Concealed Carry Is Linked to Increased Gun Violence in Wisconsin

Concealed Carry Is Linked to Increased Gun Violence in Wisconsin

Getty/Jeff Haynes/AFP A revolver on display during a National Rifle Association convention in Milwaukee, May 2006. Introduction In November 2011, a new law went into effect in Wisconsin that dramatically changed the state’s approach to public carry of firearms. 1 For the first time, individuals in Wisconsin were allowed to carry concealed firearms in their community after obtaining a concealed carry weapons (CCW) permit from the Wisconsin Department of Justice. The law established relatively minimal eligibility requirements for a permit: Applicants must be a state resident; be at least 21 years old; not be prohibited from gun possession under federal and state law; and fulfill minimal training requirements, such as presenting a hunter education certificate or a current or an expired CCW license from another state. 2 Permits are valid for five years and can be renewed without completing any additional training. Also, the law does not provide the state Department of Justice with any discretion in determining whether to issue a CCW permit: If an individual meets the minimum statutory eligibility requirements, the agency must issue the permit. 3 According to data from Wisconsin’s Department of Justice, from 2011 through 2020, 706,575 applications for concealed carry permits were issued and only 14,575 applications were denied after the applicant failed a background check. 4 Although the law passed roughly a decade ago, there is a dearth of research addressing its potential effects on public safety in Wisconsin, in part because the law includes limitations on access to such data. […]

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