cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner
Wisconsin's attorney general, J.B. Van Hollen, has issued a memorandum to law enforcement officers, district attorneys, sheriffs and deputies saying that open carry of a weapon is legal under Wisconsin's Constitution. He has gone on to further indicate that people can certainly expect to be stopped and questioned by law enforcement officers but that these occurrences should be minimal in terms of time.
Are we now likely to see people walking down the streets of Germantown carrying a gun strapped to their waist? I doubt that we'll see much of this kind of activity, if any, even though it has now been established by the top law enforcement agent in the state that it can be done. Up to now, police departments in some jurisdictions have made charges of disturbing the peace against people who have openly carried guns. The most recent such charging happened in West Allis. That person was found innocent in a court of law.
I suspect, as apparently does the Sheriff of Milwaukee County, that this will ultimately lead to concealed carrying of guns being made legal in Wisconsin. Why would that be better than simple open carrying of a gun? In order to be able to carry a concealed weapon, the person would need to make application and prove that he or she is not a convicted felon, has not had mental stability issues, has been trained on the handling and use of the weapon, and so on.
On the other hand, with open carrying, a police officer has no idea who the person is, what his or her motivation might be for carrying, etc. That is going to create problems that would not otherwise occur. People will claim they were singled out by police, or that there was racial profiling involved or that the stop was illegal, etc.
I have had quite a bit of training and experience with long guns and hand guns courtesy of the military. I would not consider carrying a weapon in the open for many reasons. I would consider, however, going through training to refresh my former skills and becoming licensed to carry a concealed weapon. Contrary to opinion in some circles, I am not mentally incapacitated or otherwise unstable.
Wisconsin is now one of only two states, of which I'm aware, that does not permit concealed carry. It is time that we passed the necessary law or laws to change that. As much as those who oppose this claim, there is virtually no information from any other concealed carry state to indicate that this has caused crime to spike, or that it has caused people to shoot except in extreme cases where it has been determined they were right in doing so.
I know this angers some people but it is simply the truth: when guns are outlawed only outlaws have guns. Similarly, when bad guys do not know who is licensed to carry, and is carrying, a concealed weapon, they tend to be much more careful in how they use their illegal weapons.