Wisconsin OKs concealed- carry law; Illinois now only state without it

Stateline Midwest Vol. 20, No. 7: July / August 2011

Later this year, Wisconsin will become the 49th U.S. state that allows citizens to carry concealed weapons.

SB 93 was passed by wide margins in the Assembly and the Senate in June. Under the new law, the state Department of Justice will issue permits to residents 21 and older who have completed training and passed a background check. Permits will cost $50 and be valid for five years; renewals will cost $25. The fees will be used for staff time and for building up a database of permit holders, which is expected to cost about $3 million per year, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.

Individuals carrying concealed weapons will be required to have their permits and a photo ID with them. Private businesses will have the right to post signs prohibiting concealed weapons on their property. However, weapons will be allowed in public parks and on government property — except for certain facilities, such as schools, courthouses and prisons.

Illinois is now the only U.S. state that does not permit the carrying of concealed weapons. Wisconsin and the nine other concealed-carry states in the Midwest have “shall issue” laws: Local law enforcement must issue a gun permit to any individual who meets a set of uniform state standards. Iowa had been a “may issue” state until this year.