There is currently an online poll published by the Baraboo News Republic, asking the following question: (the responses were as of this morning)
Do you think people in Wisconsin should be allowed to openly carry firearms in public?
Yes. I think open carry is a good policy.
Yes. I also think concealed carry should be made legal.
I don’t care.
Total Votes: 716
I wonder how many people in Wisconsin correctly know how Governor Jim Doyle would answer this question? His most preferred response is not one of the available choices.
Governor Doyle’s answer would probably be: Yes. I also think concealed carry should not be made legal.
The Governor has known for many years the legislature decided a long time ago that open carry is the only lawful manner to carry a gun in Wisconsin and that is how he wants it to remain. Jim Doyle has twice vetoed bills that would have permitted citizens to only carry guns concealed.
How does one know for sure that Governor Doyle has overtly understood open carry to be lawful you ask? When Jim Doyle was Attorney General Doyle, his office argued for Munir Hamdan’s conviction in 2002, saying:
( http://www.wicourts.gov/sc/opinion/DisplayDocument.pdf?content=pdf&seqNo=16460 )
“The State argues that even under the strictest enforcement of the CCW statute, a person lawfully in possession of a firearm will always retain the ability to keep the firearm in the open – holding the weapon in the open, keeping the weapon in a visible holster, displaying the weapon on the wall, or otherwise placing the weapon in plain view.” (footnote omitted)
Okay, so the Governor knows open carry is lawful, but does he actually support open carry? After Jim Doyle’s veto of the Personal Protection Act (SB214), the Governor commented again in March of 2006 to a reporter while in Lake Delton:
Lake Delton – Gov. Jim Doyle during a Capital Day in Sauk and Columbia counties promised tourism leaders to sign two bills of concern to tourism businesses and got a re-election endorsement from a prominent Dells businessman. In response to a question on concealed carry legislation, Doyle said such laws don’t make sense. “If you want to carry a gun in Wisconsin, wear it on your hip,” Doyle said, patting his hip.
Although widely under appreciated for his support of open carry, Governor Doyle has aggressively and repeatedly protected and defended Wis. Stat. § 941.23 Wisconsin’s open carry law.
The media watchdogs have apparently not done a very good job of understanding and communicating this fact to the public, or we would not see a poll asking such a silly question about a law that has been around for 138 years.