MADISON (WSAU) Today is the first anniversary of Wisconsin’s concealed weapons law – and the state’s attorney general says it’s working as well as expected. About 138,500 state carry permits were granted in the first year – 13,000 more than what J-B Van Hollen predicted six months ago. Around 150,000 people have applied for concealed weapons licenses, and Van Hollen said many of the ones rejected were for clerical errors.
There were long delays at first in getting the applications processed. But the backlog has disappeared, and Van Hollen says the review process is now going smoothly.
Wisconsin was the 49th state to allow concealed carry – and Van Hollen says the Badger State has not become the “Wild West” like opponents claimed it would be. The only high-profile shooting was in January in Milwaukee. A grocery shopper at Aldi’s with a concealed carry permit shot at two men who were trying to rob the store. The place had a sign banning concealed weapons, but prosecutors decided not to charge the shooter.
Meanwhile training standards for permit holders are still in limbo. The Justice Department is still using temporary rules that require weapons’ holders to get training – but they don’t spell out anything specific. State lawmakers are still considering tougher standards that require lessons on using deadly force, and the safe use of firearms-and-bullets. Lawmakers are expected to act on the new rules early next year.