A difficult email to reply to


April 13, 2008, 12:29 AM
I received this email (sent to my address at the Wisconsin Concealed Carry Association) yesterday. I wish I could have given the woman better suggestions, but what do you do in a state where self-defense is illegal?

on 4/11/08 10:52 PM, xxx at xxx@xxx.net wrote:

Please advise ASAP.
My sister lives in XXX, Wisconsin with a mentally unstable husband. She has filed for divorce and is moving to another state on May 30. Her husband is mentally ill. He often speaks of "everybody paying, having nothing to loose, and everybody will be sorry."
My sister recently found a receipt for a handgun which is to be picked up on May 30. He has not owned a handgun in their 10 years as husband and wife. She fears for the safety of her and her three children. This man is capable of evil. His own parents will not have contact with him due to his mental instability.
I do believe that this individual would harm his entire family and that he has a plan.
He has a history of stalking an ex-wife and kidnapping his son from a previous marriage.
Please advise,


My reply:

Hello, XXX. The situation you describe is very frightening.

I'm not an attorney, so I would suggest that your sister get an attorney immediately.

Some possible avenues to pursue are: 1) his history of stalking his ex-wife. If he has any convictions for even misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence, he is prohibited by federal law from possessing a firearm; 2) his mental illness. If he's been involuntarily committed to a mental health facility, he is prohibited from possessing a firearm; 3) the kidnapping of his son. If he was convicted on any counts in that, he would be prohibited from possessing a gun.

You might also urge your sister to talk to the sheriff and police chief. If they cannot officially prevent him from taking possession of a gun if none of the points in the paragraph above pertain to him, they might be able to talk to the owner(s) of the gun store where he bought the gun. The store owners are under no obligation to sell a gun to someone if they don't want to.

If you need the name of a good attorney, please email me back. There's an attorney in the Eau Claire area who does a lot of firearms-related work, although usually in favor of someone owning a gun. Nevertheless, he does know firearms law.

I wish I could suggest more, but that's all that I can come up with.

Dick Baker
Founder, board member
Wisconsin Concealed Carry Association

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April 13, 2008, 01:51 AM
Legsta, I'd suggest that she call the cops on the guy. Yesterday. And then go stay with relatives in a distant city. Preferably relatives the guy doesn't know about.

April 13, 2008, 01:56 AM
It sounds like he needs to be sent for treatment again.

April 13, 2008, 02:17 AM
Smells like anti-gun people trolling to see if you suggest something they could use against us.

He gets the gun May 30th, the very day she is leaving. First, why the long wait. Second, if she has the receipt, she can go cancel the order. She is still the wife, she has that power. Third, why not leave a day early, even if she must sleep in her car? Fourth, why has she not taken these concerns to the police, or one of the thousand groups for female victims of DV?

In spite of all this, she comes to a pro-2A group? Unless there is something you are not telling us (you know the woman personally), you are being trolled by the antis. Perhaps Doyle is looking for a new way to discredit you?

This simply stinks.

The Wiry Irishman
April 13, 2008, 02:46 AM
Smells like anti-gun people trolling to see if you suggest something they could use against us.

From a multi-thousand poster that's been a member since a couple days after the site started?

ETA: Scratch that. I see after re-reading you were referring to the email he received, not the OP. My apologies.

Travis Lee
April 13, 2008, 02:51 AM
I'm suspicious as well.

The husband has a "history" of stalking and kidnapping and he can pass a NICS check?!

He's receiving the pistol 6 weeks in the future?
What? Layaway?

She's divorcing him but is somehow able to take his children out of state? Huh?

Nah... somebody jerkin his chain.


Mr White
April 13, 2008, 08:11 AM
+1 for the troll theory. It all just sounds too contrived, particularly the 'concidence' that she's leaving on 5/30 and he's picking up teh gun on the same day.

April 13, 2008, 09:08 AM
I'm gonna have to voice my opinion on the troll thing as well

I agree.

however, I also think that your response was top notch, an honest and useful reply if in the slim chance that this is a real threat. you did well in the advise you gave, +1

April 13, 2008, 10:38 AM
Just as a side question

Second, if she has the receipt, she can go cancel the order. She is still the wife, she has that power.

I do not understand the above statement.:confused: What gives her the legal right to cancel the order?

Just curious.

PS I've never been married, is it in the fine print on the back of the license?:neener:

April 13, 2008, 05:53 PM
Could be that she was trolling, but I thought I'd err on the side of caution and give whatever advice I could.

I get many emails like this. It makes me sick that Wisconsin limits options for self defense to a can of pepper spray and maybe a restraining order.

April 13, 2008, 07:00 PM
I recommend an IV of thorazine to begin immediately for this patient. And also, keep him in the violent ward until further notice.

April 13, 2008, 08:38 PM
IV drip Thorazine will kill. Is this what you had in mind?

