Lawyers for Kyle Rittenhouse, who was 17 when he allegedly fatally shot two people during last year’s protest in Wisconsin, argued in court on Tuesday that hunting laws allowed Rittenhouse to carry weapons.
Kenosha County Circuit Judge Bruce Schroeder denied the defense’s request to have a weapons charge dismissed. Defense attorney Corey Chirafisi argued that the law only bars minors from carrying short-barreled rifles, and Rittenhouse, 18, had an AR-style semiautomatic rifle with a 16-inch barrel on the night of the shooting, according to Kenosha News.
Chirasfisi also claimed that the only other provision involving minors possessing firearms pertain to hunting statutes which prohibit minors younger than 12 from hunting with guns — which does not apply to Rittenhouse since he was 17 at the time.
However, Judge Schroeder sided with Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger’s opinion that the law intends to prevent minors from having guns and that the hunting statute does not apply in this case because Rittenhouse was not hunting at the Kenosha protest.
“The defendant wasn’t hunting deer, turkey, wild game. He didn’t have a certificate to do so. He wasn’t in compliance,” Binger said, according to Kenosha News.
Rittenhouse is charged with intentional homicide, attempted homicide, reckless homicide, recklessly endangering safety, and possession of a dangerous weapon by a person under 18, for allegedly fatally shooting Joesph Rosenbaum, 36, and Anthony Huber, 26, during an August 25, 2020, protest in Kenosha.
The teen is also accused of shooting a third person who survived. At the time of the deadly shooting, demonstrators were protesting the officer-related shooting of Jacob Blake.
Rittenhouse, then 17, allegedly used an AR-15-style to carry out the deadly shooting. Rittenhouse claimed while at the protest, he was hit in the head and neck with a baseball bat and skateboard. While medics reportedly observed superficial scratches on his arm, they did not see any bruising or cuts.
Rittenhouse surrendered to police in Antioch, Illinois, a day after the deadly shooting. He was extradited to Wisconsin last October.
Rittenhouse’s trial is scheduled to begin on November 1.
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[Featured image: Kyle Rittenhouse/Antioch Police Department, YouTube video screengrab]