The Wisconsin Bear Arms Amendment and the Case Against an Absolute Prohibition on Carrying Concealed Weapons
McFadden, Christopher R.
MetadataShow full item record
In November 1998, the voters of Wisconsin established a constitutional right to keep and bear arms. The Wisconsin Legislature framed and sent to the voters a broadly worded constitutional amendment that created an individual right to keep and bear arms for defense, security, hunting, recreation, or any other lawful purpose. It was designed to repeal and prevent the subsequent re-enactment of unreasonable prohibitions of that right, including the state's current sweeping prohibition of the liberty to carry concealed weapons at any time or place or in any manner. In light of this legislative history and voter understanding of the amendment, this article argues that Wisconsin Statute Section 941.23, an 1872 law that prohibits all law-abiding citizens from carrying concealed weapons, should be found unconstitutional. The article goes on to suggest that in place of Section 941.23, the Legislature remains free to enact reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions that will protect the public safety while still respecting the constitutional rights of its citizens.