Attorneys representing Kyle Rittenhouse are arguing that hunting laws permitted the then-17-year-old to carry an assault-style weapon through Kenosha, Wisconsin last year, NBC News reported on Thursday (Oct. 7). State law prohibits minors from possessing short-barreled rifles and shotguns, but not the AR-15-style semiautomatic rifle that Rittenhouse used to kill two people, his lawyers claimed.
Rittenhouse is charged with homicide, attempted homicide and possessing a firearm as a minor for fatally shooting two men and injuring a third during a protest in Kenosha that was spurred by the police killing of Jacob Blake.
At Rittenhouse’s recent court appearance, prosecutor Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger challenged the defense to prove that he brought the gun to Wisconsin that night intending to “hunt.”
“[The defense] can submit evidence that the defendant had a certificate to hunt and he was engaged in legal hunting on the streets of Kenosha that night,” Binger said.
Kenosha County Circuit Judge Bruce Schroeder denied defense lawyers’ motion to dismiss the weapons possession charge and said he would further review the state gun laws.
Rittenhouse’s trial is scheduled to begin on Nov. 1.
As reported by REVOLT, the Antioch, Illinois native traveled to Kenosha on the night of the protest after a militia member posted a message online reportedly calling for backup to protect local businesses. During the commotion, Rittenhouse fatally shot a man, Joseph Rosenbaum, in the parking lot of a used car dealership. He then fatally shot another man named Anthony Huber. Moments later, he shot Gaige Grosskreutz, who survived.
Earlier this week, Rittenhouse’s attorneys also asked the judge to allow a self-defense expert to testify at his trial. Specialist John R. Black told the court on Tuesday (Oct. 5) that Rittenhouse only fired his gun in self-defense.
“I do believe they (Rittenhouse’s actions) were reasonably necessary,” he said.