Wisconsin adults are now just a governor's signature away from being able to carry a concealed weapon legally.
Tuesday night, the Assembly passed the concealed carry bill by a vote of 68 to 27.
The state Senate already passed the same bill, and Governor Walker is expected to sign it. The bill allows people to carry a concealed weapon if they get training and obtain a permit.
You've heard there are two sides to every story. That also holds true when it comes to determining whether concealed carry is safe or dangerous.
"Areas that have conceal to carry laws are lower on one on one violent crime," said Mike Himmel, an employee at TGSCOM gun store on Broadway in Green Bay.
"In the states that have the most liberal gun carrying laws in the country, their violent crime rate is the highest in the country," said Doug Pettit, who chairs the Wisconsin Police Chiefs Association.
The FBI's 2010 uniform crime report does show violent crime rates have gone down nationwide, but it doesn't correlate it with concealed carry. Still supporters of the bill like Himmell say, "This has been a long time coming."
Himmel says he's excited Wisconsin could be the 49th state that allows concealed carry. He says it's a matter of safety.
"It's just gonna mean that when you're sitting down at a restaurant having dinner and if something were to happen , there's a higher probability that someone in there will be able to help and assist," said Himmel.
But that's exactly what scares the opponents to the legislation.
"If you haven't trained with a handgun properly and you don't know the nomenclature of that weapon," said Pettit. "You could harm yourself even pulling it out of the holster if you're not familiar with it."
Doug Pettit chairs the Wisconsin Police Chiefs Association. He says the rules aren't strict enough for who can conceal and carry guns.
"There's no requirement in this legislation that will require you to do anything related to training with that weapon, other than showing the documentation that you've had training at some other time with a fire arm," said Pettit.
Despite opposition's arguments, the bill got support from a majority of lawmakers in the Assembly and Senate. Now the final step lies with Governor Walker signing it into law.
If Governor Walker signs the bill into law, Illinois would become the only state left that doesn't allow concealed carry.
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