WI district attorney wants CCW law amended; sheriff sets him straight


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Monkeyleg
July 14, 2011, 11:25 PM
Yesterday, Sheboygan, WI district attorney Joe DeCecco issued a call to amend the recently passed shall-issue carry bill. His concern? The same old bogeyman argument that police officers will be in danger when making traffic stops because they won't know who has a gun and who doesn't.

That's not really a story. What is a story is the reaction from Milwaukee County Sheriff Clarke, who said, amongst other things:

"The debate's over," he said. "Everybody just exhale. Forty-eight other states have this. They haven't experienced all this hysteria and fear-mongering, and life went on in those states. We'll be fine."

It's refreshing to hear that from a law enforcement official.

The rest of the story is here (http://www.jsonline.com/news/crime/125539018.html).

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Sam1911
July 14, 2011, 11:39 PM
Interesting: DeCecco said. "... I think cops should have the right to know everything they can possibly know."

Thats one way to look at things.

Wingwalker
July 14, 2011, 11:47 PM
Good for the Sheriff! I've been an officer for 12 years now in a state where we DO have access to the database for CCW holders. We can ask our dispatcher to run anyone we want for almost any reason to see if they have a CCW permit. I've never used it. Some dispatchers run people through it automatically when they send us on a complaint just to give us a heads up, but I really don't see the use in it. I assume that EVERYONE I come in contact with has a concealed weapon. Most criminals aren't going to go through the process to get a permit. Most of them couldn't pass the background check anyway.

orionengnr
July 14, 2011, 11:48 PM
"It is outrageous when, hiding behind a constitutional right, special interest groups' paranoia and extreme views put our officers at risk..."
Yeah, pesky thing, that dang ol' Constitution...
I would like to see some stats on how many CHL holders, nationwide, in the history of concealed carry, have ever shot an LEO. I'm betting I could count them all on...ah, probably...one finger of one hand...or less.

Dick, (OP), glad to see that WI has finally become the 49th state. (I hope that IL one day follows, as I'd love to go back there to retire in 10 or so years). I know that your tireless efforts had a lot to do with that, and I am sorry to see that you have relocated and cannot enjoy the fruits of that success. But take comfort in the fact that Wisconsinites now enjoy the rights that they have been so long denied. Good job, and a good begining to a happy ending.

My sincere respects to Sheriff Clarke. Generally speaking, I have no trust or repect for administrators, who generally reflect the political views of the mayors who appoint them. This guy is the exception to my rule, and has integrity and class. We need more like him.

Edited to add: After reading some of his blog, I just sent an email to his website. This guy is the real deal, and the citizens of any city would be lucky to have a man of his caliber and integrity working for them.

NavyLCDR
July 14, 2011, 11:55 PM
"hiding behind a Constitutional right"?!?

That Attorney General should be fired immediately. He doesn't know the difference between hiding behind and exercising a right. (Not that carrying a gun in a way that requires a permit is exercising a right anyway.... it is a government granted privilege) but, for this argument, it's close enough. Maybe replace him with that Sheriff.

kis2
July 15, 2011, 12:02 AM
I need to find a way to send a thank you email to the sheriff...

Librarian
July 15, 2011, 12:10 AM
Good for Sheriff Clarke.

I assume that EVERYONE I come in contact with has a concealed weapon. That's the only possible safe action.

A responding officer has no idea who may be in a car or at an address - so information on the owner of the vehicle or the resident at that address is insufficient to reduce any level of caution.

ETA this is the contact info from the Sheriff's Office web page : sheriff@milwcnty.com

Romeo 33 Delta
July 15, 2011, 12:18 AM
Sheriff Clarke ... a real credit to our State's law enforcement community!

DeCecco ... his comments speak for themselves.

orionengnr
July 15, 2011, 12:41 AM
I need to find a way to send a thank you email to the sheriff...

Start here, like I did:

http://county.milwaukee.gov/OfficeoftheSheriff7719.htm

My message:
Sheriff Clarke--
I just read a post about your rebuttal to DA Joe DeCecco on WI's CCW law.

Sir, my hat is off to you. I moved to Texas from IL seven and a half years ago, and was amazed at the difference in the attitude towards Constitutional rights. I would not be surprised in the least to hear that you are a member of Oath Keepers. (If not, I ask that you research it.)

When I lived in IL, I needed a FOID card to look at a gun, or own one, or buy ammo, or shoot at a range. CCW was unheard-of, unless you were a Daley crony.

