District Attorney in Wisconsin will not prosecute certain state gun laws after Supreme Court decision

Gerald A. Fox, district attorney for Jackson County, says a lot of things that make me want to move there.

Yesterday, in a resounding victory for all freedom-loving Americans, the United States Supreme Court confirmed that the Second Amendment’s protection of our right to keep and bear arms applies everywhere in America, and serves as a rampart against state infringement of this fundamental individual liberty. In its ruling, the Court declared that the right to keep and bear arms is a fundamental right, and that self-defense is at the core of the freedoms protected by the amendment.

This Supreme Court ruling is binding on all states and local governments, and immediately renders some of Wisconsin’s current laws unconstitutional. Therefore, in keeping with my oath to uphold and defend the Constitution, I hereby declare that this office will no longer accept law enforcement referrals for violations of the following statutes:

Section 167.31, prohibiting uncased or loaded firearms in vehicles;
Section 941.23, prohibiting the carrying of concealed weapons, including firearms;
Section 941.235, prohibiting the possession of firearms in public buildings;
Section 941.237, prohibiting the possession of firearms in establishments where alcohol may be sold or served; and,
Section 941.24, prohibiting the possession of knives that open with a button, or by gravity, or thrust, or movement.

All of these statutes constitute unjustifiable infringements on the fundamental right of every law-abiding American to arm themselves for self-defense and the defense of their loved ones, co-workers, homes and communities. This change also invalidates Jackson County Ordinance Sections 9.01 (firearms in public buildings) and 9.29 (CCW).

Emphases mine, to note in particular the laws that have irked gun owners in Wisconsin for quite some time. Notably absent is one further law, prohibiting the possession of a firearm within 1000ft of a school. My guess is that Fox thought the law on public buildings actually may have redundantly applied. Wisconsin Carry, Inc. is also willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, but notes that if this law isn’t also included in the new paradigm on gun laws, then there’s still a problem.

Overall, for those of us who legally carry in Wisconsin by open carrying, many of these statues have been a major thorn in our side. Most eating establishments serve alcohol, even fast food places like Qdoba, which makes it easy to unwittingly break the law. There’s also long been a lot of confusion as to how far the vehicle law stretches. In order to carry, one will have to take their weapon out of its case, load it, and holster it. However, is opening the case and laying it on the seat while the car is parked a violation? Is it legal to lay it on the hood or trunk? It has long seemed like the laws are purposely entangling so as to dissuade people from practicing their firearms rights, something shown with far more frankness by Chicago’s new bevy of laws.

The idea is sound, but who it’s coming from makes it dicey. I’m glad to see an attorney is thinking in terms of the rights of citizens rather than the rights of bureaucrats to boss them around, but it’s still a disturbing precedent when law enforcement openly says they won’t enforce laws. Imagine if this were an Arizona attorney saying they wouldn’t enforce laws to get illegal aliens reported to the authorities. An argument could be made that all of these idiotic gun laws will be rendered unconstitutional soon because of the SC ruling, but how long will that take? Will lawmakers lock up the cases until doomsday? Will activist judges just flat-out refuse to strike them down?

Personally, I applaud the DA’s stance. It takes a lot of guts, and may cost him his job. However, if he gets re-elected after taking such a position, that could potentially be a signal to the rest of Wisconsin. Possibly, combined with a governor like Scott Walker, who would most likely sign the concealed carry legislation that Doyle vetoed, this could mean a bright future for gun owners in Wisconsin.