The state Senate judiciary committee held a hearing last week on a bill to allow permit-less concealed carry in Wisconsin, and the discussion was often intense on both sides.
The bill by Sen. Dave Craig (R-Vernon) and Rep. Mary Felzkowski (R-Irma) would allow residents to carry concealed firearms without permits or mandatory training. The two lawmakers say the bill would bolster citizens' ability to defend themselves.
When they introduced the bill earlier this year, Felzkowski and Craig said it would also simplify Wisconsin law.
"We want to empower people to decide the best ways to defend themselves," Felzkowski said then. "Whether it's a taser in a purse or gun under a winter coat, we want to give more options for people to carry."
Craig said the bill would remove barriers to the exercise of a constitutional right.
"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," he said. "We already give people the ability to openly carry a firearm without a license. With this bill, law-abiding citizens will have the same right to carry discreetly that they currently have to carry openly. If you decide to throw on a coat, you should not be considered a criminal."
At least week's hearing, there was no shortage of witnesses.
Wisconsin Firearms Owners president Mike Stewart, a federally licensed firearms dealer, said the bill would allow people to defend themselves without sacrificing or having a negative impact on public safety.
"Six years ago, opponents of Wisconsin's concealed carry law predicted that it would turn our state into the Wild West," Stewart said. "All the statistics show that this prediction did not happen. Now those same people want you to believe that this bill will do the same. Other states that have adopted constitutional carry show that, again, this will not happen."
Stewart also said government-mandated training wasn't necessary.
"People will seek out training on their own," he said. "I see this every day as people come in to purchase a firearm."
Stewart also said the bill would not change current law prohibiting criminals from buying or possessing a gun.
"Thugs don't listen to the rules already, but now responsible citizens will be better able to exercise their right to defend themselves," he said.
But state Rep. David Crowley (D-Milwaukee), the chairman of the Milwaukee Legislative Caucus, said the Wild West, or a Wisconsin version of it, would be exactly what would happen if the bill was enacted.
"Having heard the arguments for and against (constitutional carry), I find it difficult to formulate any plausible reason why this bill is right for Wisconsin," Crowley said. "It is hard to understand how a teenager has to demonstrate to the state that they possess the ability to operate a vehicle, while an adult wishing to carry a concealed weapon would not. Imagine the type of world that we must be living in to warrant legislation getting rid of simple training requirements to carry concealed weapons or repealing state law that makes schools gun-free zones."
Unfortunately, Crowley said, the world he envisions is not the world we are living in.
"One of my greatest concerns is for the safety of the children of Wisconsin and (this bill) places all children at risk," he said. "Passing this legislation would bring us closer to the days of the Wild West, not move us forward to solve the problems of the 21st century."
Senate Democratic leader Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse) said the bill would threaten school safety. Shilling said the bill would not only remove training requirements but give dangerous individuals greater access to firearms.
"It is unfortunate that Republicans continue to side with gun lobbyists at the expense of our children's safety," Shilling said. "Allowing anyone to carry a loaded, concealed firearm in public without any safety training or a simple background check is completely irresponsible."
Shilling said the overwhelming majority of Wisconsin residents agree that responsible individuals who want to carry a concealed weapon should go through a background check and obtain a permit.
"Too many men, women and children have already died as a result of gun violence," she said. "Rather than putting more guns in the hands of dangerous individuals, we should protect families and communities by closing the gun-show loophole, strengthening background checks and keeping guns off school property."
Shilling said the bill would also lower the concealed carry age from 21 to 18 and allow individuals to carry concealed handguns in school classrooms.
Rep. Leon Young (D-Milwaukee) said he opposed the bill because it would lead to more guns and thus more violence.
"I am against more people being allowed to carry weapons without a permit," Young said. "Just recently, over the Milwaukee Memorial Day weekend, 18 individuals were wounded and four others killed as a result of handgun violence. I am against this bill because more guns can lead to more violence."
At the hearing, a Democratic supporter of the original concealed-carry bill, Sen. Lena Taylor (D-Milwaukee), expressed her opposition, criticizing what she said was the elimination of the state's protection of school zones, as well as deleting prohibitions at hospitals and police departments.
"The issue is not about anyone being against the right to self-defense, or one's Second Amendment rights, but instead about reasonable regulations as our state and nation have always supported," Taylor said.
She was one of several who quoted the late justice Antonin Scalia in the landmark Heller decision: "(w)e do not read the Second Amendment to protect the right of citizens to carry arms for any sort of confrontation, just as we do not read the First Amendment to protect the right of citizens to speak for any purpose."
And she said the vast majority of people agreed with that sentiment for regulation.
"Let me make it clear, I stand with the 91 percent of our people who support our present training requirements, unlike my Republican colleagues," Taylor said.
