Saturday, December 08, 2007

A shot in the dark

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports a pizza delivery man was fatally shot at 3:00AM near the 1500 block of W. Hopkins St. Details are not known yet, but the newspaper reports ten people in custody. Round up the usual suspects?

I immediately flashed back to this story.

In a written decision this morning, Milwaukee Circuit Judge Daniel A. Noonan (at right) found that the misdemeanor prosecution of pizza driver Andres Vegas for unlawfully carrying a concealed weapon is unconstitutional.

We've written about the case of Vegas — who shot two would-be robbers in the space of seven months — several times before and will have a more complete analysis in tomorrow's newspaper. In the meantime, Noonan's 10-page decision is worth checking out.

The quick version of it is that he finds the concealed-carry ban is an unconstitutional infringement on Vegas' right to protect himself while working, under criteria laid out by the state Supreme Court in decisions on the Hamdan and Fisher gun cases.

"Given Vegas' experience, he has a need for a gun at a moment's notice," Noonan wrote in today's decision. "Enclosing and unloading the weapon is not a reasonable alterative (sic) to secure and protect his safety. Plus, Vegas while delivering pizzas enters and exits his car constantly; it would be unreasonable for him every time that he enters his car to require him to unload it and place it in a case and then reverse the process every time he exits. This defeats the purpose of having the weapon for security and protection."