Wisconsin’s high court broadens who can carry concealed guns

Analysis on Litigation

A disorderly conduct conviction can’t disqualify someone from obtaining a permit to carry a concealed weapon in Wisconsin, a unanimous state Supreme Court ruled Friday in a decision could dramatically broaden who can carry hidden firearms, knives and stun guns.

The court found that disorderly conduct isn’t a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence under federal law and therefore doesn’t disqualify a person from holding a concealed carry license. Justice Jill Karofsky, a member of the court’s liberal minority, concurred but in a separate opinion called on legislators to close a “dangerous loophole” that will allow domestic abusers to carry concealed weapons.

“Though legally correct, this result is as nonsensical as it is dangerous,” Karofsky wrote. “When a domestic abuse perpetrator, who has engaged in threats to kill or any other type of domestic violence, has access to a gun, the lethality risk for his victim increases significantly.”

The case revolves around Daniel Doubek, of Green Bay. According to court documents, Doubek broke into his estranged wife’s trailer in Door County in 1993 waving a board and shouting threats. He was ultimately convicted of disorderly conduct.

The state Justice Department granted Doubek a concealed carry permit in 2016, five years after carrying concealed weapons became legal in Wisconsin. The agency revoked his license in 2019 following an audit that revealed his disorderly conduct conviction.

Federal law prohibits states from issuing concealed carry permits to people convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence. The Justice Department found Wisconsin’s disorderly conduct statute qualifies as misdemeanor domestic violence as defined under federal code.

Doubek sued to regain his permit, arguing that Wisconsin’s disorderly conduct statute doesn’t match the federal definition of misdemeanor domestic violence. The federal definition requires “the use or attempted use of physical force.” But the state disorderly statute doesn’t mention the use of force, defining disorderly conduct instead as violent, abusive, indecent, profane or other undefined conduct that causes a disturbance, he argued.

A judge in Green Bay upheld the license revocation but Doubek appealed. The 2nd District Court of Appeals sent the case directly to the state Supreme Court without ruling on it.

Writing for the majority, Justice Brian Hagedorn said a disorderly conduct conviction in Wisconsin can’t disqualify someone from holding a concealed carry license in the state.

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USCIS to Continue Implementing New Policy Memorandum on Notices to Appear

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is continuing to implement the June 28, 2018, Policy Memorandum (PM), Updated Guidance for the Referral of Cases and Issuance of Notices to Appear (NTAs) in Cases Involving Inadmissible and Deportable Aliens (PDF, 140 KB).

USCIS may issue NTAs as described below based on denials of I-914/I-914A, Application for T Nonimmigrant Status; I-918/I-918A, Petition for U Nonimmigrant Status; I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant (Violence Against Women Act self-petitions and Special Immigrant Juvenile Status petitions); I-730, Refugee/Asylee Relative Petitions when the beneficiary is present in the US; I-929, Petition for Qualifying Family Member of a U-1 Nonimmigrant; and I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status (with the underlying form types listed above).

If applicants, beneficiaries, or self-petitioners who are denied are no longer in a period of authorized stay and do not depart the United States, USCIS may issue an NTA. USCIS will continue to send denial letters for these applications and petitions to ensure adequate notice regarding period of authorized stay, checking travel compliance, or validating departure from the United States.