Clark County judge dismisses concealed carry case finding it unconstitutional

By  | 

A Clark County judge dismisses a concealed carry case after finding it unconstitutional.

The public defender who filed the motion to dismiss says he thinks it could be the first dismissal of its kind in Wisconsin. Bill Poss, an assistant state public defender for Clark and Jackson Counties, says the ruling will certainly set a precedent in Clark County. He says he was actually waiting for a case like this to come up so he could work to get it thrown out.

The Clark County case in question started when a man was arrested for carrying a knife in the waistband of his pants this summer. Poss says he knew right away his client was within his constitutional rights. He says he's gratified Clark County Judge Jon Counsell felt the same.

The judge "has no choice. If he actually follows the Constitution and the strict scrutiny analysis, the judge has no choice but to dismiss these types of actions," Poss says.

In his decision, Judge Counsell found the state's concealed carry law "unconstitutional on its face as overly broad in violation of the Second and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution."

“Like many of my counterparts, I believe strongly in the Constitution. And as Ronald Reagan once said 'it's not a buffet.’ The Bill of Rights is not a buffet where you can pick and choose, where some people say they want the First Amendment applied to everyone, but somehow they jump over the Second Amendment,” Poss says.

Poss says he believes the law is clearly on his side, but he knows this hot button issue is far from over. We found people who agree with both those points in Clark County.

“Personally, I think it's a good deal. It is our constitutional right to carry and bear arms so I think it's alright,” says Dick Matti.

“It'll be interesting to see how it develops or what happens that's for sure,” says Kal Theiler.

Poss says the district attorney's office has 20 days to file a notice of appeal. Our phone call to the prosecutor was not returned Thursday.

Judge Counsell also didn't want to comment on the case.

The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence issued a statement saying Judge Counsell's decision "endangers our communities, puts law enforcement at risk and is just plain wrong.”

The group says the decision should be reversed on appeal.

We want to hear what you think about Judge Counsell's decision. You can comment below or let us know what you think on our WEAU 13 News Facebook page.

The comment sections of our web set are designed for thoughtful, intelligent conversation and debate. We want to hear from the viewers but we are not obligated to post comments we feel inappropriate or violate our guidelines. Here are some of the criteria you should follow when posting comments:

Comments cannot be profane or vulgar. Children and families visit this site. We will delete comments that use profanity or cross the lines of good taste.

We will delete all comments using hate speech. Slurs, stereotypes and violent talk aren’t welcome on our web site.

Comments should not attack other readers personally.

We will delete comments we deem offensive, in bad taste, or out of bounds. We are not obligated to post comments that are rude or insensitive.

We do not edit user-submitted comments.

As a host WEAU 13 News welcomes a wide spectrum of opinions. However, we have a responsibility to all our readers to try to keep our comment section fair and decent. For that reason WEAU 13 News reserves the right to not post or to remove any comment.
powered by Disqus