BELLEVUE, WA—After reaching several compromises on a concealed carry bill, Wisconsin lawmakers have hammered out a sensible package that Gov. Jim Doyle should sign, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA) said today.

CCRKBA Executive Director Joe Waldron noted that the compromise bill addresses several concerns raised by concealed carry opponents. While the final bill is not ideal, he called it “a reasonable first step,” and urged Gov. Doyle to sign it, or allow it to become law automatically. If Gov. Doyle vetoes the bill, Waldron expressed hopes that the Legislature would override.

“Law-abiding Wisconsin citizens have waited long enough for legislation that would live up to their constitutional right to bear arms,” Waldron stated. “Right-to-carry laws are on the books in 36 other states, and Wisconsin residents deserve equal protection.

“Gov. Doyle tried to derail this legislation with his threat of a veto,” Waldron continued. “Obviously, state lawmakers are not running scared. Like their counterparts in Missouri, New Mexico, Minnesota and Colorado, legislators in Wisconsin know that the time has come to put citizens on equal footing with criminals.

“I think Gov. Doyle should call Gov. Bill Richardson in New Mexico, and Gov. Tim Pawlenty in Minnesota, and just ask them about the new carry laws in their states,” Waldron suggested. “If Doyle then vetoes the measure, he should explain in detail what it is that makes Wisconsin citizens less trustworthy and reliable than citizens in other states, where right-to-carry laws are working.”

Waldron said citizens should call the governor’s office and urge him to sign the bill. He said it is important to send a message to criminals that Wisconsin is no longer a no-risk environment.

“Even with a strong right to bear arms provision in the state Constitution,” Waldron noted, “criminals have been secure in their enterprises, realizing that they have little to fear from citizens on the streets or in local businesses. The time has come to give Wisconsin residents the means to defend themselves and their families, and put thugs on the endangered species list.”