Saturday, February 20, 2010

Russ Decker Supports Gun Racks in Pickup Trucks

Senate Bill 222, introduced by Senator Russ Decker, among others, would loosen regulations for Wisconsin's hunters. Among other things, "This bill eliminates the requirement that an unloaded firearm placed in a vehicle be in a case."

This seems, at best, like a solution in place of a problem. At worst, it seems like a needless undermining of public safety. I am by no means an anti-gunner. I support responsible gun ownership. I have not made up my mind on the issue of open carry. I do not believe Wisconsin should start registering gun ownership, but I do believe in background checks at the time of purchase.

I support hunting rights, and I want to see Wisconsin's hunting traditions continue. I do not see how this bill will make things better. Right now, if you shoot a deer for another member of your hunting party, you need to be in contact with the member with the tag. That helps to prevent multiple people from shooting deer for the same person, which would result in senseless waste, as an untagged deer will likely be left to rot, since it cannot be legally claimed.

If this bill passes, you will not have to be in contact with the member of your party who still has a tag to fill. They will have one hour to tag the deer. How likely is that, if you are not in contact?

Also, you would no longer need to keep your guns in a case in your car. How is it a good idea to transport guns uncased? Even if it is unloaded (which the law would still require, but which is sometimes mistakenly overlooked), without the protection of a case, there is a greater possibility that your gun will be damaged in transit (especially if you are driving on dirt roads in the woods). How does that help Wisconsin's hunters? Is it really that much of a hardship to purchase a case for your (far more expensive) deer rifle? It will also allow individuals to drive around in the city with their (presumably unloaded) firearms on the seat, within easy reach. That could be a law enforcement nightmare.

Most perplexing of all, "The bill also provides that the prohibitions against the placement of a firearm, bow, or crossbow in a vehicle do not apply if the vehicle is stationary."

Does that mean it's OK to have a loaded gun in your car if the car is parked? Why is that a good idea?

Decker is blatantly pandering to the rural libertarians in his district. But more puzzling is Lena Taylor's co-authorship. Given her troubled relationship with the Milwaukee Police Department, this bill is unlikely to win her any endorsements from law enforcement organizations.


Deekaman said...

Decker knows there is trouble ahead. He apparently thinks this will placate those who are "clinging to their God and guns".

It won't.

Al R. said...

It has been a inconvenience for hunters for years but a nightmare for"working guns" Such as farmers & ranchers to not be able to carry uncased weapons.
Farmers & ranchers too many times to count. Been unable to protect herds from predatory animals. Just on the element of surprise coming crossed the predator before it darts away. While fumbling around trying to get the fire arm uncased. Further more the big city mentality of fire arms is fine for there world. But does NOT apply to the rest of it. Make no mistakes about it law makers. The wording of such a bill could easily include exceptions for agricultural / even service personal working in adverse conditions example would be loggers or maintenance people in unpopulated ares for protection from Wild hogs, Big cats, Bear, Wolves, Moose etc. Our beloved DNR is trying to bring back.
I welcome repopulating these animals. But laws need to be reciprocal as well.
I bet Law enforcement would rather have the fire arm in total view than under the seat. I know I would! Fact 99.9% of farmers,hunters (or anyone) are law abiding people. It's only that .1 percent that makes the media. Allowing uncased fire arms won't change that.

Al Romeis Deforest

Ordinary Jill said...

Al, the bill would still require guns in (moving) vehicles to be unloaded. How will that help farmers and ranchers to protect herds from predatory animals? This bill has nothing to do with that issue. It is entirely about hunting. How is it an "inconvenience" to protect your hunting rifle by putting it in a case while travelling? That is simply a responsible hunting practice.

Anonymous said...

Sorry I did get off topic some. I needed to vent.

Think of it this way. The current law is not about protecting the gun physically. The law is meant to restrict availability. Yes putting a gun in a case will keep it pretty.

The current law is SO restrictive hunters can not carry a fire arm on a ATV, UTV, Snowmobile, (moving vehicles) even while on privet property unless cased. People do use them while hunting as a tool & aid. Same goes for (example) pick up trucks. To move between fields or areas. This may require it to cross or travel on the road for a period of time. The unloaded part is fine. I can work with that so could many others.

Apparently the people that made the law originally never thought about it or have hunted.

I hope that answers your question Jill.

Ordinary Jill said...

Al, I have to disagree. Yes, hunters travel between fields in pickup trucks, snowmobiles, etc. They can keep the gun case(s) in the vehicle (or strapped to the back with bungee cords), so the case(s) will be handy when they want to move. Carrying an unsecured gun while operating an ATV or snowmobile is just plain stupid, in my opinion. Those laws have been on the books for a long time, and I suspect at least some of the lawmakers who passed them were hunters.

Anonymous said...

I'll try it again.

Once a fire arm is unloaded. It's no longer a danger. Hence why encase it just to un-case it moments later. I think passing a law to make encasement of golf clubs is needed here in Wisconsin.

Ordinary Jill said...

Assuming that a hunter who can't be bothered with a case remembered to unload the gun, it's still less than ideal to have a pile of unprotected rifles banging around the back of the vehicle. Forget cosmetic scratches; I'm concerned about internal damage that can increase the likelihood that the gun will jam or misfire. I'm even more concerned about uncased, strung bows. If the string or bow itself fails when the vehicle hits a bump in the road, the sudden release of tension will create a hazard for anyone in the vehicle. The right to bear arms and the right to hunt come with responsibilities to protect public safety. Every year there are a few accidental shootings during hunting season. Year round, there are accidental shootings when someone is cleaning a gun that they thought was unloaded. It is my belief that this proposed law unnecessarily erodes public safety in exchange for a very minor convenience to hunters. You clearly fall elsewhere on the convenience vs. safety spectrum, so I do not expect you to agree with me.

Anonymous said...

The bill says that you dont have to use a case. that doesnt mean that you cant use one. as hunters we do have common sense. we wouldnt be dumb enough to just leave our guns and bows bouncing around in the tailgate of a truck. this law is more about common sense than anything. if you take a fourwheeler to your stand, you should be able to lay a gun or bow across your lap and not have to worry about a case. the same goes if you are getting dropped off by a truck. also, when you get to your truck after a hunt, what is wrong with leaning your gun against your truck or setting your bow on the tailgate while putting your other gear away. we arent stupid. we obviously would put them in cases if it is a situation where they would get damaged. why does everybody look at the bad things that can happen. most of them even a 5 year old would have enough common sence to prevent.

Anonymous said...

I guess it's one of those. I've been there. They never done that things.

Comical. at best.
The bill will never go any where.

Way tooooo many Liberal gun hating nut cases in Madison. A day of real physical work would kill 99 % of them. No wonder the rest of the state shakes their head and laughs at the 12 x 12 miles surrounded by reality! lol