At 2:45 this morning, the State Assembly amended and passed SB214, the
Personal Protection Act concealed carry bill, by a margin of 64 to 35 votes.
57 of 59 Republicans voted for the bill. Republican Representatives Olsen
and Townsend voted against it.
Assembly Democrats who voted for the bill were Representatives Gronemus,
Schneider, Sherman, Steinbrink, Van Akkeren, Vruwink, and Wayne Wood.
Opponents of the bill drafted over 70 amendments to try to kill the bill.
One amendment would have restricted concealed carry to one's home or
business, and nowhere else. Representative David Cullen (D-Milwaukee) wanted
to have an amendment that would prohibit carry in the city of Milwaukee.
One amendment to the bill would have made carrying in a prohibited place a
felony, instead of a minor misdemeanor under the current bill. Wander into
the wrong place by accident, and lose your right to vote and own guns.
Representative Spencer Black (D-Madison) tried to add an amendment that
would make it a crime to walk within 1,000 feet of a school if you were
carrying concealed, an act that's pretty hard to avoid if you live or work
within 1/5th of a mile of a school.
One opponent--again, Representative Spencer Black (D-Madison)-- actually
claimed that a concealed carry permit holder might shoot a nuclear reactor,
resulting in a nuclear meltdown that would endanger the state or the nation.
If you as a law-abiding gunowner aren't insulted by their claims that you'll
destroy our country and kill our children if allowed to carry, you darned
well should be.
If adopted, any or all of the above amendments would have made concealed
carry permits absolutely useless, since the amendments would ban carry
In order to gain the support of certain legislators, Representative
Gunderson offered the following amendments: reciprocity with other states
will be determined by the Department of Justice based on those states having
similar training requirements; stun guns will not be allowed under the
concealed carry bill without special training; tear gas will not be allowed
under the bill (mere possession of tear gas is already prohibited under
current state law, not to mention the Geneva Convention's rules of warfare);
restaurants that serve alcohol will be off-limits for concealed carry;
healthcare facilities will be off-limits for concealed carry.
The bill must now go back to the senate to reconcile the two versions of the
The closeness of today's vote--and the concessions that needed to be made--
underscore just how important it is that all gunowners keep pressure on
their legislators. We need to make sure that at least four of the six Senate
Democrats who voted for the bill on October 24th will not change their
votes. And we need to keep every member of the Assembly on our side, and put
pressure on those representatives who--every election--claim to be for the
"rights of hunters and sportsmen." The right to keep and bear arms has
nothing to do with shooting ducks or deer or geese or clays or tin cans or
paper targets. It has everything to do with the right to keep and bear the
arms with which to do so.
Whether or not we win depends upon the number of gunowners calling and
writing their legislators. We are now within inches of the goal line, and we
cannot afford to let up.
If you don't know who your legislator is, go to
http://www.legis.state.wi.us/waml and enter your address and town. Your
friends without internet access can call 1-800-362-9472 (9am to 5pm) and
they'll be transferred to their legislators' offices.
If you've already written, call. If you've already called, call again. Get
everyone you know to call.
Again, if we do not win this fight in the next few weeks, it will be at
least 2007 before the bill will be introduced again. If Governor Doyle wins
re-election in 2006, then we may not see the bill introduced again until
Also again, this is not just about people carrying concealed handguns. It's
about people in rural areas who are now law-breakers because they carry
their buck knives in their pockets. It's about rifle and shotgun shooters
who carry their cased longguns on the passenger seat of their trucks. It's
about all of us as gunowners and law-abiding citizens.
This year, citizens in Wisconsin have gotten closer to having legal
concealed carry than at any time in history. Now let's finish the job by
The Wisconsin Concealed Carry Association
those amendments piss me off, watered down
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