Gun Digest

Wisconsin: Open Carry Advocates File Suit Against Madison Police

Madison Police Chief Noble Wray.
Madison Police Chief Noble Wray.

Five men who wore holstered firearms at a Madison restaurant last fall filed suit in federal court Tuesday, alleging police violated their constitutional right against unlawful searches and seizure.

The suit, the second filed in federal court in response to the incident, seeks to end a Madison police department policy of citing individuals who openly carry firearms with disorderly conduct after someone complains.

On Sept. 18 police responded to a Culver's restaurant near East Towne Mall and found five men openly carrying firearms at outdoor tables. Shawn Winrich and Frank Hannan Rock refused to identify themselves and were handcuffed, searched and arrested. Steve Jensen, Paul Fisher and Matthew Lutz gave their names to officers and were released after a background check.

Initially, Winrich and Rock were cited for obstructing police when they refused to identify themselves to officers. But those citations were rescinded and all five were later given tickets for disorderly conduct. The city eventually dropped those citations, too.

The suit alleges that detaining the men without reasonable suspicion that they had a committed or were about to commit a crime violated their Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable searches and seizures. Read more


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