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I haven’t posted in over a week and it’s driving me crazy. I’m like a crack addict that hasn’t had a fix in a while. Considering my recent SHOT Show binge, the withdrawl’s pretty sucky. The reason for the hiatus: I moved from Fairfax, VA to San Antonio, TX, driving the whole way with my guns and ammo in the trunk and my loyal carry piece on my hip (most of the way, at least). I made a slight detour through Minnesota, stopping for some range time along the way in Wisconsin with some friends we met at SHOT Show. What the gun blogger saw was incredible.

Wisconsin only recently recognized their citizens’ right to keep and BEAR arms. Recognition of the right to carry has had a remarkable effect on the firearms industry.

I stopped by an undisclosed range in Wisconsin (the same one used to make the video at the top of the article) and had a chat with the owner. According to the man, business has picked-up dramatically since the new law went into effect, specifically training classes and concealed carry firearms sales.

In terms of self defense training, the shift in demographics within the classes is the biggest indicator of the law’s effect (according to the shopkeep). Before the law went live, the classes were patronized mostly by OFWGs, 40+ years old. No surprise there. After the law passed, the average age sank closer to 25, including more women. A lot more. The fairer sex now accounts for somewhere around 51 percent of his self-defense business.

Sales have been picking up at the gift (i.e. firearms) shop, too. Smaller handguns of the 9mm and .38 special varieties have been flying off the shelves. The shopkeep said the Kahr Arms CM9 and a S&W J-frame .38 (whose model number escapes me) were his new most popular models; two handguns that seem perfectly suited for CCW. While he’s happy about the extra cha-ching, he’s been encouraging aspiring CCWers to use their existing firearms instead of buying new ones, even if they are gigantic.


The biggest and most obvious indicator of the new concealed carry law: a massive increase in range attendance. The shopkeep says the range doesn’t see it. TTAG reviewer and YouTube rave sensation FateofDestinee (and, yes, her dad) disagree. [Video above.] They say the range used to be lightly attended. Since the law passed it’s been packed, many of whom are firing guns for the first time. [ED: don’t forget to duck] On Wednesday night, there was a waiting list. FOD says it’s an increasingly common occurrence.

Like you didn’t see this one coming. The Badger State liberalized its concealed carry laws (to include law-abiding, tax-paying citizens) and – whaddaya know? – more people are carrying guns. The streets remain river-of-blood free. Meanwhile, a lot more money is running through the registers at gun ranges and gun stores. It’s win-win time in Wisconsin.

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  1. interesting video, fateofdestinee is certainly creative, but I’m pretty sure you are not supposed to ride the charging handle forward on ak’s like that.

  2. When Georgia repealed alot of its off-limits locations, the numbers of licensees increased by 84% in two years. The number of applications doubled.

    My Probate Court clerk told me that more couples are coming in for carry licenses than marriage licenses. We get our carry licenses in the same office as marriage licenses.

  3. WI has been waiting a long time for CCW. Boyle vetoed not one but two bills for CCW during his reign and the people were sick of it. The wilding that occurred last summer in Milwaukee after a public event made people keenly aware of what the new rules are.

    • Try a force refresh (Shift-F5 or Shift-clickthebutton). I’ve noticed in the past couple days (around the time the pictures started disappearing) that I’d see a new comment listed on the right sidebar, but when I clicked the link, it was the same three comments that were there last time I visited that post. Force refresh, and presto! New comment shows up. Not an ideal fix, but it’s been working.

        • The pictures are loading about 75% of the time, so I guess that’s better than none.

          However, I have experienced a Shockwave Flash crash in Chrome every single time I’ve loaded the front page today. My browser HATES that video that’s attached to the Armalite post. Every time someone posts a new comment, and I either refresh that page, or open that page in a new tab, I get a Flash crash. Every single time.

          I’m just about done with this site for today; it’s being very frustrating. If you’re telling your web guy about this stuff, and it’s not getting fixed, you need to get a new web guy. In addition to the flash crash, I’m also seeing this issue:

          ** Click on a “new comment” from the sidebar or from an email, and the page loads to the top of the post, not to the new comment (about 80% of the time), and I have to go looking for the new comment , which may or may not be there, and I have to force-refresh the page to get it to show up (about 80% of the time). Example: While typing this I got an email that JSIII had responded to the “Brass Dance” post. I clicked the link to take me to the new comment, and the page loaded at the top of the post in a new tab. I looked at the email for the text of the comment, and searched the page, with no results found. I force-refreshed the page, and searched again, and JSIII’s new post appeared.

          I don’t know if you get pageview credit on your ads for all my refreshes, but for today, you’re likely getting triple credit for my views, because between Flash crashes and no-loading comments, I’m having to refresh multiple times for every update.

    • I keep thinking that as well. The range I shoot at just keeps getting busier. It seems like my area could easily support at least one if not two more at least.

      There was recently a four story building that was totally empty near where I work that I fantasized about putting a gun range into. It would probably have to be pistols only, maybe .223 at most, but it would be right next to Downtown Seattle. I don’t know if zoning would allow it or not, but a guy can dream, right?

      I was thinking of providing secure locker facilities so people could lock up their range bags, for people whose employers won’t let them carry at work. It would be the perfect lunch break. Get a quick bite to eat, maybe grab a latte, put a box or two of ammo down range, lock up your piece again, and head back to work. How awesome would that be? Not as awesome as actually being able to carry at work, but it would be great to be able to get some range time in the middle of the day.

  4. There are going to be a number of stupid shootings in the future because of emotional-based over-reactions to a perceived threat or to act out some drama.

      • Do you think it will be ‘that’ bad with the sky falling? Really? Anyways, let’s see what happens over the next five to ten years with people buying guns who will have as much respect and appreciation for guns (maybe less) as a make-up kit.

    • Didn’t happen in FL when they pioneered concealed carry over 10 years ago, so I see no reason that a wave of bad things will in in WI.

    • We keep hearing this. We’ve heard this since Florida was pronounced “The Gunshine State” in the late 80’s.

      Trouble is, it just seems never happen. In state after state that joins the majority of states that now have shall-issue CCW’s, it just doesn’t happen.

    • “There are going to be a number of defensive shootings in the future because of rational-based reactions to an observed threat or to take out some dirtbag.”

      There, fixed it for ya!

  5. Wisconsin only recently recognized their citizens’ right to keep and BEAR arms.

    Not quite correct. Wisconsin was technically an open carry state, although a lot of the local fuzz (especially in Madison) didn’t seem to know much about their own laws.

    Among the many reasons why Wisconsin got concealed carry were the open carriers and Wisconsin Carry. They forced the state to recognize its own contradictions. They did so through legal confrontations like this:

  6. I don’t know what range the shop keep operates, but patronage at my local indoor range in SE Wi has gone through the roof. I went yesterday morning and there was no parking left. None! Decided to come back when everyone was drinking and watching the Super Bowl. Still waited 21 minutes for a lane and there were many people waiting when I left. This is the same range I took my dad to in November, pre-CCW and we could simply walk on.

    I was encouraged by the overall younger demographic including about 1/3rd females.

    Happy shooting, dv

  7. I did not know the Destiny gal was from Wisconsin. Maybe I’ll watch a video now.

    The store/indoor range in Deerfield (Just East of Madison) seems to be busier than I recall from pre-CCW visits.

  8. Welcome to Texas! Two things to remember- One- the men opening doors for you aren’t gay- we open doors for everybody here :). Two- be careful of the sun in the summer- it is *not* what you’re used to!

  9. I once spent a week in Lubbock working on a case during the summer. It took me six months to rehydrate. Climate-wise, Austin is pleasant by comparison.


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