Concealed gun case goes to Wisconsin Supreme Court

The (WI) state Supreme Court today was asked whether the right to have a concealed weapon should be interpreted liberally or narrowly.

In referring a gun case to the high court for clarification, the 4th District Court of Appeals cited two decisions in 2003 on concealed weapons. In those decisions, the state Supreme Court ruled against a motorist with a concealed weapon in his car but cleared a grocer who had a gun under his store counter. It cited the grocer's security interest.

In the grocer's case the high court said requiring the shop keeper to openly display the weapon "fails the litmus test of common sense."

"We believe clarification is needed as it relates to the availability of 'security interest' justification when a person is away from that person's home or business," the appeals court said in sending the latest matter to the state Supreme Court.

The case at issue involves a tavern owner who kept a loaded revolver in the car in which he took thousands of dollars home after closing and the next day took the money to the bank.

One night the tavern owner's car was stolen, and he warned police there was a loaded gun in the car. They issued him a citation for the loaded gun. State law requires that firearms being transported in vehicles be unloaded.

During a pretrial hearing the tavern owner cited robberies near his tavern. Keeping the gun out of sight made sense, he testified, because if it were openly displayed someone would break in and take it.