http://www.jsonline.com/news/state/sep03/168106.aspLast Updated: Sept. 7, 2003
Wisconsin, whose 130-year-old prohibition against carrying concealed weapons is one of the nation’s last, is latest battleground over whether to allow its citizens to “pack heat,” says the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Advocates of Wisconsin’s legislation to allow concealed carrying, which is scheduled for a legislative hearing tomorrow, say it will make citizens safer by deterring criminals. A wave of states has passed legislation in recent years allowing citizens to carry concealed weapons. That includes neighboring Minnesota, which in May approved a law similar to the Wisconsin proposal.
Nationwide, 33 states allow citizens to carry concealed weapons without convincing authorities they have a compelling need to do so, says the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. Wisconsin is among six states that outlaw concealed carry altogether. In another of those states, Missouri, Gov. Bob Holden’s veto of a concealed carry bill faces an override test there this week.
Opponents of the Wisconsin law say putting more weapons on Wisconsin streets will imperil public safety. The measure would allow Wisconsin residents 21 or older, who have completed a 22-hour firearms training course, who are not incompetent and who are not drug dependent to carry concealed weapons by obtaining a $75 permit from a county sheriff’s department. The state Department of Justice estimates that 30,000 people would apply for a permit in the first year.