Lawmakers debate restriction-free concealed carry

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MADISON- In a bill that would allow the carrying of firearms into Wisconsin schools, there are also provisions allowing for permitless carry of concealed firearms. The proposal, debated on Wednesday, would overturn a 2011 law which mandates training and licensing before one can carry a concealed firearm. Lawmakers from both parties have come out against the bill, wishing to protect the concealed carry law currently in place.

Jason Stein and Lillian Price at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel report:

People in Wisconsin would be able to carry concealed firearms without getting training or state permits, under a proposal debated by lawmakers Wednesday.

The broad legislation would also allow some people to bring guns onto school grounds and lower the penalties on unauthorized people who are caught doing so.

The bill by Sen. David Craig (R-Town of Vernon) and Rep. Mary Felzkowski (R-Irma) goes beyond the state’s 2011 law, which allows concealed weapons but reserves them for trained and licensed residents. Instead, Senate Bill 169 would make Wisconsin a “constitutional carry” state where qualifying people could pack firearms without having to register with the state or pay government fees.

In a hearing Wednesday before the Senate Judiciary and Public Safety Committee, a Democratic supporter of the 2011 law said that by eliminating training requirements this latest measure crossed “one of those lines in the sand.”

“I voted for concealed carry,” Sen. Lena Taylor of Milwaukee said. “I think people have a right to carry, but I believe that some levels of restriction are appropriate.”

Read more at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.