November 1, 2014

One year of concealed carry

It’s been one year since the state started issuing concealed carry permits to Wisconsin residents and Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen says the program is clearly working as intended.

In the last year, the state has issued about 138,500 licenses to carry a concealed weapon. The Department of Justice has processed about 150,000 applications for permits, although Van Hollen says many of those that were rejected did end up being resubmitted. He says those turned down typically had clerical errors, such as not including a check or failing to show proof they met training requirements.

The permitting process did experience long delays in the first few months, due to the large influx of applications. However, Van Hollen says DOJ staff cleared out the back log as quickly as possible and now the review process is moving smoothly. The attorney general says they have “taken great pains to do all of the necessary reviews,” while turning applications around as fast as possible.

Many opponents of Wisconsin’s concealed carry law claimed the state would become like the “wild west.” Van Hollen says the past year shows those predictions missed the mark. While DOJ does not track incidents involving permit holders, he says the law has shown so far that it was simply about allowing people to exercise their constitutional rights.

AUDIO: Andrew Beckett reports (1:03)