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Wisconsin statute regarding underage possession of a firearm - Rifles are excluded

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  • Wisconsin statute regarding underage possession of a firearm - Rifles are excluded

    Since the other thread got closed due to stuff completely unrelated to the topic of the thread, and this discussion was never completed.

    Don/King.

    Here is the info I said I would post regarding the statute, including some of the legislative history. Even though only the current statute can be considered when bringing charges, etc., I think the history is important for this discussion, as it very clearly shows what the legislature intended, which is that a pistol is a dangerous weapon, a rifle is not.

    Here are the WI acts that created or modified 948.60 and a few brief (by Tned standards) comments on them.

    Here are three images. You will see the NRA comment the one person made is nonsense, as the statutes have been limited to pistols dating back to at least 1955.

    The first two images are act 337 that created that created 948.60. See the footnote I highlighted, which clearly states that 948.60 prohibits a minor from posessing a "pistol." When they replaced 941.22 with 948.60, as the footnote says, they were expanding it beyond a pistol to add electic weapons, etc. No place in there does it say adding "rifle" to the statute. So, that makes clear that the intent of 948.60 when created, ONLY applied to pistols (barrels less than 12"), not rifles. In the second image, while bigger in form, is just a continuation of the footnotes, where in footnote 2 they make clear the target practice exception is related to a pistol, because a rifle was never considered a "dangerous weapon".

    Finally, in the third image, is act 18 of the 1991 legislature, where they modify 948.60, and move the short barrel language from the 948.60 (1) to 948.60 (3)(c) while also adding (3)(b) the military exclusion. You will notice in they still explcitly call out "barrel less than 12 inches" in 948.60, since all they were doing was reorganizing the statute, and adding the military exception.

    Then, later (don't have a copy of that act yet to paste in this post), they created a new definition of short barreled rifle (941.28) and added that by reference to 948.69 (3)(c) and removed "less than 12 inches." Originally short barrel rifles were nearly non existent, and instead, the original wording of "barrel less than 12 inches" was meant to apply to sawed off shotguns. When SBRs (short barrel rifles) became common place, they created a whole new section of code to define them, and added that by reference.

    As you can see, this statute has always ONLY applied to pistols and sawed off shotguns and later short barrel rifles. So, while I still contend that the current statute reads very clear on the intent of the legislature, the legislative history embodied in the acts that created and modified 948.60, remove any doubt that a rifle was never considered a "dangerous weapon" in 948.60 and there was never a restriction on a minor posessing a rifle.




  • #2
    “At 17 years old Kyle (Rittenhouse) was perfectly legal to be able to possess that rifle without parental supervision.”



    EDITOR'S NOTE, Nov. 16, 2021: Judge Bruce Schroeder recently dismissed a misdemeanor charge of possession of a dangerous weapon by a person under 18 against Kyle Rittenhouse.

    Readers asked us if this made the fact-check below invalid. We don’t think so. Here’s why.

    In August 2020, we fact-checked a claim that it was "perfectly legal" for Rittenhouse to possess an AR-15 without parental supervision. Our reporting found that it was far from perfectly legal, and that it was, in fact, legally murky. That’s why we rated the claim False.

    Wisconsin law says that "any person under 18 years of age who possesses or goes armed with a dangerous weapon is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor."

    In our fact-check, we cite the possibility of an exception for rifles and shotguns. The exception is aimed at letting children ages 16 and 17 hunt. But, as it is also clear, Rittenhouse wasn’t in Kenosha to hunt.

    This same legal debate played out a couple of times during the Rittenhouse trial, according to the Associated Press.

    Rittenhouse’s defense asked Schroeder to dismiss the firearm possession charge during a pretrial hearing in October. Schroeder, according to the Associated Press, acknowledged the intent of the statute was murky but decided not to dismiss the charge.

    The issue came up again on Nov. 15 as lawyers were debating instructions to the jury.

    Prosecutors argued that allowing an exception for hunting-style weapons would effectively eliminate the prohibition on minors carrying weapons.

    But in this instance, Schroeder dismissed the charge, saying he had a "big problem" with the state statute.

    In its reporting, the Associated Press quoted Kenosha defense attorney Michael Cicchini, who is not involved in the case. Cicchini said when statutes aren't clear, they must be read in favor of the defense. "This is the price the government must pay when it is incapable of drafting clear laws," Cicchini wrote in an article.


    The ruling does appear at odds with the intent of legislators. In 2018, the Wisconsin Legislative Council Staff, a nonpartisan legislative service agency akin to the Congressional Research Service, wrote that, "Under Wisconsin law, with certain exceptions for hunting, military service, and target practice, a person under age 18 is generally prohibited from possessing or going armed with a firearm."

