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Wisconsin issued its first concealed carry permits late in 2011. From that auspicious beginning, the number of concealed carry permits issued has soared. Speaking to, citing his wife as a case in point, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker revealed the extent to which Badger State residents have exercised their right to bear arms (making the above sign obsolete) . . .

“We have over 280,000 people who in the last five years have gone through concealed carry. There’s people all across the state, like my wife who went through a course, got the training, add that added protection.”

Wisconsin has an adult population (21 or over) of about 4.4 million. Roughly 1 out of every 16 Wisconsin adult residents now has a concealed carry permit.

There was one manslaughter homicide by a citizen with a permit — who claimed self defense, but was convicted by a jury– in the last four years. That translates into a homicide rate for permit holders of about .22 homicides per 100/000 people per year. That’s less than 1/13 of the homicide rate for Wisconsin on average.

Same story for permit holders in neighboring Minnesota. According to the FBI, the Wisconsin homicide rate for 2012 was 3.0, 2.8 for 2013, 2.9 in 2014.

Part of the reason Wisconsin racked-up significant numbers of permit holders: they learned from the mistakes made by previous states. Requirements for the permit were not burdensome. The original fee was set at $50, but experience proved that $40 was sufficient to meet state costs. (Yes, they lowered the fee.) Wisconsin does not require fingerprints or photographs for their permit.

Wisconsin has never required any licensing for the open carry of weapons. In fact, Wisconsin seems ripe for Constitutional Carry. Governor Walker just signed Act 149, which implements constitutional carry for knives. America’s Dairyland has strong state constitutional protection for the right to keep and bear arms, contained in Article I Section 25:

The people have the right to keep and bear arms for security, defense, hunting, recreation or any other lawful purpose.

Wisconsin has come a long way in four short years. The state’s experience shows the fragility of the media cartel mythology that more guns = less safety.

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Gun Watch

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  1. When I moved here from Virginia all I had to do was copy my VA permit, fill out the forms, pay $40 and I had my permit 7 days later.

    • I notice, though, that WI does not issue non-res permits and they only honor VA non-resident permits, not resident. Usually states have it the other way around, honoring resident permits only. Does anyone know if that has to do with the VA AG debacle, or was that in place beforehand and was for some other reason? I tried finding out on the web, but couldn’t come up with the answer.

  2. That media cartel mythology has lately been refined: “That’s OK for the benighted rubes tending corn in the red flyover states, but we take gun safety seriously in the densely populated blue coastal states where people with above-room-temperature IQ would want to live.”

    • Still waiting for the rivers of blood to pour through the streets from continual shoot-outs due OC in Texas.

      Maybe once campus carry goes into effect here in a few months we can see more carnage.

      It’s boring. It’s almost like people didn’t even care – – odd. Oh well, if not, at least the anti-gun, college age, young adults’ cries of dissatisfaction will warm my heart.

      • Texans killed all those who needed killing when CC was first put into effect back in the ’90s, I’m certain the antis can document all the blood and guts (not). So, there are no more bleeders available, save some CA immigrants, I suppose, but we generally take care of them as needed. So don’t expect anything spectacular.

    • NYS, S..A.F..E. Strongest gun law in the 50 states. On track for highest homicide rate ever. Tell me again how enlightened you leftsts are.

      • The stats in this article are a bit misleading, they are pulling data from a very select group of folks. (murder rate dropped among permit holders) … it was the only stat they had.

        I should also point out that we are looking at Wisconsin. Milwaukee is their biggest city, they have a little over half a million people in a fairly large city limit, with a low unemployment rate and their average income is over $50k… Compare that with the problem cities like Baltimore, DC, Philly and it’s clear we’re talking apples and oranges. Baltimore has an average income of around $30k, the unemployment rate is 2x higher than Milwaukee, and our population is about a third larger crammed into half the space… We have issues here in Baltimore that even “good guys with guns” cannot fix.

