Constitutional Carry Legislative Session Recap
Wisconsin –-(Ammoland.com)- As you all know, the Wisconsin legislature passed, and Governor Walker signed into law, a shall-issue type permit system last Friday.
A previous column has described that legislation and provided links to the law and legislative memo's addressing specific aspects of it.
After last fall's elections, Wisconsin Carry decided that given the pro-gun composition of the incoming legislation, a shall-issue type bill was a virtual certainty.
We took a position to put all of our effort into striving for a more freedom minded, smaller government, lower taxes form of carry called Constitutional Carry.
I would like to take this opportunity to share with you my perspective on this new law, what was accomplished in the past year, and Wisconsin Carry's plans for the future.
Regarding the current shall-issue law:
First and foremost, the right to carry is about being secure in your person and having the opportunity to protect yourself and your loved ones from the actions/attack of a criminal. Wisconsin's new law will expand the ability to exercise YOUR right to self defense from “open-carry only” with a lot of restrictions to a much more expansive ability to, with the permit, carry in the manner of YOUR choosing open or concealed. You may continue to open carry without a permit in the places you could open carry before the new law was passed. With the permit, you may open carry everywhere you will be able to conceal carry. Its unfortunate the legislature did not follow through on the republican party platform which supported constitutional carry. It is unfortunate that the human right to self-defense, exercised by the carry of a firearm will require a permit and a symbolic proof of training.
With all that said, LIVES WILL BE SAVED by this new law.
For that, it is a leviathan step forward.
After a decades old struggle for a sought-after legislative accomplishment like this, the line of people and groups willing to step up and claim to have been responsible for the achievement is long indeed.
We now have a “very good” shall-issue law. That said, with pro-gun majorities in the senate, assembly, and a pro-gun governor, a VERY GOOD shall-issue law was the least we could expect.
This step forward was made possible by the actions countless groups and individuals.
Despite our belief that this legislation was a very big step forward for Wisconsin, Wisconsin Carry does not believe that we deserve any credit for the current legislation. We will let other groups squabble over the spoils of victory. We shot for the stars with constitutional carry and our accomplishments over the past year are not reflected in this bill, but in the hearts and minds of people all over this state. Your accomplishments were reflected on TV, radio and newspapers where constitutional carry dominated much of the early coverage. Your accomplishments are reflected in the constitutional carry bill being authored, introduced, and passed out of committee.
I believe YOU deserve the credit for all that was accomplished this past year. If you picked up the phone to call a legislator, if you donated money that Wisconsin Carry used to print the 50,000 blaze orange “Constitutional Carry Legislative Initiative Flyers” that volunteers distributed to gun stores, gun shows, and sporting goods stores all over the state beginning last November… If you emailed your legislator, showed up to an event, donated money to our organization that we used for the radio commercials for Constitutional Carry we aired, or passed along the Const. Carry flyer from your member packet to a friend, you deserve credit for all that was accomplished in Wisconsin.
- ONE year ago in the early summer of 2010, I doubt that a single legislator in this state could have told you what “Constitutional Carry” was.
- ONE year ago I doubt a single news reporter for any major news media outlet (TV/Newspaper/Radio) could have told you what “Constitutional Carry” was.
Today, EVERY legislator in the state of Wisconsin knows exactly what Constitutional Carry is. Constitutional Carry made it out of committee and to the floor of the State Senate. Something that VERY few states other than those that have constitutional carry have accomplished. With one of the best shall-issue laws in the county AND the progress made educating legislators, news media, and the general public on Constitutional Carry, Wisconsin no longer languishes decades in the past.
As the rest of the country moves toward Constitutional Carry, because of YOUR efforts over the past year, we have a foundation to keep up with this trend. We did not make it to the other side of the mountain with Constitutional Carry, but we did bore the tunnel 90% of the way through. That progress remains.
When we founded Wisconsin Carry as a 100% volunteer organization in late 2009, I knew the greatest reward beyond preserving and expanding the right to carry would be the opportunity to meet and establish friendships with 1000's of fellow freedom minded patriots in Wisconsin. I am proud and humbled by all of YOUR actions over the past year and consider it a true treasure to have had the opportunity to meet so many of you and call you friends. We accomplished a great deal, but had we accomplished nothing, the chance to be in the company of so many patriots is a reward that will pay dividends forever.
