Federal Court Rules Open Carrying Disorderly

GCO member Jesus Gonzalez’ federal lawsuit in Wisconsin was dismissed after the judge granted the defendants’ motion for summary judgment. In his lawsuit, Gonzalez challenged his arrest in two separate incidents for disorderly conduct when openly carrying in retail stores. The court found no specific disorderly conduct on Gonzalez’ part, but went on to observe:
“No reasonable person would dispute that walking into a retail store openly carrying a firearm is highly disruptive conduct which is virtually certain to create a disturbance. This is so because when employees and shoppers in retail stores see a person carrying a lethal weapon, they are likely to be frightened and possibly even panicky. many employees and shoppers are likely to think that the person with the gun is either deranged or about to commit a felony or both. Further, it is almost certain that someone will call the police. And when police respond to a “man with a gun” call, they have no idea what the armed individual’s intentions are. The volatility in such a situation could easily lead to someone being seriously injured or killed.”
Interestingly, a federal court in Georgia ruled that openly carrying a firearm is not disorderly conduct, even if the carrier “manipulates” the gun while repeatedly entering and existing a convenience store.