Changes to Wisconsin gun laws are unlikely to happen during the spring legislative session, according to a top Republican in the state Legislature.
Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) said that the laws currently in place in the state are sufficient to deal with those who would seek to cause violence, but he has seen no reason to consider any changes that would hinder the ability of law-abiding citizens to protect themselves. “I think the laws that we have in place – harsh penalties if you have crimes with a gun – I agree with that,” he said. “But I think that just being able to have a weapon to protect yourself, to protect your family, to protect your workplace is something that we haven’t seen any real problems with in Wisconsin.”
Following a shooting at a Madison mall earlier this month, Rep. Bob Gannon (R-Slinger) criticized the use of “gun-free zones” in some of the state’s public places. The Slinger Republican argued the posted signs translated to a “target rich environment” for criminals, who will carry weapons regardless of whether they are allowed.
AUDIO: Rep. Vos reacts to criticisms of gun-free zones (:34)
Vos said Gannon brought up an “interesting point,” although he does not believe it’s an issue lawmakers will seek to address during the spring session.
There is a bill in the Legislature that would lift restriction on concealed carry permit holders brining weapons into University of Wisconsin System buildings and facilities, but Vos does not see it getting a vote. “We’re probably not going to do that…I haven’t seen a real outcry from the public saying they want that,” he said.