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SCOW will decide whether Constitution includes right to be drunk at home with a gun

State v. Mitchell L. Christen, review of a one-judge court of appeals decision granted 9/16/17, case activity (including brief)

Issue presented:

Wisconsin Statute § 941.20(1)(3) provides whomever goes armed with a firearm while under the influence of an intoxicant is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor. The consumption of alcohol may lead an individual to become under the influence of an intoxicant, but the consumption of alcohol is not prohibited. The question presented is: Does the consumption of a legal intoxicant void the Second Amendment’s guarantee of the right to carry a firearm for the purpose of self-defense?

Interesting grant here. The court of appeals held that Christen hadn’t really presented the as-applied challenge he claimed to be making: he was arguing about hypotheticals and refusing to acknowledge his own conduct (which involved more than just drinking and carrying: he was also arguably threatening others in his home with the gun). Because an as-applied challenge necessarily involves reference to the actual facts of the case, that court rejected Christen’s argument even though the state failed to file a brief.

Christen’s petition for review doesn’t fault, or even refer to, the court of appeals’ decision. Instead, he argues that the state’s courts haven’t settled on a test for reviewing Second-Amendment challenges, and that this case provides an opportunity to do so. At least three justices were apparently convinced, so we’ll see what SCOW makes of this.

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