        Information like this really needs to be taken with a grain of salt and even though this may work in specific states / cities it should not be thought to work across the board, that is dangerous.

        TLDR: I understand that access to guns may have positive effects in cities not prone to violence, but the same policies in cities and states currently in turmoil are a terrible idea.

        • Just a heads up, the people who are committing crimes in Baltimore and DC already have guns, so “access to guns” isn’t an issue for them. It is an issue for law abiding citizens, like my 63 year old mother, who basically can’t buy a pistol at this point because “it’s too complicated”, let alone actually carry one.

          Law abiding citizens don’t randomly shoot strangers. Criminals do. Maybe you’d have fewer problems if you stopped treating gun owners like criminals and criminals like victims.

  3. I’m still waiting for the streets gushing with blood and wild west shootouts over every perceived slight. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and Wisconsin State Journal were adamant that it would happen. They made it sound like there’d be so many bullets flying, I thought they’d black out the sky.

    After 5 years, I beginning to wonder if they knowingly lied to their readers to push a preferred political position?

    Just kidding, most in the state know if it get printed in either of those 2 papers, it’s a minimum highly misleading or at worst, flat out lies.

    Btw, if you’re thinking of visiting the Milwaukee area, watch your car. Ed Flynn’s and Tom Barrett’s no chase policy has led us to become New CarJack City.

    • If you do carry a hammer, does that make you hammered? Both my pocket knives are concealed… my pocket. Does that mean if I go to a state that has a no concealed knives law, I would be in jeopardy of arrest? Laws are made by lawyers to pad the pockets of other lawyers, and their own once they are out of power. S.A.F.E. is case in point. Written in such a convoluted manner no one knows what they can, or cannot carry, own without registering, etc. NYers should have done like Canada, and registered their multiple slice toasters, double beater mixers, claw hammers, two headed axes, and such. Everything but the rifles in question would have been appropriate. As is, 4% registered those “evil black” ASSault guns.

      Hmmmm…makes NYS sound racist when you say it that way.

  4. I wish NC had a permitting process that was that easy. The NC permit is ridiculous for what is supposed to be a gun friendly state. Oh, don’t forget the stupid pistol permit I have to get to buy a pistol. They still have to run a NICS check even after the pistol purchase permit.

    • It’s all about control & money. They control you by making things so difficult you just give up. Same with voting. Tho’, I have yet to see any state make voting so difficult that the dead don’t wish to give up voting. Odd how that is, don’t ya think?

  5. I need to put a sign like this up at the entrance to my city. I don’t think the Mayor would let me, but I sure would like to.

  6. That sign is incredible!! I wish we had one here in Florida! That just tells it like it is. Almost feels like winter here in Florida, The people of the gun are winning the fight from state to state This whole country was built on the rights of freedom! You Non gun lovers need to get the F out!

  7. Ummm…that’s pretty silly talking about Illinois even then. Plenty of “law abiding” breaking the law even in 2011. Our CC laws are quite a bit more onerous though. Like the azzwholes in charge trying to fill a budget gap…and they shouldn’t rag on Illinoisans anyway. Any idea how much $ flows north? HINT- it’s a LOT…

    • wisconsin medical specialists gladly accepted my fib dollars. nowhere else will remove a fish boil.

  8. Off topic.

    The most realistic guns ever in video games, Escape from Tarkov, total customization, guns even jams, real Russian military advisor working in the game, reloading, if you do not reappearing it, the level of details is so high you can even take out your mag and pick to see if you have any ammo left, you can take out a bullet from the chamber and save it for later.

    If the level of realism of guns in video games continue, the gun control crowd will find a way to regulate it soon.

      • I always liked far cry 2 every once in a while a gun would jam or kaboom! Made the run and gun more fun. On the AR you had to pull the mag tip right and

  9. Bloomie’s “common sense” gun control…

    Inflicting our opinion on the 6.25% of not where we live, who’s “common sense” told them to get a concealed carry permit … and everybody else.

