citycouncil_JohnLemmon

UW law student Jason Myatt speaks in favor of allowing concealed carry in municipal buildings at Tuesday’s meeting.[/media-credit]

After the governor signed concealed carry into law, Madison city officials unanimously approved an ordinance Tuesday to prohibit weapons in all city buildings.

The approved city ordinance imposes licensing restrictions in Madison and requires that buildings post signs at their entrances to inform citizens weapons are not allowed on the premises. Concealed carry will go into effect Nov. 1 after being signed into law by Gov. Scott Walker in July.

According to the text of the ordinance, this form of “unlawful trespass while carrying a weapon” applies to government, university and city buildings, while owners of other types of property or private pieces of land reserve the right to ban weapons on an individual basis.

Individuals are also still able to request persons not carry concealed weapons on their property by posting a similar notice disallowing weapons, the ordinance said.

The City Council had previously referred the ordinance to the Public Safety Review Committee in September.

Following the committee’s Oct. 13 meeting, members recommended adoption of the ordinance to the council.

As a result of the recommendation from the committee, little further discussion on the concealed carry ordinance occurred at the meeting and only one attendee at the meeting registered to speak in opposition.

Jason Myatt, a student at the University of Wisconsin Law School and the La Follette School of Public Affairs, said the city’s proposal infringes on citizens’ constitutional rights.

Myatt said it is a constitutional right to carry weapons and the bill would essentially make it impossible to properly equip and defend oneself.

“Concealed carry is legal in 48 states. There has been no proof whatsoever that it’s caused increased accidents or increased crime,” Myatt said.

He cited the instance when individuals in Michigan opposed a similar measure 10 years ago and now view it as a “nonissue.”

Ald. Bridget Maniaci, District 2, said the council’s decision reflected a proper representation of their constituents’ views.

A number of alders have heard there is not support from citizens for carrying concealed weapons, Maniaci said.

“If we have the ability to limit guns, I will support it,” she said.

Penalties for unlawful trespassing offenses with concealed weapons on property are $500 for the first offense and $750 for each following offense, according to the ordinance.

The jurisdiction of the city policy reaches beyond the confines of city buildings to include citizens that fail to keep a concealed carry license with them at all times, a violation which will carry a $25 fine.

According to the approved ordinance, the city might also be able to expect a small increase in general revenues as a result of fines assessed from violations of the policy.

Other weapons prohibited in city buildings include firearms, tasers, knives and billy clubs.