Dane County Executive Joe Parisi was joined today by local law enforcement and advocates for survivors and victims of domestic violence in urging the state legislature to slow down and fix fast-tracked concealed carry proposals that could impact the safety of Dane County residents. The deadline for co-sponsorship of the legislation is today. Public hearings on the legislation will also quickly take place in Wausau and in Madison this week.
Dane County Executive Joe Parisi said that while the proposed legislation includes restrictions on where guns can be carried, those restrictions do not go far enough. “Under these bills, guns could be legally concealed and carried in places like the outdoor grounds of the zoo, outside of the Dane County Airport, and during festivals such as Brat Fest at Willow Bay on the Alliant Energy Center grounds. I urge the legislature to slow down and make this legislation safer for Wisconsin’s citizens and local law enforcement.”
Dane County Sheriff Dave Mahoney shared Parisi’s concerns. “The legislature must fix these bills to provide safeguards for local law enforcement. Gun owners who wish to conceal and carry should be required to go through proper training. And once permits are issued, they should be filed with the Department of Transportation so law enforcement will know who may have a gun with them in the car during a routine traffic stop.”
And Shannon Barry, Executive Director of Domestic Abuse Intervention Services, added that the bills do not prohibit the concealed carry of weapons in domestic violence shelters, and voiced concerns that easily accessible weapons could escalate domestic violence situations and endanger lives. “Loosening firearms regulations will only embolden abusers to use guns to threaten and kill. The risk of death increases 1100% when a domestic abuse incident involves a gun. In 2009 alone 5 of 7 domestic violence deaths in Dane County were at the hands of abusers with guns.”
Parisi also questioned the priorities of the legislature in fast-tracking this legislation. “The leadership in the legislature was elected on a promise that they would prioritize economic development and job creation. Their focus on efforts such as this call their dedication into question.”
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