Wisconsin Carry Challenges School Zone Law


bnhcomputing

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On January 8th 2010 Wisconsin Carry, Inc. filed a lawsuit in Federal Court to challenge the constitutionality of Wisconsin's onerous Gun Free School Zone Act.

Wisconsin's Gun Free School Zone Act (GFSZA), which was modeled on the federal Gun-Free School Zone Act of 1990, prohibits the possession or shooting of a firearm within a school zone. It defines a school zone as in the school building, the school grounds, and the area within 1000 feet of the school grounds. The Federal GFSZA was struck down as unconstitutional in 1995. Wisconsin's GFSZA remains.

In 1998 79% of the voters in the great state of Wisconsin voted Article 1 Section 25 into our state constitution. "The people have the right to keep and bear arms for security, defense, hunting, recreation or any other lawful purpose". The Constitutions of the United States and Wisconsin guarantee the right of individuals to keep and bear arms; and as the United States Supreme Court held in the DC gun ban case, DC v. Heller, "bear" means "carry." Wisconsin’s Gun Free School Zone Act covers such a broad area that it practically forecloses a meaningful right to keep and bear arms in large parts of the state. It is an onerous restriction that has the potential to ensnare thousands of law-abiding citizens exercising their constitutionally guaranteed rights and expose them to felony charges. Wisconsin's GFSZ Act places someone who was innocently walking their dog around their subdivision at night while armed in danger of felony charges if they should happen to cross these invisible school zones which extend nearly a quarter mile out from the edge of school property and many properties that are not identified as schools!

More than 2000 people have signed our online petition calling on the Governor and Legislature to repeal this law. Wisconsin Open-Carry Removal of School Zone/Vehicle Transport restrictions Petition

Wisconsin Carry is a non-profit corporation dedicated to the preservation and reclamation of the basic rights critical to a free society. Our membership believes in the founding principles of our country and our constitution: That all are created equal, that governments exist to protect the rights of individuals, and that governments derive their power from the consent of the governed. Our mission is to preserve, advance and expand these basic rights which law-abiding citizens are entitled to have a practical ability to exercise.

A copy of the Federal Lawsuit can be viewed at:
Link Removed

Wisconsin Carry, Inc.'s Website is WISCONSINCARRY.ORG

If you would like to join the cause, membership forms are available here: Link Removed
 

In Wisconsin it is illegal to possess a firearm within 1000ft of school property UNLESS: The firearm is unloaded and in a case OR you are on private property.


So unloaded and encased, you can walk it down the street to your car. In your own yard or home, no problem. The problem comes in when it is not in a case and on public property (sidewalk/street).


All of our veterans (those who carry in the parades) are subject to felony charges if the parade comes within 1000ft of a school. The bicycle rider, who was being severely beaten in Racine and defended himself by displaying a firearm, is subject to a greater penalty than those who were beating him up.

That is why this law has to go
 
Anything that questions King Richard's hold on Wisconsin is going to be challenged. :frown:
Wisconsin is not going to allow its citizens any freedoms that may jeopardize prChicago's tourism dollars.
 
We filed this lawsuit on January 8, 2010 and details are available on our web site WISCONSINCARRY.ORG. Wisconsin Carry was formed to take substantive action to protect and advance YOUR gun rights in Wisconsin. We chose to do more than talk about advancing gun rights but rather "do" something. Filing a federal lawsuit was not cheap, nor did it come without months of preparation and significant time and money investment from those involved. This investment was made, and the lawsuit filed before seeking funding or support from anyone. We took action first and are now asking for your support with a $15 donation to support what we have done, not what we promised we would do.

To that end, Wisconsin Carry, Inc. will be at the Link Removed Booth #130 in Eau Claire, WI this weekend January (29,30,31) if you would like to meet in person.

Alternatively, if you would like to donate $15 or more to our cause, please visit our web site WISCONSINCARRY.ORG and fill out our online membership application. All donations are handled securely through PayPal.

For those who have already joined and/or donated we thank you for your generous support.

Hubert Hoffman, Vice President
Wisconsin Carry, Inc.
WISCONSINCARRY.ORG
Link Removed
[email protected]
 
I signed your petition as a non resident who travels in your state. This ignorant and do nothing GFSZA applies to us the same as it does to residents.
 
There is also a Federal Gun Free School Zones Act 1995 that currently effects the entire country and makes all unlicensed carry in populated areas a federal felony. The federal law does not recognize permit reciprocity agreements between States and makes it impossible for a permit holder to travel out of the State which physically issued their permit without risking 5 years in federal prison and the permanent loss of their right to own a firearm.


http://www.usacarry.com/forums/poli...ently-banned-under-federal-law-important.html
 
The Federal GFSZA was struck down as unconstitutional in 1995.

that was on federal intrusion grounds - the law was fixed to properly invoke the commerce clause.

