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Appeals court to decide on whether some domestic violence convicts can conceal-carry

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - A state appeals court is being asked to decide whether certain people convicted of domestic violence should be allowed to carry concealed weapons.

68-year-old Robert Evans Jr. of Cottage Grove in Dane County is the first to challenge the rejection of a state permit since the concealed carry law took effect 22 months ago.

The state cited a federal ban adopted in 1996, in which those convicted of domestic violence cannot possess guns. Evans pleaded no contest in 2002 to disorderly conduct-domestic violence.

Dane County Circuit Judge William Foust ruled in February that the state was correct in rejecting the concealed carry permit. The issue is now before the state’s Fourth District Court of Appeals.

Evans claims his conviction is not covered under the federal weapons’ ban, known as the Laufenberg Amendment. He said his case does not meet the federal definition of domestic violence, which requires that a person use force against somebody in order to be convicted.

Evans said he merely pushed his step-daughter outside a door, and he did not have a domestic relationship with the victim as the federal law requires.

The State Justice Department disagrees with Evans on both counts. The state said its disorderly conduct law includes physical force, and Evans indeed had a domestic relationship with his adult step-daughter.