A top Republican in the Wisconsin state Assembly says a bill that would allow concealed carry permit holders to have weapons on school grounds is unlikely to receive a vote before the session ends.
While he supports the idea behind the bill, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos told reporters Thursday it’s not a top priority for lawmakers to tackle during the short spring session. “It is not a high priority for Republicans, in fact it’s not a priority at all, but I would be open to the discussion in our caucus and we’ll see where it goes,” Vos said.
AUDIO: Speaker Robin Vos on why the bill is unlikely to pass this session (:29)
State Sen. Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin) and Rep. Rob Brooks (R-Saukville) began circulating the proposal for co-sponsors on Thursday. It would allow those with concealed carry permits to bring guns on to school grounds, while each district would be able to set its own policy on allowing weapons inside school buildings. Under the state’s current concealed carry law, permit holders are banned from bringing guns on to school property.
Lazich has described the proposal as a “technical fix” that “clarifies the duties of concealed-carry licensees, while allowing school districts to create policies within school buildings.”
Vos echoed those intentions on Thursday, saying the bill would largely bring Wisconsin in line with federal law and keep permit holders from inadvertently violating state law, such as if a gun is in their car while dropping their child off on school property.
The proposal has drawn sharp criticism from gun control advocates, who argue the measure would only put the safety of students at risk. Jeri Bonavia with the Wisconsin Anti-Violence Effort (WAVE) called it a “ridiculous” plan that “is not going to do anything to secure the safety of our children.”
Bonavia argued lawmakers are more interested in drumming up support from pro-gun enthusiasts during an election year, then they are about school safety.
A public hearing for the bill has not yet been set.