Wisconsin Issues First CCW License, 80,000 Applications Downloaded in 9 Hours

Yesterday the state of Wisconsin started allowing people to download concealed carry permit applications from their website, becoming the latest state in the union to allow their citizens to protect themselves in ways previously reserved for police officers and politicians and leaving one lone holdout state (Illinois) completely forbidding their citizens this right. According to the Wisconsin Department of Justice, a normal day brings them 81,000 hits on their website. Yesterday they had 800,000 before the clock struck noon, and the permit applications started flooding in immediately. According to the Attorney General’s office the first permit was issued shortly after the doors open, and the lucky winner was…

Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen, the person in charge. Reports are circulating that he’s been proudly showing off his newly minted permit with “Permit #1″ stamped on it to the press like a hunter posing with his first kill. According to one report, the AG had this to say about sniping permit #1:

“We were careful in screening people for the first permits who were going to be understanding if the process didn’t flow smoothly,” he said. “Part of the reason why I went No. 1 was because if things went awry, who am I going to complain to?”

Who it was doesn’t really matter, but the fact that they began being issued on day 1 speaks volumes. From the horse’s mouth:

“This is a historic day for the state of Wisconsin,” Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen said.  “As a long-time supporter of Second Amendment rights, I’m encouraged to see people exercising this freedom, and they can rest assured we’ll do our best to process applications from qualified residents as quickly as we can.  I’m extremely proud of the DOJ employees who have worked to get people their licenses promptly and efficiently.”

Which bodes well for the thousands of people whose applications flooded their offices yesterday. According to the AG’s office over 120 licenses were granted by the end of the day on Tuesday (the first day permits were being processed).

The state law requires the Department of Justice to respond with either an approval or denial within 45 days, and unlike Fairfax and Arlington counties in Virginia (who routinely wait until the very last day of the mandated maximum time period for a response to mail the permit) the AG has stated that he will make the effort to get the permits issued as fast as he can.

If you live in Wisconsin and want one of these permits, your first stop should be this here website where the application is available.