Two amendments to a cops-only carry bill advancing in the Wisconsin legislature — Assembly Bill 9 — have been offered, causing some to suggest the bill advances concealed carry rights.
However, the legislation is supported by major police organizations — some that fought bitterly against any form of concealed carry. Why?
Is the bill truly an advancement of carry rights, as advocates claim? Or are gun rights activists being hoodwinked by smooth-talking state politicians?
A Look at the Amendments
The first amendment (Amendment 1) to AB9 would allow CCW permit holders to carry on school grounds, provided those properties were not posted (as decided by the school board). This is a good thing.
The other amendment (Amendment 2) would limit the police private property exemption to school grounds. This is not a good thing. Reason: It limits the police exemptions but keeps them in place; we don’t want the police to have any exemptions.
The solution is to introduce clean stand-alone legislation, rather than trying to throw lipstick on an anti-gun pig.
What is the Real Issue Here?
Amendments 1 and 2 are sugar-coating the underlying problem.
Legislation can be sponsored at any time that does everything the good amendment (Amendment 1) would accomplish, while scrapping AB9 — effectively getting rid of the anti-gun substance of the bill (making Amendment 2 unnecessary).
The institutional gun lobby would likely support that, too, but by accepting the first thing tossed at them they are not likely to want to pressure legislators now for better legislation.
We can improve Wisconsin’s current concealed carry law by introducing a clean bill that does everything the good amendment on the table does, but without advancing cops-only carry.
Rather than accepting an anti-gun bill with amendments, encourage Rep. Kleefisch and other legislators to introduce a carry-on-school grounds bill modeled after Amendment 1 of AB9.
Off-duty and retired cops should be able to carry on school grounds — because they’re lawful citizens just like you and me … not because they’re the police.
About the Author: Corey Graff is the executive director of Wisconsin Gun Owners, Inc. (WGO), a pro-gun activist, and a life-long gun owner from Wisconsin.