Activist law firm wins another constitutional battle

Posted at 10:45 a.m. on September 18, 2019

The Brillion News

MENOMONIE – The Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL) has settled a constitutional law case with the Housing Authority of the City of Menomonie (HACM), in Dunn County.

WILL is a conservative/libertarian think tank and activist law firm, and represented Tom Chapin when it challenged the Housing Authority’s lease provision banning any resident from keeping firearms. The second amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees the right of citizens to bear arms.

WILL said Chapin was a military veteran and gun owner who lived in the public housing operated by the HACM. In order to comply with the “no firearms” lease provision, Chapin rented a self-storage unit off premises from his residence.

WILL said it agreed to represent Chapin, without cost to him, because the second amendment to the constitution “cannot be abridged based upon where one chooses to live.”

In May, WILL attorney Tom Kamenick wrote a letter to the Housing Authority asking it to end the gun ban. The HACM agreed with WILL’s assessment of the constitutional question and agreed to stop enforcing the ban. It also promised to remove the ban from all leases by April of 2020.

The Housing Authority signed a formal agreement with WILL to that affect on September 13.

“Citizens do not have to give up their constitutional rights based on where they decide to live … and WILL is willing to present the same case wherever unconstitutional gun bans exist in residential agreements,” Kamenick said.

WILL is encouraging people living in public housing to review their rental or lease agreements for unconstitutional bans on the keeping of firearms.

The photo accompanying this story is of Tom Kamenick, deputy counsel at WILL.

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