When I moved to Texas, I got my CHL "because I could" and have been carrying ever since. I am currently 54 years old and have no criminal record. I plan on carrying every day of what remains of my life and have no intention of shooting anyone.

God bless you for being one of few administrators who understands that one does not reduce crime by restricting the rights of law-abiding citizens. The county of Milwaukee is blessed to have you, and the state of Wisconsin benefis from your wisdom...especially in the case of DA DeCecco.

I hope to retire to IL in ten years or so...if they follow Wisconsin's long-overdue lead and become the 50th state to allow CCW. If not, perhaps I will move to Wisconson instead.

I note that you have been in office since 1992, and while (in general) I |believe that a career in politics leads inevitably to a corrupt official, I am not above admitting that there are evceptions to every rule, and what |I read on your blog leads me to believe that you are one of those exceptions. I wish you a long term in office, and I wish there were more like you, especially in cities like Milwaukee. Then again, if you ever get tired of snow, we could use a man like you in Dallas.

I am a modest man of modest means, but I stand up for what I believe. When you come up for re-election, I will be inclined to support you in any way I can.
Best regards, and keep up the great work.
Rich

Gato MontÚs
July 15, 2011, 12:46 AM
Ah, the good ole' Journal Sentinel, just can't let it go can they?

Seriously, why was this in today's newspaper. As Clarke said in the article, "the debate is over." CCW will finally become law of the land. It passed; there's no more to discuss.

Good for Clarke, nice to see someone in Milwaukee's law enforcement who isn't a complete ass (coughFlynncough).

kis2
July 15, 2011, 12:56 AM
friendly thank you sent. I think it's always important to encourage people when they put themselves out there like that, because undoubtedly they can negative responses too.

thanks for the link orionengnr.

22-rimfire
July 15, 2011, 01:10 AM
(from the Journal Sentinel article link above): "(They) walk into a situation where people are yelling and screaming and they can't run a check to see, there's two people in this house who have a permit. They may walk in and say, 'Mr. Jones, you have a permit. Where's that gun right now?' I think that's reasonable," DeCecco said. "It doesn't compromise the right to carry concealed. I think cops should have the right to know everything they can possibly know."

Anyone involved in the domestic issue could be legally armed anyway without the permit. The information might be nice, but if I were an officer, I would assume somebody is armed already. In most cases, the "good guys" don't shoot anyone....

Good letter/email. I agree with Kis2, it is good to support people who say reasonable things publically based on currently available data.

Davey Wavey
July 15, 2011, 03:21 AM
"It is outrageous when, hiding behind a constitutional right, special interest groups' paranoia and extreme views put our officers at risk when they are simply trying to do their sworn duty and remain as safe as possible," said Sheboygan County District Attorney Joe DeCecco

Look on the bright side folks! He at least admits it's a constitutional right.

MikeNice
July 15, 2011, 05:24 AM
Good for the Sheriff! I've been an officer for 12 years now in a state where we DO have access to the database for CCW holders. We can ask our dispatcher to run anyone we want for almost any reason to see if they have a CCW permit. I've never used it. Some dispatchers run people through it automatically when they send us on a complaint just to give us a heads up, but I really don't see the use in it. I assume that EVERYONE I come in contact with has a concealed weapon. Most criminals aren't going to go through the process to get a permit. Most of them couldn't pass the background check anyway.

I work with cops day in and day out. I can honestly say this is probably the best opinion I've heard from an officer. It is also the mind set that will probably keep you healthy a lot longer than many other officers. I wish we had a hat tipping smilely face.

Be safe.

ZombieKiller57
July 15, 2011, 10:57 AM
It's nice to finally see someone stand their ground. Obviously the DA doesn't know what he is talking about anyway. Rule 1: A LEO should always expect the person he is confronting to be armed unless proven otherwise. That does not mean you treat them like a criminal but that should be your alert level.

ball3006
July 15, 2011, 11:16 AM
In Texas, when a cop runs your car license plate, it shows if you have a CHL. Duh, how hard is that? chris3

Scimmia
July 15, 2011, 11:24 AM
In Texas, when a cop runs your car license plate, it shows if you have a CHL. Duh, how hard is that? chris3

You do realize that's not common, right? In my state, the records are at the county level only and have no link to any state database, including driver's licenses.

Carter
July 15, 2011, 11:35 AM
You do realize that's not common, right? In my state, the records are at the county level only and have no link to any state database, including driver's licenses.

Its common in my state (NC). Its linked to your license plate and DL.

