By James Kust. CREATED Aug 27, 2014
BROOKFIELD - A bizarre case involving a couple who've left their guns behind more than once. He left his gun at Egg Harbor Fun Park in Door County. A few months ago, she left her gun at Elmbrook Church in Brookfield.
We spoke with the attorney who successfully got charges against the wife dismissed. That case stemmed from Elmbrook Church here. He tells us he's been retained to represent the husband should that become necessary.
Tom Grieve's client allegedly left a loaded .380 caliber, still in its holster, in the men's room at Egg Harbor Fun Park. Gerald Hitchler has a concealed carry permit, and Door County officials were going to let him just pick up his gun until they learned Hitchler's wife had a similar case this year at Elmbrook Church. Grieve says it's not a shining moment for the couple, but it's not criminal.
"Our justice system is based off what did happen, not what could've happened, and that's the emphasis here. If we were to start convicting people based off potential, everybody who ever texted and drove should probably be charged and maybe arrested for possible homicide or something like that," said Grieve.
For gun rights advocates, it's not a good day. They believe the Hitchlers failed to act responsibly. But, Nik Clark says you need only look at the state statutes to know Gerald Hitchler should not be charged.
"But that's only a crime if a child does get access to it and if the child injures themselves or others by discharging that gun. So that didn't happen in this case. Stupid yes, careless yes, criminal? I don't think so," said Nik Clark with Wisconsin Carry.
Charges in Gerald Hitchler's case have been referred to the Door County D.A.'s office but as of closing time Wednesday, charges had not been filed.