I was starting to feel pessimistic about things last week, but Krueser's pleading for a republican to vote against the override, Doyle's veto on a Friday evening without press coverage, the current scandels in the Doyle administration and the Milwaukee mayor's statement are all causing me to be hopelul about tomorrow. www.jsonline.com/news/metro/jan06/388528.asp
Gun bill likely to be law, lawmakers say
Barrett, others expect override of Doyle veto
By MEGAN TWOHEY
Posted: Jan. 29, 2006
West Allis - Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and two Democratic state lawmakers came together Sunday to put up a last-minute fight against a bill that would legalize the carrying of concealed weapons in Wisconsin. But they acknowledged that even with their protests, the legislation would likely become law.
"The possibility is very, very strong that by the end of this week, people will be able to carry concealed guns in Wisconsin," said Barrett, who spoke outside State Fair Park with Reps. Jon Richards of Milwaukee and Tony Staskunas of West Allis.
On Thursday, the Republican-controlled state Senate voted to override a veto of the bill by Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle. On Tuesday, the Assembly will decide whether to do the same.
The Assembly passed the bill in December by a vote of 63-32 - short of the two-thirds majority needed for an override. But a Republican was missing, and a seat that was open at the time has since been filled by a GOP supporter of the bill.
While Democratic leaders have said they are confident that two of six Democrats who supported the legislation would change their votes, Barrett and Richards did not sound optimistic.
"We're here today to talk about a bill that is about to become law," said Richards. The mayor and lawmakers were joined by Don Smiley, president and CEO of Milwaukee World Festivals Inc., who said he opposed the bill.
Under the bill, people 21 and older would be allowed to carry concealed weapons after passing a course, provided they had not been convicted of felonies or certain misdemeanors, such as for domestic violence. Among the places people would be able to carry firearms are the grounds of State Fair Park and Summerfest.
Instead of opening up the way for people to carry concealed weapons, Barrett said, the Legislature should be working to rid Wisconsin of illegal guns.
"We do not need more guns in Milwaukee," he said. "This bill will likely increase the number of people getting killed."
State Sen. Dave Zien (R-Eau Claire), an author of the bill, dismissed Sunday's criticism of the bill, insisting that all Wisconsin residents would be safer if they were able to carry concealed weapons.
"There is an angelic factor," he said. "The criminals will be less likely to commit a crime because they will suspect that the person who they're targeting might have a weapon."
Zien said he expected the Assembly to override Doyle's veto this week.
"It will be great seeing them eat crow when this law is passed," he said of the bill's critics.
"44's on location, assuming command. Start me another rig, a heavy rescue, and a big titted blonde."