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Press release from

Last fall five Wisconsin Carry members were peacefully enjoying dinner at a Madison area Culvers restaurant. Like thousands of Wisconsin residents, they carry a sidearm for self-defense as a daily practice in the only manner currently provided by Wisconsin law. After a 911 caller inquired as to the legality of open-carry, Madison police arrived en masse and illegally demanded identification from all five . . .

Two members who politely declined to provide ID were wrongfully cited for obstruction of justice. (Wisconsin, a free state, does not require you produce identification when you have done nothing wrong.) Those citations were rescinded 2 days later and all 5 were mailed citations for disorderly conduct despite no evidence of a disturbance . . .

Wisconsin Carry filed a federal civil lawsuit against the City of Madison and Police Chief Noble Wray on September 29, 2010. Wisconsin Carry also retained, on behalf of our members, notable defense attorney Chris Van Wagner, principal of the Madison law firm Van Wagner & Wood to contest the wrongfully issued disorderly conduct citations.

Today, Wisconsin Carry is pleased to announce that Attorney Van Wagner has informed us that all of the charges against the “Madison 5” have been dismissed.

According to Attorney Van Wagner “The Madison City Attorney agreed after a full review of the police investigation and 911 call that there was absolutely no disturbance created by our members and that the disorderly conduct citations were inappropriate”.

Van Wagner also added that “The ONLY disturbance created on that Saturday evening was by a mass of uniformed Madison police officers and squads arriving to investigate law-abiding citizens having dinner.”

Wisconsin Carry will shortly be filing a second civil lawsuit against Madison Police Chief Noble Wray and the City of Madison to obtain damages on behalf of our members for their wrongful detainment and costs associated with disposing of the citations.

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  1. Until we go back to the non-wild west days where most people carried a rifle, shotgun or 6-shooter States are better off when they allow CCW. Given the culture in most urban areas open carry is always an invitation for police to hassle law abiding citizens and it marks you as potential target fot local gunslingers. Right now we are in shadowlands where there is too much ambiguity as to who you are and fear by non gun owners. Open carry in places where it is not customary actually spreads ill will towards gun owners. For every person who discovers that gun owners are normal people there will be many more who get riled.

    • Correct. But the way various states administer their concealed-carry policies and permits, with hoop jumping, high fees, or basically not issuing permits at all, WI’s open carry is still ahead of many states’ carry laws, imo.

      All it would take to for the most part have constitutional concealed carry in WI is to remove a couple sentences from the law books. Too bad they didn’t do it while the “fleebagger” Senators had fled the state the other month.

    • Living in KY, an open carry state, this is unfortunately true. In the more rural counties, even ones not less than 5 miles from a city center, open carry is a somewhat common sight though when I’ve done it I have occasionally gotten some strange looks. I’ve also read of some heckling (both by citizens and police) of open carriers but mostly in the city centers like Lexington and Louisville.

      Here in KY CCDW’s are not the easiest things to get. For being such a rather open gun law state the CCDW policy is full of hoops. Hopefully HB113, which is constitutional carry, will make it’s way through next session.

  2. Why is there always a couple guys in these stories that refuse to give ID? If you don’t have anything to hide than it shouldn’t be a big deal. I agree the cops should have handled it differently, but being a PITA over something as trivial as your DL doesn’t do anything except make the cop think you’re being obstinant because you:
    A. are a jackass
    B. Have something to hide.

    • or
      C. An American citizen that is practicing their rights provided to them by the law.

      That like saying “Why should people be angry about a cop that comes to search your house without a warrant? I mean if you have nothing to hide, right?”

      The law is there for a reason and these power hungry cops ARE that reason.

      • Exactly what I was thinking.

        However, a more prudent course of action in this situation might be to hand over your ID an make a complaint later. Disobeying a cop on the scene often goes very badly for the non-cop. Kind of a tough call, since why should you comply if you are within your rights not to?

        It’s not always a power issue … many police departments and agencies do a poor job of training in these areas.

        • why should you comply if you are within your rights not to?

          Uh, maybe to show the cops you aren’t the bad guy? Seriously people, what is the big deal with showing your id? What is the big deal with proving to the cop that you aren’t a felon open carrying an illegal weapon? (Yes I know your average felon wouldn’t do it) Are they just supposed to take you at your word?

          And comparing showing your id to a cop when he asks to a cop trying to illegally search your house is apples to oranges man. There’s nothing in the law that says a cop can’t ask to see your id, there are laws against illegal searches.

          The anti law enforcement, paint every cop as bad, they’re all out to get you rhetoric is so freaking cliche. It’s not the 60’s people. There are morons and assholes in every profession, you can’t base your opinion on all because of the behavior of some.

          • Are you serious? … “the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects”… Does that ring a bell? Do you really think it’s okay for an agent of the state to demand your “papers” when there has been no complaint nor any reasonable suspicion that you’ve broken any laws or are about to break any laws? WAKE UP!

    • Why should I show a cop my ID if there’s no evidence or suspicion that I’ve done anything wrong? What law am I breaking when I’m sitting there eating lunch and happen to have a legal gun on my hip? What crime am I even suspected of? “Papers please!”

