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As a Milwaukee firearm attorney, I get asked a lot of questions about guns laws in Wisconsin. Many of these questions are the usual technical questions: folks want to know how to apply for a Milwaukee concealed carry permit, where they can legally carry a firearm, how does Wisconsin castle doctrine work, etc. Others are more nuanced: what exactly did the U.S. Supreme Court rule in the Heller decision? However, perhaps the most frequently asked question by those who do not own guns is why do people need to own guns? Since these questions come up so often, I wanted to take a moment to try to provide some answers.

Let me start by noting the 2nd amendment (the right to bear arms) was not enacted to facilitate deer hunting. Our founders bestowed upon this nation the basic civil right to bear arms because they viewed the right of self-protection to be as inalienable as the right to free speech and religion. Firearm rights are meant for self-protection.

Gun rights lawyer in Wisconsin

The next point is to remember firearms save lives. If you just spat out your coffee, please gather yourself and re-read the previous sentence. We all watch the news and see how thugs abuse firearms to ruthlessly take lives, yet how many of us bear witness to the estimated 5,500 times per day a firearm is used for self-defense in America?* This need not be a shooting, perhaps only a brandishing or a few terse words to scare off an unwanted street advance or home intrusion.

Not to give away the ending, but the book titled "More Guns, Less Crime" argues from a strictly economic perspective. The book, which studies gun control laws and crime statistics, reaches the same conclusion that authorities from other countries have: all too often, the fewer firearms that are legally owned, the more crimes committed with guns. For example, despite decades of increasing disarmament in the United Kingdom, crime with firearms increased by approximately 196% between 1981 to 1991. In other words, the fewer guns in the hands of legal responsible citizens and the fewer guns in general circulation, the more guns were obtained and used by violent criminals.

The bottom line is that someone who has made the conscious decision to break into another person's home, or rob them on a street, probably does not hold human life in the same high regard you do. As the expression goes: when seconds count, police are just minutes away. This is not an indictment on law enforcement. It’s just not possible for police to be everywhere at once. Instead, this serves as a sobering reminder that, ultimately, we are all responsible for our own safety.

As a former prosecutor and now Milwaukee criminal defense attorney, I am often asked by friends and strangers: how do you protect yourself from violent crimes? My answer is usually to be aware of your surroundings and have a plan. Owning and carrying a weapon, such as a knife or firearm is not the right answer for everyone. However, if you decide a firearm is the right answer for you, or are simply interested in exploring the option further, get into a quality Wisconsin firearm self-defense class like those taught by the National Association of Certified Firearm Instructors.

Lastly, I want to close by sharing a quote from Thomas Jefferson:

"A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun....[I]t gives boldness, enterprise and independence to the mind... Let your gun, therefore, be your constant companion of your walks."

Contact the gun lawyers Milwaukee trusts for advice on Wisconsin accidental firearm discharge laws, legal blade length in Wisconsin, Wisconsin gun rights after a first offense DUI charge and how to get your gun rights back in Wisconsin.

*Please contact the author for any citations wanted that were not used for space concerns.
DISCLAIMER: This article is NOT intended to be legal advice. You need to consult with an attorney who can make specific recommendations to fit your circumstance.


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