By State Representative, Leon D. Young
November 1, 2011 is a date that definitely will be remembered in the annals of Wisconsin state history.
It signifies the date that concealed carry took effect in the Badger State.
Proponents of this misguided measure have consistently made the argument that this legislation was necessary in order “to even the playing field for law-abiding citizens.” Individuals, who have been licensed by the state, after some cursory training in gun safety, are now permitted to carry their handguns in plain view – unless otherwise prohibited.
Concealed carry supporters also made the case that Wisconsin was out of step with the rest of the nation in not permitting individuals to carry concealed weapons.
(As of today, Illinois is the last remaining state that does not allow concealed carry within its state borders.)
As a former Milwaukee Police Officer, I have some major reservations about both the need and applicability of this new law. As we have seen, over the past decade, the crime rate has been on a downward spiral. Moreover, the infusion of more guns in our midst does little, if anything, to ensure public safety or deter crime.
If that wasn’t bad enough, the application of this new law presents a myriad of logistical challenges, and will undoubtedly foster considerable public confusion. The situation at the State Capitol is a prime example. The Senate has indicated that it intends to prohibit concealed carry in its gallery, but visitors to the Assembly would be permitted to carry their weapons.
The State Department of Justice estimates that it will issue at least 100,000 concealed carry permits in the first year, approximately 50,000 in the second year, and may issue more than 200,000 over the 5 year period.
This proliferation of more individuals carrying handguns is bad public policy and has the potential for leading to more heat-of-the-moment consequences.
I would like to offer my congratulations to Career Youth Development (CYD) as it held its 41st annual Image Awards celebration last Saturday. Moreover, I would also like to recognize Mayor Tom Barrett and Valerie Daniels-Carter for being selected as CYD’s 2011 Man of the Year and Woman of the Year, respectively.