July 30, 2014

Risser wants ban on guns in Capitol

A new ban on guns in the Capitol? Madison Democrat, Senator Fred Risser, has served in the state legislature since 1956, and for much of that time, guns were prohibited in the Capitol. That ban ended with the adoption of concealed carry, but Risser would like to see it return.

“I understand people say “well, we want to be protected.” This is the most overly protected building in the state,” said Risser, noting the presence of Capitol Police officers. “I’m for keeping weapons out of the Capitol altogether, whether their legislators or visitors.”

AUDIO: Senator Fred Risser (:20)

Opponents of Risser’s proposed bill are already lining up, and one of them notes Risser would make no provision to install metal detectors in the building. Risser said there’s no need. “If the law says you don’t need guns in the Capitol, you don’t need metal detectors here.”

Some Republican lawmakers have gotten concealed carry permits since the law went into effect two years ago – and they claim to occasionally carry weapons in the building. “Apparently Senator Risser thinks that law-abiding citizens that work in or visit the Capitol can’t be trusted with protecting themselves, but he also doesn’t think they need to be protected by metal detectors and heightened police protection,” said Republican Representative Michael Schraa.