TO: All Legislators
FR: Senator Dave Zien
DT: November 5, 2003
RE: Response to Sheriffs' concerns about concealed carry (SB 214 / AB
This memo addresses the contention that this office has not been responsive to the Sheriffs organizations (Badger Sheriffs and Sheriffs and Deputy Sheriffs). It also addresses their concerns (all of which were accommodated), yet they continue to raise these concerns.
1) Nick Segina, President of the Fraternal Order of Police - Wisconsin Chapter, contacted us this spring suggesting that we call a representative from the Badger Sheriffs. This organization did not contact
me. Bob Seitz, my Chief of Staff, initiated the conversation and received input from Sheriff Govier. The primary concern Sheriff Govier raised was with administration by the Sheriffs. The major secondary issues regarded
the limitation on the fee the sheriff could charge and potential liability.
He also informed us that, regardless of what changes we made, his organization would not support the legislation. We took the input and acted
on it. The fact that support for the legislation was not an option meant
there was little left to discuss. We met with the Attorney General to look into state administration to address that concern. For several reasons, state administration was not a viable option. We added specific immunity
from liability for sheriffs. The issue of local costs would have to wait for analysis from the non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau.
2) This fall, we met with the Badger Sheriffs and the Sheriffs and Deputy Sheriffs following the public hearing in which Sheriff Heuer testified that we had not responded to Sheriff Govier. This, despite the
fact that the contact in the spring had come from us.
3) We met September 24 with the Badger Sheriffs and September 26 with the Sheriffs and Deputy Sheriffs Association. At both meetings, both authors discussed every administrative concern raised. Issues and
solutions offered are listed below:
a. Involuntary Commitment data is not available in a centralized location, requiring legwork
i. RESPONSE: We designed additions to
the DOJ instant background check database to allow this information to be instantly available in the current check. Additionally, we make this information available for handgun purchase background checks to prevent handgun sales to individuals who have been involuntarily committed as a danger to themselves and others. Currently, Wisconsin has no means to stop these purchases.
b. Cost of license-making machine is too high.
i. RESPONSE: We amended the bill to allow purchase or lease of a machine that produces the exact same tamper-proof license for 40% less cost.
c. Sheriffs don't have enough time to issue or deny the license.
i. RESPONSE: We asked the Sheriffs to
make a recommendation as to the length of time necessary for issuance along with the reasons a delay was necessary. In spite of the fact that we received no such recommendation or justification, we delayed the issuance deadline 40% from 21 to 30 days. Additionally, they already had the ability to instantly revoke the license of any licensee when they discover the individual is not eligible for any reason.
d. The process at the county level could involve people outside the sheriff's office who do not have the immunity from liability provided the sheriff.
i. RESPONSE: We extended immunity to
other county employees with responsibilities under the bill.
e. Revenue from license flows to the county general fund and must be allocated to the sheriff by the county board. If the board chooses not to allocate funds, the sheriff may not be able to cover costs.
i. RESPONSE: We amended the bill to
give the sheriff complete control over the funds generated through license fees without county board approval. We also bar the board from using this revenue to offset the sheriff's budget.
f. Sheriffs do not have access to the database of information on licensees except to check on whether the person is licensed, was licensed properly and holds a valid license. The sheriffs wanted to be able to check on people they are dealing with and produce lists of licensees "as a starting point for criminal investigations" of gun crimes.(Thems good police work der!)
i. RESPONSE: We allow the sheriff to
check the license of anyone they have probable cause to pull over in addition to the above reasons. We included the database on the TIME system to ensure instant access around the clock. We WILL NOT agree to allow the sheriffs to use this database to create lists of law-abiding citizens to be turned into suspects in crime because they painstakingly followed an expensive and time-consuming process to follow the law.
g. Sheriffs need more money to properly issue the license.
