November 1st, starts a new chapter in Wisconsin’s History as the new concealed carry law goes into effect. While some think this is a simple matter of the second amendment – except that is not true. Others explain it away for such things as protection, everyone else has it, now only criminals have guns, etc… None of those are really correct, and what is about to be enacted in WI is not that simple. There are lots of questions that remain to be answered.
Where can Weapons be carried?
When Republicans passed the concealed carry law earlier this year, they passed one of the loosest permitting systems in the country. Permit-holding adults will be able to carry concealed handguns, stun guns, knives and billy clubs into college dorms, parks, beaches, the zoo, the state Capitol, domestic violence shelters—more or less anywhere that isn’t already screened for weapons, unless the property owner posts a sign that bans weapons on his or her property.
But questions remain with just two weeks before the system goes into effect.
Still unsettled at the moment is how the state government will regulate the carrying of weapons in state-owned buildings and properties. The Department of Administration (DOA) will set out a policy for the entire state, but a DOA representative said that the administration’s policy on concealed carry is still being developed.
That leaves state properties, such as the Wisconsin State Fair, hanging. State Fair spokeswoman Kristi Chuckel said that the fair’s board would be able to create a weapons policy for next summer’s event, but that it was waiting for the state DOA to give it direction on how it should handle weapons on the grounds and in facilities for the rest of the year.
Other Milwaukee institutions are taking matters into their own hands before the law is implemented. The Milwaukee Common Council voted to ban concealed weapons on city-owned properties and has urged tavern owners to ban guns in their businesses. The Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors will vote on a policy in the coming weeks. Summerfest will continue its ban on weapons. The Milwaukee Public Library will ban weapons, too.
UW-Milwaukee will ban firearms and dangerous weapons in buildings that are owned, occupied or controlled by UWM, including in residence halls, and in UWM vehicles and at special events. Employees, including student employees, will be prohibited from carrying weapons while they are working for the university, whether on or off campus. Hartford Avenue University elementary school, which is located on campus, will continue to have a 1,000-foot gun-free zone.
By law, weapons will not be banned when they are within motor vehicles in UWM parking facilities and concealed carry permit holders will be able to carry on UWM grounds.
Marquette University will continue its ban on weapons and will begin posting “guns prohibited” signs in its buildings, Marquette spokeswoman Kate Venne told the Shepherd last week. But Marquette cannot ban weapons in the outdoor areas of campus, or in student apartments, buildings leased from the university or in university parking lots or structures.
Other public areas fall through the cracks. Think about the mass protests taking place around the state on city streets and other public areas. Concealed weapons could be part of the mix starting this fall, making crowd control more difficult for law enforcement in a sometimes-heated setting.
Additionally, businesses, employers and landlords will have to develop a weapons policy and post signs if they want to prohibit weapons on their properties.
My question: If CCW is so popular, why cant the people/businesses ban guns from their premises fast enough?
Who can carry? Maybe a better question is who can’t?
Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn said that thousands of career criminals who have pleaded guilty to misdemeanors would qualify for a concealed carry permit—even though they’re a menace to public safety—because they are not convicted felons.
“That is, quite frankly, insane,” Flynn said.
Flynn said that almost half of those convicted of homicides in 2011 would have been eligible for concealed weapons permits because they hadn’t been convicted of a felony before committing murder. About 75% of convicted robbers could get a permit at the time of their crime, too, Flynn said.
Flynn said that habitual criminals should be barred from carrying weapons.
Still galling to Flynn is the fact that the penalty for illegally carrying a concealed weapon is still remarkably low—a misdemeanor and a small fine—no matter how many times an individual has been arrested for carrying.
Flynn, along with Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm, had advocated for a concealed carry permitting system in 2009, one that would have increased the penalty for unlawfully carrying a concealed weapon from a misdemeanor to a felony. That would help to deter people from unlawfully carrying concealed weapons and help law enforcement arrest and prosecute those who illegally carried them.
A jury Thursday found Open Carry advocate Jesus Gonzalez guilty of lesser charges – first-degree reckless homicide and first-degree reckless injury – in the May 2010 shootings of two unarmed men on the south side.
Jurors were left to make their decision without any real sense of what transpired between the victims and Gonzalez, who argued that he acted in self-defense but presented no real case at trial and has never spoken publicly about the shootings beyond what he told a 911 operator.
It will take time to sort all of these questions out, right now all i can say is when you go out in public SERPENTINE! SERPENTINE!!!
H/T Lisa Kaiser & Shepherd Express for much of this post.
Which brings me to a call to action.
It seems that Roundys corporation did not approve of the Shepherd Express’ endorsement of Joanne Kloppenburg and the recall of Scott Walker. No matter what side of the aisle you tend to spend your time, if you shop at one of these stores, please call and voice your opinion that they should carry the FREE weekly regardless of who they support. The more information in the public domain, wherever it comes from, can only help. Plus Lisa Kaiser is one of the better reporters in Wisconsin.
So if you like being able to conveniently pick up your Shepherd Express each week at your local Pick ‘n Save/Metro Market store, please call “Chairman Bob” (Mariano), who has always been a very reasonable person, at 414-231-5804, and politely ask him to please continue to provide that customer service.
The Shepherd has been provided free to the residents of the Milwaukee area for almost 30 years, and we have never asked for anything in return. Now we would sincerely appreciate your help in letting Roundy’s know that you appreciate their making your Shepherd so conveniently available.
Tell Chairman Bob, that if Roundy’s wants to censor one side of the aisle, that you will not be there to shop in any aisles.