Retired out-of-state police officers could keep their conceal carry rights in Wisconsin under a bill scheduled to come before the Assembly Tuesday.
Although current law restricts the concealed carry of a weapon by any individual in Wisconsin unless approved by the state Department of Justice, this bill would allow off-duty officers the right to use their out-of-state licenses in Wisconsin.
Wisconsin is one of the few states to deny officers from out of state from receiving a concealed carry permit, bill sponsor Rep. Janet Bewley, D-Ashland, said.
The bill has received bipartisan support and is meant to be a “common courtesy” to those who have served, Bewley said.
“I think it’s a courtesy to law enforcement. It’s something that law enforcement in other states give out of respect for and courtesy to those that have served,” Bewley said. “I think it’s a sign of respect for other law enforcement officers to give back the privilege that they have in other states.”
The bill would allow retired officers from out of state to carry a weapon if they provide photographic evidence of the law enforcement agency that employed the officer and they are approved by the former agency for all firearms training standards the agency sets for current officers.
Jim Palmer, president of the Wisconsin Professional Police Association, said if former retired officers have demonstrated ability with firearms throughout their career, they have proven they handle a concealed weapon.
“We feel that they’ve earned this right through their service and clearly they have higher standards than even the general concealed carry law,” Palmer said. “We think that we should make it easier, not more difficult, for former law enforcement officers who meet certain standards to carry a concealed weapon.”
Palmer said some agencies do not issue the concealed carry permits to retired officers for liability reasons.
“I think having retired law enforcement officers who meet the same standards as active law enforcement officers allowing them to carry a concealed weapon I think makes a lot of sense,” Palmer said.
Other bills set to go through the Assembly Tuesday include:
- Assembly Bill 67: OWI would be a traffic violation punishable by civil forfeiture
- Assembly Bill 68: A first OWI violation would result in a fine no less than $150, but no more than $300. A second offense is a crime and punishable by a fine of no less than $350, but no more than $1,100 and imprisonment for no less than five days and no more than six months.