Kenosha Alderman Shayna has never been elected to the City Council. She was appointed to her post when her predecessor resigned. That didn’t stop her from pushing for gun control that she says “would keep guns out of the wrong hands.” A handful of democrats quickly signed onto the proposal. Griffin, 31, asked City Attorney and failed Judge candidate Ed Antaramian (D) to draft a resolution that would fine gun-owners who have their guns stolen out of their vehicles if the police suspect there was an unlocked door. What the mayor’s cousin didn’t do, was first check the state statutes. If he did, he would have seen WI Statute 66.0409(2) which doesn’t allow cities, counties, villages or towns to enact gun control that is “more stringent than, a state statute.” The legislature passed this law so City’s like Kenosha can’t violate the second amendment.
During Monday’s meeting Griffin pulled the ordinance from consideration and immediately one of the male Aldermen said “good!”. Griffin said “It was Rocco LaMacchia” who blurted out the excitement. LaMacchia responded by denying that it was him, as he was one of the co-sponsors. Alderman Anthony Kennedy (D) and Alderman Jan Michalski (D) signaled that they might write letters to republicans in the legislature, urging them to amend this statute. Antaramian said the the state legislature severely “ham-stringed” the City and seemed upset that the proposal couldn’t proceed.
Response From State’s Top Pro-Gun Group
The Kenosha County Eye spoke with Nik Clark today. He is the President of Wisconsin Carry, INC – the state’s leading pro-second amendment organization. Clark said that his organization is pleased that the proposed ordinance has been pulled from consideration. He was alarmed, however. He said that “the citizens of Kenosha should be troubled that there are city council members who seem to be more focused on infringing on the rights of the law abiding citizens when they should be targeting the behavior of criminals.” Many residents see his point. Kenosha has seen an incredibly large uptick in shootings and other violent crimes this years. Sadly, last weekend, three people were murdered and three more injured here in Kenosha County. Clark went on to talk about the recent rioting and looting in Kenosha. “In Kenosha, of all places, where residents were forced to fend for themselves last summer while thugs ravaged the city, there should be a heightened respect for a citizen’s right to keep and bear arms. Placing ‘landmines’ that could potentially ensnare an otherwise law-abiding gun owner with fines or punishment isn’t just misguided, it’s un-American.” Clark concluded by saying, “Wisconsin Carry has filed many lawsuits against municipalities that violated statute 66.0409 including the landmark victory for gun rights in the Wisconsin Supreme Court “Wisconsin Carry, Inc. v. City of Madison”. Kenosha would have faced an immediate lawsuit from Wisconsin Carry had they passed this ordinance.”
This wasn’t a bluff. It wouldn’t be the first time Clark’s organization has gotten involved in Kenosha. Kenosha prosecutor T. Clair Binger (D) charged a trucker with a weapons crime for carrying a handgun for self defense in his semi-tractor. T. Clair finally relented and dismissed the charges but kept the man’s firearm just to spite him. Wisconsin Carry, INC paid for the trucker’s legal fees and won. The man eventually got his firearm back.
We at the KCE are glad this proposal was shot down, but we need to watch for future attempts to weaken the bill of rights in our own back yard. The alderman’s proposal would have victimized a citizen twice. Once from a theft by a criminal, and a second time by the government and this misguided ordinance. Government is supposed to protect our rights not penalize us when we try to exercise them.