Tue July 17, 2012
First public hearing looks at training sessions for concealed carry
The first of three public hearings on getting licenses to conceal and carry weapons is seeking to make emergency rules into permanent rules.
The hearing room had mostly empty seats, with just two people to testify and four reporters to cover the hearing. Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen says the concealed carry program has been shooting straight: “We have issued almost 120,000 concealed carry permits in Wisconsin already since November 1. We have had really no incidents. It has been a very successful program thus far. I think we have learned with the relative lack of attendance today that the general public is now understanding they are really comfortable with it. I do not think it is a very contentious issue anymore.”
One of the definition changes is for student-teacher ratios at concealed carry classes. It must remain under 50 to one. National Association of Firearms Instructors President Tim Grant says this new definition isn’t a big deal. “That doesn’t affect us at all. We rarely... in ten years I have only been in one class that had over 50 people in it, and there were six instructors there.”
Van Hollen says the definition changes will help concealed carry students learn as well as get rid of grey areas. “No online training courses and you can’t have classes filling an auditorium where they are not going to get any one on one training. Basically: Flesh out the law and put more meat on the bones, that is basically what we are doing now is holding a public hearing on the rules so that the law can be fully implemented in the future.”
The new law is operating under emergency rules, and these changes to the definitions will allow those rules to become permanent.
There are two more rulemaking hearings concerning concealed carry. One is on Tuesday July 24 in Green Bay, and the other is on Wednesday July 25 in Pewaukee.