Concealed Carry in Wisconsin
This section may not be of interest to those who reside
outside of this state.
There is presently no provision in Wisconsin for concealed
carry, at least not for those who are not part of the government, or well
connected. Open carry is permissible for sportsmen, farmers, and landowners,
out in the countryside. Even in these places, however, concealed carry
is prohibited. There is no legal way for the citizen to carry, openly or
concealed, in the large cities. Though open carry is not specifically illegal,
the authorities have a great deal of discretion in charging the armed citizen.
Walking through Milwaukee, Madison, Racine, Kenosha, or any other fairly
large city, will subject the openly armed citizen to arrest for disorderly
conduct, disturbing the peace, or any number of other vague charges. What
the openly armed citizen will not be charged with, is carrying a weapon,
since there is no law against this, as long as the weapon is not concealed.
Carrying concealed in Wisconsin, is a misdemeanor,
punishable by a fine of $200 (though I have heard that this is to be raised
to $500). The charges apply equally to carry of a knife, gun, club, or
any other article designed to serve as a weapon. Until recently, the prohibition
also applied to pepper spray, though this was changed a few years ago.
We have now been deemed to be sufficiently trustworthy to be permitted
to carry spray, though not yet up to the level to be allowed lethal weapons.
As always, the argument is that if people are not allowed to carry guns,
there will be few violent crimes. This is an old argument, often presented
by those in power, while attempting to justify the disarmament of the public.
It has yet to be borne out by the facts. There is the equally old counter
argument that, for those willing to commit murder, robbery, rape, and other
heinous crimes, the prospect of a ticket for concealed carry is hardly
a deterrent, even if it involves a night in jail. This would seem to be
a purely subjective matter, with individuals taking sides on the issue,
according to their personal beliefs. Though there would seem to be no absolute
facts, it should be noted that in the state of Wisconsin, Milwaukee has
had a rapid increase in the numbers of homicides, despite an anti gun police
chief, mayor, and council. On the other hand, the northern areas of the
state are quite tolerant of firearms, and have little violent crime. It
should be further noted that during hunting season, when thousands of armed
hunters fill the woods, and small towns of the north, there is virtually
no serious crime.
Wisconsin has a strange, contradictory set of laws regarding firearms.
It is one of only two states in the nation with no
provision at all for citizen concealed carry. Aside from this, there are few restrictions
on firearms. Class 3 weapons are not restricted here, nor are the so called
Saturday Night Specials. A preemption law prohibits local communities from
burdening their citizens with restrictive laws, and there are no licensing
requirements for gun purchases, or gun owners. Gun shows here are popular,
and remain relatively unmolested, unlike those of many other states. We
also have one of the shortest waiting periods in the nation, for the purchase
of a handgun, only two days. People living in the country are free to carry
and shoot, on their property, and hunters are allowed to carry out in the
field, and in whatever towns see fit not to harass them. Other than the
open sore of Milwaukee, and the liberal nether world of Madison, Wisconsin
is an extremely conservative, and outdoor oriented state. Michigan has
a similar situation regarding the pustule known as Detroit. In both cases
there are limited areas of sepsis affecting the well being of an otherwise
healthy state. Similar statements could be made about Illinois and Chicago,
California and Los Angeles, New York, Washington DC, and anyplace where
the powers that be have set themselves up over a dysfunctional, but large
and concentrated, population.
Several years ago, in my home town of Milwaukee, there was an
epidemic of convenience store robberies. These were armed robberies, and
a clerk was killed during one of them. This is not exactly unusual these
days, and has apparently become, yet another thing, that we are supposed
to accept, as a part of living in a major urban area. So normal has this
type of thing become, that it is considered wrong to take any action, against
it, other than caution. Of course, this type of thing is more easily said
than done. It is interesting to note that those who most strongly admonish
us not to take any action, particularly of the violent type, in our own
protection, tend to be the sort of people who are in politics, law enforcement,
or some other well connected line. These people tend to be well insulated,
and well protected from the condition into which their municipalities have
been allowed to fall. Even where they have not yet passed oppressive laws,
to keep the people in check, they often manage to make the current laws
serve their needs. Such has been the case here in Milwaukee.
A number of storekeepers armed themselves, in response
to the threat. Inevitably (and happily, as far as I am concerned), a robber
was killed, while trying to stick up a convenience store. The story could
not have been more typical, or more indicative of why crime is so rampant
in these "enlightened" times. The robber had recently been let out of custody,
and was on probation for, of all things, armed robbery, when he was shot.
