Two legislators proposed a bill Monday that would allow concealed firearms to be carried inside buildings on public college campuses.
Rep. Jesse Kremer, R-Kewaskum, and Sen. Devin LeMahieu, R-Oostburg, co-authored the Campus Carry Act, which would allow public universities and technical schools to permit concealed weapons in their buildings, according to a statement from Kremer.
Kremer explained his disagreement with the current state law that allows universities to ban concealed weapons in their buildings comes from a concern for safety.
“Allowing our public campuses to ban concealed weapons in buildings puts our students at greater risk of becoming victims of crime,” Kremer said in the statement. “The Campus Carry Act will ensure that our students are no longer denied the right to defend themselves.”
Some members of the University of Wisconsin System have voiced their concerns with Kremer’s legislation.
Michael Wagner, associate professor in UW’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication, said he didn’t think the legislation would necessarily add to campus security.
“There is no success of [this type of legislation] making college campuses safer,” Wagner said.
In the case of a mass shooting on campus, he argued that Wisconsin state law does not require sufficient training for gun owners to realistically be helpful in such situations.
The UW Police Department released a statement Tuesday, citing crime statistics from the Federal Bureau of Investigation to argue for UW’s safety.
“You are less likely to become a victim of a violent crime at UW-Madison — which currently does not allow concealed weapons in buildings — than you are in the state of Wisconsin as a whole,” Marc Lovicott, UWPD spokesperson, wrote.
UW System President Ray Cross with UW System chancellors also released a joint statement stating they have significant concerns and questions with this proposal and cannot currently support it.
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, all UW System campuses ban concealed weapons inside their buildings. But Wisconsin is also one of just eight states to allow concealed weapons on campus grounds, according to the NCSL.
The bill is currently seeking co-sponsorship.