When Open Carry Trolling Goes Wrong

23 year old Mark Hoffman from Wisconsin got GOT:


Police say they arrested a 23-year-old Somerset man after he was spotted openly carrying two firearms within 1,000 feet of Somerset Middle School.

Full Story – CBS

When police questioned the man about his intentions, the man refused to give them any information, insisted that he was within his rights and refused to identify himself, police said.

Fair enough.  I’m not a fan of the whole “fishing for info” thing if he truly didn’t HAVE to give them anything.  That said… if he was willing to cooperate he MAY not have been arrested for obstructing an officer and disorderly conduct.  Definitely a slippery slope though.

The original location reported was within 1,000 feet of the school where weapons are not permitted unless the person carrying the weapon falls under an exception made in the statute, but the man made it impossible to determine if he fell under an exception, according to police.

According to the article the actual arrest was made at Oak Street and Sunrise Dr which google maps shows to be a 10 minute walk.   Where the heck was he coming from?  I hope to god he wasn’t stupid enough to walk down Spartan Drive considering there are three schools right along that road.  My guess is he lives in that cluster of houses across from the school.  Is that one of the “exceptions made in the statue”… if you LIVE within XXXX ft. those laws don’t apply?  I’m sure one of you guys knows.

Troll-FaceIt’s so crucial to troll smarter, not harder.  At the very least he should have had his laser range finder out, and lase’d the school to make sure he was 1001.5 ft away from it… all while he had several video cameras recording and GPS tracking and logging his position.  THAT’S HOW YOU TROLL SMARTER.

I may or may not have went to a Jack Johnson concert really close to there at Apple River in Somerset WI with my sister about a decade ago. *shifty eyes*



15 responses to “When Open Carry Trolling Goes Wrong”

  1. This website had some good info: http://gunowners.org/fs9611.htm

    My read was if he lived near the area, he was in violation as soon as he left his property and was within 1000 ft of the school and didn’t have a carry license issued by the state.

  2. Al Cohol Avatar
    Al Cohol

    Jack Johnson? Seriously?

  3. Regulus Avatar

    this guy was an idiot. time to get a new hobby or maybe a gf

    1. I’ve seen his girlfriend. You’d shit your pants with jealousy.

  4. Travis Avatar

    I’ve been OC’ing for years without issue. This would have been about the only time I would have presented my CPL (not ID) to an officer, (it’s never actually come up even though I live a block away from two schools).
    18 USC 922 (q)

  5. And once again open carry trolling succeeds in giving the media more ammo in their fight to make gun owners look like dangerous lunatics. Doesn’t matter if he did nothing wrong. Doesn’t matter if the charges are dropped. That won’t be reported. All that will be reported (and remembered by any readers) is that the guy was near a school and had guns. And that’s enough to scare the sheeple.

  6. sage419 Avatar

    The existence of laws prohibiting any kind of carry (open or concealed) within x-feet of a school are obviously unconstitutional… in many cities/towns, you can’t go anywhere and NOT be within 1000 feet of some kind of school.

    1. SSGCasper Avatar

      Sage, you are correct and the current regulations are what was used to replace the previous version that was struck down as unconstitutional. To date no one has challenged this version of the federal 1000ft law, maybe this is to be the case??

      1. Ssg Casper, would you like to join us for an open carry walk in protest of his arrest and loitering conviction on June 29th? Visit my facebook page for more info! If I do not hear from you I will definitely be stopping by to invite you in person.

  7. The police have to have reasonable suspicion that a gun carrier does NOT have a carry permit in order to detain and demand proof of such carry permit under the federal law in question. SWee Delaware v. Prause. Regardless, the statute in question was already struck down by the Supreme Court as being outside the powqe3r of the federal government to regulate gun carry in or near non-federal schools – the statute needs to be struck down again.

  8. MrMaigo Avatar

    Don’t troll the cops… I mean, really, when will people learn?

  9. uhm, i’d suggest NOT pointing a laser at a school, especially while you are armed. People are a little paranoid anyway, you don’t need to give them a reason to think that you’re completely nuts.

