This leaves Illinois as the only state without any legal concealed carry legislation, and a few states that need seriously improved laws(New York, New Jersey, California, Hawaii, and a couple of others).
The GOP-controlled Assembly approved the bill on a bipartisan vote of 68-27.
The Senate backed the bill last week on a 25-8 vote, and the measure now goes to Walker, who supports it, for his signature.
Wisconsin would become the 49th state to legalize the carrying of concealed guns.
The legislation would require those who want to carry concealed firearms to obtain permits. It would allow people to carry concealed weapons in the state Capitol and other public buildings but not places like police stations and courthouses. Weapons also would be prohibited in buildings where posted notices bar them, and in places like Summerfest music festival at Milwaukee’s lakefront.
Ultimately, this is a victory with one casualty: Constitutional Carry. A couple of months ago, activists were energized at the concept that Wisconsin would join the rank of Alaska, Wyoming, Arizona, and New Hampshire in having pure Second Amendment freedom: open and concealed carry anywhere, without a permit. Sadly, this effort was undermined by local law enforcement and so-called “conservative” radio hosts like Charlie Sykes and Mark Belling on 620 WTMJ and 1130 WISN, with the help of milquetoast Jeff Wegner. They took the paranoid view that Constitutional Carry would lead to the cliche “wild west shootouts in the streets” that every anti-gun advocate talks about, yet somehow only materialize in places like Chicago, where they have the strictest gun laws. The chairman of Wisconsin Carry, Inc. claims he was refused airtime by Sykes himself, despite Sykes having called him out on the same show. Their damage to the fight to restore the rights of Wisconsin citizens will not go unforgotten.
Thankfully, it was Madison’s conservative host, Vicki McKenna, that kept the fight going even while Walker and members of the Wisconsin Senate and Assembly began to fold. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to keep them from deciding permits and minimal training would be necessary. The requirements are still significantly less stringent than a lot of states, but it was a blow to those who hoped that Wisconsin was taking a sharp turn to the right. Certain legal details regarding Castle Doctrine have yet to be hashed out, and the bill won’t even go into effect until four months after Walker signs it…but when it comes down to it, this is what many of us have been waiting years to come to fruition. Finally, the people of Wisconsin have the ability to defend their lives, their families, and their property.
A side note: unfortunately, the creation of the permit has further complicated the school zone issue, where in Wisconsin it is illegal to possess a firearm within 1000 feet of a school(which makes going through cities like Madison and Milwaukee into a sadistic game of hopscotch). While it is now legal to carry in your car without a permit, you MUST have a permit to carry within the school zone. It makes no-permit open carry both more accessible and more dangerous, in that you can now open carry in your car, but if you are pulled over in a school zone, you have to face the penalty for doing so. Basically it’s an attempt by some lawmakers to give the finger to open carriers, and impel them to buy the permits. Wisconsin liberals are a particularly potent kind of overlord.