near or far off future by these two civilians, they would drop those charges. Then, in another brilliant bit of absurdity, they decide to charge the lot of them with disturbing the peace — all because one old lady was "upset".

Let's take this a bit further: Could not an umpire be arrested for disturbing the peace if someone in the stands is upset with a call? What if your french fries are slightly cold when served at, gulp, of all thing, a Culvers, and it is upsetting? Arrest the cook? The server?

This is one of the rankest abuses of power I have seen in the past 24 hours. The Madison police are engaged in CYA of the highest order here.

How I wish another lawsuit would be filed.

http://www.wisn.com/r/25124382/detail.html

Quote:
MILWAUKEE -- Wisconsin Carry, a gun rights group, plans to file a lawsuit against the Madison Police Department after five men were charged for openly carrying weapons.

The men wore their guns as the ate at a Culver's Restaurant in Madison over the weekend.

A 62-year-old woman called police saying she felt uneasy.

She told officers the men were not doing anything wrong but that she was rattled.

Officers initially arrested two men for not showing identification.

Those charges have now been dropped. In their place all five men were cited for disorderly conduct.


Madison Police Chief Noble Wray said a big factor in the new charges was that the 911 caller was worried.

"It's reviewing the entire incident, from call to completion and determining it's the appropriate charge," Wray said.

Nik Clark, president of Wisconsin Carry, said they will help the men fight the ticket.

"Just because one person was worried doesn't mean everyone else's rights suddenly go out the window," Clark said.

Madison police arrested a man last year for openly carrying a gun near the Capitol. He was charged with disorderly conduct, but the city attorney's office eventually dropped the charges.

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 Post subject: Re: More On The Madison Open Carry Incident
PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2010 10:58 pm 
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I see somewhere else that the open carriers have been charged with discorderly conduct.

LINK


Who's your daddy now? :shock:

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 Post subject: Re: More On The Madison Open Carry Incident
PostPosted: Fri Sep 24, 2010 5:48 am 
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tman065 wrote:
I see somewhere else that the open carriers have been charged with discorderly conduct.

LINK


Who's your daddy now? :shock:


I guess you didn't read my entire last post to this thread, including the header.

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 Post subject: Re: More On The Madison Open Carry Incident
PostPosted: Fri Sep 24, 2010 5:52 am 
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When authorities don't want to lose face, they charge "Disorderly Conduct" (or it's cousin "Obstruction of Justice").

Then they can get a separate charge against every person involved, and force some kind of compromise. Even if all defendants stand tall and go to trial and win, it'll be next year before anything happens. In any event, they can blame the result on the legal system rather than their own bias and incompetance. :roll:

Whenever anyone is charged with "disorderly" or "obstruction", it's usually BS in my experience, unless it's a plea agreement to reduce something else, like a domestic abuse charge.


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 Post subject: Re: More On The Madison Open Carry Incident
PostPosted: Fri Sep 24, 2010 6:41 am 
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Dick Unger wrote:
When authorities don't want to lose face, they charge "Disorderly Conduct" (or it's cousin "Obstruction of Justice").

Then they can get a separate charge against every person involved, and force some kind of compromise. Even if all defendants stand tall and go to trial and win, it'll be next year before anything happens. In any event, they can blame the result on the legal system rather than their own bias and incompetance. :roll:

Whenever anyone is charged with "disorderly" or "obstruction", it's usually BS in my experience, unless it's a plea agreement to reduce something else, like a domestic abuse charge.





I've got to disagree with this wholeheartedly.



I don't know how many depts in MN make Disorderly Conduct or Obstruction of Justice arrests, but I'd say the number of actual arrests/citations for Disorderly/Obstruct is very low.



Where I work in MN we make many of them, usually on Sunday nights when there is a lot of fighting. There is no statute for "fighting" so those that are arrested or cited for fighting are arrested/cited under Disorderly Conduct.



Also, I don't know of any officers that I know waste a ton of time and effort making arrests or citations for Disorderly or Obstruct unless it really happened.


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