Those who have followed the case closely, know that Kyle Rittenhouse was legally possessing his Smith & Wesson M&P 15. Many have known this from the very beginning.
Monday, early in the day Judge Bruce Schroeder dismissed Kyle’s possession charge.
Rittenhouse was charged with 948.60(2)(a) of Wisconsin state law. Subsection (2)(a) says: Any person under 18 years of age who possesses or goes armed with a dangerous weapon is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.
If we stop reading there, we might think that Rittenhouse is certainly guilty of unlawful possession.
However, if the law is read to its conclusion subsection (3)(c) would be observed. 948.60(3)(c) says: This section applies only to a person under 18 years of age who possesses or is armed with a rifle or a shotgun if the person is in violation of s. 941.28 or is not in compliance with ss. 29.304 and 29.593.
(3)(c) effectively nullifies 2a as long as Kyle is in not in violation if 941.28, or is in compliance with 29.304 and 29.593.
So what do these other statutes say? Well 941.28 says that nobody shall possess a rifle with a barrel length of less than 16 inches, or an overall length of less than 26 inches.
Kyle’s rifle had a barrel length of 16 inches, and an overall of 32. He is in compliance with this law.
So what’s next? 29.304 days that anyone under the age of 16 must be under adult supervision while possessing… Kyle was 17 at the time. Rittenhouse checks out here as well.
The final statute says that no person, adult or otherwise may be permitted to hunt without a “certificate of accomplishment” also known as a hunting license.
Kyle Rittenhouse was not hunting. Therefore, he does not need a hunting license. He is not participating in the prohibited activity. No where in any of the above listed statutes does it ever say, that in order to possess a person, minor or otherwise must be hunting in order to possess a rifle.
The statute makes an exception for 17 year olds professing rifles and shotguns with near surgical precision.
Judge Schroeder gave the prosecution an opportunity to measure the rifle after the defense motioned for the charge to be thrown out.
The prosecution rejected the offer to measure and did not object to the motion.