I attended the University of Wisconsin, Madison for both my undergraduate and graduate degrees. I was on the pistol team for most of my undergraduate career, but I was only eligible for one year as a graduate student. While the university rules were hostile to firearms ownership in the 1970s, the social atmosphere was fairly accepting. I kept a pistol, rifle, and shotgun in my dorm room. Only later did I learn . . .
I was in violation of the rules; everyone knew I had them, including the dorm house-fellow, who was nominally responsible for enforcing the rules. Perhaps the fact that I was an ROTC cadet, and on the pistol team made a difference. Wisconsin didn’t have a permit system, as such, back then.
What existed was the dollar-a -ear deputy. It was, in effect, a “may issue” permit system. If you could convince your sheriff that you could be trusted, he deputised you, gave you a card proclaiming the fact, and made you a deputy sheriff. The “dollar-a-year” label came from the joke that that was the nominal pay for the position.
Voila! You could now carry concealed weapons.
A member of the woman’s pistol team became a good friend of mine. She was in graduate school and had learned to shoot in England. When she entered the Wisconsin system, she convinced the Sheriff to give her a deputy card. She told him that she was going to carry for safety, and that she would prefer to do it legally. She got her card.
She regularly carried a Smith & Wesson model 10 2″ or a model 39 with Super Vel hollow points, both of which were fairly new at the time. I approved of her carry. I knew a couple of other women students who had been raped; the times were unsettled during the later days of the Vietnam war; protesters, tear gas, and drugs were common.
Wisconsin passed a very good constitutional amendment protecting the right to keep and bear arms in 1998. The state passed Act 35, which included shall issue and other reforms in 2011. Act 35 had limited campus carry, but it didn’t include carry inside of campus buildings. Now carry in campus buildings is being proposed.
Contact: State Representative Jesse Kremer (R-Kewaskum) (608) 266-9175
Madison, WI – Today, Representative Jesse Kremer (R-Kewaskum) and Senator Devin LeMahieu (R-Oostburg) released the Campus Carry Act, a bill that would allow students and faculty to carry concealed firearms in buildings on public college campuses.
Wisconsin’s concealed carry law currently allows the UW System and technical colleges the ability to ban concealed weapons in campus buildings. Such a prohibition requires that permit holders disarm prior to leaving home or a vehicle. “Allowing our public campuses to ban concealed weapons in buildings puts our students at greater risk of becoming victims of crime,” stated Kremer. “Many students walk to and from class in the early morning or late evening, often through high crime areas. Current law requires that they be unarmed. The Campus Carry Act will ensure that our students are no longer denied the right to defend themselves.”
Rep. Kremer continued, “As a legislature, we are regularly challenged to take on the issue of violent crime in certain areas of our state. The Campus Carry Act offers a common-sense solution to this problem by addressing both violent crime prevention and personal protection. It is our hope that with this legislation, we can see a decrease in violent crime on and around our public campuses.”
The Speaker of the Assembly, Robin Vos, has come out in support of the bill. From nbc15.com:
Vos said Thursday that he has no problem with the bill since only people who get training can carry concealed weapons. He likened carrying a concealed weapon to carrying a smartphone, calling a gun a tool and everything hinges on who uses it and how.
Wisconsin Gun Owners are lobbying for the bill. From Ammoland.com:
WGO is urging gun owners statewide to contact their state reps by this Friday, 10/16, to sign onto the Campus Carry Act as a co-sponsor.
I hope that the next time I’m in Madison, I will be able to legally carry into campus buildings. I would enter Bascom Hall and reflect that we can still save a constitutional Republic, with limits on government power, if we work hard enough. Second Amendment supporters are teaching Wisconsin to respect the Constitution.
©2015 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.