    These subsequent events show the grey areas of local gun laws — hardly a case of something being "perfectly legal." Our fact-check remains unchanged.

    https://www.politifact.com/factcheck...ng-assault-st/

    Comment


    • #3
      LATrump, the copy and paste king. If you can't intelligently discuss a topic, copy and paste, copy and paste, copy and paste some more.

      You, LATrump, get a participation trophy!!!🏆

      Comment


      • #4
        For those not being LATrump (people capable of original thought), please have a look at the post above and the history of the statute, which makes very clear, that rifles are not, and never have been, considered dangerous weapons in the state of Wisconsin.

        The current statute says the exact same thing, just with slightly evolved wording to make sure that all types of SBRs (short barreled rifles) were taken into account, where the old statute only addressed barrels less than 12".

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Tned View Post
          For those not being LATrump (people capable of original thought), please have a look at the post above and the history of the statute, which makes very clear, that rifles are not, and never have been, considered dangerous weapons in the state of Wisconsin.

          The current statute says the exact same thing, just with slightly evolved wording to make sure that all types of SBRs (short barreled rifles) were taken into account, where the old statute only addressed barrels less than 12".
          Whose interpretation of the statues should I believe?

          Melania's, or the Wisconsin Legislative Council?

          Gee, let's see... 🙄

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Tned View Post
            LATrump, the copy and paste king. If you can't intelligently discuss a topic, copy and paste, copy and paste, copy and paste some more.
            If you can't dispute the substance of an argument, simply pretend that noting it was copied/pasted is the same thing.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by L.A. BRONCOS FAN View Post

              Whose interpretation of the statues should I believe?

              Melania's, or the Wisconsin Legislative Council?

              Gee, let's see... 🙄
              You posted from politifact not the Wisconsin legislative council, but I have read the actual document where that was written (which is what you should provide a link to). They use the term "generally" and firearms, which are both very broad, non precise. It could have been a first year associate that did a casual reading of the statute. A casual reading of the statute, would lead to that, because an assumption on what a firearm is in a casual reading would lead one to think all firearms. However, the statute (and acts that created and amended it) make clear that a firearm, in the context of a "dangerous weapon" is limited to pistols and short barreled rifles/shotguns.

              The sad part is that you aren't willing to even have a discussion. You don't read the statute, nor the acts that created it, which make VERY clear, that the only firearms that the Wisconsin state legislature consider dangerous weapons are pistols and short barreled shotguns and rifles. Instead, you copy and paste and insult. Copy and paste and insult.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by L.A. BRONCOS FAN View Post

                If you can't dispute the substance of an argument, simply pretend that noting it was copied/pasted is the same thing.
                Did you really just say that? I can't dispute the substance. Ok, for I'm guessing the 24th time in the last four days, I'm asking YOU to show me where in the statute a rifle over 16" is forbidden from being possessed by a 17 year old.

                Comment


                • #9
                  He's probably got you on ignore now so don't hold your breath on him actually giving you an intelligent answer that wasn't fed to him from some liberal hack website.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by BamaBronco16 View Post
                    He's probably got you on ignore now so don't hold your breath on him actually giving you an intelligent answer that wasn't fed to him from some liberal hack website.
                    All he does is attack, so wasn't really expecting him to every address the substance. But, for those actually interested in the facts, like Don/King, I thought it was worth the time to show the acts that created the statute in question, including the footnotes, which clearly show that only pistols and short barelled rifles/shotguns were ever classified as a dangerous weapon and applicable in that statute. Full length rifles and shotguns were always excluded.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Tned View Post

                      All he does is attack, so wasn't really expecting him to every address the substance. But, for those actually interested in the facts, like Don/King, I thought it was worth the time to show the acts that created the statute in question, including the footnotes, which clearly show that only pistols and short barelled rifles/shotguns were ever classified as a dangerous weapon and applicable in that statute. Full length rifles and shotguns were always excluded.
                      It was a good post. Way better than anything he has ever posted. He can only post someone else's opinions.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by BamaBronco16 View Post

                        It was a good post. Way better than anything he has ever posted. He can only post someone else's opinions.
                        Thanks. I guess I see a forum as a place to have active discussions, and for me, the best kind is with people that hold different opinions than mine. This isn't a news aggregator, there are lots of places we can see articles. So, I only see posting a snippet of an article as a way to promote discussion. But, that's just my opinion, which isn't worth a whole lot.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Yeah...I said all this shit at the start. It was not illegal for him to have the rifle nor was it illegal for him to defend himself with the rifle regardless of whether he was allowed to possess the rifle or not. The right to defend yourself does not end because the government says you can't possess a particular type of weapon. Think it through.

                          Last point...never argue with an idiot like LABF. I am actually shocked that him and buff bronco even show up here after they ruined the last board.

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