Wisconsin Carry, Inc fast-tracking lawsuit against Madison Police Department
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Thread: Wisconsin Carry, Inc fast-tracking lawsuit against Madison Police Department

  1. Wisconsin Carry, Inc fast-tracking lawsuit against Madison Police Department

    On Saturday September 18th, Wisconsin Carry received a call to our hotline about an incident in progress at a Culvers Restaurant in Madison, WI.

    5 of our members who had met at previous WCI events and on the opencarry.org discussion forum planned to get together for dinner at Culvers Restaurant near East Towne in Madison, WI. They were, of course, open-carrying as they do every day.

    Based on information gathered over the past several days here are the facts of the case:

    Our members had finished dinner and were outside preparing to leave when 8 Madison Police officers arrived and began to demand ID. Officers told the members that if they did not produce ID they would be arrested.

    2 of the 5 declined to provide ID. Wisconsin law does NOT allow officers to demand ID from individuals who have done nothing wrong. Wisconsin law also specifically does not allow officers to arrest an individual who has done nothing wrong for merely refusing to show ID.

    2 of our members were subsequently arrested and charged with obstructing.

    It was later learned that a 62 year old woman in the restaurant had called 911 and inquired as to whether it was legal for people to openly carry firearms. The caller indicated there was no disturbance but she was "worried". Madison Police responded, not by informing the caller that open-carry is legal, but rather sending 8 officers to respond to a peaceful situation.

    It is a person's choice whether or not they wish to provide the police their ID when they have done nothing wrong. Without knowing the motivation of officers who are aggressively demanding ID and threatening arrest, its understandable why a person who has done nothing wrong would want to maintain their privacy. Its IMPERATIVE that police follow the law. Police are not allowed to arrest you for merely failing to provide ID. If the police can operate outside of the law, it does us NO good to vote and elect legislators to represent us and pass laws if the police will make-up and enforce whatever they feel like enforcing.

    Wisconsin Carry fully expected that on Monday morning, those with an education in the law would return to their office from the weekend and promptly recognize the error made by the officers on the scene.

    Madison Police DID recognize their error and rescinded the tickets for obstruction that were issued to 2 of our members. Madison Police admit in a press release those tickets were given in error. Madison Police then issued Disorderly Conduct citations to ALL 5 of our members. According to Madison Police, if ONE person is 'worried', even though there is no disturbance, your constitutional rights mean nothing. Wisconsin's Attorney General CLEARLY stated in a memo in April of 2009 that open-carry IS NOT disorderly conduct.

    Madison Police then continued their disregard for Wisconsin residents constitutional rights by issuing a statement indicating that Madison police will: Approach anyone who is open-carrying using "the proper tactical response. The individual should be contacted, controlled, and frisked for weapons if appropriate. Officers should separate the suspect from any weapons in his/her possession during the encounter."

    Read the press release here:

    City of Madison News Release

    As such, Wisconsin Carry will be fast-tracking a federal lawsuit against the Madison Police Department for this policy which is a blatant and defenseless violation of the rights of law-abiding citizens who are doing nothing wrong.

    Wisconsin Carry will also, if needed, retain an attorney to challenge the Disorderly Conduct citations issued to 5 of our members.

    Wisconsin Carry feels this is a fundamental issue, and a situation that has implications for every resident in the state of Wisconsin. Police Departments all across the state have received the AG memo and responded accordingly training officers in the appropriate and lawful response to a law-abiding citizen open-carrying. Madison MUST be held to the same standard. Wisconsin law apply's to everyone in the state, not just those outside of Madison. Its imperative that the Madison Police Department follow the law. Very soon, we expect Wisconsinites to have the ability to legally conceal carry. If police do not respect the legal right to open-carry we already have, how can we expect them to respect the right to conceal carry that we all seek as well?

    WE NEED YOUR HELP.

    In order to get this lawsuit filed quickly, we need donations to fund the legal fee's.

    If you can donate specifically for the "Madison 5" lawsuit please visit our homepage:

    Welcome to Wisconsin Carry, Inc.

    On the main page you will see a "Donate" button where you can make a donation that will go specifically to this "Madison 5" lawsuit.

    You may also mail a donation to:

    Wisconsin Carry, Inc.
    P.O. Box 270403
    Milwaukee, WI 53227

    This incident has received a huge amount of attention from the media. Its possible it may even garner national attention in the near future.

