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Thread: January WI vote on Concealed Carry Fails

  1. #1
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    http://www.wrn.com/gestalt/go.cfm?objectid=E8B4EDA3-E8C1-4A4E-85243B500A061638

    Wisconsin is one step closer to allowing law-abiding citizens to carry concealed weapons. The author of Senate Bill 214 -- The Personal Protection Act -- says the vote to overturn the governor's veto is by far a great victory for the citizens of Wisconsin. The Senate voted this morning 23-10, only 22 votes were needed. State Senator Dave Zien (R-Eau Claire) says the state's 130-year ban could go away. "Yeah. One hundred thirty years. Can you imagine if we could have reduced crime each year for 130 years? From this point forward, when this law passes, that's an eight percent decrease in violent crime per year. There's been violent crime in the last 130 years. It's too bad we wouldn't have thought of this before. There might have been a lot fewer victims of violent crime out there."

    Zien's thrilled with the vote, but understands the full Assembly must override the Governor's veto before concealed carry becomes law. That vote should come next week sometime. "But the bottom line is, we're waiting until next week. We're asking people to hope and pray and to work with their legislators that we have the votes in the Assembly. This will be a law. Four months from the date it's signed, it's law."

    Zien stresses, the vote passed without debate. "This is a great victory for Wisconsin, but we are humbled. Did you notice there were no big floor speeches. We were very discrete. We did not want to shove it in anybody's face. Of course it was 23-10. Five Senate Democrats who voted with us before voted with us today. One jumped, flip-flopped, but that's his conscience."

    It's been a long time since the last override in Wisconsin. It was the mandatory helmet law in 1978. Zien had his hand in that, too, as Vice President of the Better Bikers Association, which kick started that override. The Assembly must get 66 votes to make concealed carry in Wisconsin a reality.

    Snipped from: http://www.cnsnews.com/ViewPolitics.asp?Page=/Politics/archive/200402/POL20040205a.html

    Tuesday's 65-34 vote was just one vote short of the necessary two-thirds needed to override Gov. Jim Doyle's veto.

    The vote was "a slap in the face and a sucker punch to the safety of every Wisconsin resident," said Joe Waldron, executive director of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA).

    Waldron singled out Rep. Gary Sherman, a National Rifle Association member and a Democrat, who just three months ago voted in favor of the concealed carry law. But on Tuesday, Sherman switched his vote -- "to protect his governor and what limited power the minority Assembly Democrats have," one newspaper quoted him as saying.

    "Sherman's vote switch, placing the interests of Jim Doyle and his anti-gun Democrat cronies above public safety and the citizens' constitutional rights, was despicable, and should be remembered when he runs for re-election," Waldron said.

    Gov. Doyle thanked "courageous" lawmakers for helping him keep Wisconsin's 130-year-old ban on concealed weapons in place. He said the law is good for the state. "I did not want kids in this state going into crowded shopping malls or playgrounds with a lot of people walking around with loaded guns in their pockets," the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel quoted him as saying.


    Snipped from: http://www.gunguys.com/?p=673

    Rep. John Steinbrink, D-Pleasant Prairie, and Rep. Terry Van Akkeren, D-Sheboygan, who both originally voted for the bill, said after the razor-thin vote that restrictions in the legislation aimed at protecting people wouldn't do the job and might be dropped later by Republicans.

    Van Akkeren said in a written statement that he was responding to concerns of law enforcement officials in his district. "Recently, I met again with Sheboygan Police Chief David Kirk and Sheboygan County Sheriff Mike Helmke" and other local police chiefs, he said. "They were in unison in their opposition to SB 403, saying that this bill 'is not workable.'"

    Van Akkeren and Steinbrink said they previously had supported the bill with a compromise amendment that added additional protections, such as limiting blood-alcohol content to .02 for those carrying a weapon and requiring training every five years.

