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Group says wedding barns threatened by attorney general

Mitch Reynolds

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Those quaint barn settings, becoming ever popular as wedding spots?

An analysis by Wisconsin’s attorney general poses a threat to their existence, according to the free market advocacy group, Wisconsin Institute of Law and Liberty (WILL).

The group says the just released analysis from Attorney General Brad Schimel on the use of alcohol at the wedding barn venues creates a significant economic challenge.

Schimel, just last week, sent a letter to a state lawmaker, identifying the barns as public places that would require a retail permit to provide alcohol.

Schimel says there’s no distinction between a public place that hosts an event open to everyone and a venue that can be rented out for a limited private event.

It’s flawed reasoning to WILL’s Anthony LoCoco, calling the interpretation overly broad, even extreme.

“When a phrase is undefeated we use the commonplace definition, and I don’t think anybody would interpret a private event venue on private property only accessible to select individuals as a public place,” LoCoco said. “The public does not have a right to go there.”

LoCoco’s group says Schimel’s analysis threatens the livelihood of those who operate venues like wedding barns and could harm the state’s wedding barn industry, creating a massive need for additional licensing.

“Public place” is not defined in state law. Schimel says his definition of the phrase is supported by an opinion by a former attorney general who found bed and breakfast inns are also public places.

Schimel was asked to provide the analysis for a state lawmaker.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

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    D F GILLES

    November 27, 2018 at 1:31 pm

    Anytime a payment is required for an alcohol beverage a permit should be required.

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