In the last few years, Wisconsin has made a lot of progress restoring the right to keep and bear arms. The Eat Cheese or Die state has built on the Constitutional amendment it passed in 1998, with 74 percent of the vote. “The people have the right to keep and bear arms for security, defense, hunting, recreation or any other lawful purpose,” the text reads.
In 2011 Wisconsin passed Act 35, a shall-issue law. Since then, the legislature has made improvements to the Act, reducing the cost and putting concealed carry applications and renewals online. The legislature also removed the 48-hour waiting period Wisconsin required for handgun purchases from federal firearms licensees.
Representative Jesse Kremer is one of those who seems to believe that Wisconsin’s constitutional amendment, now Article 1, Section 25 of the Wisconsin state constitution, means what it says. He’s introduced gun-related reforms for the 2017 session, including eliminating the requirement of a permit for concealed carry. If the bill makes it to Governor Walker’s desk, Wisconsin will join the permitless or “constitutional carry” club, with 11 member states as members and Puerto Rico (if a current court ruling there holds).
Representative Kremer also wants to mandate campus carry — with a permit. (He recently defended his objectives on Wisconsin Public Radio.) In the University of Wisconsin student newspaper, The Daily Cardinal, Kremer extolled the virtues of campus carry:
Kremer said both parties are working to make college campuses safer but argued that college students who are of legal concealed carry age should have the same rights as those who are the same age but not in college.
“I feel we need to be proactive for a bill like this where we provide protection and prevent crime around our college campuses,” he said.
Wisconsin has suffered from a lack of strong Second Amendment leadership in the legislature since Senator Pam Galloway resigned in March of 2012. Galloway had been instrumental in passing Act 35, one of the most successful shall issue permit laws, in 2011. The legislature seems primed to pass significant reforms, but leadership on the issue has been lacking. Representative Kremer may emerge as the Second Amendment legislative leader that Wisconsin needs.
©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.