Well this is the reason why this case is important.
The WI Constitution says the only legal way to carry a firearm is out in the open. There is no concealed carry. Concealed carry has been rejected because of teh fact we have open carry, and therefore there is no need to carry concealed.
The problem is that the state Constitution says if you carry, you must do so in the open. However depending on your city or area’s law officers, they may be fine with it, or they may not and arrest you on disorderly conduct or disturbing the peace. They cannot arrest you for for carrying a firearm openly, because that would be unconstitutional, but they technically get you on an ordinance violation, but the end result of this is a de facto arrest for carrying a gun, because it’s carrying the gun that makes you disorderly.
So in certain areas of WI a local ordinance or law can allow police (if they are afraind of citizens using their 2A rights) to take away that 2A right if someone complains or if they see you and they themselves consider you dangerous or disorderly because you are wearing a firearm. It ends up giving you no legal way to carry a gun (you can’t carry concealed, and if you carry open you’re arrested) and that violates the WI constitution.
First, the judge made it clear up front that he would not rule on any constitutional issues. He flatly refused to connect the dots that a state statute (DC) was being wrongfully applied to deny a citizen his protected right to go armed.
What you may not know, is the strategy shift made in the last brief Brads attorney submitted to the court by making Wis stat 941.23 the open carry state statute. We figured that although the judge may overlook the obvious constitutional issues, we were not giving him a pass on ignoring a 137 year old state statute which only prohibited concealed carry, while allowing open carry.
The judge acknowledged this as a fact as soon as he offered his own solution to the legislature - to just add “or unconcealed” to the law. By doing so, he admitted Brads argument that 941.23 did grant in fact a statutory authority to citizens to open carry dangerous weapons such as guns (anywhere - with certain exceptions).
So, what we now know (after 137 years of being on the books) is 1) there is a state law that grants citizens the authority to carry weapons and it specifically operates the manner of carry in Wisconsin and 2) that the law and the authority the law grants is protected by the state constitution as a citizens right. This is not an absolute right and this law does restrict concealed carry. The law does not intend to restrict open carry.
The state now has a brand new 137 year old open carry law. The two places where the judge totally blew it was his misunderstanding of the states preemption law when he suggested West Allis Common Council could pass a ban on open carry and his total ignorance that the legislature did pass not one, but two carry bills which Jim Doyle made sure would not become law. His poking his judicial finger at the legislature was wrong. They did try to fix this.
This is a process and we are not yet finished.