Attorney General Brad Schimel filed a brief Wednesday in support of a lawsuit against the city of Madison for banning guns on Madison Metro busses.
Madison’s “gun rule” prohibits citizens from carrying weapons, including firearms, on city busses.
Wisconsin Carry, the organization that filed the lawsuit, is arguing that the city of Madison does not have the authority to make rules that are stricter than the concealed carry laws of the state.
They are appealing a decision made by the Wisconsin 4th District Court of Appeals that upheld a lower court ruling that Madison Metro’s ban on guns does not violate concealed carry laws.
Jeff Nass, Wisconsin Firearm Owners, Ranges, Clubs and Educators executive director, said the ban on guns on Madison Metro prevents people who take the bus from defending themselves. He said this punishes law-abiding citizens.
“The people that use those buses are defenseless on their way to the bus stop, on the way home and on the bus itself,” Nass said.
Nass said this also targets low income residents, who may rely on city busses for transportation.
But Ald. Mike Verveer, District 4, said Madison Metro users should leave their guns at home.
“Guns have no place in our public transportation system,” Verveer said.
State law allows municipalities like Madison to prohibit firearms on city properties, Verveer said.
He said none of his constituents have told him they are upset that they can’t ride a bus with a gun.
Michael Wagner, University of Wisconsin journalism and mass communication professor, said in an email to The Badger Herald that Madison residents are more likely than other Wisconsinites to oppose concealed carry.
Evidence shows that people who conceal carry guns are more likely to unintentionally injure themselves and others, rather than actually stopping a crime, Wagner said in the email.
Wisconsin residents, however, still have a right to defend themselves, Nass said.
Verveer said he hopes the Court of Appeals will uphold the decision of the circuit court to keep the city’s rule in place, which has existed for decades.
The case is pending in the Wisconsin Supreme Court.