Anyone who can legally own a gun in Wisconsin would be allowed to carry a concealed weapon, under a bill being introduced at the state Capitol.
The “Right to Carry Act” would allow people to carry concealed without having to obtain a licenses from the state – a requirement put in place just under six years ago, which has resulted in more than 325,000 licences being issued. “If you decide to carry a weapon to protect yourself or your family, you should be able to do so easily – without bureaucratic hurdles and without cost,” said state Sen. David Craig (R-Town of Vernon), one of the co-sponsors of the proposal.
“Under this bill, if you are legally allowed to own a handgun, you can carry it concealed – no license, no fees, no government hoops to jump through,” said Rep. Mary Felzkowski (R-Irma).
The change would more closely mirror the state’s open carry statutes, which allow people to carry a gun without a permit as long as it is visible. “If you decide to throw on a coat, you should not be considered a criminal,” Craig said.
Gun control advocates criticized the bill. Anneliese Dickman of Wisconsin Anti-Violence Effort said there’s clear data that shows the more guns that are out there, the less safe the public becomes. She said the permit process also helps to protect the public, by making sure those carrying concealed weapons are knowledgeable about to use them through required training.
Felzkowski noted that there are currently no training requirements to openly carry a weapon in the state, which has not resulted in any issues.
The bill would also create a basic license that would allow people to carry a concealed weapon on school property when picking up or dropping off their children. It does maintain current restrictions that allow government buildings and private businesses to post signs saying weapons are not allowed inside.
The measure is currently being circulated for co-sponsors.