Could Wisconsin become the next state to adopt a constitutional carry law? A pair of Republican lawmakers just introduced a bill which would make that possibility a reality.
Sponsored by Sen. David Craig (R-Town of Vernon) and Rep. Mary Felzkowski (R-Irma), the “Right to Carry Act” — which carries 39 co-authors — aims to eliminate The Badger State’s concealed carry permit requirement for law-abiding gun owners. Those who wish to obtain a concealed carry permit would still be able to do so.
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“At its essence, this bill does two things: removes barriers to the exercise of a constitutional right and simplifies the law,” Sen. Craig said in a press release. “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.”
As Craig points out, Wisconsin currently has an unlicensed open carry law on the books. The new measure would simply protect the rights of those who wish to carry concealed.
“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,” Craig said. “If you decide to throw on a coat, you should not be considered a criminal.”
The “Right to Carry Act” clarifies the law with regard to the carry of guns in vehicles and would make it legal for gun owners to carry on their person while driving.
“In writing this bill, we found ambiguities in the law and ‘gotcha’ clauses which have tripped people up. The simplifications in this bill will help citizens more easily understand the law and avoid getting wrapped up in a court battle for something that should be lawful,” said Rep. Felzkowski.
The bill also calls for a “basic license” that would enable parents to pick-up and drop-off their kids at school without leaving their gun at home. According to the press release, “all local controls and private property rights” would still be maintained by allowing the posting of schools, government buildings, and private property.
“Private property rights are extremely important,” Sen. Craig said. “Our legislation does not diminish anyone’s ability to post their business and we uphold local elected officials’ ability to decide whether or not to post their buildings based on what is best for their community.”
If the measure passes the House and Senate and is signed into law by Gov. Scott Walker, Wisconsin would become the 13th state to allow full constitutional carry. The other states that have it are Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia and Wyoming.