  10. Chief Doug Briggs from the Somerset Police Dept was creative in how he worded the press release and his police report in an attempt to make the arrest appear lawful. During his encounter neither Mark nor the two officers had knowledge that he had walked within 1000 feet of the school. If they had that information at the time of the encounter they would have asked for his carry permit and he would have produced it. Had he failed to produce it they would have arrested him for Possession of a Firearm in a School Zone not for Disorderly Conduct and Obstruction. As it turns out, one during his walk he was about 850ft from the school at one point. The officers didn’t learn this until the day after his arrest. He didn’t learn it until he saw the news article and bought a distance measurement wheel to measure it himself. Before the walk, both street signs and google maps suggested the corner of Sunrise Dr. and Cloutier Dr. was more than 1000ft from the edge of school grounds. He wasn’t too worried about it because he has a CCW. The officers arrested him because he wouldn’t give them his name and he wouldn’t explain what he was doing. (Other than that he was just out for a walk)The officers did not have reasonable suspicion to detain him and they definitely didn’t have probable cause to arrest him. It was a clear violation of his rights. He refused to submit to their threats of arrest by giving up his constitutional rights. UPDATE: The St. Croix County DA declined to file any charges. Three weeks after his arrest he was issued Citations from Somerset PD for “Loitering” and “Obstructing an Officer”

  11. The Patriot Avatar
    The Patriot

    First of all, every single federal firearm law including the 1,000 foot school zone law, are unconstitutional, void and unenforceable because the United States Constitution does NOT give the federal government any authority to create and or enforce firearms laws (Amendment X). Just one of many examples of the lawlessness our government has been engaged in for years. Secondly, in this case, in the State of Wisconsin a person is not required by law to show ID and or answer any questions from the Police. There has to be reasonable articulate suspicion that a crime will be committed, is about to be committed or a crime has been committed. Not answering questions from the Police or openly carrying one firearm or several firearms is NOT obstruction nor does it constitute disorderly conduct. What happened to being innocent until proven guilty? Just walking down a street with a firearm does not make anyone guilty of any crime.

    Any person who holds a Wisconsin conceal carry license is allowed to (traverse) be within 1,000 feet of a school zone. A person holding a WI conceal license has to show the license ONLY when specifically asked by an officer to see that license. A WI conceal license is NOT required to openly carry a firearm(s). There is no state law limiting the number of or type of firearms a person can carry openly or concealed. FYI, the 1,000 foot school zone is defined as within 1,000 feet of school property, not a school building. As always, the people who are anti gun know nothing about the actual law and/or actual facts and only repeat what was said in the bias media and don’t do any research for actual facts. Not to mention all of the lies that have been and are being told on this subject.

    The problem with the media isn’t someone open carrying a firearm, it’s the fact that the media doesn’t tell the truth or the entire story not to mention again, actual facts of the case or events. We as educated adults need to start holding the media liable for reporting false information. No person should give up any of their God given, Constitutional rights, freedoms or liberty because someone else is scared. That is their own issue and perhaps they should seek counseling to help them deal with those feelings.

    Steve: Good comments.

    I have listened to the audio that was recorded at the time of the incident and Mark was absolutely detained and arrested unlawfully. The Police acted unprofessionally and outside the rule of law. The main reason I believe, (my opinion) why Mark was arrested was because the Police didn’t like the fact that Mark knew his rights and that Mark did not let the Police usurp their authority or intimidate him. The first time the Chief told Mark he was under arrest the charge was for disorderly conduct and after several more minutes of lawlessness and lies by the Police, the Chief than told Mark he was under arrest for being heavily armed. Sorry Chief, there is no such law.

    The Somerset Police Dept. will more than likely be sued for unlawful detention, arrest and violation of Mark’s civil rights.

    I don’t believe Mark pointed anything at anyone or anything. He was just out for a walk on a nice day minding his own business.

    personal comment: The first amendment gives you the right to express your opinion and feelings about firearms and the 2nd Amendment and I respect that right however, just because you choose not to exercise your right to keep and bear arms, doesn’t give you the right to prevent me from exercising my right to keep and bear arms. As I respect your 1st Amendment right, you in turn should respect my 2nd Amendment right.

  12. The Wisconsin Court of Appeals has reversed Mark’s conviction and ordered the trial court to dismiss the case.