A Central Wisconsin attorney has filed a brief in support of his motion to dismiss a weapons charge on constitutional grounds. 29-year-old Daniel Rueden of Spencer is charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm. He was set to plead to the charge earlier this month, but instead, attorney William Poss filed a motion to dismiss the case, claiming that state statute is too broad; especially in light of a recent Supreme Court ruling affirming the right of citizens to own guns in the interest of self-defense.
In 2006, Rueden was convicted of felony theft. By definition theft is a “non-violent” crime. Poss says he served two-years on probation and his rights to vote and serve on a jury were restored, but his right to possess a gun wasn’t.
“(The law) went into effect in 1982,” Poss notes, “It may have been on the books for a long time, but if you look at the period of time between when the 2nd Amendment was created and 1982, that was 191 years.”
“For 191 years, it wasn’t against the law.”
Poss says there’s great hypocrisy in the current law, noting that those convicted of violent misdemeanors—including endangering safety by negligent operation of a dangerous weapon—aren’t so restricted.
“In Wisconsin, it’s a felony to steal from a fish farm twice. If you steal two sunfish from a fish farm, that’s a felony,” Poss notes. “If you’re drunk and point a firearm at somebody, those are both misdemeanors, so you don’t lose your gun rights.”
The crux of the matter, according to Poss, is the state has no compelling interest to prohibit non-violent individuals from exercising their right to keep and bear arms, as long as they’ve completed their sentence.
Poss says he very prepared to appeal the case should the trial court judge dismiss his motion.