Concealed carry legislation was the subject of a public hearing at the Capitol on Thursday. State Representative Jeff Mursau is author of legislation which would allow persons to carry concealed without having to receive any firearms training – although they would have to be licensed. “The licensing process would work through the Department of Justice,” said Mursau. “Fees for that would be no more than $52 and no more than $13 for a background check.” But the lack of a training requirement concerned sheriffs from Milwaukee and Dane Counties. Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clark said he supports concealed carry, but that training is critical. “Part of that training has to include the theory of deadly force, not just how to use the firearm,” said Clarke. “There has to be mandatory training on the nomenclature of a handgun, the proper handling, the emotional impacts of being involved in deadly force,” said Dane County Sheriff Dave Mahoney. Neither sheriff suggested how much training ought to be required, but Mahoney noted law enforcement officers receive 52 hours before they ever hit the street with a weapon.
States which have enacted concealed carry legislation have seen violent crime decrease, according to former state Representative Scott Gunderson, a proponent of legislation to allow Wisconsin residents to carry concealed weapons and author of previous versions of the legislation. “Why did violent crime decrease? It decreased because the bad guys don’t know who is, and who is not carrying, it’s very clear,” said Gunderson. “I mean, you wouldn’t know if I was carrying today. That’s the key to concealed carry, you don’t know who is and who isn’t carrying.” The bill proposed by Mursau does not require a database of permit holders accessible by law enforcement. Dane County’s Mahoney explained to why that’s important. “Knowledge is important to that law enforcement officer. Not because they’re going to treat them differently.”