Fri June 28, 2013
Gun Advocates Don't Like That A Concealed-Carry Lawsuit Is Going To Federal Court
Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen recently changed the venue of a lawsuit challenging the state's rules for granting concealed-carry permits.
A gun rights group is now criticizing the decision.
The law being challenged limits the class size of a firearms safety course that’s required for concealed-carry permit applicants. Originally, a Waukesha judge was scheduled to hear arguments on July 8 on blocking the law.
Nik Clark of Wisconsin Carry, Inc. says now that the case has moved to federal court that hearing has been cancelled, delaying a decision in the suit.
Clark: “It seems to me that this is a Wisconsin law that we're talking about and that Wisconsin courts with elected judges with people from Wisconsin should be the people that litigate Wisconsin law.”
Clark's group says the new class size rules violates the constitutional right for equal protection because people who got permits before the rule were allowed to attend trainings where the student-teacher ratio was greater than the new one. Clark says the rule will slow the flow of permit applicants at the free weapons trainings his group offers.
But gun rights control advocate Jeri Bonavia of the Wisconsin Anti-Violence Effort says the class-size requirement makes sense, and calls the lawsuit a costly effort to weaken the permit rules.
Bonavia: “Wisconsin citizens will be footing the bill for this and in essence, they are footing the bill for something that will ultimately put them at more risk and make them less safe. That just seems like really mixed-up priorities to us.”
The state Department of Justice says shifting the lawsuit to federal court will assure a fair and efficient ruling in the case.