Letter from the President

07/02/2019 9:27 am

Time for Constitutional Carry

It is time for Wisconsin to join 10 other states and allow our citizens to carry a concealed weapon without the need for a government issued permit. Under current law, any law abiding person is allowed to carry a gun as long as it is in open view – such as in a holster on their hip. But if a person decides to put their gun in a purse or throws on a jacket that covers up the gun, then they would be in violation of Wisconsin’s outdated concealed carry law.

Wisconsin has now had a Concealed Carry law for almost 6 years. And I think we can all agree that it has been everything that proponents said it would be and that basically none of the fears raised by opponents to the law have come true. There is not more violence in the streets involving concealed carry permit holders. There have not been more accidents involving permit holders. There have not been incidents deriving because our training requirements are not adequate.

Instead with no recognized downside, the 2011 law allowed thousands of Wisconsin voters and taxpayers to carry a concealed weapon as their choice – for personal safety or for whatever reason they decide. But, in order to enjoy this constitutionally protected right, they are required by state law to submit to a state bureaucratic tangle of requirements, pay a fee, and risk having their name in a government database.

It’s time to end the fees and the red tape. If it is my right to carry openly, it is equally my right to carry concealed. If I can carry concealed by paying the state a fee, the constitution should be followed and I should be able to carry concealed without paying a fee.

The only argument that I can imagine being brought up is, “well what about background checks and criminals carrying guns?” Guess what. Criminals already carry guns! As they can’t pass a background check, they just ignore the current law and carry anyway – concealed or openly. Nothing about constitutional carry will change that in any way. Those prohibited by current law from possessing a firearm – such as convicted felons – will still be prohibited from carrying.

The vast majority of Wisconsin’s 5 plus million citizens are law abiding folks. They are our neighbors, our friends, the guy who works at the convenience store, the woman who works late at the local grocery. Some of them might want or need to carry a firearm from time to time. It is not up to the government to deny them that right.

It’s time for Wisconsin lawmakers to recognize my constitutional right and pass Constitutional Carry.

Mike Stewart
President of Wisconsin FORCE, the NRA Chartered State Association

Click here to sign the Constitutional Carry Petition

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