i. RESPONSE: We asked the sheriffs to
come up with cost estimates to back up this claim. They came forward with nothing. The non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau did a 41-page analysis of the bill, its operation and costs. As previously drafted, it was clear from their analysis and the fiscal estimate prepared by the DOJ, that the $75 fee was more than sufficient to cover costs on an ongoing basis. DOJ inflates their numbers by including incredible estimates for start-up costs and assumes that no sheriffs will cooperate to save money. Additionally, they assume all administrative work (photo-taking, filing, etc.) would be carried out by sworn officers instead of clerical staff. (well then, who's gonna watch the donut shop?)
ii. RESPONSE 2: We significantly
lowered the cost of administration from the DOJ and Legislative Fiscal Bureau analyses by virtually eliminating legwork through increased use of the DOJ instant check system and lowering necessary equipment costs. In
virtually every case, license issuance would consist of receiving the application, calling in the person for an instant check, writing down the confirmation number, taking a picture, mailing the hard-copy application to DOJ, waiting the required seven days for the final approval and mailing the license to the individual. DOJ estimated this to take one hour on average (when it included separate mental commitment research). It should take no
more than 15-minutes now.
iii. RESPONSE 3: Wisconsin will have the
fourth highest license fees of the 45 states that allow their citizens this right. Among the states with shall issue laws, Wisconsin would have the highest fees of the 15 states with issuance by the sheriff. I refuse to
believe that Wisconsin sheriffs are the least efficient in the nation.
iv. RESPONSE 4: Even after the sheriff
has recovered his/her costs in the $75 administrative fee, we provide an additional $15 Law Enforcement Excellence Fund fee for discretionary spending to improve law enforcement in the county. $567,000 in the first year above the departmental budget could go a long way toward ensuring safety equipment for deputies on the street. We also allocate to the sheriff $15 for the Shooting Range Improvement Fund. While the funds must
go to ranges that are open to the public and offer low-cost training to qualify citizens for these licenses, the estimated $567,000 in the first year would go a long way to ensuring law enforcement has the quality ranges they need in each county. These two funds would give sheriffs over one million dollars in the first year alone ABOVE THE COST OF ISSUING LICENSES.
As you can see, we went a long way to meet the major concerns of sheriffs even though they made it clear that our meeting their needs would never alter their position on the legislation because these associations just oppose citizens having the ability to protect themselves from crime. Unfortunately, the facts in 45 other states are not enough to overcome this basic disagreement.
We asked each association to name the people who could speak for the association and work out solutions to the issues they raised. Despite the fact that we told them the timeframe of the process, we are still waiting
for their response. In fact I called the lobbyist for the Sheriffs and Deputy Sheriffs (the Badger Sheriffs have no lobbyist) after the meeting to stress again the timeline and ask for the names of individuals we could work
with. Bob Seitz got a phone call about two weeks ago, returned it, was told the lobbyist was on the phone and would call back after he got off. We're still waiting.
The bottom line is that we have a good bill that is fully funded. Anyone who doesn't think they can operate the program for more money than sheriffs in every other state can recommend to their county board that they opt out. The fact is, a number of sheriffs are waiting for the opportunity to administer this program because their first concern is with public safety. They know this bill will improve safety and improve funding for their departments.
P.S. Right to Carry states with sheriffs doing the issuance and fee charged:
Alabama - fee varies by county
Colorado - not more than $100 for initial permit and not more than $50 for
renewal (just enacted this year) -- 5 years
Idaho - $20 for initial permit and $12 for renewal -- 4 years
Maine - $35 for initial permit and $20 for renewal -- 4 years
Michigan - $105 for both -- 4 years
Minnesota - not more than $100 dollars for initial and not more than $75 for
renewal (just enacted this year) -- 5 years
Missouri - not more than $100 for both
Montana - varies by county -- 4 years
Nevada - not more than $60 for initial permit and $25 for renewal-- 5 years
North Carolina - $80 for initial permit and $75 for renewal -- 5 years
Oregon - $50 for both -- 4 years
Pennsylvania - $19 for both -- 5 years
South Dakota - $10 for both -- 4 years
Washington - $36 for initial permit and $32 for renewal -- 5 years
West Virginia - $$60 for both -- 5 years
P.P.S. Wisconsin's fee would be $113 (or less, depending on the efficiency of the sheriff.)