April 13, 2008, 08:48 PM
Even if it was a troll, the reply was very good advice. The gun is not the issue; it would really be a case of a bad nutty dude that shouldn't be near his family and probably should be in treatment. Well played and leave it as it is.

April 13, 2008, 08:57 PM
IV drip Thorazine will kill. Is this what you had in mind?

Actually, I didn't know that. Sorry. But Paraldehyde is even more effective.

April 13, 2008, 09:01 PM
First off, I am with everyone else that this sounds a little weird.
If he DOES have a layaway plan going, she can always make a direct purchase, leave the receipt with a trusted friend and get some training in secret. A gun is just a weapon. If both opponents have an equal weapon, then the odds of victory turn to skill and/or circumstance. All she can do about circumstance is watch her back bot if both are armed and it DOES get down to a shoot-out, the odds will be much more in her favor if she is trained and ready to take him on. Skill with a gun can and usually does make just as much difference in a shoot-out as skill with a sword does in a sword fight, so make sure she knows what she's doing and is mentally ready to pull the trigger when the time comes. 10 years is allot of time to intimately know someone and pulling the trigger and ending it all is not going to be easy. Remind her to think about her children. Him killing her first is no guarantee that he's not going to move on to the children once she's dead, and a dead woman cannot protect her young.
Regarding his mental state and past behavior, whether or not he's been convicted of this makes a huge deal. If he passes background check, then the answer is no.
I think the best solution would be to keep the police informed and the problem on record and see if you can't get him placed on a 5150 (hold in a mental facility for evaluation) and find him some help. Killing a man may be mentally tough but it's a quick solution to the problem, which can make it among the easier ones, but bare in mind that he's been married for 10 years and whatever he did in the past, it doesn't sound like he was much more then scary. It really sounds like a bluffer, who does everything to make it look like he's extremely dangerous but ultimately doesn't have it in him to hurt a fly. If that's the case, he's more likely to use the gun on himself then anyone else and it DOES take a suffering person to get to that point, so it may be that the truly right thing to do is get him some sort of help if possible.
Don't take this wrong (I am not religious) but a very close relative of mine went through a similar mental break down (though didn't threaten or try to intimidate anyone) and she was talked in to going to a Catholic retreat who got her allot of mental counseling and it was not only conducted independent of government but it actually helped her and they only charge you money if you can afford it. The man will be much more likely to willfully accept help if he's getting it for free and from people who actually care and don't want to lock him up.
Another important note (having gone through this in preventing what probably would have been a school shooting) is people going through these things have a tendency to NOT want to talk about their hostile wishes with psychologists because psychologists are REQUIRED to turn them in. In the case I was dealing with, the kid needed to get it worked out and I didn't have all the answers for him and he voiced the above concern, so I sent him to a Catholic priest who was a professional psychologist and had him talk about it with the priest in confession. Why? Because Priests are under oath to NEVER reveal what is told to them in confession and the courts cannot make them tell, so apart from talking with a personal friend, it's the only method I know of that provides people who are reaching the violent boiling point to get effective professional help without ending up in a straight jacket.
I know it may be the less desirable things to do, bet I don't know of a better way to get someone going mad to willfully get professional help.
In the ming time, be prepared for the worst.

April 13, 2008, 09:10 PM
If the email is for real, the sender should call the police immediately, and then call the gun store. If the buyer is mentally ill then he lied on his form and shouldn't get a gun. Period.

April 13, 2008, 10:18 PM
If the buyer is mentally ill then he lied on his form and shouldn't get a gun. Period.
I agree. But has he been adjudicated mentally incompetent? If not, then are you arguing he should be deprived of his 2nd Amendment rights without a judicial finding?

I don't necessarily agree that this is a troll situation. The "coincidence" that others find between him picking up his gun the date his wife is scheduled to leave, I find ominous. Sounds more like he is planning his "final solution" for the last minute.

Understanding that WI is a non-CCW state, there is no reason she couldn't have a loaded shotgun standing by the door until just before she gets in the car. Better yet, a friend with a loaded shotgun standing by as she packs, right up to the moment she drives out of the driveway.

April 13, 2008, 10:29 PM
If he is under restraining order he will be held on a 30 day suspension, pending review by the local state investigation agency and not be allowed to pick up the gun for an additional 45 days. That is the law here in KS anyway.

April 13, 2008, 11:33 PM
I too suspect this is from an anti trying to stir something up, but it could be real. Mentally ill people don't always behave logically. You gave good advice, and if it WAS a troll, I'd suspect she was disappointed with your reasonable answer.

April 13, 2008, 11:43 PM
In this kind of situation (givin that its real which is wierd sense it doesn't take 6 weeks to get a gun in WI) about all you can do is a. move and hide or b. carry and be prepared and pray/hope.

If a spouse or stalker is after the average person (not rich) lawyers and rstraining orders don't prevent anything. If he really is deranged you can carry a good pepper spray and hope for the best but if I thought a psycho was after me I'd make it hard for him to find me.