  10. 20 years ago I considered a move to WI but the taxes, liberals and gun laws made it unattractive. They have come a long way on 2

    • March 1st I will have been in WI 20 years. Things are getting better than they were, but I’d argue we’ve come a long way on just 1.

      Taxes are still ridiculous. #5 in the nation for property taxes, and 8th highest “overall tax burden” in the country. (we’re #20 in population size, by the way.)

      Still haven’t voted for a Republican presidential candidate since 1984. Walmart is still the largest per capita employer, followed by University of Wisconsin–Madison, Milwaukee Public School system, the U.S. Postal Service and no. 5 is Wisconsin Department of Corrections. (4 out of 5 taxpayer funded)

  11. As I understand, WI has permitless OC. But does the word “people” in:

    The people have the right to keep and bear arms for security, defense, hunting, recreation or any other lawful purpose.

    also apply to law abiding non-residents? Or is it WI residents only? Can anyone verify? – Thanks

        • Thanks for the reply. I followed the link and it states:

          Note: Wisconsin law does not authorize the Attorney General and employees of the Department of Justice to provide legal advice to private individuals.

          In other words, emailing the WI DOJ would get me nowhere.

          Just like you said you are now allowed to answer me. Talk about being in a pickle. If you encountered a legal law abiding non-resident open carrying, what would your Chief/boss say to do?

          If it helps anything, I visit the Hayward area a few times per yr.

    • Not counting scenery I’d rather move to Indiana. + I live a mile away. Had legal carry for years and years. Much better taxes too…

  12. That’s great progress, Wisconsin. Keep it up and continue dispelling liberal myths. Let freedom ring.

  13. Are there any statistics to show that states that allow concealed/open carry (i.e. Wisonconsin, Texas, etc) have lower crime (as measured by any number of categories including murder, rape, break-ins, car thefts, etc) as compared to states that do not allow concealed/open carry?

    • Thank you for taking this at more than face value… they share one stat about how murder rate among CC permit holders drop in a State as white, and populated as the north pole and folks flock to that as though it is proof across the board for people everywhere. If this works for wisconsinites that is fantastic, but please don’t be mad when I curse wisconsin as the gun nuts in Baltimore cling to this article like the bible…

  14. “…they learned from the mistakes made by previous states.” If only that had happened in Illinois’ HB183 concealed carry bill which passed in June 2013. OHCC- Ohioans for Concealed Carry PASSED a bill stripping police powers of cops under the influence of drugs or alcohol when police unions opposed concealed carry. That’s called playing to win. Here in IL NRA lobbyist Todd Vandermyde is in bed with the police unions, they wrote Brandon Phelps carry bill. That’s what traitors do, sell out to cops.

    Meanwhile here in Illinois, NRA did nothing for 40 years. When Otis McDonald sued the City of Chicago and won, thus benefitting gun owners in all 50 states, NRA hired Paul Clement to barge into the McDonald lawsuit and steal 10 minutes out of Alan Gura’s 30 minute oral argument in front of the Supreme Court. NRA had to show the members that they really care about black people in Chicago. But Chris Cox & Chuck Cunningham would not have let Vandermyde put Duty to Inform in the IL carry bill if they cared about black people. Or if they had a clue what deals their pet rat was cutting with police unions.

    After Alan Gottlieb and SAF funded McDonald v. Chicago, and Alan Gura toiled in obscurity on 2nd Amendment cases for years, NRA steals the show. Yes, if only the 50th state could have learned from the lessons of 49 other states, or not had a traitor in the House as the NRA lobbyist…

  15. how are the suicide rates in WI compared to NY? usually 2x more total gun related suicide deaths than homicide in any given year.

  16. I saw a stat comparing violent crimes rates between big cities in TX and similar sized cities in tough gun control states. Gun control areas had much higher violent crime rates.

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