Washington Co., WI – The Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States is arguably the most important right within the hallowed document. By preserving and defending the Second Amendment, we can protect our access to all of the other Amendments which appear in its text.
The Founding Fathers knew that individual protection was so paramount to the preservation of the United States that they were sure to explicitly list it.
As President Ronald Reagan said in 1983, “… the Constitution does not say that government shall decree the right to keep and bear arms. The Constitution says…the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” Unfortunately, time and again government has anointed itself as the distributor of that right. Both the federal government and a variety of state governments have sought to put infringements on your right to keep and bear arms.
Many legislators, both in Congress and State Legislatures across the United States, are working every day to protect your Second Amendment rights and erode some of the unnecessary infringements placed upon it. I am proud to join these individuals across the country by introducing Assembly Bill 518 with State Senator Duey Stroebel.
Assembly Bill 518 (or Senate Bill 516 in the Wisconsin State Senate) is important concealed carry reciprocity legislation. AB 518 removes burdensome red tape by simplifying the current system presently in place. The bill allows anyone who is authorized to concealed carry from another state to concealed carry a firearm in Wisconsin. Specifically, AB 518 removes the requirement that a valid concealed carry permit from another state be subject to approval at the discretion of the Attorney General of Wisconsin.
The way Wisconsin presently approaches concealed carry reciprocity is confusing and creates a regulatory patchwork of acceptable licenses. This affects both visitors and part-time residents and requires them to traverse a confusing maze of burdensome red tape. Our bill will treat all licenses the same. This bill does not make any changes to statutory requirements for Wisconsin residents who wish to concealed carry in Wisconsin.
Wisconsin proudly permits its citizens to concealed carry, and we should allow responsible firearms owners who hold a valid concealed carry license in another state to exercise their Second Amendment rights while in America’s Dairyland. Wisconsin has many individuals who own secondary residences within the state. Additionally, many people travel across state lines for their job and they have a strong individual right, according to the Supreme Court of the United States decisions in Heller (2008) and McDonald (2010), to defend themselves, their family, and their property in emergency situations.
Senator Stroebel and I are committed to protecting the Second Amendment rights of citizens of the United States and this is simply the latest example over our respective careers. Please contact your legislators and ask them to vote in favor of Assembly Bill 518/Senate Bill 516. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas said it best in 2017, “But the Framers made a clear choice: They reserved to all Americans the right to bear arms for self-defense. I do not think we should stand by idly while a State denies its citizens that right, particularly when their very lives may depend on it.”
While the “we” Justice Thomas is referring to is the Supreme Court, and not the Legislature, there is no reason that we cannot remove unnecessary infringements on an individual’s Second Amendment right.
Rick Gundrum (R) of Slinger is in the Wisconsin Assembly representing taxpayers in Washington County.
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