WISCONSIN SENATE: Concealed weapons bill OK'd

If only Bob Taft were an elected Democrat.

The Saint Paul Pioneer Press
October 25, 2003

MADISON, Wis. — Wisconsin residents would be allowed to carry concealed weapons in public — except for such places as taverns, police station and schools — if they qualify for a permit under legislation the state Senate approved Friday.

The Senate voted 24-8 to overturn the state's 130-year-old ban on concealed weapons and sent the bill to the Assembly. It must be approved by both houses and signed by Gov. Jim Doyle (D) to become law.

The governor has already threatened to veto it, saying Wisconsin is one of the safest states in the nation in part because of the ban.

Overriding a veto requires a two-thirds vote by both houses of the Legislature, 22 votes in the Senate.

"It's unfortunate that instead of working around the clock to create jobs, the Republicans are working around the clock to allow people to carry concealed guns into Little League games, boys and girls clubs and near schools," Doyle said in a statement.

But Sen. David Zien, R-Eau Claire, said giving citizens the right to carry weapons would empower them to protect themselves and their neighbors. He also predicted it would lead to lower crime rates because people would fend off criminals, who would be more wary to attack people if they thought they could be armed.

"Common sense is on our side," Zien said.

Click here to read about how a Republican-dominated assembly acts when they have a Democrat in the governor's mansion.

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