Wisconsin is currently one of two American states that prohibits its residents from carrying a concealed weapon. However, new Republican leadership in the Badger State is expected to pave the way to looser gun control laws.
According to the La Crosse Tribune, Republican Governor Scott Walker said that he expects a concealed carry bill to succeed in the state legislature this spring, and he intends to sign it. This past November, Walker defeated Democratic candidate Tom Barrett for the top spot in the state's executive branch. Furthermore, Republican lawmakers gained control of the state Assembly and Senate, which is the first time that the GOP has controlled both chambers since 1998.
Although the state allows its citizens to openly carry firearms without a permit, nonprofit gun-rights group Wisconsin Carry said that the law against carrying a concealed weapon limits residents' rights protected by the 2nd Amendment. Hubert Hoffman, vice president of the group, said that his home state is a decade behind the rest of the United States in gun-rights policies.
The state's law against carrying concealed weapons may have contributed to some confusion and an unwarranted arrest in 2010. According to The Lakeland Times, Krysta Sutterfield attended church last July with a gun holstered at her side for all to see, which is legal. However, the police were notified, and they drew their weapons on Sutterfield, searched her car and arrested her with no probable cause, the news provider reported.
Last week, the city of Brookfield and four of its police officers agreed to award the woman and Wisconsin Carry, a plaintiff in the case, $7,500 in a settlement, according to the media outlet.