The state doesn't need the commerce clause. So your case will directly address the 2nd amendment issue. The outcome on 2nd amendment issues should also be equally applicable to the federal law.
 
Wisconsin Carry's lawsuit is challenging the State law of Wisconsin and will not have any effect on the Federal Law.

The pleadings state a claim under 18 USC section 1983 for violation of federal civil rights under the 4th and 14th amendments of the federal constitution, and paragraph 57 contains a prayer for relief based on violation of the 2nd amendment's right to bear arms.

Thus a decision in plaintiff's favor would apply equally to the federal law insofar as it is the same as the Wisconsin law:

This is in action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for various violations ofPlaintiiIs'
constitutional rights, and for a declaration that Wisconsin's Gun Free School
Zone Act is unconstitutional on its face and as applied to Plaintiffs.

41 . Bernson, Hannan Rock and other members ofWCI desire to exercise their state and federal constitutional rights to bear arms but are in fear of doing so
because they live, work, and spend leisure time within 1,000 feet of schools.

57. A declaration that the Wisconsin Gun Free School Zone Act unconstitutionally deprives Plaintiffs of a meaningful opportunity to bear arms and is unconstitutional on its face and as it applies to WCI's members.

Think of it this way - if both Wisconsin and the Federal government had a law baring newspapers from printing election polls, a decision that the Wisconsin law violated the 1st amendment would also apply to the federal law.
 
I see what you are saying, but in order for this lawsuit to have far-reaching effect at the federal level, it would have to make it to the US Supreme Court. It is possible but unlikely that will occur in this case. We need to keep working toward a Congressional amendment of the Federal Gun Free School Zones Act of 1995 until the day comes when the US Supreme Court does rule Gun Free School Zones illegal on 2nd Amendment grounds. A ruling they are unlikely to make given their statement in Heller that the long-standing prohibition of guns in "secure places such as schools and federal buildings" are legal.
 
What is Constitutional Carry anyway?

This should heat up this discussion some.

The Wisconsin Constitution says clearly:

[As created Nov. 1998] "The people have the right to keep and bear arms for security, defense, hunting, recreation or any other lawful purpose." [1995 J.R. 27, 1997 J.R. 21, vote November 1998]

This section in no way refers to a place, time, mode of transport, or any other regulatory laws. This is what defines what is legal. In present, this means that the only restrictions on bearing (keeping arms on your person) are laid out in other laws. And that is where things get sticky.

There are both state and federal laws that do at present restrict things like the transport, concealment, and use of those arms in certain areas. The Federal School Zone Laws can only hold water if there is no legal mode of transportation. So if I went to pick up my kids from school with a gun on my hip I would violate the transport laws and there for would be subject to persecution under the federal laws.

Lawful transport is defined as "Unloaded and in a carrying case", but this refers to a motor vehicle, aircraft, or boat.

This federal law is designed to augment state and local laws, and is not intended as a stand alone law. Though I suppose in extreme circumstances it could be used that way, there would still have to be a local violation according to the way the federal law is written.

Read up on this a little:

Link Removed
 
I see what you are saying, but in order for this lawsuit to have far-reaching effect at the federal level, it would have to make it to the US Supreme Court. It is possible but unlikely that will occur in this case. We need to keep working toward a Congressional amendment of the Federal Gun Free School Zones Act of 1995 until the day comes when the US Supreme Court does rule Gun Free School Zones illegal on 2nd Amendment grounds. A ruling they are unlikely to make given their statement in Heller that the long-standing prohibition of guns in "secure places such as schools and federal buildings" are legal.

I agree that the real solution is a legislative fix. Much better not to have an unconstitutional law, then to have to rely on the courts to invalidate an unconstitutional law.

The Wisconsin case is worthy of our support, and hopefully it will be a favorable decision that carries over to the federal law, but it should not be considered a substitute for getting the inane federal law revoked.

The problem is the buzzwords "schools and guns" - that's like going to a vegetarian convention and saying "surf and turf." Anyone who votes to fix the law will be deemed a promoter of "guns in the halls of our elementary schools."
 
This federal law is designed to augment state and local laws, and is not intended as a stand alone law. Though I suppose in extreme circumstances it could be used that way, there would still have to be a local violation according to the way the federal law is written.

The Federal Gun Free School Zones Act of 1995, Title 18 U.S.C. Part 922(q), does not require that any local/State law be broken as a "trigger" to the Federal Law. If the law was intended to "augment" State law, the United States Congress would have included such a "trigger," which they did not.


http://www.usacarry.com/forums/poli...ently-banned-under-federal-law-important.html
 

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