    But Van Akkeren said the amendment failed to address all his concerns. For instance, he said an undue hardship would be placed on business owners who did not want guns on their premises. They would have been required not only to post entrances with signs prohibiting concealed weapons, but they also would have had to tell customers verbally about that prohibition.

    Steinbrink said that he was worried by statements by Sen. Dave Zien, R-Eau Claire, author of the bill in the Senate, that the bill might be tinkered with later to loosen restrictions. "Unfortunately, a number of pro-gun groups never embraced that compromise and an author of the bill has announced his intention to modify the language in future sessions if passed," Steinbrink said. He especially feared that regular training would no longer be required.

    But Rep. Scott Gunderson, R-Waterford, who authored the bill in the Assembly, did not doubt the political reasons for the vote changes. "Representatives Van Akkeren and Steinbrink have always supported this bill. For them to flip based on politics is quite sickening," Gunderson said. "They both truly believe in this legislation. They have both created a problem with their constituents."

    'There are consequences': Rep. Gary Sherman, D-Port Wing, who switched his vote in 2004 to prevent a veto override, told The Capital Times in December that the override would also fail this time, and not by just one vote. Asked Tuesday how he knew, Sherman denied that there was any arrangement. "We talk," he said.

    Sherman, who was re-elected after his vote change, said that if Van Akkeren and Steinbrink continued to work hard for constituents and put a bit more effort into re-election, that they would have no problem, despite the efforts of gun supporters.

    But Andrew Arulanandam, director of public affairs for the National Rifle Association in Washington, D.C., said this morning in a phone interview that the NRA would work to defeat legislators who voted against the override and the governor who vetoed the bill.

    Jeri Bonavia, executive director of the Wisconsin Anti-Violence Effort, said after the vote that the vast majority of Wisconsin residents oppose the carrying of concealed weapons. "The gun lobby and their favorite legislators are blinded by an extremist belief that more hidden, loaded handguns in public will make us safer," Bonavia said. Gunderson pledged that the fight for a concealed carry law would not stop with the override defeat. "We are one of only four states that has no concealed carry law," he said.


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    Comment: Odd how Doyle can use the "line-item veto" to construct new laws, yet Democrats consider possible later changes to a law "tinkering." I think that what they feared is not that training might not be required, but that the government would not have a list of everyone who carries carrying a gun.

    Of course, Jeri is wrong on all counts. Our violence is high, and gun related deaths even higher, thanks to gang activity. The vast majority of WI residents support the right to carry, open or concealed, and WI and IL are the only two states that have no concealed carry law (although some may-issue states are actually no-issue states, like CA).

  2. #2
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    I hope you folks in WI start open carrying and get some news stories going ASAP. Warm weather means time to OC.

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    All this is 4 years old, ancient history in political terms. Some of our past friends, like Zien, are gone.

    We need to move forward with new tactics.

    First of all, with a Democrat controlled Senate, a Democrat Governor, and only a small majority for Republicans in the Assembly, we are not going to get any CCW law to pass, much less override a veto.

    However, the last election tipped the State Supreme Court to a 4-3 conservative edge. Now may be the time to take more gun issues to them.

    Specifically, open carry:

    *State statutes do not outlaw open carry
    *State law specifically mandates where, when and how weapons can not be carried, therefore it infers that open carry is legal
    *The wording of the Disorderly Conduct statute does not fit the activity of open carry
    *Open carry is therefore legal, mandated by the law, and, most importantly, protected by the state constitution.

    Having a ruling like that would be our greatest triumph. Especially the last part. The legislature cannot pass a law against an activity the SSC has ruled to be constitutionally protected.

    While we here know that open carry is legal, a supreme court ruling would allow some of those who are still nervous about it to relax, and we'd get more people doing it. :celebrate

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    Yeah, that's kind of odd it pulled up in my search for current news (and I missed the year--sorry). Like you said, we just need to get a well-represented case to the WI Supreme Court for them to hear, and get a good decision.

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