      It’s bad enough you lawfully have to give them your ID when they pull you over on some bs charge just so they can run your ID to see if anything else comes up. “I’ll let you off with a warning this time.” Yeah, I bet you will since I didn’t do anything wrong in the first place.

      If you’ve never been harassed by a cop for some bs reason, you’re missing out. When it happens to you, trying to be nice to them for illegally harassing you isn’t as easy as it sounds.

  3. The police and government in general believe they are above the people not working for the people. No one has the need to prove anything to them. Does this sound like of dumb, yes it probably does, however this is what makes you a free person and not living in a communist country. Its ridiculous the nanny state that our country has turned into. I remember when it was fine to have a gun rack in your truck WITH loaded rifles and shotguns in it. No one blinked an eye. Today kids are being “sheltered” and told not to fight nto to do anything and then when they finally explode people wonder why.

    Less government is always a good thing. Like Thomas Jefferson said, the people will figure it out. They might make a mistake along the way but they will figure it out.

    • Thanks for that. I’m glad you could bring such enlightening conversation to this topic. Go troll elsewhere.

  4. Ryan Finn:

    As one who spent 2 decades of his life under an Oath to “protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America from all enemies, foreign and domestic”, I hereby pronounce you FLAME DELETED. The reason we had a WAR ( the Revolutionary War) was exactly because of conduct such as these “officers” demonstrated on the date and time in question. By the way, I’m also a former law enforcement officer; I left because too many departments were instituting “policies” like the ones in Wisconsin.

    FLAME DELETED like you are the reason for the declining respect and appreciation for and of Freedom in this soon-to-be-once great nation. When I consider that I spent so much of my life defending the Rights of undeserving fools like you, it makes me sick.

    After jumping through the hoops to obtain “state permission to exercise an unalienable Right” (aka – a CCW license) I was cited, tried, and convicted for carrying a concealed weapon in an area where it was legal to do so WHILE LICENSED BY THE STATE. Do a “google” search on “Bruce Beatty Concealed Carry Ohio”, and see just how my Rights were respected by “law enforcement”.

    Oh, and consider this: after being cited for carrying my gun, in an area where the “authorities” said it was illegal to do so, THEY GAVE ME MY LOADED GUN BACK ON THE SPOT. WTF?????? gives??!!??

    I do my best to live by my Oath to the People to this day.


    TSgt B
    USAF (Retired)
    Been there, done that, got the t-shirt

  5. It’s great to see that even self-proclaimed libertarians/constitutionalists/true American republicans and patriots confound basic principles and terms, so let me clarify the situation for anybody here who’s of that ilk:

    1) Liberty, and all pertinent divisions (specific rights) thereof , is absolutely and entirely independent of government.

    2) Government has no authority to issue or enact laws, edicts, executive orders, or rulings intended to affect, alter, rescind, or otherwise tamper with natural rights; no such powers are delegated to the state by the supreme law of the Republic. Enactment of such policy effectively expunges the legitimacy of whichever governmental entity attempts its enforcement.

    3) Governments may do only that which is explicitly permitted, and the people/individuals may do anything and everything but violate the equal rights of others, initiate of violence, and commit fraud (contractual, encompassing economic activity).

    4) Police officers are civilians. They are only granted a select few express powers to perform the enforcement of law. If a police officer oversteps the boundaries of his authority, he has forfeited his position and the aforementioned powers. As such, if a police officer pulls me over, proceeds to beat me, pulls me onto the ground, and starts ripping my car apart in an illegal search, I’ll draw my weapon and empty the magazine into his back.

    If I see a police officer raping a suspect, I’ll pull my weapon and I’ll arrest him (citizen’s arrest, common law, for reference), and I’ll shoot him if he doesn’t comply. I could keep going with the examples all day.

    I don’t know what exact goat-fucking statist-minded trend or cultural tendency lead the average American to the belief that cops are somehow special in these regards.

    • I don’t think you quite understand the legal use of deadly force.

      If you really believe anything you just wrote….

      “As such, if a police officer pulls me over, proceeds to beat me, pulls me onto the ground, and starts ripping my car apart in an illegal search, I’ll draw my weapon and empty the magazine into his back”

      …I’m pretty sure we’ll see you in the news someday.

      • 1) At this point, I really couldn’t give less a shit about the legal technicalities concerning the permissibility of deadly force.

        2) Take away the badge, and if anybody else had done that to someone, that would be an appropriate reaction.

        And I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have the guts to do that anyway, as much as I’d like to. Not to a cop. I’ll be honest here.

  6. 1. Legal technicalities are actually quite important when your shooting a cop, but not giving a shit is good enough if you’re willing to live with the consequences. (well, obviously you are, if you don’t give a shit)

    2. Actually, no. Immediate lethal threat and all that, but those are just more legal technicalities that aren’t worth learning ’cause you don’t give a shit.

    3. “And I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have the guts to do that anyway, as much as I’d like to. Not to a cop. I’ll be honest here.”

    So all that talk about shooting LEOs (corrupt or otherwise) was just fantasy?

    Well, at least you’re honest.

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