By M.D. Kittle
MADISON — The Republican-led Assembly last week delivered on a pledge to bolster gun owner rights in Wisconsin, passing a package of legislation enhancing Second Amendment protections and sending gun-control zealots into meltdown mode.
Included in the package is a bill that guarantees the constitutional rights of concealed carry permit holders living in or visiting the state. Another measure lowers from 21 to 18 the age in which adults may obtain a concealed carry permit. And Assembly Bill 495 removes restrictions on gun owners possessing firearms in vehicles on school grounds and in places of worship attached to private schools.
The bills passed along party lines, with liberals overheating nearly to self-combustion.
“It is beyond comprehension that the Wisconsin Republicans want to let teenagers have guns in school parking lots,” complained state Rep. Lee Snodgrass (D-Appleton), blasting the bills as a “potentially deadly combination.”
But state Rep. Shae Sortwell (R-Two Rivers) asked why adults 18 to 20 shouldn’t have the same Second Amendment rights as everyone else.
“If you’re old enough to fight for our country, if you’re old enough to sign contracts, if you’re old enough to decide who the president of the United States is, we think you’re old enough to be responsible with your rights and to be able to protect yourself and your family,” Sortwell said.
The bills now move to the Republican-controlled Senate. Gov. Tony Evers, a gun-control proponent, is likely to veto the bills.
Democrats are instead calling for more erosions to gun-ownership rights, pushing expanded background checks and other restrictive measures. At the same time, Democrat district attorneys — like John Chisholm in Milwaukee — aren’t enforcing gun laws on the books. *See the Waukesha Christmas parade massacre and other examples of liberal revolving door criminal justice.
Sortwell said there’s a cultural misunderstanding among many of his urban colleagues on the other side of the aisle, as well. They don’t get the role hunting and sport shooting play in the lives of rural Wisconsinites and that carrying firearms for many is second-nature.
The Assembly last week also passed Second Amendment protections included in the Wisconsin Sporting Freedom Package, which cuts Department of Natural Resources red tape and expands hunting, fishing and trapping opportunities.
“I’ve been looking forward to voting on legislation from this package on the floor of the Assembly since the day we drafted the proposals,” said state Rep. Calvin Callahan (R-Tomahawk). “These bills are important for all our state’s sportsmen and women, and I’m glad to have the opportunity today to support their sporting rights.”
Some of the bills included would:
— Increase the minimum number of pheasants being planted to 200,000 and would improve the identification of the properties where the pheasants are planted, increasing access to hunting.
— Provide Wisconsin hunters an opportunity to hunt non-native bovids, some of which are already being raised on Wisconsin game farms. The bill requires farm-raised game bovids to be fenced in the same manner as farm-raised deer other than white-tailed deer.
— Require the DNR to eliminate three rules every time they propose adding another rule.
— Require the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to authorize the hunting of sandhill cranes by individuals who have completed a sandhill crane hunter education course and who possess the appropriate approval issued by the DNR to help manage the growing sandhill crane population in Wisconsin.
— Increase transparency and accountability by requiring the DNR to create a biennial work plan that establishes priorities and goals for habitat work on lands managed by DNR and measures progress on established priorities and goals.
— Guarantee Wisconsinites are able to exercise their constitutional right to carry a gun under the rights already afforded to them by the 2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
The package, previously passed in the Senate, has the endorsement of Hunter Nation, a hunter advocacy group.
“We thank the Wisconsin State Assembly for passing these commonsense bills that will have an immense positive impact on generations of hunters and anglers to come,” said Luke Hilgemann, CEO of Hunter Nation. “We encourage Gov. Evers to do the right thing and sign these bills immediately and show Wisconsin’s outdoor community that they are valued members of this state.”