A man who walked into Wisconsin Capitol buildings carrying a gun and asking to speak to the state Governor has been released on bond and ordered to stay away from Governor Evers and his family. Joshua Pleasnick arrived at the Wisconsin Capitol grounds on October 4 with a handgun in full view. Police arrested and detained him, but he returned to the Capitol carrying an AK-47 rifle when they released him.
Court records from October 16 show that the 43-year-old received a $500 signature bond and was ordered to stay 1,000 feet from Governor Tony Evers, not to carry any weapons, and not to approach the State Capitol.
Mr. Pleasnick is due back in court in November, and his attorney is adamant that he committed no crime. “Wisconsin statutes are clear. Open carry of a firearm is legal, and just openly carrying a firearm alone is not grounds for a disorderly conduct offense,” said lawyer Ismael Ozanne. In the first incident, he argued that the gun was kept in a holster by Pleasnick’s side, and he did not remove it or threaten anyone.
The defendant told police officers he meant no harm and did not realize he could not bring a firearm into the building. Police insist, however, that they only arrested him after he said he would not adhere to rules against bringing guns into government facilities.
The case is further complicated by why Mr. Pleasnick wanted to see Democratic Governor Mr. Evers. He said he carried the weapon because he had been threatened by his ex-girlfriend and needed to protect himself. He told police that female violence and abuse of males is not taken seriously, and the criminal justice system has let him down. Pleasnick described how police officers did not think it possible for women to abuse and terrorize men.
The Wisconsin State Capitol is one of the most open in the US and is not protected with metal detectors or x-ray screening.