How the proposed Permitless Gun Carry bill (SB 169 / AB 247) would change Wisconsin law
The proposed “permitless gun carry” bill would wipe out our current, reasonable regulations of public gun carrying. Specifically, this dangerous bill would:
• Eliminate the current requirement for training and a background check prior to carrying a concealed weapon
• Eliminate Wisconsin’s current gun-free school zones law, allowing guns on school grounds and in school buildings unless signs have been posted
• Mandate that schools must allow guns in cars parked or traveling on school property
• Reduce the penalty for illegally carrying firearms in school zones from a felony to a misdemeanor or a fine
• Reduce the minimum age requirement to conceal and carry a loaded weapon from 21 to 18
Wisconsinites don’t support permitless gun carrying
Wisconsinites know passing such a law is a bad idea.
• A January 2017 poll conducted by Survey USA found that 91% of Wisconsinites – including 86% of gun owners – support the current law requiring a mandatory permitting process that includes background checks and training.
• In addition, a poll conducted in March and April 2017 by the Pew Research Center found that 81% of Americans are opposed to the notion of allowing concealed carry without a permit, including the two-thirds of Americans who are strongly opposed.
The impact on Wisconsinites
Permitless gun carrying puts everyone in the community at risk by allowing just about anyone to carry a loaded gun in public places, no questions asked.
• Recklessly, the proposed bill could make Wisconsin more dangerous by eliminating the screening process that now occurs when adults apply for concealed carry permits. For example, since 2011, thousands of concealed carry permits were denied or invalidated specifically because the applicant could not pass a background check or had violated state or federal laws.
• Unfortunately, since the 2011 law that legalized concealed gun carrying in our state, firearm suicide and homicide rates have increased, not decreased.
Instead of weakening our gun laws by eliminating the requirement for a permit, background check, and training, Wisconsin should strengthen our current laws.
Recent research has found that concealed carry laws like the one currently on the books in Wisconsin, so-called “right to carry” laws, are associated with smaller decreases in violent crime than in states without these types of laws. These states also tend to have higher and higher rates of violent crime over time after passing “right to carry” laws than would have been expected based on their prior crime rates. On average, five years after passing the law, the average “right to carry” state has an aggregate violent crime rate around 7% higher than expected. After 10 years, the average state’s rate is nearly 15% higher than expected. The concealed carry law itself is found to have caused the higher rates.
For more information on permitless gun carry and guns in schools issues, please visit:
Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research Concealed Carry of Firearms: Fact vs. Fiction
The Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence Concealed Weapons Permitting
The Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence/Americans for Responsible Solutions Permitless Concealed Carry Fact Sheet
The Center for American Progress Keeping Wisconsin Schools and Campuses Safe
Everytown for Gun Safety Concealed Handguns in Public with No Permit/Guns in Elementary, Middle, and High Schools Wisconsin Fact Sheet
Everytown for Gun Safety Permitless Carry Facts
Everytown for Gun Safety Guns in Elementary, Middle and High Schools Facts