After two years of legal battles, the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled Tuesday 5-2 that Madison Metro buses must allow riders to be able to bring their concealed carry weapons on board.
Wisconsin Carry, a gun right advocacy group, challenged the the City of Madison in 2014, arguing that prohibiting concealed carry on Madison Metro buses went against Gov. Scott Walker’s concealed carry law signed in 2011.
The 2011 law states concealed carry laws of the city of Madison, and other cities and municipalities across Wisconsin, cannot be stricter than those of the state. Madison’s policy of not allowing concealed carry weapons on Metro buses violates that law, Wisconsin Carry’s original claim stated.
Madison’s previous rules on the bus system allowed no weapons, including guns of concealed carry permit holders. This rule was adopted in 2005.
The court ruled in favor of Wisconsin Carry with Justices Shirley Abrahamson and Ann Walsh Bradley dissenting.
The implication of this ruling will run across the state of Wisconsin, meaning other cities and counties must allow concealed carry on their public transit buses as well.
“This ruling is a victory for hundreds of thousands of law-abiding gun owners across the state of Wisconsin,” Wisconsin Carry said in a statement.
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Mayor Paul Soglin said the city plans to ask the Legislature to amend the existing statute to make it clear there are areas under the city’s control and aren’t affected by the 2011 concealed carry law, including buses.
“We intend to ask the existing Legislature to make it clear that along with other areas under our control that we will have the ability to prohibit firearms on our public buses,” Soglin said.
Along with asking the Legislature to review the city’s jurisdiction, Soglin said he would like to look into whether this ruling convenes on the city’s property rights.
In an email to The Badger Herald, City Attorney Michael May said the city is “disappointed” with the ruling.
May anticipates the Court’s ruling should mean other carriers, such as Greyhound and Van Galder, will be subject to the same rule.
“[This ruling] fails to adequately acknowledge the City’s legal authority to control its own property and to protect users of our transit system,” May said.