Where Are Our Open-Carry Laws Headed - Carlos GaminoCarlos Gamino is a criminal defense lawyer who works in Milwaukee, and he’s always on top of the news—especially when it revolves around the law.

In January, a North Carolina woman—the wife of a soldier stationed at Fort Bragg—mistakenly shot her husband in the chest, thinking that he was an intruder. The wife, as far as authorities know, was legally allowed to have a firearm in her possession.

In March of 2012, a Wisconsin homeowner fatally shot a 20-year-old man who was afraid that police would catch him drinking; the young man was trying to hide on the homeowner’s porch. The homeowner had a concealed-carry permit and, like the military spouse, his weapon was legal.

The soldier is recovering, and the whole incident is still under investigation.

The 20-year-old wasn’t so lucky. However, his family is now suing the homeowner, who’s the first concealed-carry permit-holder in Wisconsin to have to deal with this kind of situation.

This case is particularly interesting, because it could have serious ramifications for the open-carry laws in Wisconsin. Even if this case isn’t later used to try to transform gun rights, it could cause people who are legally allowed to carry firearms to have to reconsider ever using them in an emergency.

Although the shooter was cleared of any wrongdoing (an investigation said that he was fully within his rights because he genuinely believed that his home, where his wife and two young children were in residence, was being invaded), he’s being pulled back into the legal system.

Now, I’m not a wrongful death lawyer. I focus primarily on criminal defense and work in a few other areas. However, I’m really interested in what everyone thinks about all of this.

If a jury were to award the young man’s family damages for his wrongful death, would it make you think twice about using the weapon you are legally allowed to use?

Share your thoughts here in my guestbook, or on my Facebook page.

Carlos Gamino