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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

 3:44 PM 

Opening remarks on concealed carry

Assembly Majority Leader Scott Suder said passage of concealed carry is "long overdue" and said the legislation has had bipartisan support in previous sessions only to be vetoed. He called this version "a good bill" and "a safe bill."

He accused critics of the legislation of using scare tactics to incite "irrational fears."

"This is not some radical right wing proposal," Suder, R-Abbotsford, said, pointing out that 48 other states have some sort of concealed carry law.

"I could be wrong but I don't believe Republicans and the NRA control 96 percent of the United States," Suder said. He urged the lawmakers "to do what's right for your district, not what's popular for some on the left."

Rep. Jeff Mursau, R-Crivitz, called the bill "a great first step for citizens of this state to personally be able to protect themselves."

Rep. Joel Kleefisch, R-Oconomowoc, called this "a great day for the Second Amendment."

"Right now the only people out there who conceal carry are criminals," he said.

Rep. Mary Williams, R-Medford, said the responsibility of carrying a gun should be taken seriously, and that it is "important that anybody who wants to have a gun take a class" to learn how to use it properly.

Rep. Peter Barca, the Assembly Minority Leader, said there's no doubt the bill will be passed today, but he wants to ensure that the legislation includes proper training requirements.

"This is an important bill and let's just do it right," he said.

Rep. Kelda Helen Roys, D-Madison, said the bill is part of a "very divisive social policy agenda that a majority of Wisconsinites are not clamoring for."

She said lawmakers should be focused on improving the economy and creating jobs rather than "another issue that is going to tear this state apart."


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