A proposal to carry concealed weapons with a mandatory permit and training process is gaining traction after Governor Scott Walker said he would favor such a bill. Spokesman Cullen Werwie would not say if the Governor would veto the “constitutional carry” gun bill if it gets to his desk. That measure would let law-abiding adults carry concealed without requiring a permit.
Walker’s statement Friday came just a day after Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn publically called on the Governor to back a permitting and training process.
“Only he is in a position to do it and he’s got to decide just how many points officer safety is worth,” Flynn said.
However a Tea Party advocate draws a link between Wisconsin’s existing open-carry law and “constitutional carry.” David Olson of Unfringed Liberty notes state law already allows for openly carrying a weapon without any training or permit. “Just by putting a coat over it (firearm) you shouldn’t become a criminal.”
Olson, who is a certified firearms safety instructor, encourages weapons training but does not believe it should be mandatory.
Another firearms instructor opposes mandatory training on the grounds that such an approach should be tailored to the individual. “My eighty-year-old grandmother would not have to pass the same training that I would need to,” said Jeff Nass, a burly martial artist who heads WI-Force.
Nass says most of those “who are scared,” that come to him for lessons, are women.
Meanwhile Tony Gibart of the Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence (WCADV) says studies show victims who have access to a gun in the home are more likely to be killed by an abuser, “regardless of whose gun it is.”
Gibart says it unrealistic to expect these women to be arming themselves. “Many domestic violence victims aren’t even allowed to have a checking account because their abusers control them to that extent.”
If law enforcement is required to receive training on handling firearms, Gibart questions why citizens armed in public shouldn’t be held to the same standard.
Of the two conceal carry bills at the state capitol; “constitutional carry” has had the most movement, in passing a Senate committee. The other bill has a permitting requirement while neither of them have a training mandate.
State Rep. Garey Bies (R-Sister Bay) is reportedly proposing an amendment that would require a permit, background check and training on how to handle a gun based on the handler’s experience.