On March 18, 2016, the Wisconsin Attorney General filed an amicus brief in Wisconsin Carry, Inc. v. City of Madison, 2015AP000146. This case involves a City of Madison Transit and Parking Commission rule prohibiting riders on city buses from carrying weapons and the possible preemption of that rule by Wis. Stat. § 66.0409, precluding any “political subdivision” from enacting an ordinance or resolution relating to firearms that is more stringent than the applicable state statutes.Wisconsin Carry, a gun rights organization, and one of its members, filed a declaratory judgment action asking the court to find the so-called “bus rule” was preempted by § 66.0409.The circuit court denied the request and granted the City’s motion to dismiss, finding that the bus rule was not preempted by § 66.0409. The Court of Appeals affirmed on the same grounds on September 30, 2015. Stafford’s Municipal Law blog post discussing the Court of Appeals decision is available here.
Wisconsin Carry filed a petition for review with the Wisconsin Supreme Court, which accepted the petition on January 11, 2016. The parties have submitted their briefs to the Court. In addition to the briefing by the parties, the Attorney General filed an amicus brief in support of Wisconsin Carry’s position. The Attorney General’s brief argues that state law preempts the City of Madison Transit and Parking Commission’s gun rule and that the Court of Appeals decision should be reversed.
The decision in this case could have a significant impact on the ability of municipal agencies to regulate firearms. Please continue to watch Stafford’s blogs for updates on this case.