BELLEVUE, WA – Milwaukee County, WI Circuit Judge Daniel A. Noonan understands the Wisconsin Constitution far better than Gov. Jim Doyle and the Legislature’s Democrat majority, the Second Amendment Foundation said today.

Judge Noonan nullified charges Monday against a Milwaukee pizza delivery man who had been accused of shooting two would-be robbers, ruling that a state law prohibiting concealed carry – at least as it applies to the case against Andres Vegas – is unconstitutional. Article 1, Section 25 of the Wisconsin State Constitution affirms that “The people have the right to keep and bear arms for security, defense, hunting, recreation or any other lawful purpose.”

“Anti-gun Gov. Jim Doyle and his cronies in the Legislature should take a lesson from the Vargas case and stop interfering with the civil rights of their constituents,” said SAF founder Alan Gottlieb. “Twice in the past five years, Doyle has blocked sensible concealed carry legislation. Evidently he would rather see hard-working citizens like Vargas be robbed, and perhaps worse, than have the ability to defend themselves against a criminal element that has been emboldened by Doyle’s disarmament policies.”

Gottlieb said Judge Noonan’s ruling, although it only applies to the Vegas case, should serve as a catalyst for passage of a state concealed carry law. He said the judge clearly recognized the right of a citizen like Mr. Vegas to defend himself, and how the state’s concealed carry prohibition impairs that right and the right to keep and bear arms under the state constitution.

“Wisconsin is an open carry state, as affirmed in the case of State v Hamdan,” Gottlieb noted, “and even Gov. Doyle seemed to recognize this in March 2006 when he told a Lake Delton crowd that ‘If you want to carry a gun in Wisconsin, wear it on your hip.’ Perhaps Wisconsinites ought to take Doyle’s advice. Remember when Ohio citizens did the same thing? The Ohio Legislature passed a concealed carry law in record time, and then at the next election, citizens elected a new governor. Perhaps there’s a lesson in the Ohio experience.

“Bouquets to the judge,” Gottlieb observed, “but brickbats to the governor.”