But seriously, how can he expect anyone to take him seriously when his claims don't make any sense when compared to the rest of the country?

ny32182
July 15, 2011, 12:07 PM
I have a carry permit, a pistol, and sometimes drive cars that aren't mine. Oops.

jbrown50
July 15, 2011, 02:29 PM
It's nice to finally see someone stand their ground. Obviously the DA doesn't know what he is talking about anyway. Rule 1: A LEO should always expect the person he is confronting to be armed unless proven otherwise. That does not mean you treat them like a criminal but that should be your alert level.
Dececco knows exactly what he's doing. He knows that laws don't prevent criminals from breaking laws. He works with law enforcement every day and knows that LEOs are supposed to assume that anyone they engage contact with is armed, no matter whether they have a permit or not.

Dececco made the statement to simply score points with his political buddies, to make sure they understand which side he's on.

Standing Wolf
July 15, 2011, 04:47 PM
Thank you for that article, Monkeyleg. Miss the place, do you?

Canazes9
July 15, 2011, 05:08 PM
In Texas, when a cop runs your car license plate, it shows if you have a CHL. Duh, how hard is that? chris3

That's incorrect. When officer runs your drivers license it shows you have CHL, not the license plate.

David

PavePusher
July 15, 2011, 05:25 PM
jbrown: "Dececco made the statement to simply score points with his political buddies, to make sure they understand which side he's on."

That, sir, is the problem....

EddieNFL
July 15, 2011, 08:42 PM
"It is outrageous when, hiding behind a constitutional right, special interest groups' paranoia and extreme views put our officers at risk when they are simply trying to do their sworn duty and remain as safe as possible," said Sheboygan County District Attorney Joe DeCecco

Was he hiding behind the first amendment when he said that?

usmarine0352_2005
July 15, 2011, 09:19 PM
Was he hiding behind the first amendment when he said that?



lol


.

SigP229R
July 15, 2011, 09:30 PM
Don't know this sheriff but want to; he speaks with common sense. Sounds a lot like something the sheriff of my county here in N C would say.

walking arsenal
July 15, 2011, 10:08 PM
Someone send that sheriff a gift certificate to a good coffee joint. He's earned a good cup of jo.

Carl N. Brown
July 15, 2011, 10:42 PM
Pretty enlightening article.

Gitte Laasby, "Sheboygan DA blasts concealed-carry law: Gun rule raises questions of owner privacy, officer safety", Journal Sentinel, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, July 13, 2011.

There are need to know limits on checking the WI concealed carry permit data base. Sheboygan County District Attorney Joe DeCecco "said access to the database could help officers determine the level of danger and alert them of any guns present before they make contact. In rural areas where a single officer often responds, he could call for backup or secure the weapon immediately upon contact."

Duh. Rural areas are likely to have 80% gun ownership anyway. If it's rural, I would assume folks have guns.

DeCecco also said: ""The present prohibition ... reflects the extreme agenda and paranoia of the National Rifle Association and other gun lobbying groups that advanced these provisions. What are they afraid of?"

Uh, criminals who have guns acquired legally or (more probably) illegally are not likely to get permits to carry. DeCecco is calling for treating legal handgun permit holders worse than most criminals would get treated. The permit database would not alert officers to any guns present, only to the presence of a legal permit holder who may not be actually carrying & in all probability would not deserve special attention.

"What are they afraid of?" Well, a DA thinking police should routinely call on backup just because a person has a pistol permit. That's kinda extreme and paranoid on DeCecco's part.

Milwaukee County Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr. correctly pointed out that if the database says the guy does not have a permit, it does mean the guy is not armed. I agree with that: especially if the guy is a crook who is not likely to have a permit in the first place. DeCecco talks like, if a check on the database shows the individual does not have a permit, the cop does not have to be alert. Duh.

As one of the commentators pointed out, he legally owned 13 guns, did not have a carry permit, was not likely to get a carry permit. At least he would be spared the special backup treatment DeCecco thinks he deserves.

Clarke sounds like some our local working police, fully in contact with reality. "The debate's over. Everybody just exhale. Forty-eight other states have this. They haven't experienced all this hysteria and fear-mongering, and life went on in those states. We'll be fine."

Tennessee has had shall-issue RTC since 1996. No blood in the gutters from shootouts over parking spaces, no additional floor to the county morgue, or any of the other dire predictions. (Shall issue actually removes the necessity defense against a charge of illegally going armed: no excuse.)

Romeo 33 Delta
July 15, 2011, 11:00 PM
DeCecco apparently doesn't take into account a situation involving a traffic stop where the vehicle is recently stolen and none of the occupants are the registered owner. Exactly what would the data base tell the officer?

