Wisconsin reached over 300,000 active concealed carry weapon permits in 2016. The number of permits issued reached 300,000 by the end of March, but the number of active permits is a bit behind the number of permits issued. I obtained information on the number of active permits from the Wisconsin Department of Justice. As of 1 January, 2016, there were 276,011 active permits. Six months later, as of 1 July, 2016, the number of active permits was at 305,463.
92.5% of all applications received in the first six months were approved for new permits. Some of the rest were for renewals and others had insufficient documentation or incomplete forms. The breakdown for 2016 will not be available for a few months, but in 2015, less than 1.5% were turned down for legal reasons ranging from not being a resident of the state to a felony conviction. One person out of the 45,549 applications in 2015 was turned down because their check bounced.
That correlates with my experience in teaching concealed carry courses in Arizona for 15 years. In that entire period, I never had a problem with bounced checks. The people who decide to legally carry guns are incredibly responsible.
I have only been able to find one permit holder who was convicted of any sort of homicide in the five years of the Wisconsin program so far. That means that Wisconsin permit holders have a homicide rate among the lowest in the world, about .1 per 100,000 per year.
Wisconsin permit holders have been involved in numerous cases of self defence and the defense of others. One of the more famous cases occurred during an attempted armed robbery in a Milwaukee barbershop.
Of course, one homicide over five years is a very small number. The extremely low rate shows the success of the Wisconsin permit system, which is one of the most liberal, least expensive, most efficiently run, and easiest to use of any in the United States. The Wisconsin DOJ has done an excellent job.
Still, the legislature could make some improvements. Open the system so that people from other states can apply. Utah and Florida get the greatest share of out of state permits now, and Wisconsin gets none.
The Wisconsin DOJ could easily gain a few million additional dollars each year if the legislature would allow people outside of Wisconsin to apply for carry permits.I grew up in Wisconsin, and spend time there. I have Arizona and Florida permits, but I’d gladly pay $50 to obtain a Wisconsin permit.
©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.