And I thought you had to a Chief to be a complete moron.
4:11 PM and we're already up to 53 amm.s to the bill...
i heard a blurb from a letter by sherrif clark from milwaukee asking the gov to veto
what a dumbass, and i was all set to like that guy
come on now. Not all deputies/sheriffs/cops are againts the bill. We do a tough job and we see how a poorly written law can be a nightmare to enforce, on both our end and the public's.
I take offense to the cheap shots posted in red, directed towards our law enforcement. I'm sure that no gun owner likes to be depicted as a wacko by the media, and we should strive not to sink to that level. I'm sure that out law enforcement officers are doing their best and don't appriciate the cheap shots.
Bottom line, please don't sterotype an entire profession on the opinions of a few higher ups.
If there are cops that support the law, why don't they speak up? The only thing we're hearing is the whining from the "higher ups" which gives the impression to the general public that all cops are against this law. They may be for the law, but they're too chickenshit to say so in public. And what a bunch of bullshit whining the sheriffs & chiefs are doing... and the media are all over it like white on rice.
On page 9, paragraph 9G of SB214, the backround check procedures are detailed. It is the sole responsibility of the State DOJ to conduct ALL checks. The sheriffs must merely collect the
fee, application, and training certificate, and call the DOJs toll-free number and give DOJ the applicants name, DOB, race, and sex. Then hang up the fuckin' phone. It's the same thing a FFL does when selling a handgun in WI. Two, maybe three minutes. DOJ has seven days in which to notify the sheriff if the applicant has passed or failed the check. If he/she passes, the sheriff must print and mail the license. If he/she is denied, the sheriff must mail a denial letter. He then mails the hard copy application and copy of training certificate to DOJ. They will receive $90 per applicant to do this... but they're crying it will take too much time, and cost too much. Some have claimed they'd need to hire extra "detectives" to do this. It's a job for a fucking clerk. Either they are the most inefficient bumbleheads in history, or they haven't even bothered to read the bill. The ones that are crying the loudest, are the same ones who have opposed the total concept from the start. They are intentionally making it seem too difficult and expensive, when it's really a simple process. They remind me of my kids, when they were in grammar school. "I can't do my homework... it's too haaaaaaard" they'd whine. They don't WANT us to have guns... only the "elite" (cops and military) should be allowed to have guns. They're fucking Rosie O'Shithead Brady Bunchers, but won't admit it. They could at least be honest, and just tell the people "WE don't fucking TRUST you!" instead of hiding behind this charade of "we don't have the time.... we can't afford this or that... we don't have the manpower to conduct the necessary training" yada yada yada. Where in the fucking bill does it say the sheriffs MUST DO THE TRAINING??? They know if they told the public the real reason they're taking this stand, they'd be kicked out of office. They're lying through their teeth, the fucking bastards. Either that, or they're too damn fucking lazy to read the god-damn law and don't know any better (thus the IQ of 60), because what they're claiming to the media is total bullshit. Fuck em all. All my 53 years, I've had the utmost respect for law enforcement, and these dickheads have totally destroyed that in a matter of weeks.
Well, I believe that the reason that cops don't speak out is that they are not political. If they were, they would all be running for sheriff or public office. I don't see why law enforcement officers should throw their weight around and publicly support or oppose the ban, at least not offically. If an officer wanted to voice his opinion, I would hope that he would do it as a private citizen, not a cop. I mean this as pertaining to the every day officers, not the "brass".
If the sheriff's and police chiefs are going to have problems with complying with the background checks, they would know. Have you run a department? Do you have any idea what goes on in these department? How about the tax problem with declining budgets? Any cost will hit them somewhere.
