Wis. Appeals Court Upholds Denial of Conceal Carry Permit for Domestic Disorderly COnduct

Wisconsin case law summary by Attorney Richard Clem: Conceal carry, domestic violence.

Robert W. Evans, Jr., v. Wisconsin Department of Justice. Conceal carry, domestic violence

Robert W. Evans, Jr, applied for a license to carry a concealed weapon. The Wisconsin Department of Justice denied the application on the grounds that he had been convicted in 2002 for disorderly conduct. According to the Department, he was ineligible for a license since that offense constituted a "misdemeanor crime of domestic violence" under federal law, 18 U.S.C. 921(a)(33)(A).

Disagreeing with that conclusion, Evans appealed to the Wisconsin Court of Appeals.

Under the federal statute, to qualify as a "misdemeanor crime of domestic violence," there are two requirements. FIrst, the crime must have as an element the use of physical force. Second, the victim must be of a certain relationship with the victim. One of those relationships can be someone similarly situated as a parent of the victim. The Wisconsin Supreme Court held that these tests were met, and it affirmed the denial of the license.

The appeal court closely examined the statute and Evans' conviction. It noted that he had been charged with conduct that was "violent, abuse and otherwise disorderly." It held that the violence requirement implied the use of physical force.

Finally, since Evans was the stepparent of the victim, the court held that he was "similarly situated" to a parent for purposes of the statute. For those reasons, the court affirmed the denial of the license.

No. 2013AP816 (Wis. Ct. App. Feb. 27, 2014).

Please see the original opinion for the court's exact language.


Richard P. Clem is an attorney and continuing legal education (CLE) provider in Minnesota. He has been in private practice in the Twin Cities for 25 years. He has a J.D., cum laude, from Hamline University School of Law in St. Paul and a B.A. in History from the University of Minnesota. His reported cases include: Asociacion Nacional de Pescadores a Pequena Escala o Artesanales de Colombia v. Dow Quimica de Colombia, 988 F.2d 559, rehearing denied, 5 F.3d 530 (5th Cir. 1993), cert. denied, 510 U.S. 1041 (1994); LaMott v. Apple Valley Health Care Center, 465 N.W.2d 585 (Minn. Ct. App. 1991); Abo el Ela v. State, 468 N.W.2d 580 (Minn. Ct. App. 1991).

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