WI: Nothing for long guns in the latest ‘carry’ legislation

Madison – Even as the state’s new concealed carry bill was on
its way to the governor’s desk last week, those familiar the bill
said it will do little to change how sportsmen transport long guns
and bows in Wisconsin.

Muzzleloaders, shotguns, rifles, compound bows and crossbows would
still have to be unloaded and cased when in a vehicle, even if the
bill is signed into law. That’s according to concealed carry bill
author Sen. Pam Galloway (R-Wausau) and Scott Bretl, a Port
Washington, firearms instructor for Just Carry.

Long bows and recurves would not have to be cased if they are not
strung.

If Gov. Scott Walker signs the bill as passed by the Senate and
Assembly, the new concealed carry law would allow permitted handgun
owners to transport uncased and loaded handguns – either as
concealed firearms (on their body, in a purse, in a glove
compartment, in a console enclosure, etc.), or in “open carry”
style, according to Bretl.

“For the folks who open carry, they can get into their car without
taking the gun off, or they have to leave it in plain sight in the
car,” said Bretl. “If you have a concealed carry permit, you can
carry how ever you want (in a vehicle). If you open carry, you have
to have the gun on your person, or in the car and exposed.”

The law does not include any restrictions on how a handgun must be
loaded when in a vehicle. For instance, the chamber does not have
to be empty, said Galloway.

“There is no language in the bill regarding the chamber,” said
Galloway. “The bill is not going to change anything as far as
hunting rules go.”

Bretl agreed.

“The bill is specifically for handguns and tasers. It does not deal
with long guns, so there are no changes there,” said Bretl.

Galloway said she expects Walker to sign the bill. Walker has said
he supports the bill that requires a permit fee and firearms
training. If Walker does sign the bill into law as Galloway
expects, the law would kick in the first day of the fourth month
after the law is published. That could be Oct. 1 or Nov. 1, said
Bretl.

Handgun owners won’t be able to get a headstart on the process,
however, because Bretl does not expect the permit applications to
be available until after “the first day of the fourth month.”

Galloway said the permitting process will be set up and maintained
by the Department of Justice (DOJ). Local sheriffs will not be
involved in the permitting process. Applications will be available
by mail, or online from the DOJ.

Galloway said she has been working closely with the DOJ since the
Senate passed the bill on June 14 to make sure the application
process works.

“I diagramed for the DOJ how I envision the information would be
accessed by law enforcement only. I have expressed my concern to
the DOJ over (the possibility of unwelcome) electronic access to
the list of permit holders,” she said.

Bretl said that the law requires Wisconsin resident to have a
Wisconsin permit to carry concealed handguns.

“You can’t use your Utah or Florida permit. But, there is no
fingerprinting and no picture taking. You will need a photo I.D.
and permit on you to carry, but all you need for the I.D. is your
driver’s license,” he said.

If Senate Bill 93 is signed by Walker, it would also allow the
concealed carry of handguns in state parks and wildlife refuges for
permitted carriers.

The Assembly passed the bill June 21 68-27. All Republicans, with
the exception of Rep. Don Pridemore (R-Hartford), voted in favor.
Eleven Democrats and the Assembly’s lone Independent voted for the
bill.

The Senate passed the bill June 14 on a 25-8 vote, with all 19
Republicans and six Democrats voting in favor.

Permits would cost a maximum of $50. They would be valid for five
years. Renewing a license would cost $25. To get a permit, people
would have to show proof they have passed a course on firearms
training, firearms safety or hunter safety.

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