If the check is so simple, why then can't FFL dealers do it? Why even bother with law enforcement? What if the county where you lived was sued for a large sum of money because of a issuance of weapons permit? I don't think this could happen but then again, I didn't think that you could sue for spilling coffee on yourself in a drive through, smoking, or fast food making you fat. If your county takes a hit like that for what ever reason, YOUR taxes will raise. These officals are not looking to give someone an extra reason for a law suit. Even defending a suit costs thousands of dollars. This would be like making game wardens soley responsible for selling hunting/fishing licenses.
I guess what I am saying is, why do people come on this forum and bash law enforcement and the gov? If you are that concerned about the dealing in your community, get involved. Go down and ask to see the records of the police/sheriff's office. They should be open records. Run for city council/county board. I don't think you will make much of a difference just posting on this forum.
Lately, I have been almost ashamed of belonging to this board. I have left in the past and not posted for about a year, basically for the comments of some of the posters. I don't come here to bash anyone and hope that you don't feel that I did so. The only way we (as gun owners) are going to gain the respect of the general public is to show that we are bigger then most people. Name calling and swearing is not a way to do this.
Of course this is my opinion and I'm sure that I will be bashed for posting it in the messages posted after this one.
they should do it because it's the right thing to do
boo friggen hoo! maybe they can just set up a few more speed traps if THE FEE I HAVE TO PAY TO EXERCISE A SUPPOSED RIGHT doesn't cover their costs.
Here's a question for you, would you support an Alaska/Vermont style system? (concealed carry legal for all, no permit required?) No costs there.
WHY? Because this state is run by FUCKING PUSSIES! There would be no chance of passing the law without having to ask permission from COPS to exercise our supposed right.
If you are not one of the "brass" that opposes CCW, nothing I posted was meant to "bash" you, or the other officers who might support CCW... except maybe a lack of courage to say so in public... in or out of uniform. But apparently you have the same problem as some of your superiors, as it's apparent you haven't bothered to read the law either (I explain that below). THAT'S what pisses me off so much about these sheriffs who oppose the law for "make-believe" reasons. They haven't even bothered to read it. If they did, they'd know that all the public, media statements they have been spouting are just fucking NOT TRUE! Now either these guys are ignorant of the proposed law - in which case they should acquaint themselves with the details, or shut up until they do - or they're outright lying through their teeth. There's no in between. I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt here, and assuming they haven't read the law, therefore they are acting out of pure ignorance. It's really dumb to make comments about something you know nothing about, from a seat of power... especiaslly something this controversial. The only other possible alternative is they DO know what's in the law, and they are intentionally lying about it. Which is it? Dumb or deceitful?
As for your statement that I quoted above, you'd know - if you too had bothered to read the bill - that there's total immunity from civil suits, involved with the issuing of CCW licenses, given to the sheriff, his employees, the counties themselves, and all the county employees... as long as the permits are issued "in good faith". Nobody can be sued unless it can be proven in a court of law first, that a permit was "intentionally", with full knowledge beforehand, issued to someone who did not qualify. Training class instructors are granted the same immunity. The sheriff's, and their respective counties, have nothing to lose... except their jobs when the truth gets out.
If you've read any WI newspapers or watched TV here in the last week or so, I"m sure you've seen one of these sheriffs claiming "they don't have the time to do a backround check". Here's a link to the final version of the bill, as presented to the governor. www.legis.state.wi.us/senate/sen23/news/03%20engrossed%20SB214%20to%20Governor.pdf Read page 9, paragraph 9G, then explain why the sheriffs "don't have the time" to make the same toll-free, 2 minute telephone call that an FFL makes with each handgun sale.