I would like to take a few lines to specifically thank the freedom minded legislators in Wisconsin who stood strong for Constitutional Carry by co-authoring and co-sponsoring the original SB 93 Constitutional Carry Bill: These legislators deserve your highest appreciation. Wisconsin Carry will be recognizing them with a soon to be announced award to recognize their principled stand for freedom.
- Pam Galloway
- Glenn Grothman
- Neil Kedzie
- Mary Lazich
- Joe Leibham
- Terry Moulton
- Jim Holperin
- Leah Vukmir
- Rich Zipperer
- Dan Kapanke
- Jeff Mursau
- Joel Kleefisch
- Tyler August
- Paul Farrow
- Chris Kapenga
- Samantha Kerkman
- Steve Kestell
- Joe Knilans
- Dean Knudson
- Dale Kooyenga
- Bil Kramer
- Scott Krug
- Mike Kuglitsch
- Tom Larson
- Daniel LeMahieu
- John Murtha
- Stephen Nass
- Roger Rivard
- Erik Severson
- Jim Steineke
- Pat Strachota
- Gary Tauchen
- Jeremy Thiesfeldt
- Evan Wynn
If your legislators ARE on this list, please pass along your sincere appreciation. If your senator and representative isn't on this list, they must be educated to understand the efficacy of constitutional carry, or ultimately voted out in a primary with a more freedom minded legislator.
Where do we go from here: In the words of Thomas Jefferson, “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance”
Wisconsin Carry will continue its mission to preserve, advance, and expand the right to carry in the manner of YOUR choosing in Wisconsin. We will continue to use an “all of the above” approach to achieving our mission including future legislative activism, public relations efforts, civil lawsuits, and education. We expect to be announcing another lawsuit shortly and we have a number of other events in the works to advance the cause. Stay tuned!
In closing, I believe the horizon to achieve constitutional carry for Wisconsin is 5 years or less. When hundreds of thousands of law-abiding Wisconsinites have to pay another fee to renew their government permit to carry in 5 years there will be renewed motivation to move Wisconsin to a more freedom minded right to concealed carry in Constitutional Carry.
In most states 1 or 2 percent of the populations follows through to obtain their permit to carry. One of our goals in the upcoming years is to promote carry by law-abiding citizens to see double these percentages in Wisconsin. We seek to promote the “well regulated militia” that our founding fathers felt was so vitally important to a free and peaceful society.
Rights not exercised are rights lost. Each additional law-abiding person who we can encourage to begin to exercise their right to carry is another person who will be there to stand up for their freedoms and defend them from the incessant creep of big nanny government. The right to open carry that JB Van Hollen affirmed in April of 2009 gave us an opportunity to bring thousands of law-abiding citizens into the active carry movement. The ability to concealed carry that we will soon have gives us the opportunity to bring in hundreds of thousands more to the carry movement. Freedom is on a roll. On behalf of myself, the officers and board of directors of Wisconsin Carry, Inc., thank-you for all that you have done this past year and for all that we will do together in the future.
Carry On Wisconsin,Nik Clark Chairman – Wisconsin Carry, Inc.
P.O. Box 270403
Milwaukee, WI 53227
Wisconsin Carry, Inc. is a non-profit corporation dedicated to the preservation and reclamation of the rights of law-abiding Wisconsin residents to carry in the manner of their choosing. We believe that “open carry” and “concealed carry” are choices to be made by law-abiding citizens based on their situation and preference. Wisconsin Carry, like many gun-rights organizations in Wisconsin, is investing a great deal of resources to get Wisconsin law changed to allow concealed carry this next legislative session by proposing Constitutional Carry. Wisconsin Carry, Inc. will continue to use legal recourse to deter unlawful treatment of law-abiding Wisconsin residents who currently exercise their right to open carry, and soon will exercise their right to concealed carry in Wisconsin. Visit: www.wisconsincarry.org