Wisconsin Attorney General Supports State's Open Carry Law

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The Department of Justice is answering questions from local law enforcement officers and prosecutors about citizens' rights to openly carry handguns.

Right now Wisconsin law states you can openly carry a handgun in a holster.

Several gun owners across the state say they were given tickets for doing exactly that.

So State Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen has sent a memo to prosecutors to try to clear up any confusion over the state's gun laws.

Kronenwetter Police Chief Dan Joling says having a gun in plain sight can be helpful to law enforcement officers when they are interacting with citizens.

He tells us people who have taken the legal measures to own a gun usually don't create problems for officers.

He says gun owners should make sure they know the laws to avoid getting in trouble.

"Your mowing your lawn you've got your weapon tied to your hip and now you jump into your vehicle to get some gas for your lawn mower. We'll now you've entered a different arena, just as if you wore it into a place where alcohol is being served."

Chief Joling says the state may want to consider changing from open carry to conceal and carry simply because everyone is not comfortable seeing handguns.

He also says training should be required for gun owners.

"Conceal and carry I have always been a proponent of that but training and understanding liability and education."

Local NRA Board Member Buster Buchhauber says mandatory training will not keep us safe.

" I don't believe in mandatory training, leading a horse to water makes them a safer gun handler it's a mindset just because somebody sat through a class doesn't mean they can handle a firearm."

He says non gun owners have a right to feel safe but gun owners have a right to carry their weapon without the fear of getting a citation.

"I certainly would not advocate that people adopt an in your face attitude, people have reason to fear [handguns] and we have a right to personal protection, our constitution says so," says Buchhauber.

Chief Joling says law enforcement officers have to update their training every year and says citizens should have to do the same thing.

Buchhauber says this issue will surely be a hot topic at the convention next month.