I’ve been thinking about Concealed Carry. If you remember, Owen from Boots & Sabers wrote a rebuttal to the Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence press release. Then, I wrote a rebuttal to his rebuttal. Well, since then, I’ve been doing some more thinking about the subject.
First, I should mention that I am NOT against Concealed Carry. I believe that some citizens have legitimate needs to carry a concealed weapon. That is to say, I don’t believe that every Tom, Dick and Harry should be allowed to pack heat. I believe their needs to be very stringent restrictions. The Second Amendment states: “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” Well, we have a well regulated militia and, further, it doesn’t state that we can’t regulate just who those people are. Plus, I don’t believe bear arms translates into concealed carry. In the great state of Wisconsin, you are allowed to strap a gun to your hip and walk in public. Some municipalities will arrest you for disorderly conduct, just so you are forewarned.
Second, I do not like the bill as it is written. I have quite a few beefs, but I’ll only list my top four here:
- There is a $25.00 fine for failure to give a peace officer your permit when requested and the same fine amount for failing to carry said permit.
- I believe if you don’t hand over your permit to a police officer, you should have your permit revoked. Period. No appeal, no getting it back. If you are responsible enough to carry a loaded weapon in the public streets of this state, then you should be responsible enough to identify yourself to a police officer when asked. Period. End of story.
- No permit while carrying needs to be a much higher fine than just $25.00. You won’t even notice the fine at that small amount. The fine should be at least $100.00. We’re talking about someone who is carrying a loaded weapon, for Pete’s sake! We have a much higher fine for someone who sells cigarettes to minors!
- The permit cost of $75.00 is not high enough to cover the added cost of the new duties the Department of Justice will have to perform to ensure the proper compliancy with the new law. Plus, has anyone done a study to determine how much money will be spent at the DOJ to cover the coverage of permit carriers? Permit carriers should have to pay at least $150.00 in order to be allowed to carry a loaded handgun in public. The renewal could be less money.
- Police Officers need to be given access to who has a Concealed Carry Permit. This is not an invasion of privacy. Officers can research and discover any license you might have, why should a Concealed Carry Permit holder be given any special treatment?
- Concealed Carry Permit holders from other states are allowed to have the permit, with no background check, in our great state. Are they kidding? I’ve all ready pointed out how two states don’t even have permits – Alaska and Vermont. I barely trust our DOJ to run a proper background check, I’m going to trust a background check run in another state? No, we must perform checks on those who want the permit in our state. The only exceptions would be out of state police officers and military personnel.
Finally, I’d like to mention a fallacy that is found on many pro-conceal carry sites and blogs. The idea is that if a criminal doesn’t know just who is carrying a weapon, they won’t commit the crime. Well, I did some research and discovered that that statement is just not true. There are more, not less, murders committed in Concealed Carry states than in the five non-Concealed Carry states per 100,000 people. Further, there are more, not less, of the major crimes, such as Rape, Aggravated Assault and Robbery; in Concealed Carry States than in non-Concealed Carry states.
I’m not saying that I believe that Concealed Carry is responsible for the higher crime rates, I’m merely pointing out that being a Concealed Carry State does not mean less crime. It means that Concealed Carry is not preventing crime, despite what the pundits will try to lead you to believe.
I urge all my Wisconsin readers to take the time to actually read either the Senate’s version or the Assembly’s version of the Concealed Carry bill. Then, use your own thought process to decide if you are for it or against it. I urge you, once you’ve made your decision, to write your representative or your state senator or both and let them know exactly how you feel.