Concealed Carry Law in Wisconsin…

Are you as sick and tired of this law wasting our law makers’ precious time as I am? Governor Doyle has all ready vetoed it and he’ll veto it again.

The blog written by Owen on Boots & Sabers implies that only leftist people want this bill to not pass. This is not true. According to a recent survey conducted in Racine, 57% of Racine citizens do not support a concealed carry law.

One of the reasons that I even bring it up is because of this post from the Boots & Sabers blog. (Please click the link to read their blog. It will open in a new window.) Owen read the press release from The Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence regarding this law and determined that 1) The Coalition does not know about which it is talking and 2) it is a leftist organization.

I didn’t realize that only people on the left side of the aisle cared to prevent Domestic Violence and that people on the right side of the aisle didn’t.

Anyway, I am continuing this blog on the assumption that you have read both the .pdf from The Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence AND the Boots & Sabers reply.

Here’s how I’m going to do this. What Owen wrote will be in Red and what The Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence released will be in Blue (from where did I get that color scheme). Anyway, my responses will be in purple, because, well, that’s my favorite color and it’s my blog.

The Wisconsin Coalition wrote that:

as a largely unfunded mandate, it will raise taxes on Wisconsin residents

Owen wrote:

it is supported by fees and will not impact the tax burden.

I thought that Owen and I might agree on this, but I re-read the bill and it seems like the Department of Justice will have to do a lot of work to ensure that EVERYONE who has a Concealed Carry Permit or applies for one follows all of the guidelines. Just how will they
“revoke a license to carry a concealed weapon if the licensee no longer meets all of the requirements for licensure?”

The Wisconsin Coalition wrote:
unknown permit holders from other states will be allowed to carry concealed weapons here without any background check

Owen responded with:
Permit holders from other states would have had a background check in their own state.

Yeah, but that’s not good enough for me. Some states have very laxed requirements for background checks. I don’t agree that we should allow someone from Indiana enter our great state with a concealed weapon without a background check being performed here. I’d like to point out that of the 45 states that allow Concealed Carry Permits, 2 of them (Vermont and Alaska) do not require a permit. Vermont only processes a background check at the state level. Alaska processes a background check at the Federal level. Both states do not have either a requirement for a permit, nor do they require a waiting period.

The Wisconsin Coalition wrote:
the law enforcement officers will be placed at higher risk as the names of permit holders will remain private and confidential.

Owen responded with:
This presumes that permit holders would pose a greater threat to police officers than non-permit holders. Evidence from other states shows that concealed carry permit holders are statistically much less likely to commit any crime – much less a violent crime.

Owen, how do you know they won’t? We’re assuming that somehow people who wish to carry concealed weapons are more lawabiding than those who do not. Also, last I heard (and I’ll look for the article), Wisconsin Law Enforcement was AGAINST the concealed carry. Maybe, they don’t feel safe.

The Wisconsin Coalition wrote:
Law enforcement will not know who is lawfully carrying a weapon and who is not.

Owen responded with:
Permit holders are required to present their permit whenever they come in contact with a law enforcement officer. Although the officer would not know if a person was legally permitted to carry a concealed weapon without first identifying the person, neither would the officer know if anyone else is carrying a weapon legally or not. Possessing a permit does not pose any threat to either the public or the police.

Owen, please take the time to read the bill again. There isn’t a provision for permit carriers to identify themselves to law enforcement officers. It is only “upon the request of a law enforcement officer”. So, if the officer doesn’t ask, they won’t know. I would assume that most officers will not automatically remember to ask someone stopped for a speeding violation. Plus, it is almost a joke if the permit carry fails to display their license. It’s a forfeiture of $25.00.

The Wisconsin Coalition wrote:

The notion that more guns will lead to increased safety is not only ludicrous, but also flies in the face of any credible research evaluating access to firearms, increased injury and safety.

Owen replied:
No it doesn’t. This group is referring to studies done in the controlled environment of a clinical setting. But the real world tells us that firearm ownership rates and crime rates are only marginally related. For instance, almost everyone in Alaska and Switzerland owns a weapon, but the crime rates are well below that of New Jersey or Britain. Culture has a far greater effect on these things than firearm ownership rates.

So, I did some checking. I wanted to know if there are less murders in states that allow Concealed Carry over those that do not. Since it is easy to identify the five states that do not allow Concealed Carry, I merely went through the population statistics and matched them up with states with a pretty close population. Example, I matched Illinois (population 12,419,293) with Pennsylvania (population 12,281,054). I realize that this isn’t a perfect system, but it works.

The results that I received are as follows:

In the five states that do not allow Concealed Carry, there were a total of 24.1 murders per 100,000 people. In states that do allow Concealed Carry, there were a total of 27.4 murders per 100,000 people.

So, what does this tell us? Owen is partially correct. Whether or not your state allows Concealed Carry, you still have about the same chance of being murdered.

My conclusion would be that Concealed Carry does not necessarily make a state safer. If I had more time to research this, I could compare stats for other crimes, such as rape and and aggravated assault.

Now, before you comment that I must have jiggled with the figures, feel free to look them up yourselves. (Link opens in a new window.) Also, I’m uploading the spreadsheet I used to gather my totals. One more item on this, I looked up what states allowed Concealed Carry and compared their population. I didn’t go out of my way to lean the results to one side. If I had wanted to do that, I would’ve chosen Missouri over Arkansas. They had 9 murders per 100,000 — which is even higher than both Texas and California and both of those states have more than triple the population of Missouri!

Now, I wish I had more time to answer all of the points Owen brought up in his blog, but I don’t. Please take the time to read both documents yourself and then contact your representative and tell them how you want them to vote.