Meanwhile, the liberal group One Wisconsin Now said it had obtained records showing that attorney general Brad Schimel met privately with the lead lobbyist for the National Rifle Association on his second day in office.
The group said Schimel now supports the NRA-backed plan to allow Wisconsin communities to be flooded with what it called untrained, unlicensed carriers of concealed firearms.
"The records show on his second full day on the job, Brad Schimel opened his office doors to privately consult with the NRA," said Scot Ross, One Wisconsin Now executive director. "It shows Brad Schimel's priorities are for protecting campaign special interests, not the citizens of Wisconsin."
Schimel did indeed release a statement last week supporting the measure.
"(This bill) represents a reasonable policy decision by the Legislature and it is not inconsistent with case law which has strengthened this right," Schimel said in the statement. "The department will carry out its duty as directed by law. My commitment to the Second Amendment cannot be overstated."
Ross said the attorney general should be committed more to public safety.
"But when Brad Schimel takes the side of campaign supporters on a bill that would allow guns on school grounds, it is clear he can't be trusted to put us first," Ross said.
Richard Moore is the author of The New Bossism of the American Left and can be reached at www.rmmoore1.com.
Posted: Wednesday, July 12, 2017
Article comment by:
There is a reason why Article IV Section 4 of The Constitution makes a "Representative Democracy" unlawful within the united States of America. And, that reason is so that our God given unalienable Individual Rights, including those Rights protected by our Bill Of Rights, such as the Right to individually Keep and Bear Arms, SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED.
Because the Framers of "The Supreme Law of the Land" pursuant to The Constitution Article VI supremacy clauses 2 & 3, which states that ALL LAWS shall be "IN PURSUANCE thereof" (The Second Amendment law) The Constitution, and to "secure the Blessings of Liberty to OURSELVES and our Posterity" (See Preamble of The Constitution) from all enemies, both Republican and Democrat. And, most especially FROM voting MOB rule.
This bill ONLY SERVES to support THE RULE of EXISTING Second Amendment law. Any law that is NOT "IN PURSUANCE thereof" our Second Amendment is NULL and VOID of Law under Marbury v Madison anyway:
Marbury v. Madison : 5 US 137 (1803)
“No provision of the Constitution is designed to be without effect,” “Anything that is in conflict is null and void of law”, “clearly, for a secondary law to come in conflict with the supreme Law was illogical, for certainly, the supreme Law would prevail over all other laws and certainly our forefathers had intended that the supreme Law would be the bases of all law and for any law to come in conflict would be null and void of law, in would bare no obligation to obey, it would purport to settle as if it had never existed, for unconstitutionality, would date for the enactment of such a law, not from the date so branded in an open court of law, no courts are bound to uphold it, and no Citizens are bound to obey it. It operates as a near nullity or a fiction of law.”
If any statement, within any law, which is passed, is unconstitutional, (such as the 'so called' Enabling Act) the whole law is unconstitutional by Marbury v. Madison.
A group of reporters that go through and keep track of all court cases that have come before the courts, especially the Supreme Court and they clarify, before the court, all the cases. All cases which have cited Marbury v. Madison case, to the Supreme Court has not ever been overturned. (854 cases at last count) See Shepard’s Citation of Marbury v. Madison.
Section 242 of Title 18 makes it a crime for a person acting under color of any law to willfully deprive a person of a right or privilege protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States. For the purpose of Section 242, acts under "color of law" include acts not only done by federal, state, or local officials within the their lawful authority, but also acts done beyond the bounds of that official's lawful authority, if the acts are done while the official is purporting to or pretending to act in the performance of his/her official duties. Persons acting under color of law within the meaning of this statute include police officers, prisons guards and other law enforcement officials, as well as judges, care providers in public health facilities, and others who are acting as public officials. It is not necessary that the crime be motivated by animus toward the race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status or national origin of the victim.
The offense is punishable by a range of imprisonment up to a life term, or the death penalty, depending upon the circumstances of the crime, and the resulting injury, if any.
TITLE 18, U.S.C., SECTION 242:
Whoever, under color of any law, statute, ordinance, regulation, or custom, willfully subjects any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured or protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States, ... shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both and if bodily injury results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include the use, attempted use, or threatened use of a dangerous weapon, explosives, or fire, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both and if death results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, shall be fined under this title, or imprisoned for any term of years or for life, or both, or may be sentenced to death.
Posted: Friday, June 9, 2017
Article comment by:
The idea that eliminating licensed concealed/carry is ludacris. My rights to carry a weapon (the law covers other things besides guns) to defend myself and family is not impacted by the cost or requirement to prove I understand the legal ramifications I face or my ability to use what I carry. Why? I can legally open carry in Wisconsin without a license if I so choose. I prefer to conceal, thus I am willing to take the extra steps to do so.
