BELLEVUE, WA â€“ The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA) applauded the Wisconsin Assembly this morning for its progressive 64-32 vote, approving state concealed carry legislation.
The vote, which came just after 3 a.m. following a marathon all-night session, sets the stage for yet another showdown with anti-gun Gov. Jim Doyle, who has already promised to veto this legislation. Supporters of the measure are concerned that Doyle, in an effort to prevent his veto from being overridden, may offer political favors to key Democrats to flip-flop on this important bill.
“Following the State Senate’s lead, the Assembly did the right thing in passing this bill,” said CCRKBA Executive Director Joe Waldron. “And we’re going to be watching Jim Doyle to see just what kind of political pressure he exerts, or enticements he offers Democrats to switch their votes.
“While we are not entirely satisfied with a key compromise that brought Democrat Rep. Mary Hubler’s vote in favor of the bill, gun owners should also not be afraid of it, because it is important that concealed carry legislation become a reality,” Waldron said.
Hubler’s amendment requires refresher training every five years for permit holders, and reduces the legal blood alcohol content for permit holders to .02. It also creates a no-carry zone within 100 feet of any school grounds while outside a vehicle, and restores penalties for falsifying documents.
“We know from past experience in other states that after Wisconsin’s statute has been in place for a while, there will be an opportunity to amend the law,” Waldron noted, “after all the hysterical predictions about increased violence and bloodshed are proven to be false, as they invariably are.
“But this is a good starting point,” he continued, “from which Wisconsin’s gun owners will demonstrate how responsible legally armed citizens can be. It is now up to the Democrats to not give in to pressure or enticements from the governor’s office, and stand behind their votes if, and when, it is time to override a Doyle veto.
“The safety and civil rights of Wisconsin citizens should not be held hostage by the social prejudices of the governor and his anti-self-defense allies,” Waldron concluded.