“Constitutional Carry”—the right to carry a concealed gun without any special permitting process—is spreading. The movement is gathering force on both the legislative and the judicial fronts, spurred on by the McDonald Supreme Court decision incorporating the Second Amendment (ruling that it trumps local and state law). Wisconsin Clarke County Circuit Court Judge Jon M. Counsell added fuel to the pyre of the “Eat Cheese or Die” state’s ban on concealed carry. (Click here for the ruling in the case of STATE OF WISCONSIN vs. JOSHUA D. SCHULTZ.) Judge Counsell applied three criteria when examining WI’s CCW law. The statute must be . . .
1. be justified by a compelling governmental interest;
2. be narrowly tailored to achieve that interest; and
3. be the least restrictive means for achieving that interest.
The Judge reckons Wisconsin’s firearms law clears the first hurdle . . . just:
The apparent government interest in prohibiting the carrying of concealed weapons is the State’s “police power to protect the health, safety, and welfare of its citizens.” See State v. Hamdan , 264 Wis. 2d 433, 463 (2003). Promotion of health, safety and welfare of citizens is an appropriate use of the police power. However, the court must proceed to answer the remaining questions to determine if the power is appropriately used here.
And then falls flat on its face on questions 2 and 3.
“A statute which under the pretense of regulating, amounts to a destruction of the right, or which requires arms to be so borne as to render them wholly useless for the purpose of defense, would be clearly unconstitutional.”
And there you have it. The anti-dote to Supreme Court Justice Bryer’s BS about the constitutionality of laws abridging a Constitutional right.
While this decision only applies to Clarke County, if upheld, it would be devilishly hard for any other County to enforce the ban on concealed carry. In fact, expect this decision to be the template for rulings across the length and breadth of the U.S. Except, perhaps, of course, Massachusetts, California, New Jersey and other anti-gun states, where the toughest battles are now being fought.