The man had literally just been let out, a few days previous to the happy
occasion of his removal from civilized society. In any reasonable culture,
this type of thing would be considered as a desirable outcome. A criminal
who makes his living by putting his own life, as well as the lives of decent,
working people, in danger, has had his career ended, and will no longer
be a threat to the rest of us. Though the people who embark upon this lifestyle,
have chosen to put their lives in danger, their victims have not. The man
who ended this walking crime spree was a simple store clerk, a line of
work which, unlike the profession of armed robbery, should not normally
Far be it from the anti gunners, and pandering politicians
to leave well enough alone. The maggots which generally feast on this type of refuse, needing it for
their sustenance, soon gathered in numbers and began to feed. The man's
store was picketed. The police chief and mayor both commented on how unfortunate
the situation was, and there were accusations of racism, because the felon
who was shot, happened to be black. In contrast to this, I noticed that
there was no march, no picketing, and no outrage over the earlier death of a
convenience store clerk, killed during a robbery. The only comment from
the police chief, regarding the death of the store clerk, was the usual
one given in such matters: "No leads, and no suspects." As for the activists,
and marchers, I can only say that hard work, success and self reliance
has little need of social activists, and therefore holds little attraction
The store owner was clearly in the right, so much
so, that he was never brought to trial. Even so, he was constantly harassed
by anti gun do gooders, and by the police, who would often show up to search
his store. The police seemed particularly upset that the man was able to
protect his property, and remove a criminal from the streets. These would
seem to be two things which are the Provence of the local police, and which
they seem woefully inadequate at accomplishing. They did, however, have
no trouble accomplishing the harassment, and eventual arrest of the store
owner, on weapons charges. On one of their many uninvited visitations,
they found a gun under the counter, which they deemed to be "concealed".
What a triumph. Had the police given this store the same level of attention,
previous to the robbery, it is unlikely the robbery would have ever occurred.
Had there been a provision for concealed carry, there would have been nothing
with which to charge the man. As things stand now, the police are not able
to protect us, but seem perfectly able and willing to prevent us from protecting
The provision for a concealed carry permit in Wisconsin,
has been introduced at every state assembly for years. In every case, the
votes were there, in both houses of the state legislature. In every case,
the Governor, first Thompson, and presently McCallum, would have signed
the bill into law. In every case, the bill was destined to become law.
Unfortunately, in every case, the bill was prevented from coming to the
floor for a vote, by the efforts of a single legislator. Chuck Chvala has
led a crusade of his own to preempt the wishes of the majority of the legislature,
as well as those of the majority of the citizenry of the state. As well
as impairing the functioning of representative government, the efforts
of Chvala have are flying in the face of the State Constitution. The Constitution
of the State of Wisconsin has been amended to include the following:
Article I, §25
Right to keep and bear arms.
Section 25. [As created Nov. 1998] The people have the right to keep and
bear arms for security, defense, hunting, recreation or any other lawful
[1995 J.R. 27, 1997 J.R. 21, vote November 1998]
This amendment reaffirmed, and clarified the legal
status of firearms in the State of Wisconsin. Being an amendment to the
State Constitution, it needed to be passed by a two thirds majority in
both houses of the legislature, and also had to be signed by the Governor.
Previous to this, the measure had to pass a state referendum. If there
is any doubt about public support of this amendment, it should be noted
that the measure passed the referendum by a vote of 73% to 27%. In the
wake of this overwhelming wave of public support, a preemption measure
was passed, forbidding localities from intruding more stringent laws upon
citizens of the State. Chuck Chvala opposed this measure, but was unable
to hold it up in committee, something he has consistently been able to
do with Wisconsin's proposed CCW permit.
Early in 2002, there was yet another CCW bill introduced.
As usual, it was stalled in committee by comrade Chvala. There actually
was chance that the measure would pass this time, because it was an election
year. The same people who voted three to one in favor of less restrictions
on firearms ownership, and use, would soon be going to vote on the representatives
to be sent to the state capitol. It had been hoped that self interest would
move legislators to do what civic duty would not. Once past the political
hacks democrats put in charge of the committees, the bill was almost certain
to pass. It had a majority support in both houses, and the Governer
would have signed it. Those who opposed it would then have to return home
to face the voters in an election year.
Comrades Chvla and Risser saved their fellow liberals
the risk of the vote by refusing to let the measure gain the floor, even
after it passed committee. This is typical liberal democrat politics, and
should not have come as a surprise to anyone. Chvala and a number of his
democrat crony's are out of office, and presently seeking to stay out of prison for numerous felonies, and instances of influence peddling (I am shocked,
shocked I tell you!). It seems that our democrats were emulating our democrat
neighbors to the south, and had set up a crooked machine in the image of
that of our (also notoriously anti gun) chicago friends. I presume it is
only coincidence that so many of the anti gun liberals also tend to be
criminal friendly, or is it a feeling of kinship? It sometimes seems as
if the democrats are loyally seeking to advance the interest of their own
class, that being the criminal class. This would explain much.
There are several local grass roots organizations supporting the
measure, as well as some aid from the NRA. On the other side, are the usual
forces of firearms intolerance, such as HCI. These are being joined by the
Wisconsin Bar Association (who's members are allowed to carry), as well as a
number of police chiefs, and district attorneys (who are also allowed to carry).
It seems as if these are simply groups of the privileged fighting to retain
their perquisites. Though the police chiefs generally oppose carry for regular
citizens, the rank and file, overwhelmingly do not. Unlike the politically
appointed police chiefs, most of the rank and file officers actually work for a
living, and are exposed to the effects of crime on the citizenry every day. They
have been thrown a bone, of sorts, by the politicians, in the form of a bill
which has given all current and retired police officers a permit to carry
through out the nation. This is clearly an attempt to appeal to self interest,
and it is unfortunate that it passed. Though I have no problem, with police
officers, and former police officers being allowed to carry firearms, the bill
has created yet another privileged group, apart from the rest of us.