Ala Dan
April 14, 2008, 12:15 AM
If any of those topics you pointed out are correctly answered with
a YES in the corresponding square on the 4473 form, the application will
be DENIED by the NICS Insta-Check System. However, I wouldn't expect
this character to tell the truth; so contact the gun shop an inform all
sales personel that this individaul may attempt to receive this firearm.

April 14, 2008, 01:11 AM
Leaving the receipt where she would find it IS Terroristic Threatening. She should press charges.

April 14, 2008, 01:14 AM

I could be wrong (I too am single), but my understanding of a married couples legal powers is they both have the power to make those decisions. You buy something, she can return it. That may only apply, say on a joint bank account. I admit, I am not 100% sure, but it is worth a try. Showing up with ID, and saying you are the wife, he is mentally ill, shouldn't have got it etc, ought tog et the order canceled.

Regardless, I stand by my assertion it smells like troll. Dick, chime in and update us!

April 14, 2008, 01:23 AM
this is why you need to start a legal trail BEFORE the fact.

Never calling the cops and then all of a sudden saying the man who is divocing you has been beating you senseless for years is too late for anything.

And of course, here is another angle. Maybe the man is a nice guy who likes guns, and is going thorugh a messy divorce. Maybe the wife is attempting to leave him a "parting gift" of in some way harming the hobby he loves by getting his guns taken away with a sob story that is entirely made up

April 14, 2008, 01:35 AM
Leaving the receipt where she would find it IS Terroristic Threatening. She should press charges.

I think (and would certainly hope) that leaving a gun recipt laying around in your own home isnt a crime. while, depending on the exact details, it could be one, I would think (and again hope) there would need to be more evidence it was intended to be a threat before it was actionable. I have gun receipts occasionally lying around my house, and the wife has found them, but I'm certainly not threatening here, nor would she assume I was.Also, if she and I were getting divorced, and she found a reciept for a gun, I would certainly hope that alone would not be enough to get me arrested for making "terrorstic threats". How is a receipt, alone without anything else, a threat?

Now, If he left it on her pillow, or the widnshield of her car, or stuck it into her purse, or something like that, then obviously he fully wanted to be sure she found it, and was likely using it as a threat, but barring that, I dont think it is, or should be, enough to get someone arrested and/or his guns taken away.

Keep in mind I'm not defending the guy (if the story is true, which I too doubt) if he is a whacko as claimed.Just saying that a receipt just lying around with no other indicators its a threat, is meaningless, even with the coincedental dates. Maybe the reason he picks it up on the day she leaves is because he know she'd pitch a fit for having a gun in the house with her around, so now that she will no longer be around, he has decided he can finally have a gun without having her freak out about it? Just using that as a reasonable example for the situation in the OP.

I would certainly hope a neighbor, the maintenance man, or anyone else couldnt have me arrested for making "terroristic threats" just because they found a gun receipt (even if they thought I was a whacko).They need to PROVE I'm somehow threatening them (with more evidence), as opposed to just happening to have left a recipt on my table.And if they think I'm somehow dangerous to myself or others, they need to prove it in court.

April 14, 2008, 01:38 AM
also, as a wisconson resident, do you have a mandatory waiting period?

why does the recepit have a pickup date?

I've never had a recipt with a pickup date

April 14, 2008, 01:56 AM
Then maybe you've never ordered something that wasn't in stock.

If the guy's a danger, and we can only presume so, she needs to call the po-po...

April 14, 2008, 04:51 AM
There is something very wrong with the original e-mail. PU on May 30 is very unusual.

I've never run into a business that has a 6-week layaway and that isn't the law in Wisconsin.

I do not doubt the sincerity of Mokeyleg, but I suspect it is possible someone is yanking his chain.

As far as a nut job getting a murder weapon, I have my doubts. I have sledge hammers, gas and battery saws, knives (up the wazoo) and a host of other weapons available if I want to do something perverse.

It ain't right.

April 14, 2008, 05:16 AM
why would he need a gun to take her out?...

sounds like a troll, but you were right to answer it the way you did, rather safe than sorry.

April 14, 2008, 09:56 AM
what do you do in a state where self-defense is illegal

I don't think I understand this statement.

April 14, 2008, 02:10 PM
Then maybe you've never ordered something that wasn't in stock.

ha good point, I never have. I always figured if I had them special order somethign for me they wouldn't be able to give me a date set in stone.

Anways, again, this is good evidence that the guy is sane. If he was planning to do some killing he'd probably settle for a gun they had on display. Ordering something 'specail order' is kind of a self-imposed 'waiting period'

April 14, 2008, 04:19 PM
1. Inform the cops. Give them the info & evidence, and let them decide what they're going to do about it.

2. Get out of state. Yes, there will be issues - cope.

3. Arm accordingly. If he still shows up, the cops haven't done their part, can't do their part, and he's seriously motivated toward harm.

Even if the request was a "troll", I don't see how such an answer can really be abused.

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