And one more thing. Why are the sheriffs given the task of license issuing? Because there is already a sheriff dept in each and every county in the State. No State entity has this. Not the DMV, not the DNR, not the State Patrol. It's not given to FFLs because it's a State LAW, and they are not State employees, and have no State oversight whatsoever. It's the JOB of the Sheriff's Depts to enforce all State LAW. This is merely another part of that JOB, if the Legislature says it is. They are merely acting as "agents" for the State's DOJ because of their convenient locations to the residents who might apply. If they disagree with what the Legislature tells them to do, regarding any State Law, then they should run for legislative office and vote to change things... not whine in front of the TV cameras day after day.
Well, your right. I haven't read the law and was just offering possible sernios that might come up in the future. When I read you comments in red, I felt that you were speaking about law enforcement in whole. Oh and, just for the record, I'm am not "the brass".
I have read comment on this board already if the bill passes, people have been saying that they will violate the provisions by carring where prohibited. I hope that these people don't get a permit. If you openly say your going to violate the law, you should not be allowed to carry a weapon, in my opinion.
Do you feel that officers should make their opinions known, as officers of the law, on ANY political issue? I feel that this is a blatent misuse of power. Again, I speak about the officers on the street, not the heads of departments you are talking about. Most departments have policies about doing this. Would you like to hear about officer's view on aborition? If they want to do so as citizens, that's fine.
I would like to see a bill like this pass. If it doesn't, well, I won't lose any sleep over it. I also don't believe much about what I hear or read in the paper or on TV. They louse it up more times then not, in my opinion. I have been mis-quoted in the paper before. I'm sure it happens all the time.
I'm done with this post. Oh and I respectfully disagree with your comments.
and i hope i'm in a restaurant that serves beer ... sitting at a table next to your family ... when some thug comes in and shoots your wife and kids. i suppose you'd be glad us dangerous permit holders would not be carrying there.
i guess we know who will be rounding up our guns like a good little jack booted thug when ordered. "bb b bbbb bbuuut it's the LAW" WAHH WAHH WAHH.
None of my comments were in red... but to be honest, I agree with everything Dolomite said. This is what should concern you the most about this situation. Law abiding citizens that have always supported their local LEOs (like me) are now being very upset by these dumb comments from the "brass", and if you don't disassociate yourself from their ridiculous stance, then you will bear the brunt of the discontent by the citizens you serve. It isn't gonna hurt the chief any... he's safe & sound behind that big desk. The law-abiding citizens that may be denied the right of self defense if this veto stands, will blame not only the "brass", but you too. Your job is much easier with the help of the people, but turn them against you (and make no mistake, this will), and not only does your job become more difficult without the public's support, but more dangerous as well. Your superiors are giving us a good screwing, but in the end, you'll get one too. I will have lost all respect for the officers of any department that publically opposes this law. It won't turn me into a criminal, but I'll not lift a finger to help them in any way. Why should I? They don't give a rat's ass about my family's safety, why should I care about theirs?
That depends on the situation. If the heads of departments and the governor are publically making statements that produce headlines like "Law Enforcement Opposed to Gun Law", and taking a public stand on an issue, and the rank and file majority do not support this statement or stance, then YES, you should speak out. You owe it to yourself, and to the citizens you swore an oath to protect & serve. Otherwise we are to assume you too oppose the law, because others have spoken for you, and claim you do. If there were no comments made one way or the other by your superior officers, then no, it's not necessary for you to say anything. If somebody's lying about your opinion, don't you want the truth known?
Of course you won't lose any sleep. Your family is well protected when you are with them and you're all away from home together... because you got yours, don't ya? Well, we don't have ours, and our families are vulnerable to attack. We don't like that, anymore than you would. You'd be amazed at how many otherwise law-abiding, upstanding citizens are packing a gun right now (including members of the Legislature). I'd think your superiors would rather see them get some decent training, than lock them up for protecting their families.
Agreed. Now you're being "misquoted" by your superiors, but you don't give a shit?
Too bad... we were just starting to have a decent debate.