    Many discussions regarding the incident, and links to media coverage of the incident are taking place on the discussion forums at opencarry.org:

    Wisconsin

    You may also follow this and other Wisconsin Carry activities by joining Wisconsin Carry's facebook group: Search "Wisconsin Carry, Inc" or "Wisconsin Carry" on facebook.

    If you haven't already done so, we also invite you to officially join Wisconsin Carry from out website as well. Membership is $15 for the first year.

    Please spread this information to other online gun forums etc as we seek to protect and expand the rights of Wisconsin residents to carry.

    Wisconsin Carry, Inc is a non-profit all volunteer organization. We are dedicated to the protection and expansion of the rights of law-abiding Wisconsinites to carry in the manner of their choosing. We believe that "open carry" or "conceal carry" are choices to be made by YOU the law abiding citizen based on what suits your needs. As open-carry is (with a few exceptions where conceal carry is already found legal) the only way to currently carry in Wisconsin, we advocate that all who wish to carry follow state law while we pursue an expansive conceal carry right for all law-abiding Wisconsinites during the next legislative session.

    Carry On,

  2.   
  3. And this is why Wisconsin needs to pass concealed carry laws. Join 48 other states in the 21st century, you knuckleheads!

  4. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by bnhcomputing View Post
    Its IMPERATIVE that police follow the law. Police are not allowed to arrest you for merely failing to provide ID. If the police can operate outside of the law, it does us NO good to vote and elect legislators to represent us and pass laws if the police will make-up and enforce whatever they feel like enforcing.
    That is the crux of the problem. When the police do not obey the law, what example are they setting for the rest of us? Police officers should be the most law abiding people and hold themselves to a much higher standard. This is sadly seldom the case.

    Midnight, I hear ya, I wish WI would pass concealed carry too. But in the mean time, protecting open carry rights is the first and foremost second amendment issue in WI.

  5. CCW is not the cure all

    Quote Originally Posted by Midnight View Post
    And this is why Wisconsin needs to pass concealed carry laws. Join 48 other states in the 21st century, you knuckleheads!
    If the WI police are violating the law NOW, what makes anybody think they will FOLLOW the law tomorrow.

  6. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by bnhcomputing View Post
    If the WI police are violating the law NOW, what makes anybody think they will FOLLOW the law tomorrow.
    10-4 on that one.

  7. Quote Originally Posted by bnhcomputing View Post
    If the WI police are violating the law NOW, what makes anybody think they will FOLLOW the law tomorrow.
    I know what you mean. I think these kinds of problems would be largely avoided if people had a choice in that state how they can carry their guns. But yeah, nothing excuses the police for this, especially after the AG released a statement about it.

  8. Quote Originally Posted by Midnight View Post
    I know what you mean. I think these kinds of problems would be largely avoided if people had a choice in that state how they can carry their guns. But yeah, nothing excuses the police for this, especially after the AG released a statement about it.
    So then what happens if, after Conceal Carry is allowed, those who still choose to lawfully open carry continue to be harrassed? It's good that some of you want the state to legalize conceal carry but you already have legal open carry and you are still not free to do that. The arguement shouldn't be "If we could hide our guns this sort of thing wouldn't happen". It should be "We shouldn't have to fear being arrested for not committing a crime".
    Steve
    President/Founding member
    Louisiana Open Carry Awareness League www.laopencarry.org

  9. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by yale View Post
    So then what happens if, after Conceal Carry is allowed, those who still choose to lawfully open carry continue to be harrassed? It's good that some of you want the state to legalize conceal carry but you already have legal open carry and you are still not free to do that. The arguement shouldn't be "If we could hide our guns this sort of thing wouldn't happen". It should be "We shouldn't have to fear being arrested for not committing a crime".
    A great big +1 to that!

  10. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by NavyLT View Post
    A great big +1 to that!
    I also agree on this point. You can't correct abusive law enforcement by changing the laws they enforce (or ignore). You correct the problem by correcting the officers in question. Unfortunately situations like this are all to comman because law enforcement officers are not employed on an at-will basis. When it's easier to get a waiter fired than a cop, that's a problem. The worst a bad waiter can do is screw up your meal, a cop can do a lot worse.

  11. #10
    "When police break the law, there is no law. Just a fight for survival."-Billy Jack

    -Doc

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