Well we have been waiting a long, long time here in WI for some type of conceal carry law to get passed. I am happy to announce the Senate just passed SB 93 at about 7:00pm tonight. Our Assembly has to take up the bill then it is on the Governor who has been a vocal supporter of our 2nd Amendment rights.
Senate passes concealed-carry bill - JSOnline[/QUOTE]Senate passes concealed-carry bill
Madison - The state Senate passed a concealed-carry measure by a 25-8 margin Tuesday, getting votes from all 19 Republicans and six Democrats, including Sen. Lena Taylor (D-Milwaukee).
Taylor, who said she "understands the challenges of urban Wisconsin," claimed the bill wasn't perfect but it "creates a balance" with the right of people to bear arms.
The measure now goes to the Assembly, where it is expected to pass. It would then go to Gov. Scott Walker, who supports the bill.
"This is a great victory for the people of Wisconsin and for the 2nd Amendment," Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) said in a statement. "The right to protect ourselves by legally carrying a firearm is long overdue and I'm glad we're joining 48 other states with this law - finally."
The measure would require people to get training and permits to carry concealed weapons, after some Republicans earlier pushed a bill that would let people do so without training or permits.
Wisconsin and Illinois are the only states that have outright bans on carrying concealed weapons. Gun rights advocates for years have pushed allowing concealed weapons in Wisconsin, but they were thwarted by then-Gov. Jim Doyle or Democrats in the Legislature.
Under the bill, the state Department of Justice would have to issue permits to state residents 21 or over who got training and cleared background checks that showed they were not felons or otherwise prohibited from carrying guns.
Republicans have said the law is necessary to ensure people have the right to protect themselves, while many Democrats have decried the plan because they say it would make the public unsafe.
Permits that require training would cost a maximum of $50 and be good for five years. Renewing a license would cost $25. To get a permit, people would have to offer proof they have passed a course on firearms training, firearms safety or hunter safety.
People with permits from other states could carry concealed weapons in Wisconsin as long as they had gone through training and a background check.
Guns would be banned from law enforcement offices, prisons, jails, courthouses, secure mental health facilities, school grounds and the areas of airports past security checkpoints.
Private businesses could post signs banning guns; similar postings could be put up in city halls, the Capitol and other public buildings.
Guns would be allowed in all city and state parks, an issue that raised concerns among some opponents of the bill.
Permit holders could carry guns in taverns and other places that sell alcohol, provided they were not drinking. Democrats said they saw a loophole in the bill because people would be able to drink in some parks while carrying guns.
Under current law, guns are banned in schools, on school grounds and in school zones - the area 1, 000 feet beyond school grounds. The bill would keep in place the ban on carrying guns in schools and on school grounds, but would allow permit holders to carry guns in areas just off school grounds.
Private businesses could post signs to keep guns out of their buildings. Those who allowed guns in their businesses would be immune from legal liability, but the bill does not provide immunity for those who post signs barring guns from their properties.
Signs could also be posted in government buildings, such as city halls and the state Capitol. But guns could not be banned from government-owned grounds, meaning they could be carried on the Capitol lawn or the Milwaukee Public Zoo.
The money would from the permits be intended to cover the cost of staffing and building a database of permit holders. Those costs are estimated to total about $3 million over two years.
Whenever carrying concealed weapons, people would have to have permits and photo IDs with them. If they did not have their permit with them, they could be fined $25, though the fee would be waived if they presented their permit and ID within 48 hours.
Those who carried guns without a permit would be guilty of a misdemeanor.
Police would have just limited access to the database of those who hold permits. They could check it only to confirm the validity of a permit that someone produced or to investigate whether someone lied in applying for a permit. Police could not routinely check the database when pulling someone over.
The names of those who hold permits would not be available under the state's public records law.
The bill would also allow people to carry loaded, uncased guns in their cars. Under current law, guns are allowed in vehicles only if they are unloaded and encased.
Those who got permits would also be able to carry Tasers and other electric weapons, which are banned under current law.
Last month, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved a bill allowing "constitutional carry" - that is, the ability to carry concealed weapons without training or permits. But Walker later said he wanted the bill to require permits and training, and lawmakers rewrote the bill to require that.
Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn and Milwaukee District Attorney John Chisholm have sought changes to the bill to stiffen penalties for those who illegally carry guns or buy guns for felons.
For more than two hours, Senators debated the bill, while also tabling 17 amendments put forward by Democrats, including provisions that would have carved out places like the state Capitol where concealed weapons could not be carried.
"There should not be guns in the state Capitol, period," said Sen. Jon Erpenbach (D-Middleton).
Sen. Glenn Grothman (R-West Bend) said carving out the legislators' workplace "would make us look completely foolish."
Lawmakers passed bills to allow concealed weapons in 2003 and 2005, but then-Gov. Jim Doyle vetoed them. From then until recently, Democrats were able to block such bills because they controlled at least one house of the Legislature.
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