After gaining traction in several states last legislative session, permitless carry is now picking up steam in Wisconsin.
Earlier this week, a Senate committee voted along party lines to pass SB 169, which removes the licensing requirement for those who want to carry a concealed firearm for self-defense. The National Rifle Association is strongly supporting the measure.
The bill was introduced earlier this year by state Sen. David Craig and state Rep. Mary Felzkowski, and boasts 39 co-sponsors.
“We already give people the ability to openly carry a firearm without a license,” Sen. Craig said in a statement when announcing the legislation. “With this bill, law-abiding citizens will have the same right to carry discreetly that they currently have to carry openly.
“If you decide to throw on a coat, you should not be considered a criminal.”
Twelve states—Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia and Wyoming—have already adopted permitless carry laws, often referred to as “constitutional carry” laws because they expressly affirm the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.
In truth, the Wisconsin legislation simply recognizes a law-abiding adult’s unconditional right to keep and bear arms for self-defense in the manner he or she chooses …Permitless carry denotes legal recognition of the choice to carry a firearm (usually a handgun) without a special permit. Anyone not specifically prohibited from carrying a sidearm would thereby be free to exercise their right to arms without navigating yards of red tape and paying restrictive fees.
In practice, concealed carry is the main point at issue in the battle currently being waged in Wisconsin and across the nation. Many of the states that have drafted legislation in support of permitless concealed carry already extend such a right to open carry. In fact, 30 states already recognize the right to carry a handgun openly without a permit—a fact that you’ll seldom hear from those opposing permitless carry legislation.
In truth, the Wisconsin legislation simply recognizes a law-abiding adult’s unconditional right to keep and bear arms for self-defense in the manner he or she chooses, while doing away with government licensing and taxing of a constitutional right. Consider that there were only six states that recognized permitless carry on Jan. 1, 2016, compared to the 12 that have such laws now.
SB 169 now heads to the full Wisconsin Senate for consideration. If the measure is passed by the legislature and signed into law, Wisconsin would become the 13th state to not mandate permits for carrying a concealed firearm for self-defense.
As with most states considering permitless carry, Wisconsin would leave the current permitting system in effect for those who wish to acquire permits in order to participate in reciprocity agreements with other states.
Mark Chesnut has been the editor of America’s 1st Freedom magazine for 17 years and is an avid hunter, shooter and political observer.
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Wisconsin gun owners are encouraged to contact their state senator and ask him or her to support constitutional carry in the Badger State. You can contact your senator by clicking here.