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Wisconsin: Concealed carry is a right

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Unread 05.25.11, 10:41 AM
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Wisconsin: Concealed carry is a right

Posted: 05.25.11 01:58 AM

In the May 17th edition, the Daily Herald published an open letter from Paul Nelles regarding the concealed carry legislation. As the sponsor of this legislation, I would like to respond to this letter.
I am very sorry for the loss of the Marathon County Deputy Sheriff Jeffrey Sheets in 1994. Unfortunately, this tragedy is another example of the inappropriate use of a firearm that is being brought up either intentionally or unintentionally to misrepresent the issue. This tragic event has nothing to do with the proposed concealed carry legislation, which allows law-abiding citizens to carry a concealed weapon.
I decided to introduce both the Right to Carry and the Personal Protection Act because I believe strongly in our Second Amendment rights, conferred to us by the United States Constitution. I believe that law-abiding Wisconsin citizens are trustworthy and responsible enough to exercise their right to protect themselves and their loved ones from harm. While opponents of these bills may disagree, I do not believe that our citizens will be the exception to the rule of responsibility set by the citizens of the other 48 states that allow concealed carry.
The Right to Carry bill eliminates the current prohibitions against law-abiding citizens carrying concealed firearms. Under this bill, citizens would be able to exercise their constitutional right and freedom to carry a concealed weapon without having to obtain a permit. There are four states which allow constitutional carry: Alaska, Arizona, Vermont and Wyoming. There are more than a dozen states considering this measure, from Colorado and Kentucky to Iowa and Maine. It's time that this issue is brought up for a thoughtful debate, and I hope that people are taking time to examine this issue.
The Personal Protection Act allows citizens to get a five-year license from the Department of Justice to carry a concealed weapon. As many of you know, in prior legislative sessions, this proposal passed in the Legislature but was vetoed by Governor Doyle--attempts at an override fell short. This bill is a "shall issue" bill, which means the Legislature establishes uniform, statewide standards for who may obtain a license to carry a firearm.
Both versions of these bills prohibit carrying guns in police stations, sheriff's offices, jails, prisons, beyond security checkpoints at airports, as well as county, state and federal courthouses. Employers can prohibit employees from carrying on the job or into the workplace. If you are a private business owner, you can post your prohibition on your property, as you would a no-smoking sign. This also applies to public and private colleges and universities.
To set the record straight, there are 48 states in this country which currently allow citizens to carry concealed firearms for self defense. No states have repealed "shall issue" carry license laws, and all the doomsday predictions of the laws' opponents never materialized.
The bottom line is Wisconsin residents have for too long been denied their right to self defense. We already know that criminals carry guns regardless of the laws on the books, and they use these weapons against law-abiding citizens. It's time for violent criminals in this state to think twice before they assault their next victim.
Sen. Pam Galloway, R-Wausau, represents the 29th Senate District.



www.wausaudailyherald.com.
Source: http://www.nraila.org/News/Read/InTheNews.aspx?ID=15157
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