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Conservatively Speaking

State Senator Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin) represents parts of four counties: Milwaukee, Waukesha, Racine, and Walworth. Her Senate District 28 includes New Berlin, Franklin, Greendale, Hales Corners, Muskego, Waterford, Big Bend, the town of Vernon and parts of Greenfield, East Troy, and Mukwonago. Senator Lazich has been in the Legislature for more than a decade. She considers herself a tireless crusader for lower taxes, reduced spending and smaller government.

Wisconsin's Conceal Carry Law

During June 2011, Wisconsin became the forty-ninth state to affirm citizens’ constitutional right to bear arms. Both houses of the state Legislature approved the bill with bipartisan majorities, and Governor Walker signed the bill into law July 8, 2011.

While the bill is signed and published, the law does not take effect until November 1, 2011. At that time, Wisconsin citizens at least 21 years of age may apply for a conceal carry permit.

Citizens wishing to carry a concealed weapon must satisfy a training requirement. Complying with the training requirement may include military, law enforcement, and security training that includes experience with firearms. Military veterans with honorable discharge or general discharge under honorable conditions, or completion of military basic training satisfy the training requirement. In addition, Department of Natural Resources (DNR) hunter education classes, similar programs provided in other states and recognized by the DNR, and/or a current or expired license to carry a firearm in another state or country may satisfy the training requirement.

Absent complying with the above-mentioned training requirements, there are several options to obtain training. Completing courses offered by law enforcement or a state or national organization that licenses firearms instructors satisfy the training requirement. In addition courses taught by a state or nationally-certified instructor, and firearms safety and training courses offered to law enforcement officers or owners and employees of private detective and security firms satisfy the training requirement.

Citizens wishing to obtain a concealed carry permit must apply to the Department of Justice (DOJ). The DOJ is expected to have website applications available November 1, 2011. The cost to apply for the permit will not be more than $50, and the permit is effective for five years.

Citizens with conceal carry permits may carry concealed firearms with some limitations. Firearms are not allowed in police stations, prisons, courthouses, and are not allowed on school grounds. If alcohol beverages are not consumed, citizens with concealed carry permits may carry a handgun into a tavern. Private businesses and employers may ban firearms from their premises.

For more detail about Wisconsin’s concealed carry law, the DOJ has a 56-page question and answer document available online at www.doj.state.wi.us/dles/cib/concealedcarry/ccw_frequently_asked_questions.pdf.

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