So the occupants have stolen a vehicle registered to a non-cc owner. The occupants have just hit a 7-11, killed the night clerk. All the while the actual owner is sould asleep in his bed, having no idea his vehicle has been both stolen and used in the commission of multiple felonies.

Yep, that officer is going to casually walk up to that vehicle because the data base shows there is no gun in the vehicle?

I don't think cops are either that badly trained or just that dumb. I'll rephrase that ... I KNOW THEY'RE NOT!

The only idiot in this room is Joe DeCecco ... "what a maroon".

Monkeyleg
July 16, 2011, 12:15 AM
Thank you for that article, Monkeyleg. Miss the place, do you?

No, but I read the Journal Sentinel briefly every evening, looking for stupid things like DeCecco's statements, just to remind me why I moved. What blew me away was Clarke's response.

armoredman
July 16, 2011, 12:24 AM
Sheriff Clarke and my local CLEO, Sheriff Babeau of Pinal County might get along quite well, I think. Well done, sir.

shep854
July 16, 2011, 12:35 AM
Consider that a sheriff is an elected position, while police chiefs are generally appointments. Which is more likely to reflect the population's perspective.
If anything, a CCW flag should indicate to an officer that the person in question is most likely a Good Guy!

Monkeyleg
July 17, 2011, 01:00 AM
Which is more likely to reflect the population's perspective.

Sheriff Clarke has been something of a closet conservative his entire time in the position. It's a pretty liberal city.

wideym
July 17, 2011, 03:15 AM
That's the up side of electing a local sheriff, you don't have to bow down to the political bosses of your party,state, or city's pet subjects, just those who elected you, like it should be.

az_imuth
July 17, 2011, 08:25 AM
Actually, when a Texas cop runs your plate and sees that you don't have a CHL, that's when they get suspicious. :neener:

goon
July 17, 2011, 04:55 PM
I've been pulled over several times while carrying, sometimes just during routine stops and DUI checks, and a couple times for speeding (which I was guilty of). Was even in an accident once while I and the driver of the car I was in were carrying.

No one's gotten shot.
Carrying makes you more conscious of how ugly things could get and how fast they could get there.

So good for the ol' Sheriff.

El Tejon
July 17, 2011, 08:37 PM
That Attorney General should be fired immediately. He doesn't know the difference between hiding behind and exercising a right.

Ummm, why are you firing the Attorney General when the county District Attorney made the statement?:eek:

Talk about not knowing the difference!

Deltaboy
July 17, 2011, 08:50 PM
Horray for that Sheriff and Fire the Idiot AG!

12131
July 17, 2011, 09:04 PM
They're all attorneys. Fire them.:p

Zoogster
July 17, 2011, 09:48 PM
Most people that shoot cops don't have a permit and would be considered unarmed by the database.
If a cop is more alert when someone legally has the ability to carry a firearm than when they confront someone who doesn't then they are being foolish.
According to such a database most thugs and violent criminals likely to shoot you are unarmed, and have no carry permit, or legally registered firearm in a place with registration.
Such a system is pointless, does not increase officer safety, and with no good that can come from it you have only the bad that can come from it.

Husker_Fan
July 17, 2011, 10:17 PM
By the DA's logic, cops should breath a sigh of relief if they run someone and find out they are a convicted felon. Everyone knows felons can't have guns.

Also, I read Clarke's statement as one of resignation. He has, IIRC, always opposed concealed carry bills in the past.

RyanAnchors
July 17, 2011, 10:41 PM
+1 for the sheriff and a big +1 for WingWalker above. You are the pinnacle of what a LEO should represent and be.

And "hiding behind a Constitutional right"?
This guy really didn't pay attention in law school, did he?

Monkeyleg
July 17, 2011, 11:33 PM
Husker Fan, I was told several years back by people who would know that Clarke supported CCW, but because he was sheriff of Milwaukee county, he had to keep his mouth shut.

He did finally come out in favor last year, although he and the mayor were angling to get some anti-gun measures in exchange.

Cop Bob
July 19, 2011, 11:01 AM
It is refreshing to read when someone high up in LE takes a positive stance... Sheriff Clarke, thank you...

oldbear
July 19, 2011, 11:05 AM
The good Sheriff Clarke, summed it up very well. now let's move on with life and our jobs.

Bullnettles
July 19, 2011, 11:30 AM
By the DA's logic, cops should breath a sigh of relief if they run someone and find out they are a convicted felon. Everyone knows felons can't have guns.

HuskerFan, can I use this in my signature?

Husker_Fan
July 19, 2011, 02:44 PM
Feel free.

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