Posted: Wednesday, June 7, 2017
Article comment by:
So the only unlicensed and untrained people that should carry firearms are criminals? Having a concealed weapon on school grounds would only make them safer from attack by any terrorist or criminal. What are you afraid of, the soccer mom shooting the other soccer mom cause the treats weren't right for after the game? Or are you afraid of some small child wielding a small .22 pistol?
Some of these notions that people come up with to oppose this are ridiculous. If only I had that kind of imagination.
We can't legislate idiots that don't listen, regardless of what the law is, there will always be the idiots. All these laws do is inhibit law abiding citizens that just want to protect their families and property. Those that have no respect for law or regulation will what they please.
Personally I do not want to live in police state, which is the alternative when the 'bad guys' out number the 'good guys' and the 'good guys' don't want anyone but themselves to be able to provide protection. Which then appears to not be about the unarmed citizens at all, but more about the power and control that comes with keeping a weapon out of anyone's hands other than criminals and police.
The statistics show that crime rates go down when the criminals don't know who's packing. Because criminals like easy prey, not prey that might bite back.
Don't want to own a pistol and don't want anyone to carry, move to the UK, where that is the status quo, cause here in the United States of America, we're supposed to carry so that we can keep free from tyrants and people that believe themselves above the law.
Posted: Tuesday, June 6, 2017
Article comment by:
"...state Rep. David Crowley (D-Milwaukee), the chairman of the Milwaukee Legislative Caucus, said the Wild West, or a Wisconsin version of it, would be exactly what would happen if the bill was enacted."
The same man who condemned the "Blue Lives Matter" movement is recycling the prediction that his (D) cohorts made the third time CCW passed the WI Legislature of "blood in the streets" and "the wild west".
Ignoring the facts that the "wild west" was a fabrication by editors and reporters to sell newspapers along the east coast and that the crime rate was much lower, what happened to all the "blood in the streets" his fellow leftists predicted, or the road rage incidents turned into mass shootings? More blathering by a machine politician.
"Jennifer Shilling...said the bill would threaten school safety...(and) give dangerous individuals greater access to firearms"
Because it would void the scores of federal law that make prohibited people prohibited? Or it would negate the requirement for dealers to perform background checks? More imaginary fears from someone with an obvious bias, as indicated by her voting against providing a means for law-abiding citizens to carry concealed firearms even with the training and background checks she now lauds.
It's amusing that she mentions schools and children, given her vote against allowing police officers to carry firearms in school as well.
"It is unfortunate that Republicans continue to side with gun lobbyists at the expense of our children's safety,"
Oh, look, the party that supports unrestricted access to abortion without parental notification and legalizing drugs is suddenly concerned about the children".
Rep. "Leon Young (D-Milwaukee) said he opposed the bill because it would lead to more guns and thus more violence.
The same Leon Young who opposed concealed carry because he didn't think it was a good idea for the attendees of the Juneteenth celebration in Milwaukee (an event celebrated primarily by African Americans) to be able to carry firearms?
If an elected official of a different race had offered such an opinion, the media would have been in an uproar.
"Just recently, over the Milwaukee Memorial Day weekend, 18 individuals were wounded and four others killed as a result of handgun violence. I am against this bill because more guns can lead to more violence."
Nice of him to blame the object, rather than the situation that even a diehard (D) like Chief Flynn can see, as he explained in a news conference on May 30th:
"Officers have made arrests in every homicide over Memorial Day weekend, Milwaukee police said Tuesday..."Overwhelmingly what we have is the same circumstances that plague this city year after year after year," Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn said Tuesday, pointing to heavily armed offenders with prior arrests for gun offenses using guns to settle disputes or to thwart robberies by other criminals."
Sen. Lena Taylor (D-Milwaukee), expressed her opposition..."The issue is not about anyone being against the right to self-defense, or one's Second Amendment rights, but instead about reasonable regulations as our state and nation have always supported," Taylor said."
They haven't "always supported" such restrictions, Senator., given that the push towards greater restrictions started in the 1930's, and again in the late 1960's. Your lack of historical knowledge is showing.
"(w)e do not read the Second Amendment to protect the right of citizens to carry arms for any sort of confrontation, just as we do not read the First Amendment to protect the right of citizens to speak for any purpose."
I must ask if the good Senator is familiar with the "Affirmative duty of protection" extended to the government, which places the burden for our protection as individuals squarely on our shoulders?
We do not carry firearms "for any sort of confrontation" with the malicious intent she infers, but with the intention of providing for the protection which South v Maryland, and the other 30+ cases since 1856 absolves the government from failing to provide. Bills like this simply remove the additional burdens and obstacles - usually put in place by members of the same party these current day objectors belong to - that encumber one's ability to assume that responsibility effectively.