Monday, January 11, 2010

Open carry in Wisconsin

The Chicago Tribune reports on a man who is suing after being arrested for carrying a gun openly.

A Racine man arrested while openly carrying a holstered gun on his porch is suing the city and two police officers.

The Journal Times in Racine says Frank Hannan-Rock and a gun-rights group filed the federal lawsuit Friday.

The suit challenges Wisconsin's Gun Free School Zone Act, which restricts gun possession within 1,000 feet of a school. The plaintiffs say the act covers so much territory that it's too restrictive for gun owners.

Hannan-Rock was arrested in September when he refused to answer questions from officers investigating a report of shots fired in the area. He wasn't charged.

He says police told him they have probable cause to arrest him in his home when he has a gun and refuses to identify himself because he lives within 1,000 feet of a school.

Now, that's a fascinating story. He was arrested on his own porch? And it was all because his home is too close to the school? Sounds a bit bizarre doesn't it?

Is this one of those cases where the gun owners are trying to have laws changed by getting arrested? Is this civil disobedience? Where do you draw the line? When does civil disobedience cross the line and become criminal activity?

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.


  1. "When does civil disobedience cross the line and become criminal activity?"

    When it becomes uncivil.

  2. Civil disobedience is always criminal activity since what you are disobeying is a law.

  3. I thought that the gun grabbers were fine with firearm ownership as long as it is at one's home. Oops, I guess not. This is why we won't give another inch.

  4. Really, this illustrates what gunloonery is all about.

    In this case, we have some loser who feels compelled to carry a gun around because he feels powerless. Carrying a gun makes him believe he no longer has to obey laws or even cooperate with police.


  5. They arrested him ON HIS PORCH?!

    He damn well should sue the hell out of them. Whether or not his home is within 1000ft of a school is irrelevant.

    The GFSZ restriction is vague and impossible to comply with. It needs to be challenged and struck down.

    The State has no authority to tell him he can't exercise his constitutionally protected rights on his own property.

  6. Jade,

    What law did he break since he was not charged with any crime? Also, I didn't see mention where the man's lawyer was on the porch with him. You do not have to talk to the police without legal representation.

  7. While Mikey W. plays lawyer, we should review a few facts missing from the story.

    Police were called to investigate gunfire in the neighborhood. Gun fire was reported via a 911 phone call. The 911 call came from Hanna-Rock's home.

    When police arrived, Hannan
    -Rock was observed carrying a firearm. He refused to identify himself and refused to provide any info WRT gunfire.

    Remember, the call alerting the police came from Hanna-Rock's home.


  8. Take action now and sign the online petition at to call for repeal of the Wisconsin state ban on open carry in vehicles and withion 1,000 feet of schools.

    Learn more and

  9. Assuming all of what Jade said is true (a HUGE assumption) that doesn't change the pertinent facts.

    What he was doing was 100% lawful AND he was not charged with any crime by the DA.

    If I live within 1000ft of a school the GFSZ act DOES NOT apply to carry on my own property and in my own house. If it did this guy would be committing a crime by not only carrying on the porch, but by merely transporting his gun(s) within rooms in the house.

    That said, I will reiterate what I said about this when it happened regarding being completely uncooperative with police.

    One should not acquiesce to whatever the cops want, but you can be reasonable & helpful while still asserting your rights.

    While OC alone is not RAS for a stop the officer here got a call about shots being fired and he sees this guy in the area OC'ing. He is going to put 2 and 2 together and at least ask the guy some questions.

    I'm not saying he should turn into a blabbermouth in this situation, but refusing to give the cop even basic information is going to cause him more harm than good.

    IIRC you are required to at least identify yourself verbally. I know in DE you are not required to provide ID upon demand but you do have to provide at least your name.

    I think we sometimes forget to look at these situations from the cops pserspective. He gets a call of shots fired and is approaching a man he knows to be armed and whom is also a total stranger.

    If the guy is being totally uncooperative do you think the situation is going to be especially cordial? Refusing to prove any identifying information only exacerbated the situation.

    I would really like to see the actual WI statute here, since it appears to be even stricter than the Federal GFSZ Act that was struck down as Unconstitutional in 95.

  10. The taxpayers are going to pay that guy handsomely for the hyper-aggressive "Only Ones'" assholery. Good for him.

  11. "hyper-aggressive 'Only Ones' assholery."

    Is that a scientific term or a legal one?

    Either way, I'm impressed.

  12. Yes, Zorro has a way with the words.

  13. here is the WHOLE story.

    You live in a neighborhood consisting of duplexes, but they are one-up/one-down instead of side-by-side.

    One of your neighbors who lives across the street and down several houses comes out with a pellet gun and shoots a raccoon. Another of your neighbors calls the police and reports this. The police respond with two cars and seal off the street at each end of the block. You see the lights, and head out onto you porch, armed as you always are.

    The officers then approach the neighboring house from each end. As they pass your house they tell you to stay put and continue on. They get to the duplex and talk with the neighbors there. They give a description of the "suspect" to the police, inform them that "he" lived upstairs and that he has left. The police take their statements and start to return to their vehicles.

    Now this was all in a statement released to the press by the Racine police. Here is where it gets interesting…..

    As the police come back past your house (according to the statement from the police) they notice an individual standing NEXT TO YOU, who matches the general description of the suspect. I will repeat, standing NEXT TO YOU.

    The police come to your porch, but instead of talking to the guy NEXT TO YOU, they immediately fixate on your firearm. What kind is it? You answer. Is it loaded? You answer. The police then become belligerent and inform you that you cannot have a loaded gun in "their town." At this point you exercise your right to freely "shut up." You DO NOT match the description, the guy NEXT TO YOU, who the police NEVER TALK WITH, does.

    Even the ACLU recommends you not to talk to the police. Every attorney I have ever talked with says, "don’t talk to the police, that’s my job."

    Now, they really get on your case demanding you answer their questions including giving your name. You are NOT required by law to give your name in Wisconsin; you are NOT! The police then decide to arrest, again YOU DO NOT MATCH the description of the suspect. They arrest you for EXERCISING YOUR FREEDOM.

    Now, everybody I have talked with, including law enforcement, tells me that once they handcuff you, they pat you down and empty your pockets. If you are armed, they disarm you.


    In the statement released by the police, the officers tried to place Hannon-Rock in the car while still armed! Why?

    Why would the police try to put you/him in the car while still armed? Could it be they know that when they get you to the curb, they can get the felony arrest? Can it be that if you get in the car, they can get you for illegal transportation of a firearm?

    This was all in the statement released to the press by the police, so these are the undisputed facts.

    So, go stand on your porch, because you are curious about why the police are in your neighborhood. Then have them DEMAND your name (even though you are NOT a suspect) simply because you are wearing an "inanimate" object.

    The big issue here is are we a police state or a free state.

  14. Thanks Anonymous. You sound like you know something about the story. Thanks for the comment.

    The police are often out of control, in my opinion. I have no doubt they were in this case.