A truck driver was in court yesterday to argue for his right to keep a handgun in his truck without a conceal and carry permit.
Inspectors Seized Driver’s Gun At Weigh Station
The legal battle began back in June when 52 year old truck driver Guy A. Smith was cited for carrying a concealed weapon in his truck.
Smith pulled into a weigh station in Pleasant Prairie and made no effort to hide his weapon. Inspectors spotted the gun on the floorboard of the truck with help from an overhead camera. They seized the gun and issued Smith a misdemeanor citation.
Smith appeared in a Wisconsin court yesterday, backed by gun advocate group Wisconsin Carry Inc., who provided for his defense.
Smith’s attorneys made a two-fold argument in his defense.
Defense Surprises Prosecution By Citing Lesser-Known Wisconsin Statute
First, they cited a Wisconsin statute that would seem to nullify Wisconsin’s conceal and carry law — Act 35 — when it comes to transporting a gun in a vehicle. The statute states “ … no person may place, possess, or transport a firearm, bow, or crossbow in or on a vehicle, unless one of the following applies: 1. The firearm is unloaded or is a handgun.”
The prosecution seemed “ambushed” by this argument. Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger said the that he declined to read the statute so broadly because it would mean that Act 35 had no meaning.
Trucker Argues That He Has The Right To Self Defense In Home And Workplace
The second argument made in the trucker’s defense was that Smith’s rig was both his place of business and his home. Wisconsin state law allows for the carrying of a gun in either the home or the workplace for the purposes of self defense without a conceal and carry permit needed.
While Binger argued that Smith could have easily gotten a concealed carry permit, Smith says he didn’t because he doesn’t believe he needs one.
Because the prosecution was so taken aback by the defense’s arguments, the judge decided to adjourn the case for a few months so both sides could more carefully consider the implication of the statutes in relation to Act 35.
Said Smith: “I’m just a trucker trying to stay alive. I want my gun back, and I don’t want a record, and I’m not paying a fine. I didn’t do anything wrong.”