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Yesterday the state of Wisconsin started allowing people to download concealed carry permit applications from their website, becoming the latest state in the union to allow their citizens to protect themselves in ways previously reserved for police officers and politicians and leaving one lone holdout state (Illinois) completely forbidding their citizens this right. According to the Wisconsin Department of Justice, a normal day brings them 81,000 hits on their website. Yesterday they had 800,000 before the clock struck noon, and the permit applications started flooding in immediately. According to the Attorney General’s office the first permit was issued shortly after the doors open, and the lucky winner was…

Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen, the person in charge. Reports are circulating that he’s been proudly showing off his newly minted permit with “Permit #1” stamped on it to the press like a hunter posing with his first kill. According to one report, the AG had this to say about sniping permit #1:

“We were careful in screening people for the first permits who were going to be understanding if the process didn’t flow smoothly,” he said. “Part of the reason why I went No. 1 was because if things went awry, who am I going to complain to?”

Who it was doesn’t really matter, but the fact that they began being issued on day 1 speaks volumes. From the horse’s mouth:

“This is a historic day for the state of Wisconsin,” Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen said.  “As a long-time supporter of Second Amendment rights, I’m encouraged to see people exercising this freedom, and they can rest assured we’ll do our best to process applications from qualified residents as quickly as we can.  I’m extremely proud of the DOJ employees who have worked to get people their licenses promptly and efficiently.”

Which bodes well for the thousands of people whose applications flooded their offices yesterday. According to the AG’s office over 120 licenses were granted by the end of the day on Tuesday (the first day permits were being processed).

The state law requires the Department of Justice to respond with either an approval or denial within 45 days, and unlike Fairfax and Arlington counties in Virginia (who routinely wait until the very last day of the mandated maximum time period for a response to mail the permit) the AG has stated that he will make the effort to get the permits issued as fast as he can.

If you live in Wisconsin and want one of these permits, your first stop should be this here website where the application is available.

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  1. Holy crap, did anyone else read the “Emergency license” clause? Follow-up question, why the Hell haven’t I seen that more often?

  2. i’m suprised the server didn’t melt down… crime take a nose dive…..are you looking at this illinois ???

    • Oh no … whine, whimper [sound of wringing of hands] there will be blood in the streets, highway shootouts, killings over parking places just like every other state who … huh? … You’re kidding me. No seriously, do you mean these things didn’t happen and crime DID go down?

      Never Mind!

      • Wisconsin already has a very low crime rate (but it’s not like we are Vermont). The murder rate is roughly half what it is in Texas, for example, and it has been going down at about the same rate as it has in the rest of the US. I have a feeling that we in the Badger state will see neither a precipitous decrease in crime nor blood in the streets.

        • The U of M did a study comparing violent crime rates in WI to MN which are very similar demographically after MN went shall issue for their carry permit and found about a 20% difference in MN favor. The only statistic that went up in MN was gun suicides and I’m not sure that stat wouldn’t have gone up anyway because who needs a carry permit to stick a gun in their mouth at home?It will also be interesting to see if the flash mobs that happen in Milwaukee continue now that people can carry.

  3. 15 years ago I considered a job offer in WI but among the many reasons I didn’t take it and move there was the lack of a permit for carrying. It says a lot when you can’t legally carry and the criminals still do. Bad weather, high taxes and democrats in control of the state ( at the time) rounded out the reasons on the list.
    At least 2 of the 4 are no longer a problem.

  4. The holidays are not going to be merry for criminals! Santa may “stuff” their stockings with lead rather than coal!

  5. HooYah for us! And a Castle Doctrine bill working its way through at the moment. Let’s see these idiots pull people out of cars and beat them at the state fair now.

    Happy shooting, dv

  6. I’ll get around to downloading the application some day. I was surprise to hear I can now carry at work. This seems particularly strange considering that bringing a firearm to work was cause for immediate dismissal.

    • Be careful about that. I haven’t read Wisconsin’s laws specifically, but in Florida, employer rules can take precedence. Legally you can carry, but they don’t have to employ you.

      Concealed means concealed. If they don’t know, they can’t fire you for it.

    • I may have misread it, but reading the legalese, I got the idea that employers can prohibit you from carrying at work, but they can’t forbid guns in a vehicle (even if it’s company-owned).

      • Section (15M) (a) says they CAN prohibit carry “in the course of employment,” but (b) says they CANNOT prohibit carry in the employees own motor vehicle, even if it is used for/driven at/parked at work.

        The phrase own motor vehicle is important; the law makes no mention in either direction (that I can find) about company owned vehicles.

        • Yeah, I misread it.

          “regardless of whether the motor vehicle is used in the course of employment or whether the motor vehicle is driven or parked on property used by the

          I mistook “used in the course of employment” for company vehicle (staring at a computer screen for hours a day has that effect).

  7. Folks are acting like this is some kind of huge break for Law-Abiding Citizens when, in reality, it isn’t. WI residents, and visitors, have ALWAYS been able to carry a pistol for protection, its just now they can cover it if they so choose. Open Carry is legal in 43 states, including WI. Jeez people, its not like some miracle has occurred now allowing you to defend yourselves! Learn the facts at or, if you live in Alabama, like me,

    • Except when you open carry in WI, you have to store the pistol unloaded and in the trunk while in your car…pretty darn useless if you happen to need a gun while in your car.

  8. I’m moving to Wisconsin, where an NRA pistol instructor might make a good loving for the next few months.

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