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Contact Meyer Van Severen, S.C. at (414) 270-0202 to discuss your carrying a concealed weapon case

Criminal defense attorneys Matthew R. Meyer and Benjamin T. Van Severen provide aggressive carrying a concealed weapon defense.  Carrying a concealed weapon without a permit is a misdemeanor offense in Wisconsin.  Certain district attorney’s offices in Wisconsin take a tough stance on this charge.  Previously the Milwaukee County District Attorneys Office had a policy requiring plea negotiations to include a jail offer.  Our criminal defense firm, Meyer Van Severen, S.C., is comfortable working on difficult criminal cases.  Call us at (414) 270-0202 and we’ll get started on your criminal case today.


What is a dangerous weapon?

Carrying a concealed weapon focuses on the carrying of a “dangerous weapon.”  A dangerous weapon includes any firearm, whether that firearm is loaded or unloaded, any device designed as a weapon and capable of producing death or serious bodily injury,  any device/instrumentality designed and intended to produce death or great bodily harm, or any electric weapon.

Often the issue criminal defense attorneys face at trial is whether the weapon is “concealed.”  Concealed means the weapon is hidden from ordinary observation.  A completely hidden weapon isn’t the requirement.  It’s important that your attorney understand the law surrounding the crime in order to provide you quality carrying a concealed weapon defense.  It’s also important that you understand the law.  Often individuals believe that carrying a weapon in a glove box is fine.  It’s not.  Unless you have a permit, you’re committing a crime.  Weapons need not be on the defendant’s body


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What is carrying a concealed weapon?

Carrying a concealed weapon is prohibited by Section 941.23(2) of the Wisconsin Statutes.  The crime is committed when: “Any person, other than one of the following, who carries a concealed and dangerous weapon is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.”  Like all other crimes, CCW requires that the government prove certain elements beyond a reasonable doubt.  Wisconsin Criminal Jury Instruction 1335A provides:

  • Firstly, the defendant carried a dangerous weapon; and
  • Secondly, the defendant was aware of the presence of a weapon; and
  • Thirdly, the weapon was concealed.

“Carried” means that the weapon involved was either on the defendant’s body or was within the defendant’s reach.

An individual facing these charges faces a Class A misdemeanor.  A Class A misdemeanor carries with it the possibility of 9 months jail and a $10,000.00 fine, or both.  See this blog post for a discussion of misdemeanor penalties.

As mentioned earlier, these charges are often carry a jail sentence.  Certainly, it’s important to hire a skilled criminal defense attorney for carrying a concealed weapon defense.  Prosecutors take gun cases very seriously.  Even if you’re only facing 9 months and a $10,000.00 fine, we believe that there’s a lot to lose.


Man carries a concealed weapon.
Carrying a concealed weapon is a misdemeanor in Wisconsin. Contact a top criminal defense attorney.

Who are the “other than one of the following” in the statute?

Certainly there are individuals who legally carry firearms.  Section 941.23(2)(a) – (e) describes who can legally carry a concealed weapon.  Those individuals include:

  • Firstly, a peace officer (not including a non-state-certified commission warden); or
  • A qualified out-of-state law enforcement officer; or
  • A former officer; or
  • A licensee, or qualified out-of-state licensee; or
  • An individual who carries a concealed weapon in his or her own dwelling, business, or owned land.

Is CCW law constitutional?

In 2004 the Supreme Court of Wisconsin decided this question.  The court held that section 941.23 is constitutional on its face, despite the adoption of a state constitutional amendment guaranteeing “the right to keep and bear arms for security, defense, hunting, recreation or other lawful purpose.”  Wis. Const. art. I, § 25.  However, the court determined that the constitutionality needed to be determined, as applied, on a case by case basis: “… only if the public benefit in this exercise of the police power is substantially outweighed by an individual’s need to conceal a weapon in the exercise of the right to bear arms will an otherwise valid restriction on that right be unconstitutional as applied.”  State v. Hamden, 2003 WI 113, ¶46.


What if I didn’t have the gun on me?

The first element required that the defendant “carried a dangerous weapon.”  As you’ll recall, carried means went armed with.  And, went armed with means the weapon must have been either on the defendant’s person or within the defendant’s reach.  The courts have clarified this law significantly.

Mularkey v. State, 201 Wis. 429, 230 N.W. 76 (1930) established the “within reach” test.  The court in that case affirmed a conviction where the driver of an automobile had a revolver within his reach.  It was on a shelf of the back seat of his vehicle.  The Mularkey “within his reach” test State v. Fry, 131 Wis.2d 153, 388 N.W.2d 565 (1986).


Meyer Van Severen, S.C. provides carrying a concealed weapon defense

Obviously our criminal lawyers defend carrying a concealed weapon cases.  Even if you believe you’re guilty of the crime, the police may have acted in an illegal manner.  If that is the case, your criminal lawyer may be able to get all evidence suppressed.  Suppression of the evidence could lead to a dismissal of your case.

Certainly our firm has worked on cases similar to yours.  Certainly, don’t let the government treat you illegally or unfairly.  Contact Meyer Van Severen, S.C. at (414) 270-0202 to set up a free consultation.