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City suspends enforcement of 'open carry' law

CREATED May 7, 2014 - UPDATED: May 7, 2014

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OCONOMOWOC -- City leaders decided Wednesday to stop enforcement of a ban on open carrying of firearms in parks while lawyers determine if a local ordinance is compliant with state law, the city administrator said.

Administrator Diane Gard had said Monday the city ordinance barring open carry was legal and enforceable. By Wednesday afternoon, she had changed positions and said the law was under review.
 
The municipal code that bans open carry in city-owned buildings and parks was brought to light Monday when a concerned mother saw a photo of a man at Oconomowoc's Imagination Station playground with a holstered pistol on his belt.
 
Second Amendment advocates assert Oconomowoc is not allowed to ban open carry in city parks, as that would be a violation of state law.
 
Gard said if the local ordinance is not in compliance with state law it would need to be re-written and voted on by the common council.
 
The ordinance was crafted in 2011, in the wake of Wisconsin's act 35, which expanded the rights of gun owners. It has never been enforced.