Monday, April 16, 2012

Should be interesting...

On January 30th, 2012 a law-abiding Wisconsin concealed carry license holder, Nazir Al-Mujaahid, used his sidearm to shoot a shotgun-wielding armed robber who entered a north-side Aldi's grocery store in Milwaukee and threatened the cashier and customers. As is standard protocol, the armed citizen's holster, gun, and ammunition were taken into evidence by the Milwaukee Police Department.

A few days later the Milwaukee District Attorney's office cleared the armed citizen of any wrong-doing and declared the shooting justified.

Despite being exhonerated by the DA, making repeated attempts to obtain the return of his firearm from Milwaukee Police, and sending a letter to the DA's office requesting assistance in the return of his property, Mr. Al-Mujaahid's gun remains in Police possession.

Wisconsin Carry, Inc. has observed what appears to be a pattern of civil-rights infringing behavior from the Milwaukee Police Department. The Milwaukee Police Department appears to have a practice of concocting baseless reasons to seize any and all guns they come across in the City - even when those guns have never been used in connection with a crime. The Police Department also appears to have a practice of refusing to return firearms or unduly delaying the return of firearms that were seized incident to an arrest despite the fact that no charges were brought or when the gun owner is exonerated by the court system.

WCI believes that these acts by the Milwaukee Police Department represent violations to law-abiding citizens constitutionally guaranteed right to be free from illegal seizures of their private property and their Constitutionally recognized right to keep and bear arms. By seizing Al-Mujaahid's property, refusing to return it to him, and refusing to allow him to file a petition for the return of his property, Nazir has been deprived of his property without due process of law.

On Friday, April 13th, Wisconsin Carry filed a federal lawsuit against the City of Milwaukee, Police, Clerk of Courts and District Attorney seeking the return of Nazir's property or alternatively, an opportunity to challenge any claims that his property is needed as evidence. Furthermore, we seek a declaration that the Milwaukee Police Department's practice of seizing firearms, even those never used in a crime, and requiring firearm owners to engage in formal litigation in order to recover their seized property, is unlawful.

A copy of this lawsuit is available here:

We encourage individuals who, despite facing no charges and having committed no crime, have had their firearms seized by the Milwaukee Police and been forced to go to court to obtain their return, to contact Wisconsin Carry, Inc.

Wisconsin Carry, Inc. is a non-profit Wisconsin Corporation dedicated to the advancement and protection of the right of law-abiding Wisconsin residents to carry in the manner of their choosing.  WCI pursues its mission of "Constitutional Carry" through grass-roots legislative activism, education including free concealed carry license training courses, litigation, and public relations.

Carry On,

Nik Clark

Chairman/President - Wisconsin Carry, Inc.
 Far from the first time the City of Milwaukee, or Milwaukee County officials, have been less than respectful of gun owners' rights.

A note of interest in the case: the grocery store where the shooting occurred is a "posted property" (ie., no guns allowed,) and by all accounts, and from personal experience with the local example of the chain, poorly marked as such (I'm fairly certain the local one is not up to snuff with the law.)  I'm pretty sure that has a lot to do with Al-Mujaahid not being charged with carrying there in the first place.  As far as I know, Aldi's hasn't fixed it yet either, but I haven't gone back since the first time I saw the sign.  Also, the would-be robber was not killed, despite being shot in the face.  Not sure what he was using.