Friday, May 3, 2019
"Wisconsin top court rules asking about concealed weapon during traffic stop does not violate Fourth Amendment"
John Patrick Wright was charged with carrying a concealed weapon in violation of Wisconsin State Statute § 941.23(2). Two Milwaukee police officers pulled Wright over for having his passenger headlight out. During the traffic stop, the officers inquired whether there was a weapon in the car and whether Wright had a valid concealed carry permit (commonly called a CCW permit in Wisconsin). Wright admitted there was a weapon in his glove compartment and allowed the officers to confiscate it for the duration of the traffic stop. Wright was then arrested for unlawfully carrying a concealed weapon, leading to this case.
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The Supreme Court found that the concealed carry inquiries did not meaningfully extend the traffic stop in violation of the Fourth Amendment. The court specifically found that police have a right to make inquiries incident to the traffic stop that may protect their safety.