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By Henry Rodgers
A Republican-sponsored bill introduced Wednesday that would make it legal for any person living or traveling in the state to carry a concealed weapon without a permit is up for discussion in the Wisconsin Senate.
Republican Rep. Mary Felzkowski and Sen. David Craig co-authored the bill that would allow residents to conceal weapons without attending training or paying registration fees. According to a 2015 Gallup poll, 56 percent of Americans support concealed carry, and 12 states already have very similar legislation to the proposed Wisconsin law.
“Right now I can go to Gander Mountain and buy (a handgun) and strap it to my hip — what I cannot legally do is throw a sweater on. That’s what we change,” Felzkowski told Wisconsin State Journal.
The legislation also repeals the state’s gun-free school zone laws as well as shortens penalties for breaking school gun rules, changing the violation from a felony offense to a misdemeanor or even a fine. Anyone with a conceal carry permit can carry on school grounds unless school officials post signs against it.
Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel said he supports the bill as a common sense policy change.
“Senate Bill 169 represents a reasonable policy decision by the Legislature and it is not inconsistent with case law which has strengthened this right … My commitment to the Second Amendment cannot be overstated.” Schimel said in a statement, according to Urban Milwaukee.